Thursday, March 17, 2011

Decorating and Drinks

I've always been a fan of Atlanta designer John Oetgen. Somehow, he seems to know exactly how to strike the right balance when mixing the old and the new. It's really a skill to be able to make it all seem so natural and so not forced, and John has obviously perfected this skill.

Late last year, John was asked to decorate the model apartment at The Mansion on Peachtree, a luxury high-rise in Buckhead. The unit was part of the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Christmas House tour and was recently featured in the March issue of the magazine. I can't tell you how many times I've stepped into a model home or apartment and was struck by the sterility and lifelessness of them. But John's unit was totally different. You got the sense that a real person- one who was sophisticated and worldly- actually lived there. Perhaps it was because John seemed to pay so much attention to the details. One detail in particular that I liked was the sunburst ceiling fixture in the entryway. John placed it over a ceiling medallion that he painted blue. Clever, no? I'm including a few images from the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles' article (March 2011 issue), but for the full text and images, visit the magazine's

The chic little foyer. I love that wallpaper combined with the black trim.

The ceiling of the foyer featured this blue medallion and sunburst light fixture.

The breakfast table was surrounded by these fabulous chairs. The nail head trim and handles really make those chairs.

And, now for some shameless self-promotion. My bar cart, my kitchen door, and my back were also featured in this issue in a special section on entertaining titled "On the Rocks". Read my quote about what to do with guests who stay forever and how to feed them. Of course, now all of my friends are asking me if they were the guilty parties.

All images courtesy of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, March 2011. Oetgen photos by Erica George Dines; bar cart and door photos by David Christensen. Images printed with permission from Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles.


  1. The door turned out fabulous!

  2. J --

    You, the door and the cart all look beautiful!

  3. well done with the magazine
    and i love the Breakfast room !! those black and white floors are fabulous always and i have 3 of the star lamps myself they are so pretty arent they.
    enjoy your day fay x

  4. I love that zinc top breakfast table ... and your bar cart is fabulous!

  5. Have always admired John Oetgen's work and consider him an inspiration.

  6. wow - great barcart and spread! When are we coming over for drinks? haha

  7. Design Citation10:19 AM

    WOW! Love the door (I remember the post discussing these : ) The bar cart - and you look great too!

    Congratulations !

  8. Jennifer that ceiling medalian is truly unique..and the bar cart!

    Come and enter to win my Spring “Green “ Gift”.

    Art by Karena

  9. I have been thinking about using black trim on a current project, love seeing these great images! What a fun bar cart too, great pops of color.

  10. There is no one in the world like John Oetgen. His work is modern, fresh, fun, comfortable, sexy. He is just the bomb.

  11. Kathleen Luckard12:45 PM

    John Oetgen's work is always so unique and individual. He must have a secret source for furniture and accessories.

  12. Great article about John Oetgen, loved that sunburst ceiling fixture+your "on the rocks" bar cart, kitchen door & your back. Great Post.

  13. Dear Jennifer,

    Great post! I've known John since the late seventies!


  14. The Trader Joes Tarte Flambe is my favorite too. I always feel it's a special treat

  15. John O is a genius! Genius!

  16. Well, I'm shocked! I thought you made those flatbreads yourself. That time when we came for a quick drink and left around 2am. You gave us wonderful flatbreads and salad...

    Oh wait...


  17. You and shameless self promotion in the same paragraph make me smile. In this case and all others nothing could be further from the truth. Echoing the other comments - you, shoes, door and cart all look great.

  18. Anonymous10:57 AM

    I, on the other hand, want them to go after about the 4th hour. I love the Patricia Wells story about how the French serve orange juice at the end of a party, and that's the accepted signal to go home. Of course, that's a dinner party, not just for drinks.

    As a professional butler, we would always slow down the refill of drinks or if after a dinner party, when mint tea was served, once that was consumed it was time to go.

    And really, there is nothing wrong with saying, "Okay, time to go." It's your home, your hospitality has been extended, and yep, it's time to go. Let 'em know. Especially on a school night. No one can take offense at such candor.

    As for your bar table, it looks too crowded--where's the workspace?

  19. Joseph- There is always workspace on my bar when guests arrive. We added the blue glassware for the photo.

  20. Anonymous6:46 PM

    Well they are an attractive element.

  21. I would very sincerely love to know the name of the paint color used on the walls. I can't stop staring.
    thank you!

  22. Kawaii- the paint color used in the model apartment, or the one in the bar cart photo?

  23. Anonymous11:27 AM

    where did you get such a gorgeous bar cart?

  24. Anon- I bought it from an online vintage furniture store that has since gone out of business. Thanks for commenting on it!