Friday, October 17, 2014

BEFORE & AFTER :: Rec Room Transformation

We hope you have had a great week! This week has been busy a one, and we can't wait to share what we've been up to! In addition to the projects we already have on deck, we've started a few new projects (that we'll share more of later). This week, we finished up a client's basement/rec room. It looks so great and we love how it all turned out!

Here are some before pictures:

And here is the finished product!

The basement is most frequented by the clients' children and their friends (meaning, lots of video games and slumber parties!). But the clients also wanted a place for them as a family to unwind and enjoy each other's company. We designed these custom modular floor cushions to be rearranged to however they wished. 

The clients also love playing pool, so we found this super cool pool table and had it custom made so that the felt matched the other fabrics in the room. 

However, not all projects are smooth sailing. We definitely hit a few bumps with this one. When the pool table arrived, one of the pieces of slate was damaged and the felt was too small. We had to work out an arrangement with the pool table company and the installers, so that each problem could be fixed as fast as possible. We also had ordered a custom-sized enameled steel chalkboard for a magnetic dart board. Well, the board arrived damaged... twice. So, we figured out an alternative, a cool cork wall that can be a real dartboard with real darts included. 

Although there were a few mishaps along the way that we had no way of controlling, everything worked out in the end. And what matters most is that we gave the client a great room that will be enjoyed for many years to come!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How to Do :: Lucite Furniture

Everyone has seen all of the lucite furniture that has been quite trendy recently. Lucite (or acrylic) furniture has waxed and waned in popularity over the years, and designers have definite opinions about it. Some love it, think it's timeless, and think it is essential for a space. Others think it is quite tacky and should not be used at all. What do we at The Design Atelier think? We think it is all about balance. Too much and it looks like... too much. However, if well-placed, lucite furniture can be that perfect finishing touch. 

Here are some inspiration images that we think do a good job of incorporating lucite furniture:

In this office, the lucite desk balances the dramatic wall color and rug.
It also allows the eye to focus on the super cool shelving.
Another desk would offer a little too much competition and would be overwhelming.

Here, lucite chairs complement the fun bubble chandelier.
Lucite accent pieces, like the candlesticks, help make the room light and airy.
Transparent pieces also do not detract from the large window and its view of the city.

These fun lucite side tables serve as the coffee table.
Moroccan details on the leg add visual interest.

The lucite coffee table here coordinates with the soft color palette of the room.
It adds dimension with its curved edges, but does not distract from other details
like the wall panelling, accent pillows, painting, or accent pillows.

Let us know your thoughts on lucite furniture and where you like to see it used!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Serenbe Showhouse :: Installation Photos

Is it just me, or did September fly by more quickly than ever?? I feel like we just installed the Serenbe Showhouse yesterday when in fact we actually un-installed it yesterday! Crazy how time flies!!

We are so happy to have been a part of such a fun project and we cannot wait to share the final photos taken by our amazingly talented friend, Emily Followill of Emily Followill Photography

Cocktail Table by Kevin Scanlon

Mobile by Julie Frith

Painting by Tom Swanston

The final photo is a detail shot of the custom fender we designed and had made by another good friend, Jason Smith of Smithworks Iron & Design. It is up for grabs if anyone is in the market for a beautiful fender!

Many thanks to the vendors that made this all possible:

Please let us know if you had a chance to stop by the Showhouse! We would love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, September 26, 2014


In any home, a place to sit down and work is an absolute must. Whether it is a place for email, kids to do homework, pay bills, or even to sit down and read, a home office (or at least a desk) is necessary. 

Here at The Design Atelier, we are working on a home office for a client and while working with them, we have compiled a short list of characteristics that each home office needs. We thought we would share them with you, so please enjoy! If you are building a new home or just need to update your space, we hope these tips will be helpful.

The Design Atelier's key essentials to any home office:

Free from distraction: With so many things requiring our attention, we all get easily distracted. Your office should be clean, organized, and (if possible) quiet. Time spent in your office should be uninterrupted, so that whatever that needs to be accomplished can be done in minimal time so you can get onto the next task that needs your attention. Therefore, your office should be in a part of the home that is not often frequented by children or at least be in an area where the kids know to be quiet.  

Even though this workspace is most likely a part of the living room, it's secluded enough to
be recognized as an "office." As a perk, you can keep an eye on the kids and still get work done!

Free from clutter: Some people work well with piles of papers on the desk. However, most people associate messy stacks of paper to be quite stressful. Your home office should be organized, at least enough so that most everything has a place. Receipts should have a bin. Tax documents, bills, the kids' homework, report cards, art work, and any other important documents should have their own respective folders/bins. 

This desk is relatively clean with the exception of a container of pens, a task lamp,
and a jar of flowers. Everything else is filed away in organizational heaven.

Plenty of storage: In order to keep maintain a clutter-free office, multiple storage options are necessary. Shelving, drawers, bins, filing systems, are all great ways to keep your things organized and stowed away. 

Shelving helps keep books and other necessary items off of the desk but makes them
easy to find.

Plenty of light: Whether natural, artificial, or both, any working space needs to be well-lit. Make sure your work surface is adequately lit with overhead lights, table or task lamps, or a combination thereof. Windows are always pleasant and offer both sunlight and a view to the outside. Studies show that those who worked with some sort of connection to nature tend to be more productive than those who didn't have any sort of natural connection. So if your space is window-less, be sure to incorporate plants or a picture of a gorgeous landscape to mimic the results. 

The desk placed in front of the window offers a look outside and plenty of sunlight. The
pendant and desk lamp add light when needed. And doesn't that chair look ├╝ber comfy?!

Visual Interest: It's your office, you should have at least one thing that serves no other purpose than it being pretty. Whether it's artwork, a neat sculpture, or a bouquet of flowers, give your space something that catches your eye.

Artwork and a sculpture give the eye a place to rest. The light color palette also helps draw attention to the art,
while also creating a serene work environment.

With these tips, your home office is bound to be your favorite room or area of the house!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kitchen :: Update

You may remember this kitchen we recently completed for a client not too long ago. We (and especially the client) loved how it turned out!! Last week, we got to stop by and take some "final" pictures of the kitchen. 

Just for reference, here are some before pictures:

Here are the "after" shots! We absolutely love the transformation of the kitchen! It was so fun to meet up with the client again and hear how much she loves her new "grown up" kitchen and family room. 

We love this shot of the family dog, Ellie, eating out of her custom dog bowls.

We hope you've enjoyed the progress of this project. Now onto another!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Serenbe :: Updates

It is all set and ready to be seen! Last week was the grand opening of the Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles 2014 Designer Showhouse at Serenbe; we are thrilled with how everything turned out. 

The walkway up to the showhouse
The front of the showhouse
The view of the showhouse from the walkway. The bay window looks into our living room!

Here is the room we designed, the living room:

Again, we are so pleased with the room and have heard nothing but great reviews about it! The entire house is beautiful; every designer did an amazing job. Go visit Serenbe and see for yourself!

The show house is available for viewing and touring from now until September 28. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Mexican Night at TDA

With summer quickly speeding to a halt, Melanie decided to throw a Mexican Fiesta for her kids before they head back to school. It also happened to be Sarah Margaret's last day of her internship! We loved having her with us this summer and we are thrilled that she will be back to join us starting in September!!

Before the festivities began, we ran all over town picking up chips, salsa, and queso from some of the kids' favorite mexican restaurants. Then we met at the studio with chips and dip from 7 local restaurants and dinner from Taqueria del Sol, one of our particular faves thanks to its close proximity to the office. 

After reheating cheese dip, numbering the bowls, and blindfolding the kids, we were ready to get started!

We began by giving them plain chips (which was greatly protested since they knew how much cheese dip was in the room), then they had chips and salsa, and finally chips and queso.

As I listed the names of the restaurants, they raised their hands to guess which place the chip/dip belonged to.

As the blindfolds came off, we revealed our findings:
  1. Taco Mac is good but the cheese is way too thick. 
  2. Jalisco's is hard to pronounce and their food is not memorable. 
  3. La Fonda has great salsa.
  4. Uncle Julio's has the best thin, salty chips and is an all around favorite among the boys who loved their Texas style cheese dip.
  5. Mi Cocina..... "These chips are gross."
  6. Willy's: good for a quick Mexican fix but you have to get the thin salsa, not the chunky kind.
  7. Taqueria del Sol: Our initial feelings can't be swayed... a favorite among all and the definite winner for the girls!
Wyatt won the competition and was the proud recipient of a gold medal, some stick on mustashes (which he generously shared with his siblings) and bragging rights for years!

We had so much fun with our mexican adventure and would love to hear your favorite Mexican Cantinas so that we can try them out!