One glance at the exterior of the 2020 Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens has us waiting with bated breath to view its interior, and a peek inside the jaw-dropping interior has us ready to explore the 11,000-square-foot estate from room to majestic room. Located in the heart of Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, and set on just over six acres of lush and impeccably landscaped private property, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles brings us their fifth-annual designer showhouse, featuring the inspiring work of more than 15 regional interior designers. It just might be their most dazzling one yet, showcasing sculptures, Italian-made cabinetry, and detailed nuances around every corner.

Upon arrival via shuttle, touring guests are invited to admire the stunning architectural showpiece, from the adobe-style roofing tiles to the majestic pool and surrounding landscape. Newly renovated from its first incarnation as the residence of late civic leader and Atlanta business titan Charlie Ackerman of Ackerman Security, the home now boasts dreamy amenities such as a spa, exercise room, and basement with a wine cellar. Invoking the warm, laidback feeling of Santa Barbara or Montecito, the California traditional design was flawlessly executed by Benecki Homes in collaboration with SOURCE, Linda MacArthur Architect, Cole Construction, Melanie Turner Interiors, and the masterful work of skilled interior designers from across the South. Six bedrooms, six full baths and two powder rooms offer a style spectrum that ranges from classic to contemporary, all of which flows together seamlessly.

Two primary levels and a terrace level — complete with an indoor lap pool original to the residence — offer ample opportunity to tour high-end finishes and modern furnishings. “The first floor is very representative of all the changes that have been made through the renovation,” says Elizabeth Ralls, Publisher and Editorial Director of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles. “The first floor is a more contemporary design aesthetic, while the second floor has a more classic, traditional feel.” The home was opened up to create more flow between spaces, with each room carefully and thoughtfully designed to emphasize functionality and today’s living.

Amy Morris living room with fig tree at 2020 Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Garden

This contemporary first-floor living room designed by Amy Morris, of Amy Morris Interiors, features olive trees flanking a Thibault lounge chaise from UpCountry Home.

Room by Robert Brown at 2020 Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Garden

The den has designer Robert Brown‘s magic touch. Warm colors are prevalent in the first-floor space, and artwork abounds, such as the “Bakatadi Vens” sculpture by Kimo Minton.

Space by Tara Dennis with built-in mudbench

Designer Tara Dennis, of Archie Bolden, brings life to the mudroom with a built-in bench that’s both pretty and practical. Black woven seagrass baskets from West Elm pair with an orchid throw and pillows from CB2 to add texture.

The master bedroom is a sanctuary, providing a peaceful nighttime refuge. “They really blew the master bedroom out of the water,” says Elizabeth. “It has his-and-her water closets, his-and-her showers, his-and-her vanities, and his-and-her closets.” Even the entry foyer, stairwell and rotunda possess a sort of meditational quality, with an airy and bright sitting area that’s perfect for sipping an early evening cocktail or perusing a few book chapters. In fact, all of the designer spaces exude tranquility and elegance, from fabric textures to paint colors, with comfort winding up as the unintended inspiration for the home’s overall aesthetic.

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Though spec homes traditionally leave openings for a future homebuyer’s personal preferences, the 2020 Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens leaves no stone unturned. It has been thoughtfully designed for a turnkey buyer, with each art piece, fixture and sleek finish meticulously chosen by the interior designers, who offer unique perspectives that take the home to another level.

Bedroom by Phoebe Howard at 2020 Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Garden

Despite vaulted ceilings, the master bedroom from Phoebe Howard of Mrs. Howard and Max & Co. delivers a sense of intimacy and calm.

Master closet designed by Source, at 2020 Southeastern Designer Showhouse

An update from the original footprint, the expanded master suite includes moody his-and-hers closets and a vestibule with mirrored, Italian-made cabinetry. Cydney Mitchell and Brittany Stafford of SOURCE collaborated with Miller Brothers wardrobe to create this beautiful (and beautifully organized) space.

Master bathroom designed by Source, with freestanding tub and Ciot marble floor

Cydney Mitchell and Brittany Stafford truly outdid themselves with this gorgeous Ciot marble tile floor surrounded by handcrafted Moroccan tile, giving the master bathroom an immediate ‘wow’ factor. A freestanding tub from MTI adds an element of spa-like luxury.

Kitchenwith gray cabinetry and marble island

This phenomenal chef’s kitchen boasts a marble-topped island and exquisite custom cabinetry designed by Natalia Makarova of Karpaty Cabinets.

Dining room with round table by Wolf Design Group

This highly contemporary dining room by Kelly Anthony of Wolf Design Group features mixed media art and textured chairs, offset by a pop of color from a vintage moss-filled bowl.

Mark Williams & Niki Papadopoulos stairwell at 2020 Southeastern Designer SHowhouse

The rotunda and stair hall designed by Mark Williams and Niki Papadopoulos, of Mark Williams Design, is enough to take your breath away. The Chiaroscuro rug by Alexander McQueen brings intricately woven couture to this showstopping space, with Kelly Wearstler’s Lucien Settee offering the perfect dose of modern comfort.

Upstairs landing with suspending lighting fixtures and standing display cases

This upstairs landing by Mark Williams Design gives way to a second-floor filled with colorful, traditional designs.

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Jared Hughes bedroom with canopy

The scenic wallpaper install in this upstairs bedroom, designed by Jared Hughes of Jared Hughes Design, has become the runaway Instagram hit of the 2020 Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens.

Josh Pickering bedroom with canopy bed

This canopy from Josh Pickering, of Pickering House Interior Design, with its luxurious fabrics and embroidered appliqué pillows, imparts a classic feel to an upstairs bedroom.

Brittany Cason Johnston bedroom with yellow canopy, graphic wallpaper and wall art

Brittany Cason Johnston of Brittany Cason Interior Design lends her fun and flirty flair to this second-floor girl’s bedroom. Vintage frames and a Venetian-style cut glass mirror are standouts against the colorful graphic wallpaper print and mustard canopy curtains.

Melanie Turner living room with green and coral accent

This lime- and coral-accented living room by Melanie Turner, of Melanie Turner Interiors, is a breath of fresh air with an artist’s touch.

Guest area with private entrance from Kati Hardwick, B.D. Jeffries

Former chef’s quarters above the garage have been transformed into a guest lounge by Kati Hardwick of B.D. Jeffries, complete with a private entrance.

Boxwoods pop-up shop at the 2020 Southeastern Design Showhouse & Gardens

Located on the terrace level, this bedroom serves as the pop-up shop for Boxwoods Garden & Gifts, designed by Dan Belman and Randy Korando.

Indoor pool at 2020 Southeastern Design Showhouse & Gardens

An indoor lap pool offers luxury and leisure at once. Designed by Melanie Millner of The Design Atelier, it almost has us begging for an early morning swim.

Giant domed window behind outdoor dining area at 2020 Southeastern Designer Showhouse

An outdoor dining space with furniture from McKinnon and Harris becomes the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious summer evening spread, while large planters from Land Plus Associates enhance the greenery.

Close-up of pool and glass-encased room at back of house

A new, glass-encased family room boasts custom iron windows and overlooks the pool and expansive courtyard.

Outdoor pool with built-in sitting area and fire pit

Staycations are a breeze with this built-in fire pit and swoon-worthy outdoor sectional.

No matter your level of appreciation for architectural design and decor, the 2020 Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens is what dreams are made of. It’s an event that’s not to be missed, whether you’re seeking design inspiration or looking for a casual stroll through the magnificent grounds. The showhouse is taking precautionary measures to protect visitors and staff by limiting the number of guests allowed in the showhouse at any given time, conducting daily deep cleanings, and offering dedicated hand sanitization stations through the showhouse as well as inside the shuttle. They also have a limited number of single-use masks available on-site. A complete list of safety regulations is available on their website.

The Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens is located at 1130 West Conway Dr. NW, Atlanta, GA 30327, and runs through June 28, 2020. It is open to the public for tours Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday). General admission is $40 at the door and benefits Atlanta History Center. You can find more information on the showhouse, as well as the safety measures they are taking, by visiting

All images courtesy of David Christensen.


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