Christina Pumphrey has always been interested in the arts. When it came time for her to pick a major in college, she chose interior design since this was a profession she knew she would enjoy.
Later on, she and a friend, Ursula Holly, who lives in Tallahassee, Florida, would start C’Décor, their very own design business. Ursula is so talented, Christina says, that her home was featured in Architectural Digest. The two worked together often until marriage and children consumed most of their time and energy, leaving little for the business. Now, it’s more of a hobby for both of them.
However, Christina was able to use her interior design background once again when her husband, Dr. Brock Pumphrey, renewed his office lease and was given some funds to freshen up the place. Christina took on the challenge and decided to give the office a whole new look. Today, her husband’s practice, Midtown Center for Advanced Periodontics, Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry, is a showcase. Located at 999 Peachtree St., it’s right in the heart of Midtown.
“Midtown is a fun and vibrant area, and my style is contemporary/modern,” Christina says.
Since the practice is located in such a lively area, she wanted to go with bold designs. The walls and doors are white, with black trim and dark floors, so the artwork really needed to stand out. It’s really bright and funky, she explains, which she feels is a good fit with the neighborhood. Some of the artwork is shaped liked surfboards and made of acrylic glass, and another piece is constructed in a 3D pattern. These are not your standard rectangular painted canvases. Hanging on the wall in the X-ray area is a huge skull. She wasn’t sure how that would go over, but patients think it’s great.
“I wanted to do something fun and modern and spunky. Staff and patients love it, especially the artwork. It’s super bright,” she says.
She found a lot of it at Atlanta’s Mart where designers can go to find all sorts of treasures. She will also sometimes go to the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, which is another great resource for designers.
“Modern is having a big comeback,” Christina says. “In Atlanta, a lot of the new buildings are ultra-modern, very Miami.”
However, even though her style is contemporary and she gravitates more toward the clean, streamlined look, she feels that there are really beautiful ways of doing traditional design.
“What’s in and out is all relative,” she says.
She tries not to follow super trends, because then she’s just setting herself up for being outdated within 10 years. Christina likes to mix it up. She doesn’t think having one solid style is very interesting.
One thing she has noticed recently is that designers will buy a really cool antique piece and refurbish it to make it look more new-age. Since antique furniture was built so well, and it’s really hard to find good solid furniture nowadays. Giving it an updated look is a great way to make it fit while being functional.
Christina had a great time redoing her husband’s office and gets a lot of satisfaction from knowing how much he and his patients enjoy it. She and Brock, who met in college in Tallahassee, have been married for close to eight years, have two children—Brock Jr., 6 and Pierce, 4—and live in the Buckhead area.
One day, when the children are older, Christina hopes to be able to give more time to her and Ursula’s interior decorating business. Until then, she’ll enjoy going into her husband’s office and seeing the beautiful transformation she has made.
Christina's Design Tips
Declutter. The first thing you should do is put things away. Finding a spot for everything will give the room a clean, fresh look.
Use natural muted tones for walls and furniture. For fun pops of color, use throw pillows or throws. If you’re going to buy something really funky, try not to spend too much money on it because you’ll likely get tired of it after a while. You can get then get rid of it without feeling guilty. Afterward, you will once again be left with that original blank slate and can change it up according to your new style or current trends. Christina says this is what she did with the office and the same thing she does with her own home. Her furniture is gray, white and taupe, so that way she can reinvent it whenever she wants.
If you have children and/or pets, cover your furniture and walls with fabrics and paint that you can wipe off. Also, avoid white and keep fabrics on the darker side which will camouflage stains. Look for places that offer COM (customer’s own material.) There are stores in Atlanta where you can buy unfinished furniture and then pick out the fabric you want on it, either in that store or from another one. This way, you can get easy-to-clean and durable fabric on the furniture that fits your room and style.
Have fresh flowers in the house. A bouquet is a great design tool and lends color and beauty to any room.