Designer Melanie Millner Creates a Timeless, European-Inspired Estate in Georgia


“My clients were very interesting,” says Melanie Millner of The Design Atelier, a firm with offices in Atlanta and Maine. “He is a semi-retired real estate developer with connections to Telluride and collections of American West furniture and rugs, and his wife de él is Finnish,” a heritage the designer recognized with woodwork inspired by fabrics and lace from Finland.

When guests arrive at the 65-acre horse farm, they pass an old barn and a bridge to the motor court. The entrance has stonework that Millner describes as “artistry”—she brought in stonemasons from Highlands, North Carolina, to complete the masonry. The custom-designed lantern is a replica of a vintage piece, as no one wanted to take any chances with vintage electrical wiring.

The homeowners were “very attuned to detail—they wanted the best of everything,” Millner says, explaining why it was a nearly three-year design project. (That’s not counting the years of building and rebuilding with different architects and developers.) “Every square inch was thought through in terms of quality and craftsmanship,” she says. At the same time, “they wanted it to feel like an old hamlet that had always been there.” To that end, the designer went the extra mile, importing old limestone floors from a château in France.

The biggest challenge for Millner and her team was working with the family’s existing furniture in a home with very different dimensions, in another part of the country. It was a big project, and she couldn’t have done it alone. “I was just one of many people who worked tirelessly,” she notes, thanking Katelyn Cook, an associate designer at her studio.

Their solution to the problem of the eclectic influences was to integrate the pieces from Colorado and the accents inspired by Finland with a great deal of custom work. “That’s what made the project both challenging and rewarding,” she says.

Tour the sprawling home below.

sun room

Emily J Followill

To the left of the entryway, the sunroom is notable for its vintage oak and cypress on the ceiling.

Chandelier: Rose Tarlow Melrose House, purchased through Jerry Pair. Armchairs: Cameron Collection, purchased through Ainsworth Noah. Fabric for armchairs: De La Cuona, purchased through Jerry Pair.



Emily J Followill

The wood is all recovered river cypress, designed and installed by Vintage Lumber, says Millner. To get it the green-gray color that she wanted took “months and months” of finishing. “It has a timeless patina, warm and welcoming.”

Counter-Stools: Gregorius Pineo, purchased through Ainsworth Noah. Leather on stools: Custom colored leather by Lance Woven Leather. Kitchen islide light fixture: Paul Ferrante, purchased through Ainsworth Noah. Kitchen’sgrant: Paul Ferrante, purchased through Ainsworth Noah.

great room


Emily J Followill

“This is all vintage white oak paneling with built-in bookcases,” says the designer, who used them to fill a space that is partly open to the ceiling, two stories above.

Sconces: Paul Ferrante, purchased through Ainsworth Noah. Couch: Jonas Workshop. Fabric: Liagre/Holland Sherry. Coffee table: Paul Ferrant. chairs: Jonas Workshop. Fabric: Pierre Frey.

Primary Bedroom


Emily J Followill

Millner kept the gorgeous stone fireplace and recessed the TV into the ceiling so that it’s not an eyesore when not being used. Although the feature exists in some hotels, “we’ve never done it before,” says the designer. The windows look out over the stream that runs through the property.

custom king bed: Douglass Workroom. Fabric for bed: Rosemary Hollgarten Alpaca fabric, purchased through Holland Sherry. Ceiling fan: antique from Italy, purchased through Robuck. Rotating wallsgrant: Rose Uniake, purchased through Jerry Pair. bed side youable: Holly Hunt, purchased through Jim Thompson. Leather for bedside youable: Holly Hunt Leather. Armchairs: Formations, purchased through Jerry Pair. Fabric for chairs: De La Cuona/Jerry Pair.

Primary Bathroom


Emily J Followill

“This was meant to seem like part of the landscape,” says Millner. “It’s an indoor-outdoor experience, with glass walls in the shower.” It’s electric glass, so clients can flip a switch to “fog” it up for privacy.

Son’s Bedroom


Emily J Followill

The family has two teenage boys. One bedroom (above) has a loft made from the former attic space and connected with a ladder. The other features a barrel ceiling clad in woven leather, along with a built-in desk for homework and hidden drawers for storage.

Sconces: Paul Ferrante, purchased through Ainsworth Noah. Custom leather bed: Douglass Workroom. Woven leather: Lance Woven Leather. bed side youable: David Iatesta Studio, purchased through Ainsworth Noah. coverlet: C&C Milan. Euro pillows: Douglass Workroom. Pillow fabric: Ralph Lauren. Other bedding: Purchased through the Linen Ladies.

Leather bed: Lawson Fenning. Leather: Lance Woven Leather. loft cushions and pillows: Douglass Workroom. Fabric for himoft pillow: Harbor Outdoor Fabric, purchased through Holland & Sherry.

Fabric for himoft pillows: Kettlewell. Sconces: Paul Ferrante, purchased through Ainsworth Noah.

Sons’ Bathroom

Millner chose the dark blue and gray Waterworks lava tile both for its masculine appearance and to handle wear and tear. They needed a bathroom that “they couldn’t mess up.”


Emily J Followill

game room


Emily J Followill

Upstairs, the games room has billiards, ping-pong, and a custom-designed wet bar clad in green leather.

Billiardss table light: Hector & Finch, purchased through Jerry Pair. Sconces: Vaughan Lighting, purchased through Ainsworth Noah. wet bar sconce: Hector & Finch. barstools: Carlyle Collective. Leather: Jerry Pair. Pub youable: Jasper. Leather upholstered stools: antiques purchased through Robuck.



Emily J Followill

Called “Limonaia,” this secondary building—a former lemon storehouse—is used as the dining room as well as additional living and entertaining space.

Floor youthem: Chateau Doming Flooring. Lantern: Dennis & Leen, purchased through Jerry Pair. Metal planterns: Formations, purchased through Jerry Pair.

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