Modern meets traditional in Lake Lanier home

Story by Michelle Jameson
Photos courtesy AHT Interiors and Ulrich Brinkman

Admittedly Tim spends most of his time in his favorite room — the back porch. Roomy, plenty of light and complete with a fireplace, the porch is where he does a lot of his work and reading. But he knew it was time to update the main floor of his six-bedroom, six-bathroom (with three half baths) Lake Lanier home.
With three mostly grown daughters, Tim decided he wanted a fresh look. What started as a farmhouse in 2006 now looks like a stately English manor with a six-car garage. There’s also a small gym, bar, entertainment room with pool table and, of course, a pool.
Nestled in a cove with lots of natural light, the house has a view of the lake from nearly every bedroom. So when it came time to redecorate, Tim wanted a marriage of traditional and modern without over doing a lake theme.
After reading an article about AHT Interiors in Alpharetta, he gave AHT president and director of design, Allison Havill Todd, a call. He had the great room, dining room, master bedroom and foyer completely redone in a matter of months.
“She’s good at presenting choices and I’m good as saying ‘I like that one,’” Tim says.
Allison matched Tim’s needs perfectly he says.
“He went to our website and said he ‘liked what he saw,’” Allison says.
“We first met in April of 2016 and started working on the project in May. The great room and adjacent dining and breakfast areas were completed before Thanksgiving and the master bedroom and other areas were completed the beginning of December.”
The great room has a blend of muted tones with pops of blue and orange. The blue color is carried into the master bedroom.
“He wanted a cleaner, more transitional look with the understanding that comfort is key,” Allison says.

She says they started with establishing a color palette first. Tim shared that he liked blues and since the home has a fabulous view of Lake Lanier, she decided to pull the colors of nature (blues, creams, sandy beige) as the primary foundation for the color scheme and added pops of brighter accent colors in pillows and artwork.
She also incorporated a few of the latest trends  into the overall design.
“Cleaner lines in upholstered furniture, mixture of warm metals in softer gold tones in accent pieces, wall hangings, tables, etc.,” Allison says.
Large pieces of abstract art that embody water help tie together colors while bringing the very large space together.
An oversized, two-story great room, such as this one, says Allison, can often be challenging in ensuring pieces are the appropriate proportion and scale for the space.
Keeping the room light and airy was important to Tim.
“It is also difficult to make rooms of this size feel inviting. But I feel we were successful in doing so by creating the two different seating areas backing up to each other in the great room,” Allison says.
Sourcing the furniture and decor is Allison’s strong suit.
“I work directly with vendors and manufacturers to source all the furnishings and artwork. The pieces of art are all one-of-a-kind, custom pieces. I don’t work with any local retailers to source products for my projects.  Everything is ordered directly from our trade resources.”
And for someone wanting to recreate this design? Well, she says, they can’t. It’s is custom after all.
But her advice to anyone looking to take on such a project: Hire a good designer to help you develop your own look that reflects your personality, tastes and lifestyle.  No two are alike.
Her favorite aspect?
“I love the custom artwork over the fireplace that we had commissioned for this project,” she says.
“Mostly, I enjoy working with clients, like Tim, who understand that their physical environments impact how they feel and appreciate quality. Tim was great about communicating his preferences and then relying on me to steer things in the right direction and make appropriate product selections.”
Tim agreed that Allison made the project so easy and go smoothly. Even though he loves his porch, and his bar complete with a backlit onyx panel (a mate to the sink at right) he and his daughters can enjoy  and still be comfortable in a home that feels more 2017 instead of 2007.
“This is home for me. The sun rises right over the water. I love it here.”

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