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Mary Cook Associates brews up coffeehouse-inspired apartment community

Designers

Mary Cook Associates brews up coffeehouse-inspired apartment community

The Decatur, Ga., complex marries aesthetics with resident flexibility, from work-from-home spaces to lounge areas.


By Mary Cook Associates | July 20, 2023
Multifamily lounge book wall
Multifamily lounge book wall. Photo courtesy Mary Cook Associates

Chicago-based Mary Cook Associates (MCA), a national, award-winning commercial interior design firm, released new photography of Notion, a mid-rise apartment community located outside of Atlanta in Decatur, Ga. MCA designed more than 8,000 sf of interior and exterior amenity space at Notion, which celebrated its grand opening earlier this spring.

Located at 125 N. Arcadia Ave., Notion is part of the larger Sam’s Crossing Village mixed-use development, which includes 12,000 sf of retail anchored by a Publix grocery store. The community’s 290 upscale apartment residences include studios, one- and two-bedroom units.

Mary Cook Associates-designed interiors with coffee shop atmosphere
 

Upscale apartment complex in Georgia
Amenities include a resort-style pool, a self-serve bicycle shop, and a club-quality fitness center. Photo courtesy Mary Cook Associates

The design team at MCA worked closely with developer Toll Brothers Apartment Living and design architect Dwell Design Studio to develop an interior concept for Notion inspired by Decatur’s tree-lined streets, boutique retail and vibrant restaurant and coffee shop scene. Notion features a mix of contemporary furnishings, inviting textures, curated accessories and artwork—including a colorful branded wall made up of repurposed book spines—and three separate coffee bars to accentuate the coffeehouse atmosphere.

“The unique makeup of downtown Decatur presented our design team with an opportunity to create a living environment that mirrors the eclectic energy of the neighborhood while speaking to the sophistication and active lifestyle of today's renters,” said Mary Cook, president and found of Mary Cook Associates. “MCA’s researched design approach is guided by our deep understanding of the psychographics—the values, attitudes, interests, lifestyles and aspirations—of the end-users, allowing our team to execute aesthetically pleasing and high-performing spaces that foster creative expression, productivity and social engagement among residents.”

Notion incorporates high-end design elements that provide optimal functionality in its common areas, such as a hospitality-inspired lobby lounge and mailroom; expansive co-working space featuring communal and private workstations; a well-appointed exhibition kitchen and adjacent library lounge; and a 24-hour gaming lounge offering billiards, a beverage hub with beer and wine on tap, and a variety of seating options.

Contemporary apartment lobby interior lounge and mail room
The gaming lounge (left) and mailroom (right) were built with flexibility in mind, providing additional space for residents to work from home. Photos courtesy Mary Cook Associates
Contemporary apartment lobby interior bar

Additional amenities include a resort-style pool with cabanas; a landscaped courtyard with grills and lawn games; a dog park and “paw-spa;” a self-serve bicycle shop and storage area; and a club-quality fitness center with state-of-the-art machines for cardio and weight training, a fitness-on-demand studio and WellBeats for HIIT.

“It was important to understand what motivates residents and how they can interact with the spaces,” noted Cook. “Our research showed residents value functionality, flexibility and productivity, so we designed the common areas to support a variety of activities, and also transition seamlessly from day to night use. The end result provides multiple opportunities for residents to gather, converse, read, peruse social media, enjoy a beverage and collaborate on professional work.”

According to Cook, the holistic and site-specific interior design approach at Notion contributed to the community outperforming original leasing projections, quickly approaching full capacity following its grand opening. Notion represents the latest partnership between Mary Cook Associates and Toll Brothers Apartment Living and the second Atlanta-area collaboration between the two firms, following the completion of Oleander in Brookhaven in 2019.

Mary Cook Associates interior-designed apartment lobby
Photos courtesy Mary Cook Associates
Modern apartment amenities, outdoor pool and fitness center

About Mary Cook Associates
Established in 1986, Mary Cook Associates (MCA) is a fully integrated interior architecture and design firm nationally known for creating innovative interiors for leading owners and developers of real estate. The firm’s projects include multifamily, model homes, student living, senior living, clubhouses, restaurants, and hospitality environments. MCA’s work emphasizes functionality, showcases possibilities, and delivers a measurable Return on Environment (ROE℠). MCA’s team includes more than two dozen designers and architects that are strategic, imaginative and skilled at designing a wide variety of spaces that respond to demographic, geographic and lifestyle influences of target markets. Smart, functional spaces that establish immediate connections with their users and boost Living Better by Design℠, increase property value, and accelerate sales and occupancy rates are the hallmarks of the results MCA consistently achieves. In its 36th year, the firm continues to expand its national presence with award-winning work across the country.

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