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Atlanta’s coolest home renovation of 2016 — in 16 photos

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Former downtown factory building has been stylishly resuscitated

The lounge-like living room with an immense horse lamp in downtown Atlanta.
The lounge-like living room with an immense horse lamp.
Photos: Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta

The final 2016 installment in the Visual Journeys series takes us to an 1869 building on Marietta Street near the Georgia Aquarium, a rugged two-story structure that’s served as a tractor factory, headquarters for a motorcycle gang in the 1980s, and now the immaculate living quarters of Australian transplants Peter and Gillian Harper.

Hidden behind this rough exterior off Marietta Street in downtown Atlanta is the city’s top renovation of 2016.
Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta

We’ve seen more grandiose and ostensibly expensive renovations in Atlanta this year — but none cooler than this achingly authentic urban retreat.

The Harpers, who’ve called Atlanta home for five years, purchased the cavernous property (ceilings soar to 36 feet) in January 2015 and embarked on a two-year project that saw much of the artwork, lighting, and furniture imported from Europe. The aesthetic leans monochrome-modern with surprising, crucial pops of color.

Window bays were transformed into big vertical plant boxes. A glass door installed at the home’s rear unveils a private backyard patio and entertainment space. Lighting was tweaked to artfully shadow the old brick.

That’s not to say any of this was easy.

The Harpers encountered several challenges related to the building’s age and structure. Some of the original brickwork was brittle and unstable, and exposed pipes — and the lack of a single straight angle — proved tricky for builders.

The project wrapped late this year, and diligence appears to have paid off.

The boldly red front door leading into the tractor loft.
Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta
Inside the front door: high ceilings, a spiral staircase, and the living room. Interiors by Habachy Designs.
The entryway leads into the living room space as well as the kitchen, dining room, and immense back patio.
The living room fittingly has a living wall (which echoes the dining-room table), a powerful wall speaker, and space-saving fireplace.
A view from the living room back to the front door and light-filled foyer. Yes, that is an $8,000 horse lamp.
Big pieces decorate big spaces. Thus, the chandelier in the dining room is four feet in diameter. On the wall is a print of an original Jeremyville depiction of Karl Lagerfeld and Elton John as animals (Lagerfeld owns the original). This print served as inspiration for many elements of the home’s design.
The cabinets in the kitchen pack a punch with different organizational and pull-out shelves to help keep things tidy and easy to find.
The kitchen’s waterfall island and custom range hood.
The downstairs powder room doubles as the laundry room with washer and dryer hidden behind the black cabinets. Like the living-wall features, the Christian LaCroix wallpaper here adds a refreshingly splashy contrast to so much black and white.
The spiral staircase leads to the upper level of the loft. Talk about high ceilings: The fig tree in the corner is nearly 20 feet tall.
A brick windowed hallway leads to the master bedroom on the second floor.
The master bath on the second floor showcases a sexy glass encased shower and huge rainfall showerhead.
The sleek back patio offers an open-roof concept, lounging and dining areas, a living wall, and a private driveway for parking vehicles.