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Archive for September, 2011

Everyone wants a weekender, right? A place they can slip off to. Whether it would be located at the beach, the mountains, the lake, the woods or wherever; the important thing is that it is a place of rest and rejuvenation. A place to nourish ones inner nature. It is a Home that replenishes the soul. For me, a Home in this setting would have a completely different feel than a primary residence. Its scale and size would relate to a more casual and relaxed pace. It’s warmth is what becomes endearing and routinely draws you back. Without a doubt, I would certainly desire for it to be polished and refined, but, clean and simple would be the over-riding name of the game.

From the Portfolio of William B. Litchfield Residential Designs, Inc.

This one certainly casts an indelible impression; and yet, I have found writing about it to be a bit of a challenge. You see most of the projects I like to spotlight are chock full of details and are honestly relatively easy to be descriptive about. This one; however, is somewhat understated. The design is not overly complicated. And the elements lean toward the side of being simple. Please do not take this as a disrespectful statement in any shape or fashion. Simple is one of the core principles to establishing elegance. And creating, implementing and executing a simple design can often be the most difficult to pull off. The kitchen definitely has some wonderful features like the marble counters, top-of-the-line appliances and spectacular windows, but, I think what attracts me so much to this one is the composition. It always comes down to the integrity of the composition.

From the Portfolio of William B. Litchfield Residential Designs, Inc.

There is no denying that the kitchen is bright and open. This place is absolutely flooded with natural light. The connection to the outside is so strong that I know I would enjoy being here even if it were raining like mad out there. When looking around the room, the detailing and lines present themselves in a crisp and clean manner. Something that I love. And the placement of everything is very well-balanced. All of this comes together in a unified whole contributing to a space that is also incredibly comfortable. Morning coffee at the island would be a pure delight and time with the family would be nothing less than captivating.
I know my words have probably fallen short here, but, I hope the images have picked up the slack.
Have a Great Weekend!
Kyle

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In following up on my latest post; entitled “The One” and which highlighted my all time favorite kitchen, I thought that I would dedicate the next two blogs to the close runner-ups.  This one here is the product of the collaborative effort of William Litchfield Residential Designs and Jacquelynne P. Lanham Designs.  I just happened to come across it while roaming through the AH&L archives.  When I look at this kitchen, I see a true gentleman’s estate.  One that is full of complexity and sophistication ; yet, comfortable.  One that is complete in integrity.  One where the whole composition is working well, undivided, integrated, intact and uncorrupted. 

From the Portfolio of William B. Litchfield Residential Designs, Inc.

 
 
 As with the previous post, the entire design is hinged on the concept of Contrasts and Compliments.  Our perimeter cabinets here present themselves as being very stately whereas the units flanking the window are vintage, treasured and reminiscent of heirlooms that have been passed down through the generations.  The rustic beams and the iron window give you the feeling of permanence, while the dining table brings us forward into modern times by resembling the ambiance of a corporate board room.  Can’t you see the man of the house, in charge of his life, sitting here mapping out his day.  I also love the open sideboard piece, the complimentary countertops, the wide plank flooring and the lighting collection.  The chandelier, sconce lights and table lamps work perfectly together. 
 
 

From the Portfolio of William B. Litchfield Residential Designs, Inc.

 
This is actually the prep kitchen which is lying just around the corner.  Where the main room is the more public arena, this is the realm where the true work takes place.  Tons of storage.  Absolutely everything is tucked away in its place and yet the space does not feel closed in at all thanks in part to those magnificent windows.  I can envision standing here, looking out over the field and watching the guys as they return from the afternoon pheasant hunt.  Couldn’t you.  Notice again how the windows are set directly on top of the countertops.  And, to complete the integrity of the architecture, the arched windows mimic the openings on the far side of the kitchen tying the entire composition together.
 
 
 
Continuity of detailing between spaces is critical in creating comfort.
 
Up Next…”My Weekender”. 
 
If you Like, feel free to Like, E-mail, Friend or Follow.  Mostly Follow since Twitter trumps everything.
And as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts ~ Please comment below.
 
Kyle
 
 

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And here’s the second one:

If you have time, drop in and say hello.

If you Like, feel free to Comment, E-mail, Friend or Follow.

Kyle

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Hey guys ~

In case you’re looking for something to do this Weekend, the NARI Tour of Remodeled Homes is going on Saturday and Sunday.  We have 2 Homes on the tour this year and both of them are being presented on Saturday.

Here is the first one:

 

We’d love to see you out there ~ Thx.

 

If you Like: feel free to Comment, E-mail, Friend or Follow.

Kyle

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I suppose a few of you guys (ones in the know) have seen this one before.  Apparently, photos of it have been floating around for a little while now.  I just happened to stumble upon it when I was wandering around the other weekend.  From the first moment that I laid eyes on it though, I was done.  Totally drawn in and utterly enamored. 

From the Portfolio of Cynthia Zeigler, Inc.

This kitchen was created by well noted kitchen designer Cynthia Zeigler and from my perspective, it is a true masterpiece.  Cynthia’s reputation is impeccable as she has been distinguished as one of the most sought after designers in the Atlanta market.  However, one of the things that I admire so much with this kitchen is the way that it relates with other elements of the home.  When building a custom home, it is critical to bring in the main designers (from every discipline) early on in the process to ensure a cohesive and collaborative approach.  For me, the iron window is the primary statement maker of the entire space.  Yet, here is the kick.  You can not have windows of this caliper in just one room of the home.  Certainly not every window in the house needs to be of iron construction; however, they do need to relate to the window ensemble as a whole.  For this to happen, these decisions need to be made early on in the design process.  I also love how the windows align with the top of the upper cabinets and rest directly on the countertops.  Perfectly proportioned.  The cabinets themselves are very stately with the side styles extending all the way down to the floor.  And when combined with the marble tops, a sense of elegance is achieved.  I am also impressed with the connection that is made with the room’s various fixtures.  Notice how the spotlights on the ceiling tracks correlate to the hanging fixtures over the island.  Very Cool.

From the Portfolio of Cynthia Zeigler, Inc.

 
The island is somewhat rustic in an otherwise very sleek design.  And the stainless countertop connects to the industrial appliances.  That is what transitional design is all about.  ~ Contrast and Compliments~  So that you can then place features like the hood into the mix and really have something to talk about. 
 
By the way ~ don’t you just love the design subtleties here.  Notice how the curvature of the hood blends with the gentle arch of the doorway and the adjacent opening.  And, how the doors are stained the exact finish as the island.  Awesome Composition.
 
This kitchen is nothing less than pure nourishment to my soul.
 
 
If you Like, feel free to “Like”, E-mail, Friend or Follow.
And, as always, I’d Love to hear your thought.  Please comment below.
 
Kyle

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Well, this has been quite the crazy week.   Financial markets are all over the place.  Volatility oversees.  Just a general unrest in the air.  It is certainly enough to cause an individual to grow weary.  In spite of all of this though, there are definitely some good things happening in the world as well; and I would like to take a moment and tell you about my latest finds. 

You see, I love to give my kids advise.  Just plain honest, uninhibited, cut to the truth guidance ~ the way I see it.  From my perspective; if nothing else, at least I can share with them what I do know (the good, the bad and the ugly) and hopefully they will take a little bit of  it to heart.  One of the things that they have heard me say a lot is “To surround yourself with the brightest and most talented people who you can find and you will go far”.  I say this in part because I believe 100% in their own God-given abilities; but, I also believe that the crowd you hang around with has a tremendous impact on the outcome of your pursuits.  Over the past couple of months, there are two organizations that I have joined which represent this class of professionalism in my industry that I think you would want to hear about.

Let me first tell you about Design Collective.  One of the truly unique attributes of this organization is the way that it is structured.  You may have heard of Capella Kincheloe. She is a designer, blogger, genuine influencer and one of the original co-founders of the organization.  What I am initially drawn to about the group though is that it is viewed as an entity in which everyone has an ownership stake in it.  More so than most industry organizations that I have been a part of.  The members there are committed and dedicated professionals who strive to be at the top their fields.  You will find interior designers, architects, artists, builders, vendors and other design professionals who absolutely strive to be the best that they can be.  Through this dedication and a collaborative approach to help others succeed, I believe that you will find a fair number of their members emerge as the rising stars in the design arena.  Not to mention, they have some pretty fun outings.  This past week we went to Andrew T. Crawford Ironworks.  Talk about a cool facility.  This guy is a sculptor extraordinaire and he can make things out of metal that will just blow your mind.

 

 

The other group that I am extremely excited about is the ICA&A.  The Institute of Classical Architecture and Art.  I had a good friend recommend this organization to me and the more that I looked into it, the more I couldn’t help but want to be a part of it.  The membership stretches from design enthusiast (like myself), to top-notch builders, designers and architects.  I would have to say that these are the folks who literally shape the residential architectural landscape of Atlanta.  Through membership, not only do you have the opportunity to network with some of the brightest individuals in the industry, but, you can also take advantage of tremendous educational opportunities, visit state of the art facilities or go on walking tours of fascinating places of interest around Atlanta.  Some of the most recent tours have included a behind the scenes exploration of Underground Atlanta, a personal trip through Serenbe led by founder Steve Nygren, and a guided tour of Notable Historic Estates around Buckhead as presented by Norman Askins, Laura Depree and Jonathan LaCrosse.  The first event that I attended with the group was a tour of a Limestone and dimensional stone fabrication facility, called Cutting Edge Stone, which was  led by Jon Berndsen.   Fantastic afternoon. 

 

 

There are a couple of things that I would like to leave you with as they relate to this post.  Just some things that I have learned while going through this economic downturn.  The first would be to stick to your passion.  Too often, people will try to adjust their approach, their offering or their “work”  in order to become more attractive to a larger customer base.  I believe in the opposite.  I think that now is the time to be courageous, steadfast and committed to the place that you want to go.  Be Authentic.  Be Transparent.  And Be Bold.  The world longs for people who are true to their nature.  So, let your passion shine through and opportunities will eventually attract themselves to you.  Secondly, regardless of your industry,  I would strongly encourage you to seek out the Best of the Best in your chosen field.  Hang out with these folks.  It is amazing how much you can learn from people by simply stepping into the conversation.   

Life is short, there’s not a lot of money to be made by anyone…so you might as well do what you Love.  Go where you want to go. 

Thx to both Design Collective and ICA&A, I am truly honored to be a part of each of these organizations.

 

Feel free to E-mail, Like, Friend or Follow.

And, as always, I would love to hear your comments.

Kyle

 

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Lately, I’ve had my dream place on the mind again.  In fact, everyone in the family has been talking about their “dream” place.  It’s not that we have a hard time hanging out with each other, Not at all.  It’s just that we each want  a place of our own.  A place that we can retreat to.  I think that this longing is something that is hardwired into our nature.   My wife would like to redo the master bedroom and bathroom.  My oldest son wants me to finish out part of the basement so he can establish his lair down there.  My daughter would like to expand her room into a portion of the unfinished attic so that she could have her own private hangout zone.  And my little one is still on a treehouse kick.  One with zip lines, trap doors and direct TV of course.  Me ~ I want to go a little bigger.  Always do.  For as long as I can remember, I have been enamored with the concept of building accessory structures on a site.  Whether you’re looking for a unique office space, an art studio, a reading / relaxation room or a true guest house, nothing compares to a complimentary, smaller scaled auxiliary building.  Nothing can compare to how they enhance the overall complexion of the property.   Just take the stand alone pool house for example.

From the Portfolio of Architect, Norman D. Askins

 
In this scenario, we have a beautiful structure that was a part of a collaborative project between Norman Askins Architecture and Bonner Custom Homes.  Not only is the building a classic, but it is incredibly strong in substance.  It is grounded to its setting and speaks volumes to its essence of permanence.  The scale and proportion are perfect and its nature is very inviting.  Beyond all of these classical elements, consider the dynamics that the pool house adds to the whole outdoor experience.  Can’t you just see the  kids hanging out playing a game of cards while taking a rest from swimming.  Or having the football game on in the background as Dad is manning the grill.  How about Mom and her friends talking for hours under the canopy.  Or even how a party will extend deep into the evening as guest continue to linger around; wrapped up in conversation.
 

From the Portfolio of Land Plus Associates

 
I love this guest house that was a part of a Land Plus Associates project.  Not only is the home quaint and artistic, but it fits perfectly into the setting.  I have long been a proponent of incorporating a landscape architect into the project from the initial conceptual drawing stage.  Far too often, they are treated as an after thought.  Being brought in on a project after the building contractor has already left and then they are having to work with what they have been dealt.  As you can see, the siting of the house along with the layout of the grounds creates a harmonious composition allowing for a very comfortable result.  If we ever let my mother stay in a place like this for even a day, I doubt if we could ever get her to leave.  It’s that good.
 

From the Portfolio of Bonner Custom Homes

 
 
Here we have another spectacular auxiliary building by Bonner Custom Homes.  Talk about a true gentleman’s quarters.  Couldn’t you see this as the perfect home office for the man who has the flexibility of running his enterprise from the house and yet who needs to have the space to truly set up shop.   I can see a trader, a writer or an entrepreneur striding across the lawn at 7AM, coffee in one hand, stack of folders in the other.  Determined to once again make something happen.
 

Rod Collins Photography

 
I believe that this one came from the collection of Rod Collins Photography, however, I can’t say that for sure.  Forgive me for my lack of certainty here.  A while back,  I stumbled upon this photo and have hung onto it ever since as a source of inspiration.    When the day comes that I finally get around to building my own home studio office, it will definitely have a strong resemblance to this image ~ only slightly larger.  I long for the day when I have a place such as this where I can carry out the everyday tasks.  Whether it’s studying over architectural drawings, coordinating job site activities, developing future projects or even sitting down with prospective clients.  Then again, maybe I’ll just be relaxin’ with some more casual endeavors such as writing, reading, learning or dreaming.  Either way, it’ll be a place where the day is primed to go and make something happen.
 

From the Portfolio of McAlpine Tankersley Architecture

 
In case you’re wondering, the interior will probably feel a lot like this. 
 
 
 
Feel Free to E-mail, Friend or Follow.  And, as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Please leave a comment below.
 
Kyle
 

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