Joanne Truffelman considers herself a hybrid product of East Coast and West Coast style as she looks out from her 16th floor apartment with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the Atlanta skyline, offering magnificent views of foliage and pool. Truffelman, a former Coca-Cola executive and ad agency mogul, said, “Since this was originally built as a condominium, the finishes and amenities are first class.”
“I used white and gray, combining different tactical fabrics in white, accented by marble, gray wood floors and cabinets. For depth, I added a touch of peacock blue, with pillows and minimal drapes. The use of dimensional metallic and cork wallpapers accents individual walls for dramatic effects.”
Alongside her feisty Maltese, Brutus, Truffelman embarks on over-the-top adventure travel and impactful volunteer work. Nestled in her Peachtree Road apartment, Truffelman shares her professional journey and how it all comes together in high-rise living.
Jaffe: Describe your home and how you arrived here.
Truffelman: After living in a very modern Bauhaus-style Buckhead house for 21 years, the responsibility became overwhelming, although I had lots of parties and enjoyed the lifestyle. High-rise living is in my DNA having been raised in New York, so I downsized to a luxury high-rise with a Manhattan name and an LA vibe.
It was relatively easy to downsize from 4,500 square feet since I sold off most of my furniture, with the exception of three pieces: a white piano, mirrored buffet and cylindrical bar. It was cathartic starting over with that new feeling. I love interior designing since my mom was an interior decorator. I have designed four homes and several offices here, including Tower Place and Piedmont Center.
Jaffe: Explain how you furnished all the rooms.
Truffelman: A large coin metal mirror accents the foyer from Global Views. The master bedroom is a collection of Caracole pieces, including the Lucite four-poster bed with silk headboard, open lit marble nightstands with crystal cut glass lamps, open glass dresser/cabinet and artistic armchair.
The living and dining area has a white round, suede sofa by Modern Interlude, including two chenille white swivel club chairs. The marble and chrome coffee table (Caracole) and dining table glass with chrome spindles (Bernhardt) matches with white ultra-suede chairs with black spindles (Elite Modern).
The guest room has a wall-to-wall tufted white headboard with gray wood attached nightstands (Universal Furniture).
My “gal cave” study serves as an office and relaxation with the gray velvet chaise, gray wood armoire, a cherub photo art bought at a fundraiser, and a wall sconce of metallicized driftwood. I’m surrounded by photos, memorabilia and my Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund pieces, which include art from Dian’s written notes, and certificates from my Virunga Mountain gorilla treks in Rwanda.
I worked with Jenny Wood Designs who supplied photos from showrooms and furniture sources, based on the pre-conceived concepts I provided. Over the next six months of pandemic lock-down, ‘voila’…the apartment was furnished. Then the purchase of art and accessories followed.
Jaffe: What does the color white invoke in you?
Truffelman: White is my favorite color. It brings peacefulness, space, cleanliness and purity.
Jaffe: What are your very favorite art pieces?
Truffelman: One of my most treasured pieces is an original Gloria Vanderbilt from the Hammer Galleries on Madison Avenue in 1976, a gift from a business associate and admirer. Another is an original Gino Hollander (Spain) abstract. The latest may be the favorite, by Pezhman from Shiraz (Dejou Art Group), acquired with my friend, foremost art dealer and modern art aficionado, Fay Gold.
Jaffe: Professionally, you are credited with elevating the role of women in the ad business for the Southeast. How did you get to that space?
Truffelman: I launched my career on Madison Avenue at the female-owned Wells Rich Greene agency. I handled creative services for top-tier Fortune 500 companies like Alka-Seltzer and TWA airlines. I was then recruited in the 1980s to Atlanta’s hottest agency, McDonald and Little. There I continued to ladder climb, working on Coca-Cola biz, which ultimately led to a managerial position in their advertising and art department. Truffelman said, “I spent four of the best historical years at Coke and then, at the right age, the entrepreneurial spirit took hold. I partnered with my best friend, Lauren Genkinger, to start an advertising agency, TG Madison (named after Madison Avenue). Would have named it MadWomen, however the TV show didn’t exist yet.” After 29 years, we decided the business had changed dramatically and sold it.
Jaffe: How are you engaged in nonprofits?
Truffelman: I’ve been involved with Zoo Atlanta many years, chairing the Beastly Feast, handling their advertising (pro bono), and serving on their board. I have a particular love for primates, gorillas, which segued to a board position with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International in the mid-1990s. Several trips to Rwanda, Africa reaffirmed my love for those charismatic-mega-vertebrae.
Our agency was hired by the national Alzheimer’s Association for marketing and advertising, leading to chairing the Georgia board. I still hold positions on several committees, danced and chaired “Dancing Stars of Atlanta,” a signature fundraiser to support a devastating disease for which we must find a cure.
My love for theater and New York roots led to a vice chair of Cobb Performing Arts Centre’s ArtsBridge Foundation, which provides arts education programs for K-12 students, including the foundation’s high school Shuler Awards.
Jaffe: Last word. What’s left to add to your exciting lifestyle?
Truffelman: I’ve always had a quest for travel. I will complete seven continents this year with Antarctica! Africa has a special place in my heart. Italy and Southeast Asia are also favorites.” Continuing with giving back and non-profits is always a focus.
- Chai Style
- Marcia Caller Jaffe
- Joanne Truffelman
- East Coast
- West Coast style
- Tower Place
- Piedmont Center
- Global Views
- Modern Interlude
- Elite Modern
- Universal Furniture
- Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund
- Virunga Mountain
- Jenny Wood Designs
- Hammer Galleries
- Gloria Vanderbilt
- Gino Hollander
- Fay Gold
- Wells Rich Greene
- TWA airlines
- McDonald and Little
- Lauren Genkinger
- TG Madison
- Zoo Atlanta
- Alzheimer's Association
- Cobb Performing Arts Centre
- ArtsBridge Foundation