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Turning Back Time

Date published: June 06 2018

Atlanta, USA

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A couple brought in Bill Musso to redesign their Atlanta home and architects Spitzmiller & Norris to return the house to its original structure

In the middle of the Buckland area of Atlanta, a home designed for a couple by Bill Musso from Musso Design Group became a project that took in the building’s history, as well as accommodating the very different personalities of the pair.

The couple had very different backgrounds, with the wife having grown up in Spain and France, while the husband was native to that part of America. There was also a slight age difference between them, and a mish-mash of styles that took in the contemporary and the traditional.

Added in to this melting pot was the discovery of the home’s original plans, dating back over 20 years. Only found after the pair had lived in the house for five years, they revealed that there were major changes in the home that were not part of the original plans.

The next step was to contact the original architects and ask them to bring the house back to what was originally intended, but with a nod to modern living. The husband and wife team contacted designer Bill Musso who’s work they had admired at a friend’s home, and a team was then in place.

The collaboration was a great success. There had to be a lot of give and take in the design because of the differing tastes - and not just from the homeowners. There was also compromise between the designers and the architects, Spitzmiller & Norris. The latter are classicists, while Bill Musso admitted he lent towards the more contemporary style. The result was a real boundary pusher, and a ‘one of a kind’ home.

Many of the pieces in the home were designed specifically for it, or were modified from their original dimensions to fit better in the space. But in addition to the aesthetic being a pleasing one, the new home and its furnishings needed to provide comfort.

The husband made it clear that ‘comfort was king,’ and there are many custom pieces, from fireplace surrounds to Japanese charring methods (known as sho-sugi-ban) on the beams and doors.

Additionally, the team experimented with the use of new countertop materials that were brand new to the region, called Neolith. Elsewhere, the family room connects to the screened porch, and the two rooms become one when the doors between them open, creating a wonderfully light filled space.

The resulting home lead to friendships between Bill Musso and the client, and this project was considered such a success that they have agreed to collaborate once more, this time on a pool house to replace the existing one.

Lauren Rubinstein

Designer: Bill Musso

Author: Jake Kennedy

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