The Atlanta home of Robin and Kevin McGrath was featured this fall on HGTV’s “Designers’ Challenge,” with beautiful room makeovers by local designer Elinor Jones. Jones was among the program’s three competing designers, each of whom presented different decorating plans to the family. The McGraths chose Jones as their project designer. She wowed the homeowners with dramatic re-designs in the grand room and the dining room.


Designers’ Challenge project: Dining Room The owners wanted a relaxed atmosphere for family and an elegant environment for guests. The openness of the room, separated only by columns from the foyer and family room, was the main challenge. Another challenge was to inject a feeling of drama and excitement. the designer brought Classical elements into the Dining Room, where a custom Louis XVI-style console stands beneath an Empire-styled mirror. A jewel-box effect is achieved with the antiqued gold ceiling outlined with rope molding and adorned with antiqued gold medallions. Rich wine-colored walls add to the drama. An elegant Empire Valance enhances the windows. New pinhole downlights around the chandelier sparkle on the porcelain, silver and crystal on the table below. New pinholes also wash the inside of the columns with an arched shaped glow, giving a feeling of enclosure to the space.


Designers’ Challenge project: Grand Room The challenge was to make the 18-foot-tall room relate to human scale, both elegantly and comfortably. the designer brought in Empire and Classical elements, with an Empire-style rug establishing a palette of green, gold, chocolate and cinnamon. the furnishings were all replaced except a secretary and a Louis XVI-style chair, which was reupholstered. Roman Shades with tassel trim soften the window wall. architectural molding halfway up the two walls on either side of the window wall breaks the soaring height. Walls were painted a soft taupe. crown molding enhances the cove ceiling. The ceiling was painted a darker taupe than the walls to visually reduce the height. mantel tiles were replaced with marble, and a classically-inspired mantel was installed. pocket doors enclose the TV cabinet. Pilasters flanking the French doors were finished in antique gold and green. an arch was installed above the doors. Lighting design was extensive.

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