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Archive for October, 2011

Wow, it certainly seems that the seasons are simply flying by these days.   As for me and my crew, we continue to rush from one appointment to the next, one event to another and one ‘to-do’ to yet an additional ensuing ‘to-do’.  It is just crazy; bordering on chaos.  It also reminds me of how much I appreciate order, tidiness, balance and composure.  And, how much I would like to rid clutter from my life.  The only trouble is, some of the other folks under our roof are not on the same page.  With a household of three kids (13, 11, & 8 ) and two dogs (1 being a puppy), clutter just seems to be a part of the program.  So as I seek refuge in an attempt to restore some sense of peace of mind, I find myself exploring the work of a few of my favorite design professionals.  Within moments, I settle in on the Land Plus Associates web site and all is restored. 

From the Portfolio of Land Plus Associates, Inc.

Beautiful

From the Portfolio of Land Plus Associates, Inc.

 Sweet

From the Portfolio of Land Plus Associates, Inc.

I suppose that the reason beautifully designed, sculpted and manicured landscapes have such an impact on me is because they provide so much structure.  Don’t you just love how well-organized each of these vistas are.  Truly, this is a magnificent form of Art.  And the transforming effect is amazing as it brings me back to a sense of calm, quietude, equilibrium and contentment.

From the Portfolio of Land Plus Associates, Inc.

 I love the island effect with this pool.  Yet, I think what makes it so attractive is that the arrangement itself appears to be very well contained.  Almost like a grand potted plant.  Assuming the role as the feature element.

From the Portfolio of Land Plus Associates, Inc.

 I also love how those huge boulders are incorporated into the edge of the pool connecting it to the rest of the hardscapes.  Very cool.

And now for my favorite garden:

From the Portfolio of Land Plus Associates, Inc.

 The perfect gate.  Adding to the sense of mystery as we wonder what awaits our discovery on the other side.

From the Portfolio of Land Plus Associates, Inc.

 And so it begins to unfold.

From the Portfolio of Land Plus Associates, Inc.

 How cool is that!  The pond literally hugs the side of the home uniting the interior and exterior worlds.

From the Portfolio of Land Plus Associates, Inc.

It almost appears that the Home is growing straight up out of the cropping of rocks.  Making one contemplate, which came first.  The two are so intertwined  that it is hard to imagine a time where they did not exist together. 

From the Portfolio of Land Plus Associates, Inc.

What an unbelievable composition!  To see more of the work by Len Lemm, Alec Michaelides and the rest of the Land Plus team, you can check them out Here.

With this, I believe it is time to go and restore some order into my own life.  After mother nature has been raining down an assault of limbs, acorns, leaves and a slew of random debris upon my lawn for weeks, it’s time to tidy things up.  Time to throw on some comfortable work pants, a warm pullover and go tackle the yard. 

Thx to Land Plus for the inspiration!

Kyle

 

 

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The other night, I had the privilege of attending an absolutely amazing event.  Beacham and Company had a Reveal Party for the latest edition of their publication called “The Series” coupled with a celebration of their 5 year anniversary.  If you’re not Following these guys, you have too.  If you’re not a Fan yet of the company, go check them out.  There is no way that you could walk away without becoming one.  They are literally lighting  Atlanta on fire and it is just plain fun to watch. 

#1 Fastest Growing Office In Buckhead, Ansley Park, Brookhaven, Morningside/Virginia-Highland/Midtown, and Sandy Springs

Hmmm!

 

#1 Fastest Growing Company in Metro Atlanta 

Wow

Umh yeah…What more can I say.  Simply put – they are Crushing It. 

Anyway, the event was held at this Home located off of Tuxedo Road; tucked in between Powers Ferry Road, Northside Drive and Blackland.  It is one of only four Homes in the Atlanta area designed by Bobby McAlpine of McAlpine Tankersley ArchitectureBonner Custom Homes took care of the construction.  Needless to say, they had a wonderful turn out as people flocked to the viewing.  And who wouldn’t want to be a part of this.  I was lucky enough to explore this gem with fellow design enthusiasts and bloggers Terry of Architecture Tourist and James of Limestone and Boxwoods.

Photography by Beacham and Company Realtors

This is the path leading up to the Home.  In typical McAlpine fashion, the front door is hidden from main view.  After stepping up onto the elevated wrap around  patio, you turn to the left and find the entry.  Such a nice touch in creating a warm and inviting approach.

Here is the Side View.

Photography by Beacham and Company Realtors

 The Pool and Equipment House.

Photography by Beacham and Company Realtors

Photography by Beacham and Company Realtors

 Looking back from the Pool.

Photography by Beacham and Company Realtors

 And a Gracious Sitting Porch.

Photography by Beacham and Company Realtors

Check out this Sun Deck over the Side Porch.   

Photography Provided by Terry Kearns

Now, let’s take a look at the details.  After all, it’s the details that truly set this Home apart.

I absolutely Love the chimney design.  The chase is set to replicate cut limestone and the capital picks up on characteristics of the cornice line – only stronger.

Photograph Provided by Terry Kearns

Those shutters are just crazy cool.  I also love the fixed door panels with the extra tall transoms, the built-up cornice constructed from hard coat stucco and even the soffit venting detail.

Photography Provided by Terry Kearns

Beautifully Sculpted Balconies.  For me, there is a connection that is made here between the gentle curve of the support structure and the statement that is made with the chimney. Not only providing the building character, but also, substantiating its integrity.

Photography Provided by Terry Kearns

And here is my favorite part.  Another signature item of Bobby McAlpine which  is the oversized entry door.  This element reminds me of a time forgotten when good friends used to visit regularly by way of the side door.  When you employ a doorway like this, there is absolutely nothing hidden from the guest.

Photography Provided by Terry Kearns

Here we have the entry foyer.  Notice how they repeated the hand chiseled limestone surround treatment on the backside of the doorway.  Very cool.

Photography by Beacham and Company Realtors

What a magnificent room.  The floor to ceiling window / door units set the tone for the entire space.  While the stained finish on the ceiling keeps the place from feeling too massive.  Virtually everyone that I spoke with commented on how comfortable each and every room felt regardless of size.  The key to pulling this off is ceiling heights, but, very few out there have mastered the discipline.  Judging by this Home though, I think Bobby has got it down.

Photography by Beacham and Company Realtors

A view from every angle. 

Photography by Beacham and Company Realtors

Now speaking of views, that’s Incredible.  The columns and staircase stole the show and were certainly the conversation piece of the whole night.  They are located at the center point of the Home where all of the destinations branch off in every direction. 

Photography by Beacham and Company Realtors

McAlpine = Boldness

I was shocked, stunned and thrilled when I realized that these massive columns did not even connect to the ceiling as one would anticipate.  That was completely unexpected, but, rather fascinating.  That’s why I Love what they do.

Photography by Beacham and Company Realtors

 The Kitchen is the perfect blend of old and new…

Photography by Beacham and Company Realtors

 Vintage and modern.

Photography by Beacham and Company Realtors

 Notice the sun deck on the opposite side of those gorgeous french doors.  I’m not sure if I would find the morning or the evening on the deck more inviting here.

Photography by Beacham and Company Realtors

Yet another Beautiful fireplace.  Great combination of carved wood and cut stone.  As always, it all goes back to the composition.

What a spectacular event.  Graciousness was expressed through every detail.  From the hospitality, to the catering, to the entertainment – they even had the band Whiskey Gentry playing off to the side.  As much as I thoroughly enjoyed touring this Home, and viewing the work of  Beacham and Company, McAlpine Tankersley and Bonner Custom Homes, the event was truly set apart in a league of its own by the caliper of people in attendance.  Thx to everyone for granting me this remarkable experience.

Awesome Night, Awesome Group of Folks, Wonderful Evening.

 

Kyle

 
 
 
 

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Can anyone tell me who designed / built this one?  It has always been a Gem on the Burton shoreline.  We would pass it on our way to Anchorage Marina and I would sit back and relish in its splendor.  The way it sits out on the point in the noblest of fashion.  With an air of stateliness, elegance and just plain striking beauty. 
 
 

Spectacular

And then the storm came.  As you recall, a tornado rolled through this region in the early spring wreaking havoc on everything in its path.  Somehow, this one remained.  I bet you luck played a huge part in this, but, something has got to be said to level in which the Home was designed and constructed in the first place.

Crazy

 
 
You see, the twister came screaming across the main channel right here and this was its first point of impact.  The two Homes to the left were completely wiped out and the third needs heavy re-construction work done.  To the right, a string of 15 to 20 were all hit in a row.  It is amazing how well this one held together.  I guess the tornado could have bounced up in the air after initial contact and completely hopped over it, but, the damage is incredibly so minor compared to the neighboring ones.
 
 

Just Stunned

It may be luck…but that’s what I call exceptional Building!  So glad we still have Her.

If you have any idea as to the Architect and/or Builder, Please comment below.  I’d Love to know.

Best,

Kyle

 
 
 
 

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Man ‘o man, this has been a ridiculously crazy week.  Sorry for being a little slack with the posts, it’s just been a scramble to get everything done between work and family.  With that being said, as I begin to decompress, my mind transcends to a better place.  And the cool evening breezes are helping me get there.  I suppose that with the changing of the seasons, everyone has got their sights set on the mountains.  I’m no different.  Its kinda crazy, but, as I’ve gotten a little older, my favorite times of year have definitely switched from summer and winter to spring and fall.  And, even though I do love destinations like Ashville, Cashiers or Highlands, North Carolina, my favorite place to settle in would still be Lake Burton, Georgia.  I know, most people are streaming to the lake in droves as soon as the weather starts to warm; however, I prefer it in the cool, crisp autumn air.  To me, this is a place of pure serenity.  One of utter majesty.  And one of wonderful memories.  While, I have trouble remembering how a conversation went 3 weeks ago, I can still recall in absolute clarity kayaking across the lake at 9 years old with my best friend as we had our vision set on the mountain rising up from the opposite bank.  The goal for the day, climb to the top and conquer it.  The unexpected surprise; that 7′ long monster of a snake that almost got me while I was scaling a rock face.  After springing off of the rock and rolling half way down the hill, we had one heck of a good laugh about it.  Ahh…good times.

Now, I’m in my forties and I still love to explore the lake.  I just go about it a little differently these days.  One of my favorite activities of all time is to stroll around the lake (primarily by boat) and lean back to take in all of the sights.  The Homes here are truly magnificent.  At first glance, you would probably think that the lake is populated entirely with over-the-top mansions.   However, with a little closer examination, you will begin to notice the tremendous amount genuine jewels tucked away in all of the nooks and crannies.  Regardless of size, these homes carry with themselves remarkable character and detail.  It is a visual tapestry of architectural artistry that would delight the most faithful Home enthusiast.

In keeping with the style of this site, I would like to take a few moments here and shine the light on someone who’s work I have admired for some time.  Todd Pritchett was one of the first architects that I started to follow, not only for his strong presence in Atlanta, but also because of his body of work around the lake.  He actually grew up in the area and seems to possess a unique connection to the territory.  I think that  it is this deeply ingrained affinity that resonates in his projects and allows them to blend in so effortlessly with the surroundings.

From the Portfolio of Todd Pritchett Design Studio

From the Portfolio of Todd Pritchett Design Studio

 

From the Portfolio of Todd Pritchett Design Studio

 
 

From the Portfolio of Todd Pritchett Design Studio

 
 
While each of these homes are nothing less than inspirational, this one has to be my absolute favorite.
 
 

From the Portfolio of Todd Pritchett Design Studio

 
 
I Love the deep overhangs, heavy brackets and observation tower.  The metal roof, symmetrical chimneys and the timber beams.  But, most of all, I Love the window patterns.  The mixture is perfect.  Sometimes people think that you have to go big to make an impact.  Not so.  Check out the tiny one on the upper level to the right.  How about the balance in size with those in the roof top perch.  And the stair stepped units as they wrap the top left corner.  Phenomenal!
 
 
To see more of their work, please visit the Todd Pritchett Design Studio Website.  You’ll be glad you did.
 
 
Oh…just one thing before I check out, What do you think Sis?  Feel like another trip up.   A  long weekender?  Mom says she’s in.
 

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I guess you’ve figured it out by now that I love to spotlight really cool projects whenever I come across them.  With that said, hats off to Tim Odom of Kitchen + Bath Artisans.  He recently picked up an NKBA Calla award;  For Kitchen Design of the Year, with this one.  And it is Remarkable.  Tim happens to be one of my favorite designers and his projects never fail to impress.  In fact, we recently had a kitchen that was a joint collaboration on the NARI tour of  homes and, the most common statement that we heard over the course of the day was that the level of style was unbelievable.  If you’d like to check out a previous post that I ran on that one a few of months ago, you can click here.  But, on with this one.  For me, It’s all about the composition and here we have a shining example that illustrates this perfectly.

 

From the Portfolio of Kitchen + Bath Artisans

 

Tons of great stuff here…where should I begin?  Let me start with the obvious.  I am a huge fan of “interior views ” and this kitchen has them from multiple angles. First of all, we have that beautiful window.   Don’t you just love how it has the ability to pull you through the entire room.  I find myself being drawn to its light while slowly taking in all of the layers of detail along the way.  One thing to notice here is how consistent the subtle arch of the window unit is with shape of the arch on the decorative hood.  Pretty cool huh.  The arched transom was actually custom-made to fit on top of an existing triple window and then coordinated into the design of the hood. 

   

From the Portfolio of Kitchen + Bath Artisans

 

Now we have the view from the keeping room which captures the full breadth of the range wall.  Talk about a focal point.  Of course the custom stone hood assumes the lead role by taking its place of prominence.  However, there a number of supporting features.  One of the first things that I pick up on is the use of color as we have a complimentary play with the engagement of light and dark elements.  From the rich wood counter top, to the deep swirls in the marble slab backsplash, to the dark inlays in the cabinet doors,  to the stark white accent tile and finally to the black shades on the stylish sconce lights.  Everything exists in harmony.  And while we’re here, how about the lighting scheme?  Those pendant lights over the island are incredible.  Tim selected all of the fixtures for the project and did a magnificent job with it.  If I may give my 2 cents here, please spend some time seeking out expert advise when it comes to putting together the lighting package for your project.  Commit time to it.  Commit dollars to it.  A well thought out lighting plan will far exceed the expenditure and you will be reminded of how pleasing it can be every time you enter the space.

From the Portfolio of Kitchen + Bath Artisans

 

One of my favorite portions of the kitchen is this feature wall.   Notice how the entire section from the full height pantry on the right to the far end of the cabinets on the left is treated like its own ensemble.  The base of the cabinets are set apart with some extra wide sculpted feet.  The marble goes from edge to edge.  The upper cabinets are supported by decorative corbels.  All of this allowing for the vintage La Cornue range to take center stage.

From the Portfolio of Kitchen + Bath Artisans

And now for the finer stylings.  I love the built up cornice on the cabinetry with the extra tall cove crown molding; creating the visual connection to the ceiling.  The approach of installing the 3 x 6 brick tile on a herringbone pattern; providing just the right amount of sophistication.  The use of the tall, slender sconce lights which are  in a polished nickel; bringing the elegance.  And then back lighting the upper cabinets generating the bonus sense of ambiance. 

From the Portfolio of Kitchen + Bath Artisans

Check out the Dupont Edge cut on the marble slab as it ties in with the tile work.   Marble Backsplash Provided by Marmi Natural Stone.

  

From the Portfolio of Kitchen + Bath Artisans

The plumbing fixtures are wonderful as well.  They are all from the Annapolis collection by Waterstone.  Notice the dual faucets on the prep sink.  The larger one is of course your primary piece while the smaller one is for Instant Hot and Chilled water.  Great set up.  Plus I love the Carribean Bronze finish with the squared-off black sink.  And, you can’t have a range of that caliper without including a pot filler.  It is so frustrating to me, but, I can’t tell you how many times we start off the project with a pot filler in the scope only to have it get whacked when the budget becomes tight. 

 

From the Portfolio of Kitchen + Bath Artisans

Ahh the Details…from the hands of Artisans!  Walnut island top provided by J Aaron.

I’ve got to get one of these for my house. 

From the Portfolio of Kitchen + Bath Artisans

Over in the main work area of the kitchen, we have a truly unique faucet and farm sink.  And, you may not realize this, but, the microwave is tucked behind the pull up cabinet door.  Very innovative.

From the Portfolio of Kitchen + Bath Artisans

What a great choice with the soap stone on the perimeter cabinets.  I love the color and check out the nice detail cut on the corner.  It’s always the little things that add up when you are creating a fascinating project.  Conversely, it’s always the little things that are lacking when one falls flat.

Soap stone also provided by Marmi Natural Stone.

From the Portfolio of Kitchen + Bath Artisans

There are so many conversation pieces in this spectacular kitchen.  Material and fixture selections were certainly spot on.  Beautiful cabinetry and luxury appliance definitely lent a hand.  But, I believe that it is how All of these elements are woven together that creates a composition of such exceptional quality.  For me, this project is a tremendous blend of casual yet elegant; vintage yet current.  Well Composed / Well Done Tim. 

To see more of Tim Odom and Kitchen + Bath Artisans work, check out kitchenbathartisans.com or Facebook / Kitchen + Bath Artisans

Take Care,

Kyle

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You know what… I love Twitter.  It’s crazy to say and I know that there was a time when you would have never heard me utter such a thing.  But, let me try to explain.  To me, the design world is incredible and the local talent here in Atlanta is through the roof.  As it happens to be, Twitter has proven itself to be the quickest and easiest way to share ones work and/or that of others who truly stand out.  I can scroll through and peruse at a very fast clip.  Then, when something peaks my interests, I will slow down and click through further.  Every once in a while though, one will catch my eye and just stop me cold in my tracks.  Floored.  That is exactly what happened the other day when Spitzmiller and Norris flashed a single image of this past project.

From the Portfolio of Spitzmiller and Norris, Inc.

 
 
I can’t believe that I had not landed on this one before.  Talk about composition; I am absolutely blown away.  Please click on the image above to enlarge and get a closer view.  Notice how the Home itself is just so incredibly balanced.  I believe that it all  began with the original setting of the foundation.  I love how the main floor is slightly elevated so that the approach to this fabulous back yard is initiated with a gradual decent down three gentle steps.  From there we begin to pick up on the continuity of elements and proportions.  The two wings that extend back toward the pool are equal in scale, yet, each have their own identity.  The matching french doors provide the connection while their shapes offer up the uniqueness.  One room is squared off while the other is clipped like a bay.  Even though these layouts are different, the roof styles remain consistent.  Before we leave the windows and doors, notice how the pattern of the arched  french door is repeated in the detailing of the heavy timber on the left.  Also, I think it is so cool how the correlating windows emulate the look of the french doors by extending the paneled section down to the finished floor height.  Moving up the elevation, I love the simple approach of placing the angled gable vents directly into the main body of the roof.  I have not seen this look anywhere other than on Spitzmiller and Norris projects.  Speaking of Signature elements though, I would be remiss if I did not talk about those magnificent chimneys.  Needless to say, I am a sucker for creative chimney designs and Spitzmiller and Norris have certainly become known for their masterful collection.  This case is no exception.  The Home is perfectly balanced from the two, equally sized, side chimneys.  Interest is added into the equation when they are split half way up, rotated and transformed into two separate flues.  Talk about character.  A plain chimney chase wouldn’t have nearly had the same effect.  But here is what I really Love.  The central chimney’s placement is absolutely critical.  Because the mass of the second story room is shaded heavily to the right, the chimney brings the Home back into balance by countering this issue with visual weight.  Integrity maintained.
 
 

From the Portfolio of Spitzmiller and Norris, Inc.

What a cozy little abode.  Some of the things that I love with this pool house are:  The combination of the soft hue of the brick and the warm nature of the wood that makes for a very inviting space.  The minimal approach that was taken with the entry door which creates the perfect statement for the structure.  (In this case, the theory of less is more is played out in real life.)  And, in keeping with the main Home, the sweeping parapet wall and heavy column with finial provide the sense of balance to the building as a whole.  A perfect, complimentary, auxiliary building.  Well Done!

From the Portfolio of Spitzmiller and Norris, Inc.

Now we turn our sights to the front elevation which is every bit as impressive.  The level of detail and personality that is brought into the project speaks volumes to its character.  It is definitely a class act. Yet, as refined and sophisticated as this Home is, I can not help but take in its casual nature as well.  By placing the stepping-stones in a bed of gravel, I feel my mood instantly begin to lighten.   The arched doors recessed back into the entry alcove introduce us to the shelter while  the wrought iron railings on the Juliet Balconies reach out in a welcoming fashion.
 
 

From the Portfolio of Spitzmiller and Norris, Inc.

 

The front facade as a whole is an exquisite configuration.  Well proportioned, symmetrical, complimentary and very stately.  Don’t you love how the dormer in the center relates to the two that are on either side and yet it  has an identity entirely of its own.  The decorative brick work and extra tall french doors are also a very nice touch.  But, just when you think you’ve seen it all.  Check out the garage on the right.  The flat roof was a total surprise.   However, it turned out to be absolutely crucial as it minimizes the effect of the garage from blocking the view of the main Home.

  

From the Portfolio of Spitzmiller and Norris, Inc.

 

So, in keeping with my opening thoughts on Twitter.  I truly view it as the Thank You Platform.  On any given day, you will find professionals generously sharing fascinating pieces of work as they strive to promote and champion those pursuits of their own, their co-collaborators and their colleagues.  From there, hundreds of TY’s are generated out of  genuine gratitude and a really cool community is created. 

I just wanted to take a moment here and simply thank Rick Spitzmiller, Robert Norris and the entire team for sharing and giving us such inspirational pieces of work to admire.

 

To See more of their work, check out SpitzmillerandNorris.com, Twitter @SpitzNor or Facebook/Spitzmiller and Norris.

 

I look forward to following you guys for years to come,

Kyle

 
 
 
 
 

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