Holidays at Honeymoon

Andrea Gable Community, Featured

Gracing the southern end of Madison’s historic district, “Honeymoon” stands as an ambassador to the grandeur of the town’s signature Antebellum homes. Nicknamed by one of its earlier owners in honor of her childhood home, the 1851 Greek Revival is now the second home of Jimmy Stanton and Patrick Greco. 

As owner of Stanton Home Furnishings in Atlanta’s west side design district, Stanton has transformed the iconic home into a veritable showroom, mixing his signature style of traditional and modern.

This year, Stanton and Greco are opening their home for the Town & Country Holiday Tour of Homes, making Honeymoon a must-see for lovers of both history and interior design.

To deck their halls, they have enlisted the expertise of local designer Zeb Grant who has created elegant and elaborate fresh wreaths, centerpieces, garland, and planted compositions throughout the home.

In his 14,000-square-foot Atlanta showroom, Stanton is able to showcase his style of “traditional meets modern,” and his home in Madison is no different. While most of the furnishings, lighting, art, and décor have been culled from the store’s collection, Stanton has also mixed in family heirlooms and antique pieces.    

“This house was just perfect for what we were looking for,” says Stanton. “It was in great condition and once we removed the heavy drapes to bring in the natural light and painted the rooms, it was easy to get it to this updated traditional look.”

The paint is perhaps what sets Honeymoon apart from other historic renovations. Stanton utilized his signature “one room, one color, one finish,” philosophy, bringing consistent color to the ceiling, walls, and trim of each room.

“It’s scary, but it works,” says Stanton. He says they first used the idea in their previous brick cottage down the road in Madison. “We did our den in dark gray, but left the ceiling and trim white. It just chopped the room and was not visually appealing. We ended up painting the entire room and it changed everything.”

Now, each of their rooms follow this bold idea. One parlor is completely black. Another is warm khaki. The master bedroom is a soft green. Yet together, they bring the home from historic to cutting edge.

Upon entering, an ornate, wooden staircase winds across three walls of the foyer, leading to the upstairs bedrooms. Stanton chose an inviting blue for the walls that was inspired by one of his favorite movies.

“It may sound silly, but when we first walked into the home, it immediately reminded me of a staircase in one of my favorite movies, ‘Grey Gardens,’” says Stanton. “There was a part when Jackie Onassis took the house back and she painted it this hot turquoise color, so that was my inspiration for choosing a twist on that with a softer blue.”

Another twist was hanging a modern geometrical frosted pendant light and gracing the blue walls with exaggerated Audubon prints, framed in a modern silver.

On either side of the entry are two identical parlors, typical of a symmetric Georgian floor plan. For these rooms, Stanton chose to depict “night and day,” painting one room a rich black and the other a soft khaki.

“People are always amazed at how well the black parlor works,” says Stanton. “You would generally think by doing a room dark, it would make it smaller, but it doesn’t.”

Stanton punctuated the dark walls with pops of gold – from an antique gold mirror over the original Italian-style marble fireplace, to the statement piece of a gold pendant light.

“At night, this room just glows,” he says.

In the second parlor, Stanton used an emerald green sofa and a grouping of black-and-white art to burst color onto the room’s khaki canvas. Mahogany Abacus chairs complete the seating area around a large flamestich patterned rug. Instead of gas logs, Stanton elected to stack concrete “cannonballs” to bring a modern flair to the traditional fireplace.

For the Holiday Tour of Homes, this room takes center stage with fresh greenery spilling from its mantle and a stunning, yet subtle, Christmas tree in its corner. Stanton selected oversized ornaments from Grant’s floral and home décor shops in Madison and Lake Oconee. “I wanted the tree to have the same feel as the room,” says Stanton, “and the colors of these ornaments look like they were made specifically for the room.”

Grant says the use of these simple antiqued and mercury glass balls hearken back to classic Christmas ornaments, yet remain fresh and modern. By using varying sizes, they add depth and texture to the tree. Grant also used the ornaments on the mantle and coffee table to connect the whole room.

He pulled matching mercury glass vessels to hold fresh greenery on the mantle, but for the most part, he kept Stanton’s existing décor on the mantle and just added greenery to it. “It actually led us to create an offset look that I just love,” says Grant.

The dining room is equally matched in holiday décor. Grand centerpieces draw the eye to a custom table with a pecky cypress base and hammered zinc top from Stanton Home Furnishings that sits beneath a glass ball chandelier. The walls are covered in rich and bold Cole & Sons wallpaper, one of the oldest wallpaper companies in existence, that match the tone of the modern Silver Oryx artwork above the bedecked mantle.

The adjoining kitchen is a true mix of styles, pitting traditional against modern with a classic farmhouse sink and open shelves of antique pottery alongside the crisp lines of dark IKEA cabinets. To connect the holiday décor, Grant’s handmade wreaths hang from silk ribbons in both windows.

During the Holiday Tour of Homes, visitors will find these handmade wreaths in every window, and will also be invited to tour the immaculate grounds. There, they will find the garage that Stanton and Greco converted into an inviting pool house, along with two fire pit areas, ideal for entertaining. 

The Town & Country Holiday Tour of Homes is held Nov. 30 – Dec. 2 in Madison and includes daytime and candlelight itineraries. For ticket information, visit www.madisonga.org.

• Read more about Honeymoon House and the upcoming Town & County Holiday Home Tour in the Holiday issue of Lake Oconee Living, on newsstands now. Pick up at copy at the offices of the Morgan County Citizen, Ingles, Publix, your local wine shop, or closest clubhouse.

Cutlines:

EXTERIOR

‘Honeymoon’ is an 1851 Greek Revival that anchors the southern end of Madison’s historic district. Owned by Jimmy Stanton and Patrick Greco, the home is a showroom filled with furniture, art, and fixtures from Stanton’s 14,000-square-foot store in Atlanta’s west side design district. The home will be open for tours during the Town & Country Holiday Tour of Homes, Nov. 30-Dec. 2.

FRONT DOOR

A lush wreath of cut greenery welcomes guests to Honeymoon for the holidays. Zeb Grant made the wreath by hand from materials found on the grounds of the home including long-needle pine and magnolia. The original door is framed by planters from Grant’s home store with boxwood spheres and a collar of long-needle pine. ‘I wanted to coordinate them with the wreath to give an updated take on a traditional look,’ says Grant. ‘The spheres give a nod to what you’re about to see inside.’ 

ENTRY

An ornate, wooden staircase winds across three walls of the foyer, leading to the upstairs bedrooms. Stanton chose an inviting blue for the walls and added a modern geometrical frosted pendant light along with exaggerated Audubon prints, framed in a modern silver.

Grant filled the antique planter atop the spiral pedestal with winter greens, magnolia, and sugar pinecones.

BLACK PARLOR

Epitomizing Stanton’s style of ‘one room, one color, one finish,’ this dramatic parlor is painted black from ceiling to floor and punctuated with pops of gold from the pendant light and antiqued mirror. To bring in a touch of the season to the mantlepiece, Grant removed the lids on its black-and-white ginger jars and filled them with magnolia, holly berries, blue spruce, and kiwi vine.

CHRISTMAS ROOM

The fireplace, with its unusual stacked cannonball feature, is the focus of the second parlor, not only during the holidays. Stanton worked with Grant to create a stunning, yet subtle, Christmas motif by using fresh greenery, offset on the mantle, next to an elegant tree filled with oversized ornaments that match the tone of the overall room.

MANTLE

When decorating the mantle next to the tree, Grant used some of its ornaments to match the mercury glass vessels holding fresh greenery. For the most part, he kept Stanton’s existing décor on the mantle and just added greenery to it. ‘It actually led us to create an offset look that I just love,’ says Grant.

DINING ROOM

The dining room, anchored by a custom table with a pecky cypress base and hammered zinc top from Stanton Home Furnishings, is a testament to Stanton’s style of mixing traditional with modern. A glass ball chandelier stands in for dated expectations of a dining fixture while a striking Silver Oryx animal art piece crowns the mantle. Next to it, a gold Christopher Spitzmiller lamp sits atop his grandmother’s drop leaf table. The walls are covered in rich and bold Cole & Sons wallpaper, one of the oldest wallpaper companies in existence.

PLACE SETTING (WITH SIDEBAR)

Stanton’s holiday place settings include pieces from his transferware collection, his grandmother’s pewter, green Ralph Lauren plates, and faux bois flatware, all accentuated with a pomegranate from his backyard.

KITCHEN

A true mix of styles, the kitchen pits traditional against modern with its classic farmhouse sink and open shelves of antique pottery alongside the crisp lines of dark IKEA cabinets. Stanton designed the custom rollaway island with speckled Belgian bluestone top that sits in the center of the kitchen. For the holidays, handmade wreaths by Grant hang from silk ribbons in each window.

BOOKSHELF

An antique apothecary cabinet from Belgium provides the perfect display for Stanton’s large collection of pewter and black-and-white transferware. The floral arrangement by Zeb Grant in a mercury glass vase showcases materials from the property – Nandina, juniper, magnolia, and fig branches to give it height. On the shelves of the cabinet, he utilized existing pewter pieces to pop in some color with roses and juniper. ‘You don’t always need a grand centerpiece,’ says Grant. ‘You can tuck things into small existing containers for a big impact.’

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