domoREALTY: Designing and Selling Atlanta's Coolest Modern Homes

Owner Vanessa Reilly talks about her passion for midcentury design and what spurred her to start a real estate brokerage specializing in modern homes.

Image Source: Vanessa Reilly Vanessa Reilly, owner and interior designer at domoREALTY in Atlanta, and investor Billy Richardson relax on a plush sofa enjoying an evening of leisure. This midcentury-modern gem was renovated in 2010 and is located at 3597 Eaglerock Drive in Atlanta's Northcrest neighborhood.

In 2008 Vanessa Reilly introduced her love of playing house to her passion for midcentury architecture and design. The union produced Atlanta’s domoREALTY, a brokerage firm that specializes in modern real estate. One of Reilly’s listings was recently featured on NBC’s Today show in a segment showing top real estate across the country for under $300,000. 

Tell us how domoREALTY came to be.

domoREALTY was established because I saw a hole in the Atlanta real estate market when it came to marketing modern homes properly, so I embraced my design roots, set up shop and embarked on the modern journey of a lifetime.  

And how did you come up with the name?

Many people ask us, “Where did you come up with the name domo?” followed by, “Oh, is that from that robot song?” Truth of the matter is domoREALTY did not highjack our name from the famous '80s Styx song “Mr. Roboto.” Domus is the Latin word for home. We dropped the “us” added an “o” to make it sound more mod.

What draws you to midcentury architecture and design?

The simplicity, the elegance, the clean lines and uncluttered spaces. I've always loved beautiful homes, but I think there is something even more special about modern and midcentury-modern design. Most modern architects take into consideration the lay of the land and the environment where the home is built so there is a relationship between the natural surroundings and the architecture that creates a space of peace and beauty. A beautiful midcentury-modern home can evoke a feeling just like a beautiful work of art.

You not only provide realty services but design as well. Tell us a little more about that.

When we take on a new listing it's not just about snapping a couple pictures and listing it in the MLS system.  I work with my sellers weeks and sometimes even months in advance to get their homes ready for the professional photography session. Modern spaces need to be presented in a certain way because most, not all, buyers can't visualize the space without furniture or the right design element.

There are endless ways to decorate a modern space and everyone has a different style when it comes to their decorating. What we do is provide an in-depth consultation that helps our clients transform, arrange and de-clutter their space so their property shines in the best possible way and attracts as many buyers as possible.

What recommendations do you have for people who are searching for that perfect midcentury or modern home?

Align yourself with a real estate agent who knows and appreciates modern and midcentury-modern design. Sadly, not everyone gets it, so it's good to work with someone who appreciates the elements of a modern home and can be on the lookout for those hidden gems that aren't being marketed correctly. 

Are modern homes typically more difficult to resell?

Not necessarily. It depends on the finishes and the value. There are less modern and midcentury-modern homes to choose from, and sometimes modern homebuyers will search for months on end so when a new modern listing hits the market, if it's marketed right it can sell within days.

Where are Atlanta’s best examples of midcentury architecture? 

There are many noted architects that have beautified Atlanta with their modern visions such as Robert Green, who was a direct apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright; Kenneth Johnson, who believed the space around his architecture was just as important as the building itself; and Henri Jova, who is known for the famous Colony Square and the Carter Center.

Some of my favorite neighborhoods include Northcrest, Amberwoods, Echo Lake and Collier Heights, home to many Atlanta civil rights activists. There are also some spectacular examples of midcentury-modern architecture peppered throughout 1950-60s neighborhoods in and around Atlanta, and my heart always skips a beat when I'm driving through a traditional neighborhood and a butterfly roofline pops out of nowhere.

To get an elaborate history of midcentury modern architecture you can join the Georgia Docomomo chapter, which is putting together a list of buildings and increasing public awareness of Georgia's modern heritage.

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Midcentury Modern

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