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Atlanta designer Helen Davis grew up in a family of physicians, but fortunately for the world of interior design, she decided to pursue her artistic talents rather than the world of medicine. Helen’s Buckhead loft in Atlanta is now home base for her successful design business (as well as life in the city), but she got there after an art history degree from Southern Methodist University and years working in fashion in New York.

Taking a cue from fashion, her interior designs often mix basic black with pops of color, high and low budgets, new with vintage and always something one-of-a-kind. “My favorite part about being a designer is the challenge of coming up with something new every time,” says Helen. “Once I have used certain fabrics and wallpaper, or have seen them photographed many times (via Pinterest or Instragram) I am over it, so it’s extremely important that each space I work on feels unique.”

Helen Davis loft | Image credit: Heidi Geldhauser

Helen’s own loft is dynamic, yet soothing, thanks to the mostly white interior with fun pops of color (such as her blue velvet vintage chairs). She’s particularly drawn to pairs of items. “I am generally a big fan of symmetry,” she says, “however, there is a fine line between being symmetrical and interesting and symmetrical and boring. Because my loft is an open floor plan, it was very important for me to define the space using the furniture, to create ‘rooms’ within the large, open loft.” Image credit: Heidi Geldhauser

 

“I chose to use matching lamps and bedside tables in my loft bedroom since the room would be open and exposed to the rest of the space,” says Helen. “In order for my space to feel cohesive and organized, it was important for everything to have a place.” Image credit: Heidi Geldhauser

“I chose to use matching lamps and bedside tables in my loft bedroom, since the room would be open and exposed to the rest of the space,” says Helen. “In order for my space to feel cohesive and organized, it was important for everything to have a place.” Image credit: Heidi Geldhauser

A dining room vignette from Helen’s previous loft combines thrift store vintage chairs that she recovered in red alongside classic elements. Image credit: Sarah Dorio

A dining room vignette from Helen’s previous loft combines thrift store vintage chairs that she recovered in red alongside classic elements. Image credit: Sarah Dorio

 

Aside from hunting down new fabrics, furniture and wallpaper resources, Helen is known for repurposing vintage items. The designer is now tackling the ultimate re-use project, refurbishing an old Airstream trailer (from the ’70s) for a local sunglasses company to take on the road for pop-up shops. “This is certainly out of the box from my residential projects, which is exactly why I wanted to work with them,” says Helen.

Her occasional commercial projects share some similarities to the houses she designs—bold use of patterns and colors, for instance—but she likes the personal touch that comes with putting together a house for a family.

“For the seating area of Tulipano boutique in Buckhead, we wanted to highlight the store's signature colors, black, white and pink, while also creating a cozy and inviting space for their customers,” says the designer. “We chose to stick with black and white so that the store's merchandise (women's clothing and accessories) was the star, instead of the decor.” Image credit: Heidi Geldhauser

“For the seating area of Tulipano boutique in Buckhead, we wanted to highlight the store’s signature colors—black, white and pink—while also creating a cozy and inviting space for their customers,” says the designer. “We chose to stick with black and white, so that the store’s merchandise (women’s clothing and accessories) was the star, instead of the decor.” Image credit: Heidi Geldhauser

An inexpensive black-and-white rug (that looks expensive) anchors the waiting room area. Image credit: Heidi Geldhauser

An inexpensive black-and-white rug (that looks expensive) anchors the waiting room area. Image credit: Heidi Geldhauser

“Many of my clients are first-time home owners, so we are basically starting from scratch,” Helen says. “I like this because it gives me a chance to help them find their style and create a home that is uniquely theirs.”

Every room should have a personal, unique touch, the designer adds—just like in the world of fashion. “I love incorporating collected items from travels or family history,” Helen says. “These pieces help tell your personal story and distinguish you from everyone else.”

Helen’s clients for this Atlanta house have children, so generally the focus was more about function than style in this living room, she explains. “But we did want to create one space (for now) that was more beautiful than kid-friendly, hence the lighter color palette,” says Helen. The light, breezy fabrics are offset by the brightly colored artwork by local artist Britt Bass. Image credit: Paul O'Mara

Helen’s clients for this Atlanta house have children, so generally the focus was more about function than style in this living room, she explains. “But we did want to create one space (for now) that was more beautiful than kid-friendly, hence the lighter color palette,” says Helen. The light, breezy fabrics are offset by the brightly colored artwork by local artist Britt Bass. Image credit: Paul O’Mara

 

Helen often mixes gold tones in with more neutral fabrics for a sophisticated touch. Image credit: Paul O'Mara

Helen often mixes gold tones in with more neutral fabrics for a sophisticated touch. Image credit: Paul O’Mara

“The inspiration for this fabulous chair came from the door color,” explains Helen. Shiny dark floors provide a contrast to the watercolor tones of the chair. Image credit: Paul O'Mara

“The inspiration for this fabulous chair came from the door color,” explains Helen. Shiny, dark floors provide a contrast to the watercolor tones of the chair. Image credit: Paul O’Mara

“Since this kitchen is mostly white, we wanted a serious pop of color to brighten up the space,” says Helen. “These yellow bar stools are functional for the kids but add the color and interest we were looking for.” Image credit: Paul O'Mara

“Since this kitchen is mostly white, we wanted a serious pop of color to brighten up the space,” says Helen. “These yellow bar stools are functional for the kids, but add the color and interest we were looking for.” Image credit: Paul O’Mara

See more of Helen Davis’ work on her website, helendavisdesign.com.

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