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Sophisticated Lakeside Home

2012 New Trad designer Melanie Turner transforms a bachelor pad into a newlywed nest

Written by Eleanor Roper with Patty Day

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but for a designer, repeat customers are a close second. So Atlanta designer Melanie Turner was thrilled when a former client contacted her office with an unusual request. He needed his bachelor pad converted into a home better suited to the life he’d created with his new bride. His charge for Turner was to update his former singleton pad with finishes and materials that were less bachelor pad and more sophisticated newlywed.

Maintaining an emphasis on simplicity and understated glamour while borrowing inspiration from the surrounding landscape, a palette of both light and neutral colors—warm grays and creamy whites—was Turner’s chosen way to refresh the rooms and achieve a pleasing combination of sensuous and earthy elements. Bold injections of vibrant green throughout the otherwise quiet scheme connect the spaces.

Firewood stores conveniently between pairs of elegant concrete balusters. A large mirror from Restoration Hardware reflects the home’s dramatic architecture. 

The existing limestone fireplace blends well with custom cabinetry painted gunpowder gray. An over scaled custom lantern hung above a grouping of slipcovered chairs from Lee Industries was designer Melanie Turner’s solution to the room’s soaring proportions. 

Creative furniture plans allow for a mix of seating arrangements that cater to the couple’s desire for casual living—and entertaining. The family room was divided in half—a home theater on one side and an entertaining area adjacent to the kitchen on the other—creating a space in which the couple could each enjoy their favorite pastimes while also spending time together.

A cozy seating area near the kitchen is designed to be entertaining-friendly. The leather sofa and slipcovered chairs from Lee Industries offer comfort and durability, while driftwood table lamps from Clayton Gray Home add a touch of the organic to the elegant space. The dog portraits are from Valerie Davide.

Dark walls and green curtains create a cozy nook for watching movies. 

Linen-upholstered bar stools add low-key charm to the kitchen. The tall custom table acts as a counter, offering a pleasant contrast to the white-painted cabinets. 

In another nod to the homeowners’ casual, wash-and-wear, lakeside lifestyle, outdoor fabrics, organic washable linens, and leathers were used throughout. “We like to use Sunbrella fabrics,” explains Turner. “And washable linens and velvets make for wearable luxury and are the crème de la crème of comfort.”  

A cozy seating area boasts a rustic wood table and a garden stool to complement the casual sofa and chairs. 

With an eye for aesthetics, Turner blended clean, simple lines with unique found objects and custom-designed sculptural furniture—infusing energy and individuality into the new living space. 

The neutral palette with hints of green continues upstairs. A patterned rug from The Rug Market and zebra-print upholstery on the bench add drama to the otherwise soothing space. 

The chest of drawers with nailhead embellishments is from Bernhardt.

“Our first step,” Turner points out, “is always to edit, edit, edit. We make it simple, so the eye has places to rest. Then we add something pretty!”

Caned chairs offer a peaceful view of sunset on Lake Oconee. 

Five things from designer Melanie Turner:

  1. Have more than one seating group in every room. Your seat should never be more than three feet away from the person you are talking to.
  2. Pillows are an affordable way to give a room a pop of color and texture.
  3. The scale of furniture should be based on the size of the room. If it looks too small, it probably is too small!
  4. Use two matching rugs to achieve the look of one large rug.
  5. For cohesiveness, paint trim the same color as the walls

Photography: Emily Followill     

Traditional Home