Buckhead Pad Inspired by Earth, Water

Buckhead Pad Inspired by Earth, Water

Passions for diving and nature bring a unique ambience to the Alperns' Buckhead home.

Marcia Caller Jaffe

After 35 years with the Atlanta newspapers, Marcia currently serves as Retail VP for the Buckhead Business Association, where she delivers news and trends (laced with a little gossip).

The expansive living/dining area is graced by recycled-paper chandeliers with unusual neon tips.
The expansive living/dining area is graced by recycled-paper chandeliers with unusual neon tips.

The 4,200-square-foot Alpern condo in Buckhead has a tiger’s-eye view of the city — not to be overshadowed by its classical format with a modern allure. Looking out the 20th-floor windows, the view could be Chicago or Tokyo. Looking inside, it’s a seamless, sophisticated tone-on-tone sanctuary.

The interior design team began with Charlestonian Terry Gillespie and concluded with Atlantans Bill Moore and Bill Stewart. Sandy Springs art consultant Anthony Naturman brought in contrasting Craig Alan pieces.

“When the Alperns moved from their old home, they did a complete change in taste and design,” Naturman said.

Amy and Woody Alpern collected the remainder from travels and things to which they were attracted.

Local Israeli master Yaacov Golan did the spectacular lighting, as seen in the master bathroom rotunda.

Leather walls and headboards add texture and depth. What stimulates the most is Mother Nature’s art, such as the coral in front of the cascading indoor waterfall.

Take our sky-high oceanic tour.

Jaffe: The ambience here is very sultry and sedate. What mood did you wish to convey?

Amy: I wanted to come home from work and feel relaxed in a taupe-and-charcoal setting. I would call our style “simply modern.” Our furniture and art are varied: braided metallic beaded chains as a backdrop for the bar, Lalique, leather, iron and real earthy elements. We enjoyed commissioning local artist Francesca Ocampo, who created the 8-foot-by-8-foot oil facing the bar. Framing it was not so easy (laughing).

Jaffe: Your natural earth touches are geological yet artful.

Woody: Yes, we collect agates and surround ourselves with travertine, petrified wood, stone, jade, quartz and the like. The front guest powder room is primarily onyx. When you get off the elevator, you see a geological display.

Jaffe: The kitchen really plays into that.

Amy: The island is chocolate cement with embedded agate. It was very difficult to get these counters up here in one elevator. The back counter is brushed granite. This huge bowl is travertine. The cabinets are striped wood. Our appliances have red knobs, which add some fun. The backsplash tile all around is wavy cement, simulating the ocean. Most of our chairs throughout are warm wood in ultra-suede. The architect designed the ceiling in an elliptical circle. But you won’t find me in here cooking very often.

Jaffe: What are some of the most unusual pieces that you have?

Amy: I would say the recycled-paper chandeliers in the main living/dining area with the neon tips are the most eclectic. In the hall we have a South African art collection that stands on its own — stone and carving. … We like to collect things from travels like this warrior mask from Greece. We brought back this very intricate, hand-embroidered group of Asian women from Beijing. Most of all, we love Israel and to shop there.

Jaffe: Anthony, why did you select Craig Alan for the Alperns?

Naturman: The two pieces by Alan are just a taste of his abilities. He is indeed a unique artist, always finding new ways to express his art. Inspired by the techniques of Sumi-e, Craig created this limited series of figurative paintings, “Cardinal Marks,” using 10 strokes or less. The medium is waterborne wood stain on paper.

The canvas at the Alperns’ entrance is titled “Cymbals,” done in oil and acrylic on board. We first huddled with Craig to custom-design and then met along the process, seeing the different layers in its stages of creation. The end result is the two striking pieces.

Jaffe: I have never seen more and more varied mezuzot. How do you relate to your Judaica?

Woody: We have one on the door of every room and entrance. The hamsa collection in our daughter’s bedroom is from Tsfat (in northern Israel). We sentimentally collect art featuring King David. The ceramic of David as a boy is the first piece we bought as a couple. The David in the kitchen is an Israeli piece by Nina. I treasure the Meisner Torah we acquired, also in Tsfat.

Jaffe: You are an avid scuba diver. Do the tactile ocean and organic shell touches reflect that?

Woody: I was born with fins, and diving is my passion. I have been scuba diving all over the world, from Palau, an archipelago of 500 islands in the western Pacific, to the Galapagos, Indonesia. That’s why we have textures from the ocean throughout the home. I am a volunteer at the Georgia Aquarium and perform in the show “Ocean Voyages,” where we relate to and educate the audience. I especially enjoyed taking my daughters (on those scuba trips). Amy is certified but, shall we say, “reluctant.”

Jaffe: Last word, Woody. Now we know why you have a waterfall outside your master bathroom.

Photos by Duane Stork


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