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By Jen Hasty | Photo: Patrick Heagney | February 3, 2017
Designer Cynthia Porche transformed a couple’s empty traditional home into an elegant modern escape in only three days.
When a husband and wife purchased a new home in Johns Creek for their family of five, they decided the furniture in their old home wasn’t the right fit. So they left it behind and called interior designer Cynthia Porche of Cynthia Porche Interiors, who is an expert on creating sophisticated and detailed masterpieces that are luxurious, practical and tailored to each of her clients.
This couple’s estate is the definition of traditional in the New American sense, with oversize windows; a clean-lined rooftop; and classic trimmings along the walls, windows, ceilings and exterior architecture. But with Porche’s top-to-bottom turnkey design installation, she gave the conventional space a contemporary touch that still paid homage to its traditional architecture.
“The biggest challenge is always working with architecture that’s already there,” Porche says of the project. “And giving someone a very contemporary look in a traditional home is really tricky because you can’t go too far or do too little.” Porche easily maintained this necessary balance and gave her clients the wow factor they were craving without taking away from what they already have—all in one weekend.
The home’s two-story foyer features heavy white pediments over its doorways, prompting Porche to choose a vast chocolate chandelier to emphasize the richness of the room. “You can’t have just anything in a room like this,” Porche says. “This chandelier helps hold the majesty of the whole foyer.”
The newly rich gold walls are lined with cut velvet chairs on one side and a custom console table on the other that mimics the wrought iron on the front doors. The table is adorned with an original horse statue and gold-and-black lamps in front of a custom-made mirror that adds a distinguished look to the entryway.
“You have to have beautiful influence coming in right from the beginning,” she says.Right off the foyer is the dining room, an elegant eating space layered with shades of chocolate and touches of silver. The walls are dressed with a cork and copper textural paper that gives the room an added dimension and is warmly highlighted by two modest wall lamps behind the dining table.
Where this traditional home got most of its modern touches is the piano room. Porche transformed this previously red-and-white room into the premier entertaining space of the home with black-and-white trey ceilings and dark charcoal walls, evoking the feeling of a modern speak-easy when entertaining the couple’s friends, family and clients.
“The husband wanted a room that didn’t speak of a traditional home and one that he can show off,” Porche shares. “So we took this traditional space and gave it a contemporary pop that turned it into a sleek piano bar.”
Upon entering, eyes are immediately drawn to an original painting above a charcoal velvet sofa with tall windows in the background dressed with draperies of cut velvet and fur that add a chic texture and a fun accent to the room. Beneath the custom-made glass chandelier is the couple’s existing piano, used for entertaining guests and teaching their three kids to play, next to a stunning oversize ottoman made from custom raised velvet with silk tuft buttons.
The family room was another large part of house with existing traditional elements that Porche knew would come into play in the three-day overhaul. She chose long silk draperies that allow the room to stay soft and elegant, while complementing the exposed beams. “Instead of the fireplace being the focal point, you get captured by the chandelier and sitting area,” she says. “It allows your eyes to travel outside.”
A Porche makeover, though, isn’t complete without a refuge for relaxation, and the inspiration for the master bedroom came from the simplest of places: a spa. It’s incorporated into the wall color, throw pillows, artwork and various accessories throughout the room.
The bedroom also features a separate multipurpose nook where the homeowners are able to both watch television and work. The need for several uses for the alcove begat the half drapery treatment, which serves as a discreet and stylish divider for the functional space.
“This specific project was about figuring out how they truly live and what they needed,” Porche says. “And when they finally saw the final product, they were thrilled and blown away.”
Cynthia Porche Interiors
Sofa and chairs in piano room, sofa in master bedroom
All art throughout
Currey & Company
Piano room chandelier
Piano room rug
Piano room gold cocktail table
Piano room end table
Master bedroom bed
Master bedroom console table
Master bedroom accessories