Chinoiserie-inspired draperies that Caroline Millican inherited from her grandparents pretty much tell the story of how she and husband David approached the renovation of their Atlanta home. In short: Take the familiar and the cherished and make it new and now. “I always loved those draperies—they’d been in my grandparents’ home for years,” Caroline says. “I like traditional style, but with a younger look.
Enter Atlanta designer Lauren DeLoach, who likes nothing better than putting some punch into traditional style. After refurbishing and rehanging Caroline’s family draperies in the living room, she used extra panels to upholster the backs of two armchairs and to fashion sofa pillows. Then, for a happy marriage of old and new, she covered the seats and inside backs of the chairs with a spicy coral fabric that energizes the whole room.
“Those draperies pretty much inspired the house’s entire palette,” DeLoach says. “The colors—brown, blue, orange, gold, and lime green—are so current.” An abstract painting in shades of orange and a gold starburst mirror further invigorate the classically styled room. “Caroline is very fashion-forward, but she is also traditional,” DeLoach says. “So we stayed in keeping with the house’s architectural style without making rooms feel stuffy or boring. We were always trying to find ways to pop them and make the spaces feel current.”
Alterations made to the home put the dining room in the center of the house, and DeLoach made it central to her color scheme as well. “The dining room is the unifying space. So I had the wallpaper custom colored, pulling colors from each of the other rooms,” she says. “Caroline loves blue, so we used that in the living room and kitchen. In the family room we went with green. We married all the colors—the blue, the green, and brown—in the dining room.”
Furniture and fabrics were chosen for their easy-to-clean features—a priority with four youngsters and a constant flow of neighbor kids—as well as for their flexibility. “What’s good about this house is that all the fabrics work in every single room,” the designer says. “They can move furniture to suit their needs.”
The family room, which was not original to the house, had a face-lift, too. Working within the same footprint, the room was rebuilt with beamed ceilings and custom mahogany French doors that have solid recessed panels on the lower portion—a nod to the Tudor styling. DeLoach furnished the room with multiple seating areas and a game table in one corner. Another chair is tucked to the side by bookshelves for quiet reading. “This is a large family, so we needed to serve different functions and groups,” DeLoach says.
A classic check pattern from Schumacher takes on a young attitude in a fresh lime-green colorway. A pair of upholstered antique stools offer extra seating. Wrought-iron curtain rods, an antique iron table lamp, and high-back William and Mary dining chairs reinforce the Tudor style.
After the family room was renovated, the master bedroom and bath above it were updated. The bed headboard is upholstered with “Savannah Linen Stripe,” from Schumacher. Antique prints hang above the bed. Floral pillow shams are “Marble Hill” fabric by Nina Campbell for Osborne & Little.