The set of WXIA-TV’s Atlanta & Company is getting rave reviews after a major makeover employing the talents of two local designing women and furnishings from Design Within Reach.
“I cannot tell you the clients, the viewers who have said, We just love this clean beautiful look,” said host Christine Newton on a recent broadcast of the weekday morning program, which airs on Channel 11 locally and posts highlights to YouTube.
Newton was sitting on one of two Reid One-Arm Sofas arranged into an “L” at the vortex of the set. At her feet, a Maharam Merger Rug in brick, and in front, a Foldable Star Sculpture. Everywhere you look on the set, there are familiar DWR furniture and accessories. It’s like a game of Where’s Waldo for design aficionados, except Waldo is everywhere.
The makeover was engineered by Holly Conlan and Gabriella Eisenhart, principals of Wake + Loom Design, whose business serves clients in Atlanta and also Los Angeles.
Conlan and Eisenhart launched their brainstorming for the redesign with a visit to the DWR West Hollywood Studio.
“Finding inspiration wasn’t tough by any means!” Conlan says. “We wanted to achieve a modern space while remaining warm and inviting.”
They began with the sofa and rug. “It’s usually best to start with the bigger pieces and build off of them,” Conlan says.
To that foundation, they added pieces like a Saarinen Side Table, Nerd Barstools and Wire Planters along with unconventional flourishes and dashes of whimsy. Beside an Edge Coffee Table, for instance, they added an Edge Side Table, as if to say, Why can’t we use a side table as a second coffee table?
“It was a great way to add layers and texture to more minimally designed pieces,“ Conlan says. “We felt like it would add depth to the set without busying up the space.”
Likewise with Coatrack Dots on the back wall next to one sofa. Rather than use them to hang things, they configured a large array of Dots into an interesting pattern to become a clever wall sculpture.
“We love bringing a pop of brass into our designs,” Conlan says, “because it brightens up the space and has a level of elegance, while being fun and whimsical,” Conlan says. “The Eames bird is a bit of an iconic piece that has been around for decades, and we couldn’t pass up using it for the set. The Nelson clock is just another beautiful, streamlined accessory that helped create a filled out space, staying true to the DWR vibe.”
“We’ve never done anything for television before so this was a cool learning experience,” Conlan says.
The talents of these two women go well beyond interior design, which they have been doing since they were kids. Eisenhart, an Atlanta native, has a background in film and production. Conlan, born and raised in Los Angeles with a classical composer for a father, has spent the last decade as a touring singer-songwriter. You can see a video of her performaning live here.