Nestled in the Chattahoochee Hill Country is a place The New York Times declared "a utopian experiment in New Urbanism being molded out of Georgia red clay."
That place is Serenbe.
What is Serenbe?
Located a mere hour and a half from Columbus, Serenbe is a community focused on wellness in every aspect of life. Its location makes it both accessible and convenient enough for a day trip with family or friends.
Serenbe's focus on wellness as a lifestyle makes it a unique destination with a wide variety of amenities. In any given month, Serenbe's calendar provides an immensely curated selection of events and offerings to its guests. Visitors can expect to find fine art exhibitions, outdoor concerts, organic farming workshops, theatre productions, pottery classes, yoga, and everything in between.
Worth the Drive
If you've been looking for a reason to visit Serenbe's lush landscape and rich cultural community, this Fall is the ideal time to make the drive. In addition to their plethora of regular events, Serenbe's 5th designer showhouse debuts this week for VIPs, and then will be open for public tours for a limited time. It's a chance to see top designers from across the industry working together to create something beautiful. Serenbe's designer showhouse initiative is all about collaboration, because teamwork is a vital part of the Serenbe tradition.
While Serenbe is a place focused on whole living, it has a deeper conquest. The true aim of Serenbe is to be a place where every facet of its well-designed infrastructure is dedicated to the betterment of the community as a whole.
Before you read anything more about designers and VIP parties though, let's get one thing straight:
The designer showhouse is about more than creating a beautiful space.
All proceeds secured from the 2018 showhouse will be directly reinvested in the arts. Proceeds will benefit The Art Farm at Serenbe, an art complex that "provides a place to bring people together in support of the arts, with the belief that art in everyday life can create a greater understanding of the world."
The same heartfelt mission is the fuel behind Serenbe's 5th Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Designer Showhouse. All of the designers work together to develop a sense of place, and this permeates everything choice they make as individuals and a team. The sense of place that is so pervasive at Serenbe is an enormous part of what makes the community worth taking time to explore.
Take it from the Experts
When Serenbe's Public Relations Coordinator, Stevie Seay, reached out to us about this important annual landmark event we knew we had to find out more information. To get all of our questions answered, Seay connected us with Monica Olsen, Serenbe's Vice President of Marketing who graciously accepted our interview.
Read on to discover how Olsen has witnessed Serenbe's concept for the designer showhouse come to fruition, what she loves most about this year's showhouse, and why Columbusites really should make the drive to see the house and everything else Serenbe has to offer this Fall.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
A rendering of Serenbe's 5th Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Designer Showhouse. (Source)
Q: What led to Serenbe starting these events?
A: We've been friends with Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Ralls since before she started her role as editor. The idea was born because we immediately realized it would be a perfect fit.
Q: What can you tell me about this year's Designer Showhouse? What are some of your favorite rooms?
A: As every year, we're really excited for this year's group of designers and how cohesive the house itself is. As I walk through the rooms, it feels like I can just move right in. Everything flows so well and the designer's use of art is so extensive, which is meaningful to us because we believe art is an integral part of a well-lived life, plus the beneficiary is The Art Farm. One of my favorite rooms is the upstairs bedroom - beautiful pink walls and amazingly patterned drapes. As someone who has 2 boys, it's always fun to see a super feminine grown up girls room. I don't get the chance to do super girly all the time, so this room is very fun for me.
I always love the use of wallpaper. The designers incorporated multiple wallpaper traces, from stand out black and white patterns to a couple uses of grasscloth as well as a really fun wallpaper on the ceiling. They've even added some beautiful blue hude grasscloth set in built in shelves in the breakfast room.
"We believe art is an integral part of a well-lived life."
Q: How do you feel as though this year's house is different from previous homes?
A: This year is the 5th anniversary showhouse and we are going back to our roots by building it in Serenbe's original neighborhood. We always enjoy showcasing different neighborhoods with different types of homes.This is the first estate home and a beautiful southern farmhouse with tons of outdoor space, a pool, 3 car garage, outdoor fireplace, and also features an expansive terrace level with a sauna.
Q: What are you looking forward to most about the event?
A: What I love about the preview party every year is it brings together all of the top designers, architects and builders in the Atlanta area to celebrate great design. It always amazes me how many people realize they're working at Serenbe, whether they've built a home, designed interiors, curated artwork - the community is my favorite aspect. It brings together this really amazing, talented group of people every year. I'm always amazed at how many people are working at Serenbe.
Q: How do you select the designers each year?
A: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles EIC Elizabeth Ralls is who selects designers. She takes into careful consideration who's been in other showhouses, who's been in our past showhouses, as well as integrating both established and up and coming designers. Elizabeth always does an incredible job with matching designers to the Serenbe aesthetic.
Q: What makes Serenbe a great destination for Columbusites?
A: Serenbe is a great destination because it's an easy day trip that offers 4 restaurants, soon to be 6, tons of upscale retailers, and an extensive listing of events every month from wine tastings, to plays, to ballet, to artist talks and book signings. What's great about the Showhouse tours is it gives Columbusites an invitation to visit. We realize a lot of people have heard about Serenbe but don't have a reason to come. We also have The Inn, a 29-room inn with additional guest cottages and community spaces available.
"What's great about the Showhouse tours is it gives Columbusites an invitation to visit. We realize a lot of people have heard about Serenbe but don't have a reason to come."
Q: What are some things you'd like our readers to learn about Serenbe through reading this feature?
A: Most people don't realize what all Serenbe has to offer. We have over 700+ residents, 20+ shops, including an independent book store, spa, goat yoga, and art galleries. We also have extensive arts programming with 200+ days of arts, weekly farmer's market and an organic farm with CSA and farm tours. We've recently been named the leading wellness community in the United States and we believe we earned that because when you come to Serenbe, you are more connected to nature and each other. So we welcome you for the day, the weekend, or a lifetime because the best reason to live here is the life here. Learn more at serenbe.com. ◼︎
More to Know:
The Showhouse will be open for tours four days a week, Thursday through Sunday, September 14 through October 7. Interested parties wishing to visit the Showhouse can purchase entry tickets for $20 on the Serenbe website. Proceeds from the designer Showhouse will directly benefit The Art Farm at Serenbe. The Showhouse is sponsored by Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, Serenbe Real Estate, McKinney Builders, Inc. and ADAC.
· Anna-Louise Wolfe, Ltd, Breakfast & Butler’s Pantry
· A. Wooten Interiors, Foyer & Stairway
· Elizabeth Ferguson Design, Back Porch
· Floralis Garden Design, Landscape
· Gilstrap Edwards Interior Design, Master Bedroom & Bath
· J. Hirsch Interior Design, Family Room
· Julie Holloway Studio, Ground Floor Powder
· K Light Interiors, Upstairs Bedroom & Bath 1
· Melissa Galt Interiors, Front Porch & Covered Side Porch
· Meredith McBrearty Interiors, Kitchen
· R. Cartwright Design, Upstairs Bedroom & Bath 2
· Rooms Revamped Interior Design, Craft Room
· Stefan Alexander Interiors, Terrace Deck
Stay Tuned this Week!
The Columbusite will be LIVE from the VIP Preview Party on Thursday night at Serenbe. Follow along on social media to see scenes from the evening, fun facts about the designers, and what to expect when you visit this Fall!