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(Make)shifting Gears

Kate Abney | November 1, 2012 | Articles

Most visits to Kristen Fountain Davis’ Grant Park home are an entirely new adventure. Walls evolve from patterned to solid; furniture gets repainted in trendy colors; and fresh fabrics appear as often as every two months. New knickknacks encroach on the regular lineup, and color palette overhauls occur once a year.

For this decorative painter and DIY diva, it’s all in good fun. The quirky Davis, a native of Griffin, Ga., and a fine arts grad of Georgia State University, has lived in Atlanta 10 years and in her lovely little Grant Park digs for three. Together with her husband, Jordan, a soccer coach for a private league southwest of Atlanta, she’s made magic in its 850 square feet, turning every little corner and alcove into an aesthetic delight and windows into a world of whimsy.

Like her handsome hubby, Davis is only 29, so it’s inspiring to consider her striking level of success. Following a post-college stint in faux painting, she founded her decorative painting business, Kristen F. Davis Designs, at just 24 and never looked back. Today, she’s a seasoned pro at painting furniture (no easy task), as well as stenciling walls and even the occasional rug, but murals and fine art canvases are her current faves. Her studio, located about a mile away in the same neighborhood, is packed with paint cans of every permutation, lovingly splattered and tattered with vestiges of past projects for interior designer clients—like
the cool Claire Watkins of High Gloss Blue—who usually discover Davis through her blog ( As a result, Davis’ work is found all over town, ensconced in private homes from Buckhead to Sandy Springs to Alpharetta. Out and about, you might spy her decorative painting work at Midtown hot spot Escorpión, Emily Bean’s Buckhead boutique w.port, chic new Decatur Mexi-coastal restaurant MAR and Westside co-working haven Strongbox West.

And if you’re not already über-impressed with her creative CV, Davis is also the spokeswoman for PANTONE MyColor Inspired by PANTONE paints—sold at Lowe’s—and documents DIY projects on the brand’s blog. You’ve probably seen her likeness floating around Home Depot, too (she’s also the face of Bella acrylic craft paint).

But no matter how many clients come knocking on her door, Davis always has a blast with her craft. For her, reworking furniture at home is just another way to unwind. So is decorating. “I like anything that’s off-the-wall,” she admits, smiling. “The gumballs, the animal motifs, a vampire teeth bottle opener in my kitchen… if it’s unique and catches my eye, I’ll grab it. Not enough people have fun with design. You shouldn’t take it too seriously!” @kfddesigns


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