Here’s a dream scenario: create a “forever” family home, including a custom house built just to your liking, and fresh new interiors to go with it (i.e. not having to incorporate that Pier 1 breakfast room set, circa 2003). For Matt and Amanda Hene and their two children, this new Sandy Springs house just north of Atlanta will be where many future memories are made, so to get it just right, they hired interior designer Lori May.

This classic Georgian-style house will always be in style. "Amanda had dreamed of white painted brick for a long time," says interior designer Lori May. "The porches were furnished with simple black rockers, a nod to the Henes' southern roots."

This classic Georgian-style house will always be in style. “Amanda had dreamed of white painted brick for a long time,” says interior designer Lori May. “The porches were furnished with simple black rockers, a nod to the Henes’ Southern roots.”

A "haint blue" ceiling adds a tint of color to the welcoming front porch.

A “haint blue” ceiling adds a tint of color to the welcoming front porch.

“I started working with the Henes at the framing stage of their project, so I made a few architectural changes at the beginning,” says Lori. (SB TIP: Bring interior designers in right from the start.) Lori and the homeowners decided to eliminate a few archways on the plan, so the remaining ones felt intentional and important, as just one example of a helpful tweak.

Bookcases in the family room are painted the same color blue as the kitchen backsplash for balance. "The metal and glass doors steal the show in this space," says the designer. "I chose very simple window treatments to soften but not distract from the doors."

Bookcases in the family room are painted the same color blue as the kitchen backsplash for balance. “The metal and glass doors steal the show in this space,” says the designer. “I chose very simple window treatments to soften but not distract from the doors.”

A light-blue sofa by Wesley Hall (wesleyhall.com) is joined by a dark leather ottoman for contrast.

A light-blue sofa by Wesley Hall is joined by a dark leather ottoman for contrast.

To mix things up, Lori chose two complementary fabrics for this Bernhardt chair (bernhardt.com) in the family room.

To mix things up, Lori chose two complementary fabrics for this Bernhardt chair in the family room.

"I chose the blue tile as a backsplash because there was already so much white in the kitchen," says the designer. "The blue tile is handmade, so it adds texture and a wonderful color that we repeated throughout the home."

“I chose the blue tile as a backsplash because there was already so much white in the kitchen,” says the designer. “The blue tile is handmade, so it adds texture and a wonderful color that we repeated throughout the home.”

Because the Henes entertain frequently, two islands perform different functions: the one nearest the range is ideal for food prep, while the walnut-topped island offers a place for people to sit and eat. Cabinet Resources (cabinetresources.com) designed the X bases for the second island to allow it to stand alone as a unique piece.

Because the Henes entertain frequently, two islands perform different functions: the one nearest the range is ideal for food prep, while the walnut-topped island offers a place for people to sit and eat. Cabinet Resources designed the X bases for the second island to allow it to stand alone as a unique piece.

Linen Roman shades add a softness to the kitchen.

Linen Roman shades add a softness to the kitchen.

Because the couple brought only a few items from a previous house, Lori welcomed the challenge to choose new furnishings that fit the house. “They wanted the house to feel collected and finished when they moved in,” explains Lori, “and because they have small children and a dog, we didn’t want anybody feeling like they have to walk on eggshells … everything had to be child- and dog-friendly.” The designer seized on Amanda’s love of color, and chose a blue handmade tile for the kitchen that would become the color palette for the whole house.

"This sitting area off the kitchen is my favorite room in the home," says Lori. "It's where Amanda can sit and read a book to her kids or sit with a friend and have a cup of tea."

“This sitting area off the kitchen is my favorite room in the home,” says Lori. “It’s where Amanda can sit and read a book to her kids or sit with a friend and have a cup of tea.”

Special features in the dining room include custom window treatments with fabrics by Duralee (duralee.com) and grass cloth wallpaper by Thibaut (thibaut.com).

Special features in the dining room include custom window treatments with fabrics by Duralee and grass cloth wallpaper by Thibaut.

Colorful paintings are casually placed on the fireplace mantel in the dining room.

Colorful paintings are casually placed on the fireplace mantel in the dining room.

A bar cart stocked for entertaining can be moved if needed.

A bar cart stocked for entertaining can be moved if needed.

“I would describe Amanda’s style as modern Southern,” says Lori, “so we designed the house around classic furnishings, but with colorful geometrics and florals for the upholstery, pillows and window treatments.” Thinking ahead, the designer chose fixed elements in classic whites, marbles and warm stains as a base. “If they ever tire of the color palette,” Lori says, “It will be easy to make changes.”

"The master bedroom was all about the beautiful floral fabric that we chose," says Lori. "The Bernhardt bed is a modern take on the classic canopy bed."

“The master bedroom was all about the beautiful floral fabric that we chose,” says Lori. “The Bernhardt bed is a modern take on the classic canopy bed.”

The floral fabric by Duralee used for window treatments and pillows is sophisticated but not too feminine.

The floral fabric by Duralee used for window treatments and pillows is sophisticated but not too feminine.

"The master bath is where we stayed very true to the classic details, with painted white cabinets, Calcutta marble, and polished nickel hardware and light fixtures." The lucite shower door handle adds the perfect amount of sparkle.

“The master bath is where we stayed very true to the classic details, with painted white cabinets, Calcutta marble and polished nickel hardware and light fixtures.” The lucite shower door handle adds the perfect amount of sparkle.

Wallpaper by Cole & Son (cole-and-son.com) brings an unexpected element to the powder room.

Wallpaper by Cole & Son brings an unexpected element to the powder room.

We think the finished product is indeed a place anyone would be thrilled to call home … forever!

Thanks you to Christina Wedge for today’s beautiful photography. 

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