Joy Thigpen’s Atlanta Home

moving from vancouver to atlanta 2 years ago with her young family, joy thigpen knew she wanted to find a little old house in a walkable town. when the family saw the trees in the backyard of a little 1929 house – a fig tree, an apple trees, pecan and oak trees and even blueberries bushes – they were all sold! when it came time to think about decorating the interior, joy, a talented photographer and creative director/stylist for shoots and events, kept coming back to feist’s mushaboom. as someone who has a lot of experience with creating environments, joy has found that having a theme song can help establish the aesthetics of a space. (to get a look at joy’s work, check out her beautiful tablescape created with emily of oncewed on the design sponge guest blog) with a newborn son and a 2-year-old, this would be the home where her kids would spend their childhood and she wanted the home to be as lighthearted and playful as the children! {thanks, joy!} –amy a.

[When you walk in the front door, you enter our living room (which was another requirement for me in our house hunting) and it has become the center of our home.  I was inspired by a lot of Scandinavian design and painted most of the house in a warm white to give some visual respite from all the color and pattern elsewhere. I found the sofa on Craigslist, the 1920’s French deco leather chair was a steal at a flea market, the lucite table was from CB2 and the rest were pretty much clearance/floor samples from Anthropologie, and items from Target and flea markets.  For most of the house I just gathered things I liked with no real attention to how the pieces would work together.  If I loved it and it was a REALLY good deal I brought it home.  Almost every time I brought a new piece home I thought – shoot! it really doesn’t match at all!  But within a day or two decided I liked it all together anyway!]

The wallpaper behind the yellow chair was a splurge from Anthropologie but I severely underestimated how much I’d need to do my little accent wall and couldn’t afford to get any more so I just hung it on boards and used it as artwork instead!

I asked my 2 year-old daughter what color she wanted her room and she proceeded to list every color under the sun. I told her I’d see what I could do.  So I bought a bunch of the little paint samples and some glaze and did the rainbow thing….a bigger undertaking than I had imagined since I just had to have the colors fade into each other. :)  It gave me a lot of bang for so little bucks. This was my daughter’s first big girl bed and we used my sister’s college futon, which ended up being perfect because it was low enough to the ground that I wasn’t so worried about River falling off.  It ended up setting the scale of the room which as I finished setting it up, I got down on my knees and realized I had made it all to her eye level and scale.  That was a very happy accident that I will always do in the future.

Since I didn’t have anything to put on her walls and I felt like more artwork would be competing with the rainbow anyway, I saw a box full of princess dresses a family friend had just given her and felt like that was the perfect texture and collection to dress that wall AND keep all her dress up clothes in front of her to spark her imagination and reach whenever the spirit moved her.

CLICK HERE for the rest of Joy’s sneak peek (including all the images on one page) after the jump!

For my son’s room I used the $5-paint-sample-to-decorate-an-entire-room trick again.  The design was inspired by a little porcelain vessel from Russia.  As we moved in, his room became the place to put things we didn’t know where to put and in they eventually gelled into Oswin’s room.

For our room I wanted a more soothing version of the rest of the house.  When we moved in our walls were lavender painted over overlapping wallpaper with another paper on the bottom half of the room and a wallpaper border.  I wanted the room to be mostly white but it seemed like a nightmare of a task to resurface the sheet-rock so I decided to upholster it.  I stapled a layer of batting down then finished it with white muslin we still had left over from our wedding. The bedspread is from Anthropologie, the pillow is from Pottery Barn, and the heart is from the newspaper. :)

Our spare room has always served many purposes and lately was pilling up with boxes and bins and was totally out of control.  So I moved the bed to the middle of the room and lined the walls with shelves from Ikea.  Now we can walk in the door again and all my props and tools are accessible and organized.  Yay!!

  1. nosheen says:

    what a gorgeous place…i love how the walls a painted…such rich colors!!

  2. issy says:

    i’m in love. is your guest bedroom booked?

  3. Anna says:

    I love your home. It was nice to hear that you brought home affordable pieces that you loved and it all created its own unique cohesive style in your home! And your daughters room is beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Shannon says:

    Wow! I LOVE the rainbow room! It looks amazing. Your house is beautiful!

  5. Morgan says:

    I am in love with the rainbow walls! Fantastic and so whimsical!

  6. Becky says:

    Wow, I love this room. Not only is it bright and happy, but it’s nicely designed and laid out. Looks comfy and homey!

  7. Sana'aHabib says:

    tht’s creattive dear..i really like it:)

  8. Ahhh!! I love the guest bedroom-cum-prop room! I need one of those in my house! And do I spy Joy’s polka-dotted magical bag of goodies in the corner there?

  9. Marian says:

    What she’s done with her daughter’s room is beautiful.

  10. I’m moving in with you Joy. That’s all.

  11. ling says:

    creative and light … delicious photography too!

  12. meta says:

    Bookmarked for when we finally have a separate bedroom for our daughter. Very inspiring!

  13. mb says:

    Please, would you share your source for the fabric on the bright yellow and white chair? I have been looking forever for that pattern. Thanks much!!

  14. mb says:

    Incredible sense of style and whimsy! Love, love, love the entire house! Thank you for allowing us to view it.

  15. Anne-Karin says:

    What a beautiful home. And I totally agree with Laura; the homes that look lived-in are so much nicer than the staged ones. There is so much personality in each of the rooms here. Absolutely wonderful!

  16. Sarah says:

    Joy!! I love it! I had dinner with Vicki tonight and mentioned Chelsea’s home being on here and she said yours was too! It is all you! I hope you are well!

  17. Karen Hill says:

    I really like your aesthetic for collecting. I love the living room the most!

  18. Agnieszka says:

    I love your daughter’s room! I’m deciding on how to decorate my nursery and am inspired by your work. out of curiosity, where did you get the white transparent fabric with color fringe hanging from the ceiling?

  19. zazou says:

    I love the rainbow room! It reminds me of a Rothko painting (which I am a fan).
    Can you tell me whitch sort of paint you used (acrylic, watercolor, gouache …) and if you have painted directly on plaster?
    I read that to blend colors, you used the transparent glaze with adjacent colors : a brush for each color then?
    I hope you will excuse my awfull English, I’m French …


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.