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designer crush: atlanta’s michael habachy

October 28, 2015

Habachy profile

Atlanta’s Michael Habachy says his designs are bold and dramatic. Others describe his work as sexy, glamorous and sophisticated. Either way, the spaces the dapper designer creates are modern and memorable.

Background: While both my parents are from Egypt, I was born at Emory University, where my mother received her medical degree (and my dad went to Georgia Tech). As a kid, I had a passion for all things creative — from drawing and painting to sculpture and fashion. I attended American InterContinental University and Georgia State University, where I focused on interior design. In college, I gained experience in furniture and industrial design while working for a company that fabricated custom metal furniture, railings, and architectural elements.
My company: Atlanta-based Habachy Designs creates luxurious interiors for a wide range of commercial and residential clients, ranging from fashionable restaurants and nightclubs to chic spas and elegant residences.

Known for: My bold and dramatic design style. A project that best captures my style is the Cigar Room I designed for the Atlanta Symphony Show House last spring. The room was inspired by Hollywood glamour in the 1940s.

First design job: In my mid-20s, I was asked to design a club called Eleven50 in a gorgeous, old theater located behind the Wimbish House on Peachtree Street. I will never forget the massive size and feel of that space when I first walked in.

Design pet peeves: Things that are out of scale, disproportioned and unbalanced.

Current obsession(s): Exotic surfaces and textures. Skins like buffalo leather and shagreen (from stingray), bone and horn inlay. There are now faux replicas that could pass for the real thing for the vegetarians out there.

New (or re-emerging) designs I like..: Designs inspired by French modernism and French Deco styles from the early 20th century.

… and looks I am glad to see go: The country/farmhouse look.

Most unusual request: A bedroom for a well-known R&B musician. It featured a rotating round bed surrounded by several curved, glass jellyfish aquariums. The room felt like it was right out of the movie “Tron.”

Biggest mistake I have made: Installed high-polished, white porcelain floor tiles in our home. They show every spot imaginable.

Biggest mistake homeowners make: Not getting the interior designer involved in the early stages of a renovation or construction of a new home.

Every room needs: A focal point. It could be a single piece, like a sculptural coffee table, a chandelier or a painting — or a carefully chosen combination of pieces. Whatever it is, it should visually anchor the space.


  • Atlanta-area home/design stores/showrooms: R Hughes, Jerry Pair, Martin Nash, Travis & Co and Switch Modern.
  • Blogs: and
  • Magazines: Wallpaper and Elle Décor’s UK edition. Also Frame magazine from Amsterdam.
  • Instagram: Holly Hunt Design (for furniture and lighting); Lux Deco; and designers Ryan Korban and Kelly Wearstler.

Personal style: Global chic. My wife is a journalist with CNN International, who has introduced me to some exotic travel destinations that have influenced my designs.

Travel find: During our trip to Myanmar, we picked up a couple of bowls of “Yun-de,” handmade lacquerware that is considered some of the best in the world.

Can’t stop buying: Buddhas, from all over the world. We appreciate what they represent and the peace they bring into our home.

What’s next: Designing a super-chic interior for a new, 40-story luxury apartment tower on the corner of 14th Street and West Peachtree. It will be one of the first boutique, multi-family concepts in the city.

Find michael habachy at::

H. design




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