Flying high: A modish condo is the ideal headquarters for an entrepreneur’s jet-setting life
By Giannina Smith Bedford | Photos by Sara Hanna
Jason Crandall works hard and plays hard. The owner of Amelia Bay/American Tea, an ingredients manufacturing company supplying the food, beverage, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, he is a busy entrepreneur who pilots his Pilatus airplane around the world for both business and pleasure. But when he’s home, Crandall retreats to a 2,500-square-foot condo on the thirteenth floor (yes, we said thirteenth) of the Park Regency condo tower in the heart of Buckhead. “The location is one of the best in Atlanta,” he says.
Crandall moved into the building in 2005 and has resided in four different units. In December 2011, while living on the ninth floor, he purchased his current condo at a low price point, which allowed him to completely gut and re-outfit the interior. He signed on architect Staffan Svenson of Dencity and interior designers John Fernandez and Jennifer True of Fernandez and True Interiors and, over a year and a half, transformed the early 2000s contemporary-styled three bedroom, three-and-a-half bath space into a two bedroom, two-and-a-half bath modernly masculine abode.
Step inside the open floor plan into a stunningly sleek kitchen overlooking the living and dining areas. Custom-made contemporary furnishings and some purchases from French retailer Roche Bobois dominate, joined by accents like Argentine cowhide rugs and a Herman Miller chair from Design Within Reach. John Fernandez designed and TecnoSedia custom-made the low daybed fronting the television and the two-toned gray sofa, which beckon you to lounge for a cocktail and conversation.
“I would call it organic modern,” Fernandez says of the condo’s overall feel. “I wanted it to have a sophisticated, contemporary and definitely sexy feel and with that we did a lot of custom pieces … It was designed toward entertainment.”
Edgy photorealist artworks further enliven the stylish atmosphere, including a recently purchased portrait of Kate Moss by Chuck Close that Crandall purchased at the renowned painter and photographer’s New York gallery. He also infused inspiration from some of his favorite hotels. This is most clearly noticed in the master bathroom, one of his favorite rooms, which Fernandez created from a space that once housed two bathrooms and a hallway. He started with an empty shell and designed the room around the necessary placement of the Porcelanosa tub over the drain. Today, a custom oversized ottoman covered in Kravet Fabric Nalu in Smoke anchors the spa-like haven, reminiscent of a swanky Las Vegas hotel bathroom.
“I wanted to make sure it was really functional,” Fernandez says. “I wanted him to be able to dress in there, sit down and put shoes and socks on, but also if he’s in there chatting with somebody they could literally recline on the ottoman while he’s getting ready.” On one side of the tub is a glass-enclosed water closet and on the other, a steam shower big enough to throw a party in. Across the way, an entire wall of washed oak wood cabinetry hides closets and laundry appliances.
Concealed storage space is a prominent theme throughout the home—an idea sparked by Crandall’s adoration for large yachts. “Living in a condo is a lot like living on a big boat. You have to be creative with storage,” he says. “I’ve got tons of storage. I wanted to maximize space in a cool way so that people don’t really notice it.” Answering his call, Kingdom Woodworks created inconspicuous built-in compartments and cabinetry throughout. Dark mahogany paneled “walls” in the entryway and living room veil not only storage space, but also doors into a powder room and the bedroom of Crandall’s 12-year-old son, James.
The surprises continue in the minimalist kitchen, also outfitted by Kingdom Woodworks. Push a button and like a space ship the cabinetry reveals a pantry and kitchen tool storage area. A coffee bar and Miele appliances, including three ovens—a microwave oven, steam oven and convection oven—also seamlessly hide behind the gray cabinets finished in a high-gloss automotive lacquer.
“I just love design. I love projects like this and this isn’t my first one. You just learn so much every time you do one. All the things you won’t do again,” Crandall says.
One item that didn’t work out to the homeowner’s liking is the floor that stretches through the main living area. Designed to look like Belgian walnut, the Florim ceramic tile was shipped from Italy, but at installation Crandall discovered it couldn’t be installed in the staggered design he wanted due to the high-rise building’s flex joints. Instead, it had to be laid in a squared pattern. “Had I known that before the tile took a 6-month journey from Italy, I wouldn’t have picked it,” he says. “The tile was definitely the hardest part of this project.”
“It’s the first place I’ve lived that I truly enjoy,” he says. “I’ve had big homes and I don’t like endless rooms with no point. I use this whole space and it’s a very comfortable place to be.”
Jason Crandall’s favorites stops for …
1. Home design: “Honestly, the Internet. Then ADAC.”
2. Art: “NYC, because the options are limitless.”
3. Dinner in Buckhead: “Kyma, because it has the best food, service and atmosphere in Atlanta.”
4. Clothes: “Bloomingdale’s, because they carry everything and take good care of me.”
5. Great outdoor ambiance: “I love Yebo for its food, service, patio and lounge atmosphere with the live music.”
Giannina S. Bedford is multi-faceted writer and editor. Her work covers design, travel, food and business. She’s penned Simply Buckhead’s home feature since inception and held a variety of editorial roles at the magazine. Her freelance work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, USA Today, Virtuoso Life, Hemispheres and TravelandLeisure.com. She also contributes regularly Atlanta Business Chronicle. Fluent in Spanish, Giannina was born in Miami and grew up in Brazil, Chile, Hawaii and Australia. She currently lives in Dunwoody with her two kids and husband.