STORY BY JANET MOWAT ✷ PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAVID ENGELHARDT
Call it the law of attraction:
When soon-to-be-neighbors Jeff and Jennifer Felice were building their 1900-square-foot home in suburban Atlanta’s eco-minded Serenbe community, they asked the dynamic design duo of Patrick and Meghan Sharp—Mister + Mrs. Sharp, as they’re professionally known—to step in and help pick out all the finishes for the house.
“They wanted a warm but modern home with natural fibers and a decidedly uncluttered environment,” Patrick says, which is practically a keyword search for a design description that would lead you right to the Sharps’ work. “‘Warm modern’ has become our calling card,” admits Patrick, who chiefly defines it as blending some classic contemporary pieces with rich and textured fabrics, often with an intentionally minimal approach.
Sounds simple enough, but making this two-part harmony really sing is anything but. Modern shapes and clean lines can have an inherent coolness; warming them up without overdoing it is where the work comes in. In the Sharps’ playbook, that softening effect comes from warm neutrals. In this home, surfaces drawn from nature—hardwood floors, marble tiles, quartz countertops—lend subtle richness, and touches of brass punctuate each room as a uniting element throughout.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a little surprise, and it’s literally at the front door. Step inside and you’ll be standing on a one-of-a-kind welcome mat; a made-to-measure tile rug that’ll stand up, beautifully, to whatever’s being tracked over it. “We’ve wanted to use that pattern for some time, so when they agreed and the execution turned out so well we were very pleased,” Patrick says. In fact, so successful was this collaboration that the clients ultimately requested that the Sharps finish the job by furnishing the home, too.
Having been involved from the get-go, Meghan and Patrick were already in sync with the Felices’ original request for a welcoming but intentionally minimal vibe. “Now more than ever, folks want to enjoy where they live,” says Patrick. “They want their home to be the nicest place they know; tailor-made, just for them. That has as much to do with removing unnecessary clutter as providing fewer, better furnishings.”
Speaking of what people want now, timing was on the side of this project because everything was planned, selected, and ordered just before Covid and its related shutdowns, followed by the unanticipated renovation and building boom, that put a serious kink in the supply chain. So that meant that custom items like twin nubby chairs with walnut frames that lounge on a natural fiber rug from Patterson Flynn Martin in the living room—standout examples of “fewer” and “better”—were ready when the time came.
Further feathering of this new nest meant layering in lots more texture in even more warm neutrals. “We look to creams and camels instead of greys,” says Patrick, who adds that if and when they do employ a color, it’s deftly woven into each room, perhaps as piping on a pillow here or popping up in a piece of artwork there. What’s hard to tell from looking, though, is the inherent character of the daily-use items they choose. “A fabric’s soft hand, or the way the hardware feels when you reach to open a drawer or a cabinet; we want all of the experiences in our homes to be of high quality,” Patrick explains. It’s these kind of finishing details that make a design scheme luxurious and livable—and furnish a sense of comfort in even the most streamlined of spaces.
Modern, Meet Warm
The Sharps share three secrets to success:
Count on Comfort. The furniture should be stylish, yes, but you want to create a comfortable place for your friends and family to cozy up for hours. “Warm” is directly related to comfort.
Trade Color for Texture. Think nubby fabrics, some wicker, and natural rugs.
Accessorize with Nature. Inject some natural wood elements, stone or coral. Sculpture is a great way to add interest, and nature always gets it right.