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Archive for April, 2012

So, I’ve been sitting on a post for a while now, but, hadn’t been able to pull it all together.  While watching the events unfold in the news with North Korea, the timing seemed to be right.  What a miserable, pathetic, impotent attempt at proving something to the world. The worst part though was when the “State” run media outlet made the announcement of the failed launch with the directive for everyone to turn their attention to a gathering where a very important unveiling was about to take place. Kim-Jong-”Ick”  enters the stage and stands all puffed up and waiting for a sheet to be pulled off of his newly commissioned bronze statues of both he and his father.  Ridiculous.  The part that really tore me up was to watch all of those good people standing around, brain washed and mind-numbed, looking on in adoration of this psychotic dictator.  Truly oblivious as to how repressed they really are.

We in America though stand sometimes oblivious to how good we truly have it.  For the longest time now, we’ve been listening to people fret over another coming doom,  Another wave that will do us all in.  A double dip.  Triple dip.  A government that is run amuck.  A world economy that is teetering on a fatal collapse.  And while I certainly do not want to make light of the struggles that some families are still going through.  I do want to express that I feel that we have lost sight of how great our country legitimately is.  That we are not hearing about how remarkable the American spirit genuinely has proven to be.  This country was built by courageous men and women.  And, that there is a rich history of individuals defying the odds to overcome unbelievable obstacles and push forward to a better life for him, his family and his community.

This piece wasn’t at all a rant.  Even though it did feel kind of “soap box-ish”.  My desire with it, and what I truly wanted to express, was that there is a whole lot of good going on.  A lot of great things are happening irregardless of the difficult times that we face.

You know, as I look around, there are signs of life coming up everywhere.  Really positive stuff.

                                                

 

Beacham and Company

Yep, they’re everywhere.  Positive signs popping up all over the place. 

So you can probably tell how excited I was to find this in my inbox.

The Invite

With an invitation as elegant as this, how could I refuse.  I’ve been to one of these reveals before and it was beyond impressive. And from what I can gather, they’re getting better and better as they go.  The feature home for this event was somewhat unique.  With a spectacular location, right on the fringes of the “Duck Pond” Neighborhood.  (I love that aspect of Atlanta, pockets of pure gold tucked in nooks and crannies all around the fine city).  This home was right in the heart of the action. 

Originally built in 1910, yet highly renovated just five years ago.  It was a true treat to be able to go in and explore.  An even greater thrill was to be able to hear Frank Neely, the architect who orchestrated the renovation, speak to the decisions, the detailings and the material choices that went into this magnificent project. 

Photograph by Beacham and Company Realtors

As I turned the corner on my approach, I immediately knew that I was in for something special.

Photograph by Beacham and Company Realtors

Can’t you just see the detailing starting to come out.  I love the slotted venting of the soffits with the horizontal brackets, the open stairway and the herringbone walkway that welcomes you as you step up to greet the home.

Photograph by Beacham and Company Realtors

You can not have a truly southern Home without a gracious front porch.  I learned that the Brazilian Redwood decking had been salvaged from the home’s original  interior and incorporated out here.  Looks pretty good for nearly 100-year-old material.

Photograph by Beacham and Company Realtors

This side porch is extremely cool ~ and comfortable. Flanked by magnificent custom iron doors on two sides and some meticulously trimmed screened panel sections on the others.  Not a single design element was left in question.  Even the screen material itself was specified to be made out of copper in order to soften the tone of the light as it rests gently on its guest.  Couldn’t you see the ladies of the neighborhood taking refuge in this retreat as they relax before a busy afternoon of activities begins to rev up.

Photograph by Beacham and Company

What an Entry!

Photograph by Beacham and Company

And the Kitchen. 

Photograph by Terry Kearns

Photograph by Terry Kearns

Now that’s pretty sweet.  An awesome hand painted “rug” under the breakfast table.

All to often, we are told that, in order to have the best opportunity to resell our houses, we need to eliminate anything personal, making it appeal to as many people as possible.  I think this is a case and point where if the element or detail is thoughtfully designed and well executed than it will have an endearing value that will attract more people than not.

Photograph by Beacham and Company Realtors

Two trim elements that I love here are the thickened paneled openings like the one leading to the living room and the use of the bellowed profile trim on the underside of the boxed beams.  Seldom seen, but, such a nice touch.  It’s all about shadow lines with this home and Frank Neely pulled it off wonderfully through the use of the mill work pieces that he selected.

 

Photograph by Beacham and Company Realtors

Master Bath ~ Polished, Refined, Elegant, Sophisticated.  Yet Comfortable.

Photograph by Beacham and Company Realtors

And Functional.

Photograph by Beacham and company Realtors

Here the homeowner went with a sharp red for the doors, surrounded with a pale green for the casing and a rich brown on the baseboard.  Bold, Funky Cool.  Once again, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine.

Photograph by Beacham and Company Realtors

Master Bedroom ~ When we were in here, we noticed that the glass in the windows had a genuine vintage feel to them even though the sashes appeared to be brand new.  Turns out, they pulled the original “wavy” glass and had them re-installed into the new units creating a  very authentic look.

Photograph by Beacham and Company Realtors

The mill work detailing in the entire Home was extremely well conceived.  Notice the extra tall, multi-layered baseboards with the rather uncommon 6 Panel (horizontal) interior doors including vintage hardware. 

Photograph by Beacham and Company Realtors

How’s that for an outdoor living space.

Photograph by Beacham and Company Realtors

Absolutely superb. The upper room bumping out with a flared lower section to emulate a roof supported by heavy brackets and enclosing a french door / side light / transom ensemble.  Pure Beauty!

Photograph by Beacham and Company Realtors

I’m calling the room over the garage for my office.  My oldest son wants it for his bedroom.  

Photograph by Beacham and Company Realtors

The details are everywhere.  Did anyone notice the swoop roof treatment to eyebrows over the garage doors?  I suppose that some contractors would consider this to be more effort than it’s worth.  Not with me though.  It’s the way we finish the finer elements that creates the workings of a true masterpiece.  It’s what creates a remarkable composition.  And, I think that most of the people who I spoke with had the same opinion.  I heard over and over that the nature of this Home truly reflected what they longed for.  Not only was it magnificently crafted and faithfully maintained, but you could tell that it was cherished.  And when it came to put her up on the market, the market responded.  The Home went under contract within two weeks from being listed…Incredible! 

Thank you to Beacham and Company for hosting such a fun event, allowing us to tour an exquisite work of art and providing such an enjoyable evening.

All my Best!

Kyle

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Well, we just made it back, with a bevy of young’uns in tow, from a week away at my second most favorite place under the sun. That place being St. Simons Island along the gorgeous Georgia coast. I love it for its strength in resisting the trap of commercialization. You know, a sell out of any kind has always rubbed me the wrong way.  While we were there, despite the pulls of all those little guys, I was really hoping to get caught up on a little R & R.  However, between football, soccer, dodge ball, four square, skim boarding, and a slew of other activities, things weren’t exactly going in my favor.  It wasn’t until my wife and I snuck away for a little home tour down the backstreets and alley ways of the Isle, that I finally decided I had to set aside some time to explore one of my latest prized possessions.  Not so long ago, I had received a copy of the much-anticipated, beautiful publication from Historical Concepts.

Just Released !!!

I have been looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of this for quite a while, but, to be honest, I truly thought that I knew what to expect.   I had anticipated it to be a study on historical perspectives.  One of which,  is certainly aesthetically beautiful.  One where I could learn a thing or two on the layering of applied moldings.  Or maybe even gain a better understanding of the relationships of period construction.  However, what I found was strikingly unique.  A deeper message hidden underneath.  One that caused me to take a step back and pause to reflect a bit. 

Too often, we think about classical architecture primarily in regal terms such as columns, entablatures, balustrades and pilasters. When in reality it is about how succinctly the pieces of the composition fit together.  How well the living environment makes one feel.  How meticulously the structure is nestled into its surroundings.  And, how perfectly the home displays the personality of its inhabitants.  Under this definition, a home of a classical nature is no longer relegated exclusively to the upper echelons.  Thus, as it happens to be, there was a period of time when there was a generation or an era of people who got it.  And, they were committed to establishing just such a Home.

While some of  the feature homes on these pages are certainly of a noble stature, there are quite a few, if not more, who represent a more modest disposition.  These homes are described to have been fashioned from other residences in the region whose owners could have been “farmers or whalers or shrimpers or stevedores”.  A common citizen who worked hard at his profession, who was somewhat frugal, appreciated what he had and was willing to invest in it.  These owners understood what was valuable.  And you can see it in the Homes that they imparted on us.  Somewhere along the way, I think we lost touch with these traits.

Here’s a glimpse of what I am talking about.

Historical Concepts Portfolio Work

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Historical Concepts Portfolio Work

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Historical Concepts Portfolio Work

And now for my favorite one:

Historical Concepts Portfolio Work

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Historical Concepts Portfolio Work

Simply beautiful.

Yeah, I chose a lot of beach properties, because, well, I was at the beach.  Irregardless of the locale though, you will find a similar approach to all of their projects.  And the result ~ Genuine, Authentic, Elegant and Sophisticated.  What more can I say. 

Very little when compared to how they have so eloquently expressed the methods and rationales for reaching such effects.

“We also paid attention to the ways buildings work together, not only with their surroundings but also as collections of structures serving a community”.   (emphasis mine)

“We start by analyzing the character of the land, the heritage of the region and the vision of the client…The magic comes when you put them together to express the complex soul of a place”.

“Houses should not just be academic exercises in proven architectural canons.  They need to feel right, both in the places where they stand and to the people who live in them”.

By taking the level of design to such an exhaustive detail, reaching far beyond the boundaries of the Home’s walls, a lasting gem of immense value is created which will be treasured and cherished for generations to come.  Not just by the Home’s inhabitants, but also, by their families, friends and the collective community or society as a whole.  We all stand to benefit from it.  And we are all much richer because of them. 

If you love beautiful architectural photography.  If you would consider yourself a “Home Enthusiast” of any fashion.  If you’re looking for pure inspiration.  You really need to pick up a copy for yourself.  Or, to take it a step further, Follow Historical Concepts on Facebook and catch the next public book signing for your own autographed edition.  More importantly, lets take these lessons to heart and start incorporating them in our own households and neighborhoods.

Enjoy!!!

All my Best,

Kyle

 

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