When Shashi and Lucky Reddy, cofounders of the mobile accessories brand Case-Mate, were in the market for a new abode, they started to go for drives around the leafy Atlanta suburb of Brookhaven. Best known for its manicured landscaping and stunning prewar architecture, the community is included on the National Register of Historic Places. “It was not the initial house that caught our attention so much as the 100-year-old oak tree right in front,” Lucky said of the couple’s ultimate find. “[W]e said this is it, this is the house.”
The Reddys (who met during their undergrad years in India) purchased the house in 2007 and happily lived in the space through 2016. At that point they decided to expand and purchased their neighbor’s adjoining lot. Two full house demos later, they began to build an entirely new structure on the combined 2.5 acres of open land.
The duo tasked the Atlanta firm Summerour Architects with designing an exterior façade to fit into the historic neighborhood. “We saw a lot of homes in Atlanta that were siding planks or stucco—[materials] that didn’t feel like they would [last] forever,” Lucky, whose full name is Lakshmi, says. “In India, it’s all cement and steel homes, which is to say, it’s a bit sturdier.” In the end, the Reddys decided to use limestone as their predominant material, as well as plenty of glass.
Through their architect, the Reddys were introduced to Joel Kelly Design and Wyeth Ray Interiors, who spearheaded the decor efforts. “Shashi and Lucky requested that we take a traditional exterior and seamlessly blend it into a modern interior in a way that made sense,” Joel Kelly, founder of the eponymous design firm, explains of the brief. “They wanted to be a kind neighbor on the outside but fashion-forward on the inside.”
“It was essential for us that the front door felt like a portal from one style to another,” Whitney Ray, principal designer at Wyeth Ray Interiors, adds. “The Reddys were very active in the design process, but they kept saying to me and Joel, ‘just hold us accountable, because we don’t want this home to turn into a Frankenstein with a hundred parts forming one, disjointed body’.”
That was a plausible risk. And yet, the Reddys never backed down from their vision, which stemmed in part from Francophile musings: “When you go to the Champs-Élysées in Paris and you walk toward the Hermès or Louis Vuitton [store], the façade is very old and classical,” Shashi explains. “But after you enter, the space has this wonderful lighting, these very clean lines, and the antiquated feeling goes away. That’s what we were looking for in our home—we wanted the space to fit the neighborhood but to have interiors that matched our personalities.”
In 2020 the house was finally completed. “I know we succeeded because it’s a home they both love equally, but from utterly different perspectives,” Kelly says. (Notably, both Kelly and Ray have since been hired to design the homes of some of the Reddys’ friends.)
This could easily be the end of the story—if it weren’t for Shashi’s exemplary car collection. Just consider a few on the list: 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing, 1955 Jaguar D Type (won Le Mans motor race), 1961 DB4 GT Zagato (there are only 19 in the world), Jaguar E-Type Lightweight—the list goes on. “All of my cars are unique and hard to get,” Shashi explains. “For example, Porsche designed a Carrera GT that they built just for me.”
By education, Shashi is a mechanical engineer who knows how to take apart a car and put it back together. “I grew up in India with very modest means, yet I’ve always been fascinated with cars from a young age,” he says. “I look at cars in the sense of, what great cars have moved the industry, some might say the world, in the last 60 years? What designs, what engines, what braking systems have had the greatest effect on the auto industry? Ultimately, these are objects of beauty and should be treated as such.”