Tour an Atlanta Condo Decked Out in Bold Color

This 800-square-foot condo is a feast for the eyes with its tropical hues of blue, yellow and pink.

April 30, 2020

Photo By: Tropico Photo

Photo By: Tropico Photo

Photo By: Tropico Photo

Photo By: Tropico Photo

Photo By: Tropico Photo

Photo By: Tropico Photo

Photo By: Tropico Photo

Photo By: Tropico Photo

Photo By: Tropico Photo

Photo By: Tropico Photo

Photo By: Tropico Photo

Photo By: Tropico Photo

Welcome to Wonderland

Photographer Michelle Norris is one half of the creative team behind Tropico Photo. Norris runs the Atlanta-based photography company with her husband and business partner, Forrest Aguar. Their 800-square-foot, one-bedroom condo is proof that a small space can hold big, bold design ideas.

A Celebration of Color and Pattern

Even though the couple has only been in the home for six months, they moved quickly to make the space their own. "We painted on every wall in the condo, tiled the kitchen backsplash and our friends painted the cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom," Michelle recalls. The result is a delightful explosion of bright colors and expressive patterns that make the space feel energized and creative.

Joining Forces

Finding common ground between tastes is essential for any couple sharing a home, and even more imperative when the space is small. For Michelle and Forrest, finding the right balance for their home was as simple as expressing their professional collaboration in a physical space; a combination they call, "Maximalist Modernism." Tropico Photo itself is a combination of Michelle's love of color and Forrest's fascination with shapes and lines. In their home office, it all comes together. The divided yellow and white wall behind the desk is a perfect example of their collaboration, providing color while creating interesting shapes.

Stylish Storage

Nothing in this space is ordinary, drab or boring. In Michelle and Forrest's world, even something as mundane as a bookshelf is an opportunity to create an amazing vignette. The couple's trademark combination of colors and shapes is on full display in this unique storage unit. The turquoise cabinet doors and slatted, blue sliding doors at the bottom add an interesting mix of texture as well. It's the couple's favorite decorative vignette in the whole home.

Designer Dining

The dining room is an example of Michelle's excellent grasp of color. "We mocked up our plans for painting beforehand," she recalls, "and gave each space its own color story." The dining area palette features warm colors in contrast to the bright yellows and blues of the living room. The warm colors give the dining room a cozy feel from the walls to the credenza to the rug.

Juicy Color

Like the dining room, the kitchen claims its own colorways identity with its embrace of deep, emerald green. "Since the condo is a very open concept, we had to do the work of making sure that the palettes of the different rooms played well together," Michelle reveals. "They’re each distinct, but they make sense cohesively."

The Importance of Small Details

When splitting a small space into distinct "rooms," there's no space for walls, so divisions have to be made more subtly. For Michelle and Forrest, color is the biggest way of showing the transition from one space to the next, but small physical divisions, like this colorful, blue partition that doubles as a bookshelf helps make the point as well. It shows the level of work and thought that went into designing this part of the home. As Michelle remembers, "The transitional spaces between rooms were some of the most challenging parts of the design."

Visionary Design

This home is an amazing insight into the world of a truly creative couple. Like their work, this Atlanta couple's home is a labor of love. “What we love most about our home is that it's beautiful and functional," Michelle says. "It's a really comfortable place for us to relax and unwind, which is what we need most out of our home space."

Bold Bedroom

The bedroom continues the bold mix of colors, shapes and lines that started in the front of the house, but now with the added element of textiles. "Our old bedroom felt a bit chaotic and shared space with our workspace," Michelle says. With the workspace now in the living room, the couple has even more room to expand their vision with plants, bone-inlay bedside tables and a dazzling array of patterns on the bed. "This bedroom has a really fun flow with the painting and decoration and we love that it's eclectic but cozy," she notes.

Whimsical Wall Art

This playful wall mural brings interest to the bedroom's one white wall and helps connect the hues in the room's many accessories. The deep green color gives the room a cohesive feel to go along with its bold look.

A Closet Full of Fun

Colors explode from this closet in many of the same shades that make up the home: bright blues, yellows, warm oranges and even a bit of royal purple all make an appearance.

Beautiful Finish

The bathroom has one of the home's more relaxed color stories, which adds to its tropical oasis feel. It may not have the same colorful mix as the bedroom — which is the couple’s favorite room — but they love it for a different reason. "The bathroom was the easiest for us to design,” Michelle reveals. “Because it is so contained, we could just focus on how that space felt as a standalone without blending it with other rooms."

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