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By Wendy Bowman | Photo: by Chris Little | April 10, 2017
These Atlanta design partners came together to transform an empty yard at a Brookwood Hills home into a glamorous oasis.
For more than 10 years, business partners Don Easterling and Nina Nash have combined their longtime passion for design and vibrant chemistry to create showstopping interiors for the who’s who of Atlanta and beyond—from a chic pied-à-terre in Paris to a rustic hunting lodge in southern Georgia, all the while staying true to their signature styles—he, more traditional; and she, a bit edgier—complete with simple and clean lines, neutral color palettes, pops of color and gorgeous art, accessories and lighting. Now the Mathews’ Furniture + Design duo has paired up yet again, but this time for a stunning indoor-outdoor project at a modern sleek home in the historic neighborhood of Brookwood Hills: Think stone, angles and glass, with plenty of detail and allure
in every corner.
“Don and I met the homeowners by chance at Mathews’ one day, and we made an instant connection,” says Nash. “They have a specific look they like, which is superglam, modern and luxurious. We were able to really bring this concept to life for them and even exceed their expectations.”
The homeowners, Joe and Kit Cottone (he is a managing director for a New York-based private equity firm, and she is a psychiatrist specializing in pediatrics at Emory University) were initially seeking to redesign some individual rooms. Then, a little over a year ago, they enlisted Easterling and Nash’s help with a full outdoor expansion.
“What we love about the Cottones is that they have a specific style, and we’ve come to understand that,” says Easterling. “After working with them for several years, we know just the things they will absolutely love. Joe and Kit were very involved from the start, and we worked together and pooled all our ideas and thoughts to create this fabulous project. They totally trust our judgment and are dream clients.”
For the outdoor expansion, Easterling and Nash chose all of the lighting, accessories and outdoor custom furniture—with a focus on looking fabulous yet comfortable and durable. They also helped select the stone from Marmi Natural Stone (Portuguese Gascogne Blue and Egyptian Sinai Pearl limestone) and the custom cabinetry, and assisted in all design aspects outside as well as in the cabana. The end result? A metamorphosis of a formerly empty backyard into a phenomenal space that can now be used year-round—complete with a ceiling-mounted infrared outdoor heating system, covered seating area, heated saltwater pool, cabana with steam room, custom-cut glass railings and a 14-foot stone fireplace.
“This house already stood out from the other homes in this historic neighborhood because of its strong contemporary design that contrasted with the older, more traditional homes nearby,” says Nash. “That’s what Don and I really loved about this house: It was different and unexpected. The interiors are the ultimate in luxury and glamour, but it’s this new backyard space that really wows. Everyone who walks in the back literally drops their jaws. It really is an amazing sight.”
Jim Winer, architect Make3
GENERAL CONTRACTOR & CUSTOM DESIGN
Carsten Jensen, owner
Viking Works Inc.
INTERIOR & EXTERIOR DESIGN
Don Easterling, interior designer; Nina Nash, buyer and interior designer Mathews’ Furniture + Design
John Howard, principal and creative director; Jenn Carr, associate architect
Howard Design Studio LL
Live Oak Manors
Planters in the backyard
MARMI NATURAL STONE
Stone on exterior patio and stairs, cabana room, sauna
Faucets and fixtures in kitchen and bathrooms
MATHEWS' FURNITURE + DESIGN
Furniture, lighting and accessories