Who needs a dining room table when you have a ping pong table?
Ann Mashburn and her husband Sid lead a self-built sartorial empire founded on shirtwaist dresses, crewneck knits, and sensible-yet-chic footwear. Each seemingly minimal piece offers intrigue in some form—a slight balloon sleeve, a smocked collar, a gingham buckle. Classics, but with a twist. That same sentiment applies to Mashburn’s home nestled in the historic Buckhead district of Atlanta. The elements are simple yet each piece has a story.
“Did you read the book The Dutch House?” Mashburn asks me, referring to Ann Patchett’s tale of a woman’s life-long obsession with an elusive home. “This is like my Dutch House. I love it so much.” The Mashburn's moved to Atlanta 15 years ago, many of which Ann spent pining for her newly-acquired (as of last August) dream home. With her ideal structural foundation in place, little was needed by way of refurbishment.
On the home’s list of prior owners, friend and interior designer Kay Douglass sits just ahead of Mashburn. According to Mashburn, Douglass and her predecessors all had great taste. They left the space in perfect shape for Mashburn's move-in. “Everything I've ever owned just fits in it really perfectly,” she explains. “I didn't do anything but move in and put my stuff in it.”
The designer duo has spent years collecting things they love. So much so that once they finally acquired their dream house, their curation process focused more on withholding than adding pieces. Divorced from the stereotypical “more is more” Southern design sentiment, Mashburn’s home feels more akin to an Italian villa with its starchy white sheets and occasional gilded antiques.
Though despite the seemingly perfect aesthetic alignment, the home appeals to practical needs as well. The Mashburn's have five daughters, two of which suffer from a newly-diagnosed physical and cognitive disability known as Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia. Part of this residence’s appeal was a basement level for them to call their own.
The home tells the “story of our life,” says Mashburn. Ahead, discover the history behind individual pieces in the couple's collection and how Mashburn’s personal style fits into Atlanta's design philosophy.