For three seasons, Atlanta interior designer Cristi Holcombe worked on the HGTV show “Elbow Room,” so she knows more than anyone how television home shows have raised expectations. “Clients are more aware now of how their houses look, and they want to have that ‘beauty shot’ at the end of the project,” she says. The most requests come in for a “Fixer Upper” look, Cristi reveals, that well-known approach with shiplap, barn doors and wood elements. It’s her job to know when and how elements of a popular TV design style might work for real-life projects, since not every house looks right with certain features.
For this new construction project in Atlanta, Cristi was brought in at an early enough stage to help with design decisions, helping the homeowners get a rustic farmhouse with personal touches. The key to that look: stone and wood on the exterior and plenty of windows to enjoy the wooded setting. Inside, less can be more. “The key to achieving a rustic farmhouse look is designing a space that feels lived in more than overly decorated,” says the designer. “I think there’s something about the simplicity of a rustic home that’s really appealing.” In this case, barn doors and exposed beams were a must, with organic decor elements scattered throughout to finish off the look.
A warm color palette was also important. “One of the very first things my client said was ‘no gray,’” says Cristi. “So I was able to steer her away from neutrals that were too gold in color towards a nice tone somewhere in the greige family, with warm undertones of green. I love gray, but I think sometimes it can be overdone and can create too cold of a look in a home.”
Let’s take a peek inside to see how all of these thoughtful insights come together for the finished product …
Custom touches are everywhere: the steel vent hood and metal fireplace surround, library shelving that’s just right for the homeowners’ books and personal art that relates to family travels. This house has all the benefits of being television-ready, yet has enough personal touches to stand out.
Gorgeous photos by Rustic White Photography, unless otherwise noted.
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