She wants light and pretty, he wants comfortable … sound familiar? Interior designer Lisa Gabrielson has learned how to please both wives and husbands with her gorgeous but practical designs. For this new house in Atlanta’s Chastain Park neighborhood, Lisa got input from both homeowners: “The wife craved fresh, youthful spaces,” says Lisa. “She loves airy rooms with lots of white mixed in with wood tones to add warmth, whereas the husband’s main request was for comfortable sofas to lounge with the family during his down-time.”

Lisa transformed a sitting room into the wife’s special retreat, choosing layers of white and neutrals for the elegant and feminine look. The light fixture made of glass beads and jute from Ro Sham Beaux is the showstopper in the room, and at night it creates great curb appeal through the windows from the street. “I wanted her chandelier to be both bold and dramatic, but also soft and feminine,” says Lisa. The white slipcovered furniture is joined by a see-through glass coffee table and airy curtains to continue the light and airy feeling, but with lots of texture mixed in, too: a seagrass rug, wood side table and furry pillows for contrast.

“The only way to pull off lots of white in a room is to make sure it is balanced with texture and accented with black or another bold color,” says interior designer Lisa Gabrielson, who chose this print from minted.com because it brings in some edgier dark tones. “It also helps to have an element of drama in the room, such as the enormous custom milk-glass beaded chandelier.”

“The only way to pull off lots of white in a room is to make sure it is balanced with texture and accented with black or another bold color,” says interior designer Lisa Gabrielson, who chose this print from Minted. because it brings in some edgier dark tones. “It also helps to have an element of drama in the room, such as the enormous custom milk-glass beaded chandelier.”

A seagrass rug in the wife’s sitting room is lightened up with an accent rug on top.

A seagrass rug in the wife’s sitting room is lightened up with an accent rug on top.

Pink peonies are always in style in a feminine room.

Pink peonies are always in style in a feminine room.

“The clients already had the dining room table and chairs from Restorationhardware.com, so I added a tasseled rug and flowing custom drapery panels to amp up the texture and coziness,” says Lisa.

“The clients already had the dining room table and chairs from Restoration Hardware, so I added a tasseled rug and flowing custom drapery panels to amp up the texture and coziness,” says Lisa.

A vignette on the dining room console almost looks beach-like in its colors and simplicity. Glossy lamps from Arteriors.com and a starburst mirror from MadeGoods.com pop against the dark gray walls, adding interest in a room with little pattern or color.

A vignette on the dining room console almost looks beach-like in its colors and simplicity. Glossy lamps from Arteriors and a starburst mirror from Made Goods pop against the dark gray walls, adding interest in a room with little pattern or color.

The sitting room off the kitchen may seem precariously light for a family space, but Lisa made sure the homeowners can put their feet up and relax. “All of our clients are looking for a lighter palette, but they also have pets and kids, so we like to use high-performance fabrics and slipcovers for a worry-free lifestyle,” says the designer. “Nobody wants to stress about a sofa.” The symmetrical sofas are slipcovered in a light gray brushed-cotton fabric, able to hide some wear and tear (and washable). The swivel chairs are slipcovered in a durable Perennials Fabrics indoor/outdoor fabric with the look and feel of textured linen. When Lisa was unable to find the right scale of coffee table or ottoman, she designed a clever combination of both. The indigo-covered cocktail ottoman with herringbone nesting tables at the sides gives the family versatility, since they can pull the tables underneath out to use — or slide them in for more room.

“I prefer a simple palette for cohesion and am particularly drawn to blue in all of its shades and hues,” says the designer, who chose a variety of blue fabrics as a lively accent color in the family room.

“I prefer a simple palette for cohesion and am particularly drawn to blue in all of its shades and hues,” says the designer, who chose a variety of blue fabrics as a lively accent color in the family room.

The indigo cocktail ottoman with herringbone nesting tables at the sides was a custom creation to give the family more versatility, says Lisa…whether it’s for serving snacks during game time, or providing a surface for the girls to play and draw.

The indigo cocktail ottoman with herringbone nesting tables at the sides was a custom creation to give the family more versatility, says Lisa — whether it’s for serving snacks during game time, or providing a surface for the girls to play and draw.

“The family room painting is by http://www.andreacostastudio.com/ , who collaborates with me on almost all of our projects,” says Lisa. “We commissioned this painting in indigo, white and gray specifically for these clients. I love teal and aqua as an accent color with blue, and she always gets it right.”

“The family room painting is by Andrea Costa, who collaborates with me on almost all of our projects,” says Lisa. “We commissioned this painting in indigo, white and gray specifically for these clients. I love teal and aqua as an accent color with blue, and she always gets it right.”

Lisa is happy to share her tips on incorporating white in a house. “I typically love a matte finish, but have recently started using eggshell finish in homes where there is a lot of traffic, or little hands touching the walls,” she says. Paneled walls and trim should always be painted in a satin finish, she advises. A few of her favorite whites for walls are: Benjamin Moore White Dove (always a winner and just warm enough), Benjamin Moore Simply White (for a crisp, modern, or coastal look), Benjamin Moore China White (for a more sophisticated space, and for those who are a little afraid of white), Sherwin-Williams Alabaster (similar to White Dove, but less expensive and a tiny bit warmer) and Sherwin-Williams Eider White (a gray white with a very modern vibe that doesn’t go cold).

The family loved their window-filled breakfast area, but particularly enjoy it more now that the designer added the patterned window treatments for privacy. She continued similar colors into the room from the sitting area, but with gray mixed in so it’s not so matchy-matchy. The colorful rug is designed by Joanna Gaines for https://www.loloirugs.com/designers/Magnolia%20Home%20by%20Joanna%20Gaines.

The family loved their window-filled breakfast area, but particularly enjoy it more now that the designer added the patterned window treatments for privacy. She continued similar colors into the room from the sitting area, but with gray mixed in so it’s not so matchy-matchy. The colorful rug is designed by Joanna Gaines for Loloi.

Purple tulips pop against the light-gray table finish in the breakfast room.

Purple tulips pop against the light-gray table finish in the breakfast room.

A white base needs an extra layer of interest to make the design special, though, she adds. “Don’t forget to vary patterns, scale and texture when working with a white palette,” she says. Lisa likes to pick a stand-out fabric in a favorite accent color for pillows or an ottoman and then use it in other accessories and maybe even drapery trim.

In the end, Lisa delivered an amazing place to call home — offering both comfort and beauty for all!

Thanks to Christina Wedge for the beautiful photography. 

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