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Marc Mauldin Photography

Elle Cantrell is making waves in Atlanta’s design industry!

Marc Mauldin Photography
Marc Mauldin Photography

Seldom does someone uncover their lifelong passion at 4 years old. Then again, Atlanta-based interior designer Elle Cantrell isn’t known for taking the most traveled path.

Born in Eastbourne, England, Cantrell and her family immigrated to the states—specifically Marietta— before she was a year old. At that OTP address Cantrell had a Hallmark-movie-worthy experience with love at first sight, except instead of falling for a handsome townie, she was starry-eyed for home decor and furnishings. “My parents hired an interior designer to work on our family home, and I have been interested ever since,” says Cantrell, whose career has been influenced by design moguls such as Robert Brown, Darryl Carter and Sarah Lavoine.

A tastemaker in her own right, the SCAD grad founded Elle Du Monde, a full-service residential design firm, in 2016. Alongside her all-female team of six, Cantrell brings her collected-contemporary- meets-bold aesthetic to homes throughout the metro area, from Buckhead and Dunwoody to Brookhaven and beyond. She’s even been called upon to outfit Atlantans’ second homes in Sea Island.

Here, she shares her take on Atlanta’s interior design industry, what she’s working on and more.

What design elements do you like to experiment with most?

Color and texture. I love challenging clients to think outside the box, both for furnishings and architectural elements.

Where do you find inspiration?

Traveling is a huge source of inspiration for me. I also love spending Saturday mornings with a cup of coffee in one hand and a design magazine in the other.

What’s your favorite room to design in a home?

The kitchen. My designs are about function as much as form, and the kitchen has to be a perfect blend of both. People are afraid to go bold in the kitchen, but it’s the heart of the home and should be inspiring. The most memorable project you’ve worked on? It’s really hard to say because all of our projects are so different, and I love each of them. We’re currently working on a full renovation and addition for a historic house in Ansley Park that includes adding a contemporary pool house. It’s going to be up there as a favorite and is well aligned with my personal aesthetic.

What do you love about working in Atlanta?

We have a huge design industry in Atlanta, but it’s small at the same time. Everyone knows each other, and it’s a warm, welcoming group of professionals. I’m lucky to be a part of it.

What’s an underrated design trend?

Antiques in contemporary design. Clients are sometimes afraid to mix well-loved pieces into a new, polished space, but antiques bring a sense of warmth and authenticity that cannot be replicated.

If we’re talking about “a little goes a long way,” what design element comes to mind?

Florals. A little sprinkle is enough, in my opinion.


STORY: Ashton Pike

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