After 20 years in Sandy Springs, Amy and Bruce Edelstein envisioned a new beginning for their empty nest. Alas, they leveled a 1940s brick ranch/duplex within a two-block walk to downtown Decatur and all that it offers. Enter builder Arlene Dean, interior designer Jeremy Jones, goldendoodles Moses and Chance, and boxer Max Baer. Note that the pups have their own built-in kennel when they’re not lazing around their fenced-in yard or cushy family sofas.
Powerful combinations align with Bruce’s own photography, Amy’s gallery experience, and her late grandmother Brown’s mid-century modern furniture.
The finished structure is 3,800 square feet in the main house; and the charming guest house adds another 600. “We brought in our experience from owning other homes to align textures and details with our lifestyle,” said Amy, a Keller Williams First Atlanta agent. “It might be Howard Finster, Polly Cook, Bernhardt, R.A.Miller or Grecian urns converted into lamps. And amazingly we bought in February, closed in July, and completed construction in under six months.”
Note that Amy’s parents, Joan and Donald Brown, were the subjects of the first Chai Style Home featured in the Atlanta Jewish Times in February 2015. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. “I always loved the way my mother mixed styles, a contemporary sofa and an antique chair. A glass-topped dining table with a metal base surrounded by vintage dining chairs. The result was both beautiful and interesting,” Amy said.
Marcia: What personality were you looking to establish here?
Bruce: I wanted an open, entertainment-friendly space. We also committed to an ecologically sound, silver-certified green structure. I enjoy the openness and being able to look outside from large windows to enjoy the views.
Amy: I love a “Napa Valley” vibe. Then Jeremy’s pulled together display boards and fabrics and masterfully made our eclectic art collection and furniture work together.
Marcia: Jeremy, what was your role?
Jeremy: The Edelsteins wanted a casual feel. That’s why you see no formal dining room. Amy and I shopped for some new pieces to integrate into her past collection from her years of working in the art business. She definitely has an eye for art. Her grandmothers had fabulous things like the crystal candelabra and 1960s Herman Miller furniture that we used or recovered. Amy and Bruce like the hunt to find unique pieces on their own.
Marcia: What are some of your unusual pieces that “make it happen” in here?
Amy: The shark jawbone over the master bed was a surprise for Bruce, a periodontist who has collected shark’s teeth for decades. The base of the dining room table from Restoration Hardware is concrete and is tremendously heavy. The 8-foot railroad tie in the great room is from building materials from an old cabin.
Artwise, I treasure Michael Venezia’s “The Pears” in the front entrance, Ferdinand Rosa’s abstracts, and Dawne Raulet’s “Swing Dress.” Robert Sherer did “The Bride” in the master bedroom. We smuggled these original paintings from Cuba.
“Taxi Cab” is a fun one. Michael Sherrill’s funky teapot adorns the bar.
Jeremy and I serendipitously found “Queen of Hearts,” the paper and metal sculpture in my study.
The hall tree in the entrance is a family heirloom. I rescued this brass menorah from the clearance table at Boxwoods.
Bruce: The headliners here are the pair of masks by Andy Narisse, emeritus head of ceramics at the University of Georgia. They are super heavy, and we had to have a custom installation and mountings to stabilize them.
Marcia: Who are some of your resources?
Jeremy: Some of the distinctly stylized furniture, like the master nightstands and cocktail table, are from Four Hands. The oatmeal macramé poofs are from Stanton, and the leather wing chair is from Uttermost. We have several rugs from Jaipur like the outdoor navy area rope rug in the screened porch and the tangerine one in the guesthouse. We pulled in some Neiman Marcus pieces too. The Chippendale-style gold metal study chair by Lelievre is covered in French mohair.
We primarily went for muted tones, but added splashes of color with Sherwin Williams’ “Bottle Green” paint in the guest powder room, “Dorian Gray” and “Hombre” gray tones upstairs extended to the ceiling. Other preferred suppliers were Ferguson (plumbing) and Construction Resources.
Marcia: What is unique about the kitchen?
Bruce: We wanted a livable kitchen with a utilitarian butler’s pantry. Hidden appliances were important. The countertops are Silestone quartz and the floors are white oak. The backsplash tile is water jet mosaic, “wood look” porcelain with white carrara marble and black granite by Walker Zanger.
Marcia: Share your passion for photography.
Bruce: When I was around 10, I started developing film in my parent’s basement. We had a dark room in our previous Sandy Springs home. Basically I’ve had a love affair with film which shifted when things went digital. Most of my works here are black and white landscapes and travel scenes that inspired me from places like Tybee Island, the Chattahoochee River, and the Galapagos Islands.
Marcia: Describe the detached “guest” carriage house.
Amy: Thinking about the future, we wanted our now college-aged kids to be able to have their own space when they come home. In there, we have some fun with the Surya tangerine rug and my grandmother’s recovered vintage pieces from her lake house. The Jules Burt piece from Virginia-Highland lends frivolity.
Marcia: So you have a photograph with Oprah?
Amy: Bruce was featured on her show in 1994 as one of America’s Most Eligible Bachelors; but as you can see, that status didn’t last long!