The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta have attracted some of the city’s top designers to work their magic on the luxury homes. Michael Habachy, a 20-year design veteran, has created a home at The Residences that draws on the building Asian influences and modern aesthetic.
Michael and his team are the top luxury interior designers in Atlanta, having won multiple awards from HGTV, Houzz and Pantone. We asked Michael about his globally inspired work at The Residences, and what luxury design trends he thinks will be hot in 2016.
How did you know you wanted to be an interior designer? Have you always had an eye for design?
Habachy: I’ve had a passion for all things creative ever since I was a kid, from drawing and painting to sculpture and even fashion. I had a hard time narrowing things down when I went to college (I attended a private arts school, American InterContinental University, as well as Georgia State), so I had to basically spin the wheel of arts and design majors. At age 17, I chose to focus on interior design and never looked back.
What makes the home at The Residences you designed one of your best projects yet?
Habachy: My wife and I have traveled all over Asia to some exotic destinations including India, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam. I have gained a tremendous passion for Eastern philosophy and culture, and take great inspiration from Asian art, architecture and design. So I was very excited to incorporate some of these Eastern influences from my travels into a modern, sophisticated space. The black and white interior is timeless, and accents from ancient tribes and cultures throughout the home give it a very collected and global vibe.
What’s your favorite piece in the home?
Habachy: That’s a tough one, because there are so many great pieces in there. One of my favorites is a custom carved, pyramid front cabinet with inlaid seeded bronze glass inserts. I incorporated pieces from several new furniture and lighting collections by Aerin Lauder and Kelly Wearstler, but also designed much of the furniture myself and had it custom-built. Using custom pieces ensures that they flow harmoniously with the overall interior, creating a very tailor-made and luxurious feel.
What elements of the unique lifestyle at The Residences have you incorporated into your design?
Habachy: We kept a very clean black and bone neutral palette throughout the interior and made the walls crisp and white, so that the space feels sophisticated, bright and airy. Having an all-white space also accentuates the stunning views, allowing the homeowner to take them in like a great work of art on a gallery wall.
What design trends do you think will be big in 2016?
Habachy: I think that globally inspired design is a huge trend now. More and more people are traveling the world, discovering exotic resorts and hotels that blend ancient traditions, art and design with modern comforts. Many of my clients want to incorporate the experiences and memories from their travels into their own homes. Also, I think that fine, handmade, artisanal furnishings are becoming more in demand. I think that interesting textures such as inlaid materials like shagreen, bone, hammered metals, etc., can make a modern space feel much warmer. Many discerning clients want to invest in quality heirloom pieces to give their homes a unique and distinctive feel.