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Publication Date: 2015-01-05

House Tours

Earthy Hues in an Atlanta Home

Worried about dark colors? Don’t be, says designer Kim Winkler, who painted nearly all the walls and trim in her home with earthy hues of gray, putty, and deep brown. Kim used dark colors to warm up her home, which had previously been painted in pastel colors. The home, a 2,800-square- foot home in the historic Atlanta neighborhood of Whittier Mill Village, was built in the early 1900s by a mill owner for his bachelor son, and well maintained by a previous homeowner.

Photography: Emily Followill

In the familly room, Winkler repurposed old iron sewing machine spools into candlesticks for the mantel. The painting is by Cooper Sanchez. To offset dark walls, Winkler upholstered furnishings in cream-colored fabrics. An antique Swedish cupboard houses the TV, and vintage chairs were re-covered for casual seating.

Deep baseboards, French doors, and crown moldings are a dark brown, giving them more definition than if they were painted white, Winkler says. Winkler, who is a designer at Westbrook Interiors, says her clients often ask for light colors, until they step into her house. “I get a lot of compliments on the feeling of my house when people come in,” she says, “because it is very warm and very earthy.”

Photography: Emily Followill

Rustic and well-worn antique furnishings and nubby textured fabrics on furniture, windows, and floors enhance that ambience.

The family often entertains in the spacious dining room, so Winkler asked her father to make an 11-foot-long pine table with a distressed surface. New dining room chairs are upholstered in ivory linen with nail-head trim that accents the furniture’s curves. An iron-and-glass chandelier bathes the room in candlelight when the Winklers dine.

Photography: Emily Followill

A massive canopy bed anchors the master bedroom and provides a soft landing spot for Frank, one of Winkler's cats. Above the headboard is an old wood machinery part, a French flea market find.

Photography: Emily Followill

“I’ve always wanted a black bathroom,” Winkler says. Now she has it in her master bath. Upper walls are painted black and lower walls are covered with wood planks painted white. She designed a rustic wood-and-metal vanity base and topped it with a large rectangular sink. Toiletries are stored in antique baskets underneath. A garden-style galvanized light fixture and round mirror pop against the black wall. “The crazy thing is, I feel like I can see genuine color better when the walls are black,” Winkler says.

To see more photos and read the rest of this story, visit

Written by Amy Elbert

Photography: Emily Followill

Design: Kim Winkler


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