Marilyn and Howard Krone bring an air of intrigue with Old World romance to their Buckhead house, showcasing collected things that give a place its emotional essence.
Both originally from New York, the Krones show an exuberance for décor that is akin to uncorking a special pinot noir from their wine cellar.
Howard, an orthopedic surgeon, and Marilyn, who is in full flower participating in the Atlanta social scene or fussing about her own home, are tastemakers of layers from past houses and designers.
Marilyn, the honoree at the sixth annual Fix Georgia Pets Come Together gala on Tuxedo Road, recalls the back stories of her Italian, Yugoslavian and Southern artists and happily confesses that she chose this three-level house because it could accommodate her oversized French Aubusson rug.
Come into the Krones’ world.
Photos by Duane Stork
Jaffe: How would you describe the style of your house? What feelings do you want it to evoke when you come home?
Marilyn: Our home has an eclectic feel with a combination of Old and New World. In the future we want to maintain this look with a more contemporary twist with a fresh, lighter feel. We aren’t fond of the cookie-cutter contemporary that is so popular.
Howard: I want a comforting, soothing space. I like having minimal land along with privacy. I like to sit out back with my coffee and enjoy an occasional cigar.
Jaffe: Who are your favorite artists?
Marilyn: We love Robert Jessup with his bold colors and heavy palette. We became good friends with Fay Gold (the art consultant), and she led the way to fill our home with some great pieces. The other pieces were finds from our travels. We love and appreciate the talents of artists from Asia and appreciate the talents of artists from India.
My bedroom portrait was done by Alabama artist William Bruce Sparks, who was deaf and dumb, so we communicated via notes.
“Peaceful Rest — Girl With Basket” was done by Italian Pino Daeni, who painted over 1,600 book covers for adventure and romantic novels. His talent became the only means of survival for his family during the post-World War II period, supporting his six brothers and sisters.
Howard: We have a large collection of Yugoslavian artist Ivan Kustura with his elements of cubism, surrealism, Italian futurism, German expressionism and Russian constructivism. He studied in Venice and Paris and ultimately resided in the U.S. “Hunchback Escapes,” “Woman With Glasses,” “Woman Priest and Dancers Below,” all circa 1982, are his works.
Jaffe: Did you use a designer, and how did that work with your own input?
Marilyn: We used Stan Topol designs for our first three homes. Here I used most of the pieces we previously owned but created a new look myself.
Jaffe: What’s your flow of entertaining?
Marilyn: We have used the entire house in many ways for entertaining. Our lower level has a dine-in stone wine cellar (which took me a year to design and build from base concrete). It is especially fun. We have an elevator off the kitchen with easy access to transport the food to the wine cellar area nearby. We kept the central room in our lower level empty to have dinner parties, with several tables for fine dining, or to dance the night away.
Jaffe: Do you have accessories from your travels?
Marilyn: We bought enough fine porcelain pieces to have a container shipped when we visited China in 1995. We also acquired silk rugs from India, which feels dreamy on our bare feet. We also found a bronze sculpture, “Noah’s Ark,” from our visit to Budapest, by Hungarian artist Tóth Ernő, who is best known for his life-size sculpture of Steve Jobs.
Jaffe: After all this design work, now you want to downsize?
Marilyn: Our last move was 10 years ago, which was very difficult to do. Since Howard is close to retirement, we feel the need to move once again while we still have the energy. We moved from a very large house to our current home just before 2008. We saw this house two years prior to purchasing. I wanted a home that would fit my 17-foot-square, antique Aubusson French rug. Our current living room was the perfect fit. It took six months to reverse all of the threads to bring out its original beauty by Georgette of Georgette Oriental Rugs in Atlanta. Yes, we are currently looking for intown living but don’t desire a high-rise. I like to take my morning cup of tea, open the door and let my pups out.
Jaffe: What motivates you to raise funds for neglected and rescued animals?
Marilyn: Animal advocacy has surged over the past 10 years. We are so overwhelmed with the busyness of life, people have put faith and love into their pets. It breaks my heart to think of so many unwanted pets being euthanized. Pet lover Ginny Millner is my neighbor, whom I helped over the past six years with Fix Georgia Pets. They are honoring me at the grand affair on Oct. 19 alongside Bo Derek. I am very humbled by this.
Jaffe: You have a side vacation rental business that allowed you to design.
Marilyn: I am the sole proprietor of the Cabins at Seven Foxes, five cabins on a 7-acre resort that opened in 2001. For these cabins in Lake Toxaway, N.C., I tapped a talent inside and had fun creating. I started with some help but realized I could do it myself. My eye would catch a gem in a sea of items at flea markets, magazines, show houses and design centers. I learned to pay attention to detail and let the thoughts flow. The cabins are rustic yet modern and authentic for the area and display outdoor metal art (by property manager Bill Bergamini) along the surprise walking trails and waterfalls nearby. Of course, we are pet-friendly.