Designer Relationship Inspires Downsizing
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Designer Relationship Inspires Downsizing

Sophistication and comfort bring light to couple's Buckhead home.

Marcia Caller Jaffe

After 37 years with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and now with the AJT, , Jaffe’s focus is lifestyle, art, dining, fashion, and community events with emphasis on Jewish movers and shakers.

Bo Waddell selected horizontal brass tree branches to face off with the “Male/Female” frosted glass sculptures by House of Glass in Venice, Italy.
Bo Waddell selected horizontal brass tree branches to face off with the “Male/Female” frosted glass sculptures by House of Glass in Venice, Italy.

Marcy and Hal Mendel thought Cobb County was fine for rearing a family, but once the kids were grown, they wanted a change in lifestyle.

Photos by Duane Stork

Hal, owner of Mendel Tencer Flooring Group on Miami Circle and Dabble Entertainment, said: “Here in the center of Buckhead (alongside only seven other units by John Wieland), we feel like we are on vacation every day. We can walk to stores and dining. All our wants and needs are taken care of without any stress.”

Enter Bo Waddell, owner of Bo Unlimited Interior Design, known for his decades of timeless, modernistic interior designs. Bo’s clients often say his calmness and intuition make the project stress-free and result in an elevated experience.

Marcy and Hal Mendel downsized from Cobb County to enjoy the conveniences of Buckhead.

“I would just come home, and Bo would have a new piece sitting there, and it would be perfect,” Marcy said. “He makes a splash, but it’s discreetly marked with his stamp.”

Hear what the group has to say about great decor soothing the senses.

Jaffe: How did you select Bo Waddell as your designer, and what did you expect him to accomplish?

Hal: That is a central question because, through my carpet business, I have many key relationships with designers. In that background, it could have been very difficult to choose one. Bo was the very first designer to put trust in my business. We have a unique, 32-year personal and professional relationship. We entrusted Bo with the job of making our townhouse exciting, functional and livable.

Bo Waddell, the principal of Bo Unlimited, has designed interiors for over 35 years.

Marcy: Sophisticated and comfortable. He did such wonderful things like the incredible oak-grain, silk-backed built-ins lining the living room.

Bo: I did not want them to feel overdecorated. I selected neutral furniture designed to showcase the art and accessories. I wanted to use many of the things they already had, but perhaps in a different position. I incorporated Marcy’s grandmother’s tea set from Charleston, for example. For drama and interest, we have a comfortable, snazzy, dyed cowhide chair and a framed, genuine Cambodian rice cutter in the living room. I brought in the Craig Alan pieces, as he is local and I admire his work.

Designer Bo Waddell framed this Cambodian rice cutter to add interest to the living room.

Much of the furniture is from Bed Down (also on Miami Circle). Look at the fine touches, like the twisted brass rings on the back of each dining room chair. Simple, yet classic.

The chairs from Bed Down have detailed, twisted brass rings on the backs. Irena Gendelman’s oil painting of the Western Wall is the dining room’s focal point.

Marcy: We love to travel and collect interesting art pieces that remind us of those places. The giant oil (“Western Wall” by Gendelman from our trip to Tzfat), now a centerpiece in the dining room, was something we had buried in a bedroom. Bo found just the right spot for it. Now it’s much more meaningful. He also did an amazing job with the guest powder room by designing custom mirrors and lighting and uniquely designing upholstery fabric as the wall treatment. Bo updated the feel with this vivid tangerine glass bowl from Portugal on the dining table.

Artist Pezhman compiled layers of wax drippings on a vintage photograph to create the magical effect of “Phoria.”

Jaffe: You are like a teenager with your new hypertechnology and gadgets.

Hal: The electronic blinds (Hunter Douglas) and controlled lighting are attached to my cellphone. It’s so easy to set them on automatic to coincide with the sunrise and sunset.

Jaffe: How would you describe your entrance?

Hal: Bo did a great job of balancing the art in the foyer. The huge horizontal brass tree branches on one side complement frosted-glass, “Male/ Female” figures from the House of Glass in Venice. The crystal-beaded chandelier is by Lighting Loft.

Bo Waddell selected horizontal brass tree branches to face off with the “Male/Female” frosted glass sculptures by House of Glass in Venice, Italy.

Jaffe: What were your thoughts in designing the kitchen?

Marcy: I did alter some of the plans that the builder envisioned. I didn’t want to be stuck in the corner, preparing and cooking. I opened up the island to be able to grill and cook centrally. Also, we made the hood brushed chrome to stand out more prominently. The Italian glass pear is an unexpected touch. The keeping room is my area. We had 22 for Thanksgiving here; it’s very efficient.

Marcy Mendel enjoys the Lighting Loft’s “dancing lights” as she entertains in an efficient layout adjoining the keeping room.

Jaffe: What are some of your favorite art pieces?

Hal: I knew I had to have this painting “Quiet Passage” by Inam when I saw it at a gallery in Vinings. It easily became the central focus of the living room.

Hal Mendel wanted the “Quiet Passage” by Inam from a gallery in Vinings to supply the intense color between Bo Waddell’s custom-designed, silk-backed oak shelving.

Marcy: Bo found this vintage photograph of a dress which has been treated with dripped wax in silver metallic: “Phoria” by Pezhman. It’s a large piece and very striking.

Jaffe: You are in the flooring business. What special touches follow that?

Hal: All of the rugs are from our Encore Collection. The staircase runners are wool in a chevron design by Momeni and have a sisallike look but are very elegant. They are trimmed on the edges with hand binding. The upstairs rooftop carpeting is an indoor/outdoor diamond pattern by Stanton.

Jaffe: The view on the top floor is just high enough to be celestial.

Hal: The rooftop terrace is my favorite space. It is truly indoor/outdoor. The fabrics on the sectional are Kingsley Bate in all-weather acrylic.

The Mendels use indoor/outdoor fabrics and flooring to enjoy the TV and fireplace on the rooftop terrace overlooking Buckhead. Marcy finds serving and entertaining on the top level to involve science in execution.

Marcy: I have a system worked out where, when we entertain and serve up here, I go up and down the stairs to access the kitchen and send the food and drinks up the elevator. I need a dumbwaiter, Hal!

Jaffe: Describe your master bathroom.

Hal: The counters are Turkish stone. The porcelain tub is supersized. Actually, the space is 10 feet by 20 feet (plus individual commode closets), which is fairly large for a townhouse. Truth is, I feel like I’m going through a carwash when I shower in there.

The master bath with its Turkish stone finishes provides a special retreat.

Jaffe: Hal, you are a charismatic comedian/raconteur. There must be a serious side hidden somewhere. Now that the design work is complete, you and Bo still remain friends?

Hal: When I was ill several years ago, the first knock on my door was Bo offering empathy and friendship. It’s easy when you have a personal and professional relationship.

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