Emilie Posner Haas was born and raised in Buckhead before spreading her wings in the New York City fashion industry. She did marketing and public relations for designers Perry Ellis, Georgio Sant’Angelo and Daniel Hechter. She started her career at Rich’s here in 1968. Fast forward to marriage and family before uniting with urologist Dr. Joe Haas (who passed away in 2018) after a 32-year break, initially meeting at The Temple Sunday school.
“‘Unique’ is a great way to define how Joe and I got engaged at The Varsity, had Krispy Kreme donuts, then married in Vegas.”
After retiring from a career selling residential real estate, Haas remarked, “When Joe and I stepped into the front door here in 2005, we both gave the thumbs up, even before looking around.” The result is a home design that comes out swinging, captivatingly offbeat in a swirl of Old-World Romance. The arched doorways have unique moldings into expansive rooms.
Tour Old Roma:
Jaffe: What about this property “sold” you?
Haas: The house is 7,000 square feet, and the master is on the main level. I was most impressed to find a level walk-out backyard in Brookhaven. We created paradise with a pool and total privacy. We enclosed the loggia, which has the original bricks from the house used as the floor.
Jaffe: Many incredible things were included when you bought the house?
Haas: Barbara Ames was the builder and former resident. Much of the lighting was here: the amber chandelier in the dining room, drapes and farmhouse sinks. The unusual beams in the “keeping room” are actually plaster, not wood. Joe did contribute the Waterford chandelier in the master bedroom from his former house.
Jaffe: What goes on in this elongated 35-foot kitchen?
Haas: Certainly not me cooking. We have a tongue-in-cheek print of The Last Supper, and then various Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable.
Jaffe: Your daughter is a Hollywood actor?
Haas: I spent seven years in California with my daughter, Alyson Hannigan, helping pursue her career in acting.
In Los Angeles, she has had roles in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and the “American Pie” trilogy. She is presently the host and a producer of “Penn & Teller: Fool Us.”
Jaffe: Describe the ambiance here.
Haas: I answer to “quirky or unique.” There are things from David’s Interiors, estate sales, Goodwill, an antique roll top desk, armoires and mid-century modern mixed in. There is a framed Hermes scarf from Central Park, a collage made of beeswax and sticks purchased at the Piedmont [Park] Arts Festival. I love a painting by [former U.S. Attorney General] Griffin Bell’s daughter Melanie and a colorful wall hanging once owned by the consul general from South Africa.
Jaffe: Elaborate on the family pieces you have.
Haas: My grandparents Esther and Hyman Mendel were one of the founders of Ahavath Achim Synagogue in late 1890s. Their vases have been turned into our living room lamps. One of my favorite possessions are the Shabbat candlestick holders that belonged to my late and wonderful aunt and uncle, Helen and Dr. Irving H. Goldstein.
Speaking of family, my late sister Marie Posner Saxe lived in Manhattan and did the interior design here. By using the house plans and photos of each piece of furniture, she created a book with instructions of where to place every item. That was incredible. We were settled in in two days.
Jaffe: Your lower level is stylistically in contrast to the rest of the house.
Haas: The terrace level has 13-foot ceilings and had no walls. We added lots of them. The archway to the wine cellar and sauna rooms open with a vintage elevator gate from Paris purchased at Paris on Ponce. The wine cellar has the doors from Joe’s former house and the sauna room has the original Moorish front doors from this house.
The downstairs incorporates vivid colors, starting with the area rug. Both ends of the room are anchored by original church pews. We designed the recliners and had them made in Norway. The exercise room has 90 framed old album covers. The guest bathroom is black and white art deco tile and has the same sink and mirror Elton John has in his bathroom. We both bought them from Atlanta Fixture.
Jaffe: You are in the accessories business?
Hass: I maintain a booth and a glass case at Antiques & Beyond on Cheshire Bridge Road, selling eclectic items that I constantly change out, including original art, fine and costume jewelry, crystal, furniture and my own “tchotchke art.”
Joe and I traveled all over to small towns and brought back collections of vintage toys and other interesting things, which we built into towers or framed. My favorite is yard art we built from Joe’s broken Alfa Romeo muffler. A special one in the lower level here is a 7-foot-tall original anesthesia machine with an artfully painted fishbowl.
Jaffe: What are your volunteer activities?
Haas: I’m a big supporter of the Brookhaven Police Department and creating a gift shop in the new Brookhaven Public Safety Building to benefit the BPD Foundation. I’m also a volunteer in the Visitor’s Center at Oakland Cemetery.
On a lighter note, I am starting a singles group for 65-plus through The Temple with a goal of mixing, mingling and making new friends. Previously I have introduced 15 couples who have married. That reserves my spot in heaven!
- Marcia Caller Jaffe
- Chai Style
- Emilie Haas
- Perry Ellis
- Georgio Sant’Angelo
- Daniel Hechter Rich’s
- Dr. Joe Haas
- The Temple
- The Varsity
- Marilyn Monroe
- Clark Gable
- Alyson Hannigan
- Piedmont Park Arts Festival
- Griffin Bell
- Esther and Hyman Mendel
- Ahavath Achim Synagogue
- Helen and Dr. Irving H. Goldstein
- Marie Posner Saxe
- Elton John
- Antiques & Beyond
- Brookhaven Police Department
- oakland cemetery