Interior decorating and staging firm Ginger Atherton and Associates has extended its services to more than home décor, providing instead a lifestyle filled with luxury that previously existed only in the movies.
By Felicity Sargent
Photography by Laura Wagner
“I truly need to appease the most discriminating clientele-not only appease them, but thrill them.”
Dubbed by her clientele as the “queen of all things Italian,” Ginger Atherton has developed a niche market with a style all her own, which she defines as, “Luxe, luxe, and more luxe!” Her Italian heritage and extensive European travels have inspired the decorative tycoon to create a luxury lifestyle for her clients, something so much more than simple home décor. As the thoughtful Atherton states, “Our goal is to give clients the lifestyles of their dreams, not just a coordinated furniture plan.” It is this pursuit of going above and beyond the norms of interior design that have established her company Ginger Atherton & Associates a leader in both the home styling and real estate staging markets.
Started in 1986, the company developed from Atherton’s strong clientele constantly seeking her involvement in not only the purchasing of furniture, but all areas of running a large estate. “Clients continually ask me about assisting their staff and training their staff, how to run their homes, menus, and lifestyles, and that is how Atherton & Associates evolved into the luxe-elite lifestyle design firm that is today.” And what a lifestyle it is; Atherton homes boast ornate and glowing interior spaces that invite family members and guests alike to relax and savor the luxury that living can be. Filled with mixtures of classic and eclectic pieces, the collective look is that of a world traveler’s ultra sumptuous haven.
Upon a first encounter with a client, Atherton’s main focus is simple: getting to know each other on an individual basis. She prides her position, knowing that her work will become an integral part of the family’s home and that “understanding their lifestyle dreams is the most crucial element in the design process,” making these homes the perfect balance between a family’s personal touches and Ginger’s cultured artistic vision. Additionally, due to her esteemed reputation, new customers to Atherton & Associates are generally referred, and thus are aware of her awe inspiring interior transformations. This creates a baseline of established trust, allowing Ginger to assert her visions without constraint and work in harmony with her clients. “Clients come to me for warm, sensual interiors and lifestyles; they are seeking to live the lifestyle of their dreams. We work as a team to achieve the maximum pleasure of living for each family member-it is a collaboration.” Her team of associates varies in size with each project but all share the commitment of catering to families’ needs and making friends along the way.
As if decorating interior space for the megamansions of her A-list clientele wasn’t enough, Atherton has discovered a major market in staging for Realtors. In this process, she transforms blank interiors into lavish warm inviting rooms, luring potential buyers closer to the point of purchase by showing them the amazing potential each space has when “Gingerized”-a term coined by Atherton to describe the end result of her projects. Her first staging ventures began in 1999 to assist top realtors in moving properties more quickly. Her company achieved phenomenal success and “became the standard by which all stagers are judged,” explains Atherton. The role of a stager is integral to the development process as they act as the liaison between developers and clients, and often represent customer needs and requests during the construction process. “I take the home from fantasy and make it into a reality.” With huge success in staging, Atherton and Associates has been recruited to design for special events such as the green room for the Academy Awards and banquets for major television and studio productions. However, they still maintain their area of expertise, known throughout L.A. for their whimsical private residences.
Though the task of decorating one room may seem simple, an entire estate is a whole different ballpark. When asked of her greatest challenges, Atherton, who fears no obstacle says, “I truly need to appease the most discriminating clientele-not only appease them, but thrill them.” She has designed for top celebs, although she respectfully refrains from mentioning specific names; the company prioritizes its client relationships and confidentiality with the utmost level of privacy.
Aside from her busy multi-tasking schedule-when we spoke, she was planning to finish a home two days before a trip to Europe-Atherton enjoys pursuing her passion for philanthropy, and she actively hosts charity events as well as volunteers her time and efforts through organizations such as Covenant House, March of Dimes, City of Hope, and Save Venice.
With upcoming projects in Saudi Arabia, Bel Air, Sun Valley, Malibu, and Beverly Hills, Atherton and Associates is busier then ever in their 20 years of bringing luxury and warmth to homes around the globe. An Atherton home is an environment thought to be found only in the movies turned into a reality. The company was built with the motto, “Only the Best Will Do,” and its dedication has established Atherton and Associates not only as leaders in the industry, but as a standard for all to follow.