Chai Style: Tomato Harvest Yields a City View

Chai Style: Tomato Harvest Yields a City View

Marcia Caller Jaffe

After 35 years with the Atlanta newspapers, Marcia currently serves as Retail VP for the Buckhead Business Association, where she delivers news and trends (laced with a little gossip).

The view north from the living room starts with a curved, lighted table designed by Geoffrey Fradin and built by Israel Peljovich. (Photo by Duane Stork)
The view north from the living room starts with a curved, lighted table designed by Geoffrey Fradin and built by Israel Peljovich. (Photo by Duane Stork)

Sheryl Lipman’s Buckhead condo speaks of pizzazz and vibrancy as she looks out onto her three patios.

Lipman, an avid bridge player, snow skier, needlepointer and world traveler, takes great pride in her family farming business, one of the largest field vegetable growers in the United States. Thus, the tomato images in various genres give way to scarlet and purple tones.

Key to the custom touches was her ability to assemble a trusted team to interpret and execute her plan. Marble from India, silk-stranded carpet from China, a sterling-silver chandelier and a “breathing” curved sofa work together, while grandchildren are accommodated in side-by-side, bookshelved Murphy beds.

Jaffe: How would you describe your style? I must admit I have never seen tomatoes as an artistic theme.

Lipman: I consider myself a modern collector. Our family farming business has allowed me to acquire multiple homes. My ancestors came from Europe to New York, where, in the most humble beginnings, they sold vegetables on the streets. Fast-forward now to our multidimensional, growing, plant seedling packing operations (on the Eastern Seaboard), based in Florida, the largest field-growing tomato supplier in the U.S. So, yes, the tomatoes are sentimental, but I wanted a glamorous red-and-purple color scheme.

Jaffe: Did you use a designer?

The tomato art collection in the foyer reflects Sheryl Lipman’s family business. (Photo by Duane Stork)
The tomato art collection in the foyer reflects Sheryl Lipman’s family business. (Photo by Duane Stork)

Lipman: My cousin Geoffrey Fradin of Asheville, N.C., and Fort Myers, Fla., has designed my homes in New York, Florida and Georgia (some several times). He is an efficient, talented genius. I purchased this condo in February, and in September I hosted an open house.

Before I moved in, the floor plan was changed, creating a guest room/office, reducing the bedroom size, even relocating the fireplace. Basically, Geoff knows my taste and narrows down options to two or three from which to choose. So I would say he has a free hand.

Fradin: Sheryl is a wonderful client. She loves overtly unusual, colorful things and contemporary clean lines that show her personality. She knows what she wants and is willing to pay for unique things. The round living area carpet (from Asia) was custom-made from color strands of fibers of silk, wool, cotton and nylon which were hand-selected and computer-designed.

The main hall entry floating wall-hung table and mirror have fluorescent, fiber-optic lighting with a built-in color wheel (remote-controlled). Both were custom-made. Local Atlanta suppliers/installers were used for the mirror/glass niches and vanities, closet installations, custom pillows, comforter, dining seat upholstering, remote-controlled shades throughout, and custom electronic control system for the entire condo, including sound and video equipment.

Jaffe: Who are your favorite artists?

Lipman: Barbara Yeomans from Fort Myers creates unique prints with unusual paper structures from wood blocks. We worked with Israel Peljovich (Arts and Laminates), who is a furniture crafter and magician. Also, my mother’s nude and oils are in the entrance to the master bedroom.

Peljovich: We have done several of Sheryl’s homes. The challenges were the varied, elegant types of wood (purple, tiger, mahogany). We custom-built the base of the dining room table from materials which were imported from India. The table behind the sofa was designed to dovetail the versatile, curved couch. In many cases, good pieces have hidden, pop-up lighting and automation, like the very useful makeup/vanity table (which Lipman calls her pride and joy). The den Murphy-style beds have wonderful shelving, rolling file cabinets and drawer storage.

Jaffe: What are some of your favorite pieces?

Lipman: The white leather skeletal sofa is really my centerpiece as it breathes and separates like an accordion. It was designed in Germany and manufactured in Scandinavia in three connecting sections and can be reset to straight or curved arc in any preference, even S-shaped seating.

We gave special attention to the flooring. In the master bedroom is Carrara marble with inset, metal-backed, red-and-mustard agate stone pavers. The entry foyer also has custom-designed amethyst paver inserts (imported from India) set in Carrara marble.

The 60-inch dining room imported stone table and the living room cocktail table both have amethyst panel inserts.

The dining room sterling-silver chandelier was purchased from E.G. Cody in the Design Center of the Americas building. (Dania Beach, Fla.). Only two were made, and the fixture received an award for its winning design.

Jaffe: What sentimental pieces do you enjoy? What is the story behind the stunning, supersized entry mezuzah?

Lipman: I acquired the mezuzah on a trip to northern Israel’s Safed artists colony. The porcelain Lladró figures my mother brought back from Thailand are in the anteroom to the master. On a lighter note, my daughter made this delightful menorah representing all the grandchildren.

Jaffe: How do you use the outdoors?

Lipman: There are three separate patios with wrought-iron swivel chairs cushioned in Sunbrella fabric. The terrace off the breakfast room area has an expanding, wrought-iron table with two leaves and a barbecue, all perfect for July 4th fireworks.

Jaffe: Your cracked-glass breakfast table set is imported from Scandinavia. So do you cook?

Lipman: Absolutely not! My son-in-law, Keith Marks, owns the kosher barbecue and brisket food truck. He keeps my freezer well supplied. Amusingly, what I think is most important in the kitchen is having loads of electrical outlets.

Photos by Duane Stork

read more: