Inside Atlanta: John and Vivian Bencich of Square Feet Studio

Square Feet Studio Principals share their favorite spots in Atlanta

Inside Atlanta: John and Vivian Bencich of Square Feet Studio
Credit: Andrew Thomas Lee.

We're back with our series Inside Atlanta—each week, we sit down with influential locals to talk about what Atlanta means to them. Today we’re chatting with local designers John and Vivian Bencich, principals of Square Feet Studio. The Bencichs founded their design firm in 2001 and it was recently named Southern Living’s “50 People Who Are Changing the South.” The firm’s work merges simple design, architecture and character to create beautiful spaces—you can see their work at Ponce City Market, including H&F Burger, Hops Chicken, Farm to Ladle, and Karoo Optical Boutique.

Today we get a tour of The Big Peach led by the Bencichs themselves.

We live in… “Druid Hills, within walking distance of Emory University and Emory Village. And we lived in Virginia Highlands for 10 years, right down the street from all the shops and restaurants. It’s been a continuing priority for us to live in a walkable part of town. Atlanta is not all about car traffic—or it doesn’t have to be.”

We Wish People Knew… “That Atlanta is growing up. We have more streets that are walkable than ever before, and neighborhood identity is at an all-time high. Where one neighborhood bumps up against another, you see the best places, like Ponce City Market, Krog Street Market, and Little 5 Points.”

You Can Find Us… “On the Beltline Eastside trail, because it’s our office backyard.”

It’s Dinner Time, We’re headed to…Nakato is a favorite for the sushi bar. Fox Brothers has the best wings. Jarrett Stieber’s Eat Me Speak Me pop-up at Gato in Candler Park is excellent and fun. When we go for a drive, it’s probably for Tasty China in Kennesaw.”

Clock strikes 5 o’clock, We’re drinking… “Anything Miles Macquarrie is mixing at Kimball House. Especially something with bourbon and/or vermouth.”

Atlanta’s Best Kept Secret Is…Root City Market. The pop-up happens about once a quarter, and it’s always worth seeing and shopping. Check out Dining+Design put on by the ADC, AIA Atlanta and Mailchimp. We put on 3-4 events a year focused on celebrating Atlanta’s thriving restaurant scene while exploring the role of design.”

We Get Our Sweat On… “At Balance Yoga. The new space off Briarcliff feels great, and we got to help the owner with the design a bit. All of their teachers are amazing, and they often offer special workshops with internationally known yoga instructors.”

We Love Spending Our Money At...W.Port in Buckhead. We also love Ann Mashburn, Billy Reid and Frolic, also in Buckhead. We’ve been buying shoes at Abbadabba’s in Little 5 Points for years. We love that store, and the people who work there are knowledgeable and helpful.”