- The Hamptons
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- New York
- Orange County
- Palm Beach
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Silicon Valley
- Washington, D.C.
By Lauren Finney | Photo: by Marc Mauldin | July 23, 2018
Here’s how Tim Hobby matched the interior of a home to his clients’ sophisticated personalities.
“Why are we not happy here? We have a pretty home. But we don’t feel comfortable here. It’s like we’re in someone else’s house.”
So started the conversation between interior designer Tim Hobby of HA Modern and his clients on a purposeful, awe-inspiring renovation in north Buckhead. And Hobby’s response, for anyone who knows him, was classic: “I need you to do something for me. Go upstairs; go to those two big closets you have; and do a 360-degree turn. Take in everything you see and come back down here.”
After the clients returned, Hobby says, “Would the person that you see wearing all those stylish clothes upstairs—those jackets, those shoes—live in this house right now?” The effect was immediate and purposeful, as Hobby’s clients responded, “Oh, my, we live in grandma’s house! A lovely grandmother, but grandma’s house!”
So begins the tale of how Hobby came to revamp a very traditional home for his two married, established business-owner male clients. He says, “I wanted to make it feel more masculine, to bring personality into it. They’re very fashionable and well-traveled.” Hobby achieved that primarily by starting with classic grays and blacks. “We put black in places that were a crisp white before to bring a sense of design,” he notes. “We painted every inch of the entire house: the ceilings, the walls, the trims, the molding. It really represents their personal style.” From there, the three sought out the wares of Blackman Cruz available at R Hughes at ADAC that has “very edgy products that would work in both modern or traditional homes,” says Hobby. “The architecture of their house is more traditional—that’s what’s available here in Atlanta—but they wanted me to make it more modern and edgier. And bringing an eclectic mix together helped make that happen.” Items such as bronze skull lamps with black shades were purchased from Blackman Cruz and helped with the shift toward moodier and masculine.
Texture, as always, played an important part in Hobby’s designs. Fabric—whether the bright pops of pink to contrast the midnight and navy blue, or the SAHCO fabric on the walls of the dining room—brought depth and dimension. The deep-cobalt tufted custom sofa from Todd Merrill Studio in what they call the “ladies’ lounge” and the Knoll 18K gold chairs in custom fabric added another tactile layer and sophistication. His two male clients weren’t afraid of a little pink: “At that point, the homeowners were like, ‘Let’s just go for it; let’s not be afraid,’ and it carried through.” For wallpaper, subtleties reward those who look closely, such as in the bedroom, which is midnight paper with a metallic, reflective quality. (“I really encourage clients to go for some beautiful wall finishes, as opposed to just painting to add an element of luxury to a room,” notes Hobby. “I’m not afraid to use it anywhere.”)
Hobby—one half of the duo behind Minotti by HA Modern at ADAC—used many of his fellow cohorts as resources in the project. “We went to New York City and bought some art at Art Basel in Miami, but ADAC was a great resource. There is so much here; one of the reasons I have a showroom here today is because I found myself here all the time anyway.” Pieces from R Hughes and his own wares from Minotti rounded out the eclectic, elegant look, including a custom table with nesting ottomans from Donghia in the ladies’ lounge that Hobby designed in collaboration with the showroom.
It’s an exercise in harmonious living when the outside doesn’t match the inside, but Hobby’s nonplussed. “Atlanta has lovely traditional architecture,” he says. “But if you’re doing interior design in Atlanta, as much as you may love modern, if you say you’re only going to do modern architecture, you limit yourself so much. A big part of my job has always been showing people how you can mix the two. Just because you have crown molding and high ceilings and columns on the front of your house doesn’t mean you have to go supertraditional inside. There’s always a way to make it uniquely the client’s personality. Sophisticated, but what works for them.”
Tim Hobby, co-owner HA Modern
Alan Avery Art Company
Artwork in ladies’ lounge
Blackman Cruz club chairs and lamps in den; Jiun Ho chandelier in master suite
Sidetable in ladies’ lounge and dining room
Fabric on walls and chairs in dining room
Todd Merrill Studio
Ladies’ lounge sofa