“I don’t live in a high-rise, but I have a fondness for them,” says interior designer Vaughn Connerty. “The views remind me of growing up on the Gulf and seeing endless sky; I love the feeling of endlessness there.” The Atlanta-based designer recently worked on this high-rise beauty in Buckhead’s Terminus building, with views looking down iconic Peachtree Road towards Midtown.
Vaughn’s clients use the condo as a second home to visit family in Atlanta, as well as enjoy city life. “Most of my clients with homes in buildings are there for the convenience, amenities and the view,” she says. “I love designing condos because of the clean architectural lines, but I also appreciate the challenge of making enjoyable multipurpose spaces.” Comfort and style are paramount for a high-rise, much like with any home, she says. But because the spaces can be more compact, it’s important to choose beautiful, functional pieces that are complementary in color and form from one room to another.
Since condos are all about the view, Vaughn often starts with the window treatments. “I typically like to frame the windows with curtains that enhance the view and accentuate the setting,” she says. “This particular condo has several unusually set different windows, so the best solution for maximizing the view and unifying the space was to install recessed motorized shades for light control and privacy.”
This project entailed a quick turnaround, and because it was new, only required a little paint, some lighting changes and a few cosmetic kitchen upgrades, recalls the designer. The furniture and accessories were purchased off the floor at Mrs. Howard and Max and Company, as well as other companies that offered quick turnaround on custom work. “The living room furnishings were kept neutral — in durable materials with tone and texture,” says Vaughn. “That allowed the view and artwork — a favorite piece by Jamali — to shine.” Because space is at a premium, the designer needed to mount the television directly on the wall, but she kept the look high-style by painting the wall Farrow and Ball “Black Blue.” “That color let the TV blend in with the space behind it and also offered a magnified backdrop for an amazing Art Deco cabinet found on a trip to New York,” says Vaughn. The adjacent dining area is in a high-traffic space, so she chose an oval dining table that had ample seating for entertaining, while still allowing enough room for moving around.
Vaughn’s tips on high-rise decorating are actually good advice for any space: It’s important to recognize the architectural envelope of the space and keep the design consistent to that voice. In spaces like this, where most things are visible from almost everywhere, use quality pieces that are loved. Treat the windows; they are often the reason you are living in a building, so frame your views! Maximize storage with large case goods and custom built-ins … contain the clutter. And a biggie for Vaughn: Invest in artwork. “A large piece of art serves as a focal point in any space,” she says. “It is one of the truest reflections of a person.”
Be inspired by more Southern interiors — check out our “Homes” section!