Secrets of an Interior Designer


Lakeside Cabin Retreat

River Deep, Mountain High

Inciting our desire to escape from the hubbub of urban living, the inviting lakeside retreat featured in this months Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles brings a polished finish to a cabin that feels more refined than rustic. Designer Meridy King and Architect Greg Busch beautifully embraced the surrounding landscape with their use of wood and stone, masterfully combining both texture and tone. Editor in Chief, Elizabeth Ralls was gracious enough to provide us with some insight on the gorgeous lakeside home, as well as her and her fellow Atlantans personal penchant for refuge.

Luxe Cabin Featured in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

What do you appreciate about the cabin that appears in this month’s AH&L’s?

 Ralls: From an architectural standpoint, I adore architect Greg Busch’s combination of the cedar-shake roof, the cypress board-and-batten siding, and stacked stone. This is a residence that was designed and built in harmony with the landscape—which is not necessarily the case with many tear-downs in Atlanta and beyond. Trees that were felled during the process were milled and worked into the design—as were logs retrieved from the lake outside the homeowner’s windows.

I hesitate to say its front and rear facades are unassuming—but perhaps understated luxe is a better term, since neither its size nor proportions feel imposing upon on the surrounding landscape.

From a design standpoint, interior designer Meridy King had a lot of texture to contend with, which could have been challenging, but she managed to keep all of those woods in check with a variety of stains and washes. Nothing is too fussy or fragile—this is designed to be a put-up-your-feet-and-relax kind of escape, and sparks of color enhance that rustic vibe.

Luxe Cabin Featured in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

What are some key characteristics you look for when choosing a project to publish?

Ralls: Houses that feel collected, layered, and show-stopping in their own right, whether it’s the architecture, unexpected pattern, color or texture, or even striking simplicity.

Do you find yourself primarily drawn to cityscapes or country retreats?

Ralls: As a born- and bred- Midwesterner, I have to say that wide-open, horizontal spaces are my “church”. That brings me to my happy place. That said, there are some Atlanta high-rises, such as the Residences at the Mandarin Oriental, the Sovereign or the Ritz-Carlton, that genuinely afford those kind of panoramic views, making you feel as if you are world’s away from the vertical and concrete landscape below.

What about in a second home?

Ralls: Many of the urban/city residences we publish – such as at the Mandarin Oriental or the Sovereign and the like – are not second but third residences for clients from around the world. I love that many of them hire Atlanta-based interior designers, architects, and artisans—it allows our designers to expand their body of work into what I like to call a warm, Southern modern.

For the majority of Atlantans, however, they make their second homes on the Georgia or Florida coast, or the North Carolina mountains. What I love about these residences is that our Atlanta designers manage to meld the graciousness, hospitality, and formality they are known for into a much more relaxed, laid-back luxe aesthetic. Combined with the context of the mountains or beach, it’s pure genius.

Dreamy Outdoor Space - Luxe Cabin- Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

Architect Greg Busch

Interior Design Meridy King

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