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DESIGN BLOG

The Francis Files

My Apartment Tour & House Beautiful Feature

AUGUST 18, 2022 - Written by Kevin O'Gara

Kevin Francis O'Gara Atlanta interior designer home tour in Hedgewood Homes Manchester neighborhood, featured on House Beautiful

When I first moved into my apartment after moving back to Atlanta from college in 2020, I moved quickly decorating the rooms with a few overall directions I had in mind; a creamy living room with a long sectional and a dark, moody media room with brown walls. I pinned most of the big furniture pieces down in a matter of weeks, but it wasn't until this past year that I really felt the space was complete. Part of the reason was the inclusion of my very own Iconium Collection rugs in each room, with rugs I designed based on the vintage rugs in my own apartment, and part was due to the two years I spent rearranging furniture and playing with my decor each season. I love the way a room can evolve from its use – whether you're moving a piece for a dinner party or for the Christmas tree, it always brings a fresh perspective. 

I was so excited when I finally felt like I was approaching the end of my decorating journey in this home (although it never really ends), and House Beautiful honored it with a home tour feature! Read more about the origins of the space, some exclusive "before" images, and my decorating philosophy in the article here, and keep reading below to find some more angles of the space plus some of my favorite product sources.

Kevin Francis O'Gara Atlanta interior designer home tour in Hedgewood Homes Manchester neighborhood, featured on House Beautiful

The Cairene Area Rug

The Cairene hand-knotted wool area rug is named after the storied Egyptian capital city, a source of rug-making from as early as the 15th century. Large medallions break up the cream background of this soft rug with gold, light blue, sienna red, and muted lavender accents bringing a fresh look to these Turkish motifs.

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Kevin Francis O'Gara Atlanta interior designer home tour in Hedgewood Homes Manchester neighborhood, featured on House Beautiful
Kevin Francis O'Gara Atlanta interior designer home tour in Hedgewood Homes Manchester neighborhood, featured on House Beautiful
Kevin Francis O'Gara Atlanta interior designer home tour in Hedgewood Homes Manchester neighborhood, featured on House Beautiful

The living room (and kitchen) in this space is the literal and metaphorical highlight of the space – it's drenched in sunlight thanks to a wall of windows, beautifully appointed with embroidered sheer curtains that the designer and builder (Pam Sessions for Hedgewood Homes) added to the space before I moved in. The soft linen drapery, creamy Alabaster walls, and clean polished concrete floors inspired the layers of warm neutrals in this living space, starting with my long Gaba sectional. This low-slung sofa is so comfortable and was an instant hit whenever I had friends come by.

To the left of the sectional is a very multi-functional pedestal table that's served as an entry table, dining table, desk, and accent piece in this space. It's the Marquetry table from Anthropologie, which I found at the Final Cut (Anthro) outlet out in Augusta, GA (so worth the drive).

By the front door, I placed an antique campaign-style partners desk that my grandfather used when he started his own business. It's such a special piece – and I've always been a big fan of campaign detailing. The prints above my desk are extra special architectural drawings of my childhood home that I had framed with Framebridge

Kevin Francis O'Gara Atlanta interior designer home tour in Hedgewood Homes Manchester neighborhood, featured on House Beautiful
Kevin Francis O'Gara Atlanta interior designer home tour in Hedgewood Homes Manchester neighborhood, featured on House Beautiful
Kevin Francis O'Gara Atlanta interior designer home tour in Hedgewood Homes Manchester neighborhood, featured on House Beautiful

The kitchen is literally show-stopping, and I had to pinch myself when I first saw it and realized I might actually have the opportunity to cook and entertain here. It's a true testament to Pam Sessions' design chops and the finishes she selected here really drove my design of the entire apartment – I had to make sure whatever else I put in the space maintained this incredible level of design. From the custom, hand-finished hood to the hardware Pam designed herself, I didn't have to add much to this space. 

I found sleek ivory counter stools to fill out the island, added a lamp and some key accessories to the kitchen counter, and hung antique lithographs from my mother under the existing picture lights (brilliant). I love the layers of light in this kitchen, because it made it easy to soften the space at night or during dinner parties by using just the sconces.

Kevin Francis O'Gara Atlanta interior designer home tour in Hedgewood Homes Manchester neighborhood, featured on House Beautiful

The Dede Area Rug

The Dede hand-knotted wool area rug is named after the Turkish epic Dede Korkut, which confirms the long tradition of rug-making in Anatolia by the Oghuz Turks. Cheerful ivory flowers dot this soft cream rug, with a geometric border featuring hues of grey and sienna red.

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Kevin Francis O'Gara Atlanta interior designer home tour in Hedgewood Homes Manchester neighborhood, featured on House Beautiful

The Lotto Area Rug

The Lotto hand-knotted wool area rug is named after the golden age of carpet weaving in the 16th century, as famously depicted by Italian artist Lorenzo Lotto. A floral vine on green borders each end of this soft rug, with a blue field of leaf sprigs through the middle of the design. Sienna red, brown, tan, and olive green feature in this nature-inspired pattern.

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You might remember this cozy media room from my "New Year New Room" design challenge – it was the first room I fully decorated when I moved in! Since that challenge, there's only been a few tweaks, but the foundation of the room has really lasted. This is probably the most-used room because it's where I watch movies, TV, hang out with friends – I spent most of Covid curled up in this room with my dog!

Now you might notice that despite this being my media room you don't see a TV! I styled the bar scene above as a vignette for my new rug collection, but the TV usually sits on that desk/console with that fun vintage shield above. I'm definitely a fan of hiding the TV in another room – I hate to see a big black box in the living room.

Kevin Francis O'Gara Atlanta interior designer home tour in Hedgewood Homes Manchester neighborhood, featured on House Beautiful

The Selendi Area Rug

The Lotto hand-knotted wool area rug is named after the golden age of carpet weaving in the 16th century, as famously depicted by Italian artist Lorenzo Lotto. A floral vine on green borders each end of this soft rug, with a blue field of leaf sprigs through the middle of the design. Sienna red, brown, tan, and olive green feature in this nature-inspired pattern.

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My bedroom took the longest to complete, because I was never really sure what to do with the back wall, and I didn't have much of an anchor for the design. After bringing in the Selendi rug from my new rug collection, I found that embracing the low natural light in the space and going dark and moody on my back wall would be the detail the space needed. The gray velvet curtains add texture, drama, and actually help the wall recede, making the room feel larger.

I feel so honored to have the chance to share my apartment with House Beautiful, with you, and with my Iconium Rug collection feature in these rooms. I'm so grateful to Hedgewood Homes for the opportunity to work together and live in this space, the brands that brought this apartment to life including Article, AllModern, and The Home Depot, and my mom for letting me borrow some beautiful antiques to make these rooms feel like home.

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Whether you're building a new house or refreshing your living room, Atlanta interior designer Kevin O'Gara can help you bring your vision to life.

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