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Archive for the ‘What is Composed’ Category

Sorry, it’s been so long, but things have really been crazy.

With that said, I want to re-introduce the site. Tweaking and re-vamping it a bit.

Less Words ~ More Photos. Keeping things short and sweet while cutting to the point. Heck, I’m busy, your busy, you don’t want to hear me blab on and on, we just want to look at cool homes, Right?

So what is Well Composed.

It has nothing to do with size or magnitude. Price or zip code.  Nothing to do with complexity. It’s where the elements flow together seamlessly.  Where a personal tapestry is created.  From the outside ~ appearing comfortable and effortless.  In fact, it is in this simplicity that ultimately Elegance is achieved. The common thread running through anything Well Composed is Design. Intentional, thoughtful Design.

I just finished up this home on Lake Lanier and it was a blast to build.

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Our client spent 8 years looking for his perfect lot.  Nearly 3 years designing the home.  And, in the end, he is absolutely overjoyed.

After years of planning, shaping, configuring, integrating ~ all of his wildest dreams have come to fruition.

And his biggest goal, to have as near to Net Zero living as possible, was accomplished.  Through the aid of Solar power, Solar hot water heating and one incredible automation system, we came pretty darn close.

Earning a HERS rating of “9”

A Blower Door test score of 1.7

And a Duct Blaster test score of 2.7  (All of which are personal bests for me).

I’d say we pulled it off.

Special Thx to:

I-Homes Atlanta

Radiance Solar

and of course ~

Carl Seville

For being the technical gurus to guide us through this daunting task.

For me though, my greatest satisfaction came from watching his excitement build and ultimately turn into joy as everything that he had hoped for came into being.  He’s given the home the name “Ventanas al Cielo” which means ~ Windows to Heaven which basically says it all.  Love That.  You can read more about it Here on his personal site.

Next post, we’ll venture back down into Buckhead and uncover some beautiful hidden treasures.

Keep an eye out.

All my Bests,

Kyle

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The craziest thing happened to me the other day.  I was a little early to a committee meeting that was being held in a local architectural firm’s office so I took my seat at the conference room table hoping to catch up on some e-mails when an amazing photograph caught my eye.  You see, this Home has been one of my family’s favorites for years.  It had stood out as a crowning jewel on the waters.  {My wife will tell you that it had been her favorite first and that I just merely stole it ~ but, don’t believe this, it’s completely untrue}. 

Lake Burton Masterpiece

Sorry ~ I took these photos back in 2010 (before I started blogging and before I understood the importance of conveying a story through photography) and I totally missed the boat house. 

Side View!

 Just the other weekend, we were talking about how we wished we knew who had designed such a beautiful Home.  And then, there it was.  Hanging on the wall of Harrison Design Associates.  Turns out, this was a project in which Greg Palmer and Bulent Baydar had worked on together back in the mid ’90s.  Bulent happened to be in the office at the time and so he came up to give me the skinny.  The home was also one of his favorites, but, he shared with me the challenges they faced especially with restoring the existing boat house to conform with current lake regulations.  And, I’m thrilled that they didn’t relinquish the fight one bit.  For most us who frequent the lake, we have come to love the way this beauty stands out proud on the point as you turn the corner to get to Anchorage.

After the Storms

Then the storm of 2011 plowed through.  A miserable tornado, reaping havoc and crushing everything in sight.  Coming up Wildcat and Moccasin Creek jumping over to the open channel, picking up speed, and then pounding the point of these banks head on before tearing all the way down to the marina.  You’ll notice that both of the homes to the left are completely gone as well as the one to the right.

There’s the Boat House

In some unbelievable manner, this home was miraculously saved.  Incredible!  Maybe it was due to superior design.  Maybe it was particularly well-built.  Maybe she was just lucky ~ lucky beyond belief. Or maybe, just possibly, it was spared on pure beauty alone. 

We may never know, I’m just absolutely thrilled she’s still around!

All my Bests,

Kyle

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I Love to find patterns.  Patterns in the marketplace.  Patterns in emerging developments.  Patterns in people’s behaviors.  The crazy thing is though, so often I fail to see any of the patterns in my own life.  While driving from one project to another last week, I began to connect a few of the dots.  You see, I’ve never considered myself to be defined by one single architectural style.  In fact, I can find beauty in a home regardless of being a part of any particular vernacular.  I’ve adored some Greek Revivals.  Pined over the beach cottage bungalow.  Respected true southern estate homes.  And, revered the English Country Manor.  But lately, I find myself piling up a collection of similarly styled homes while trying to articulate my own future Dream Home.

Some of these you may recognize from previous posts.  Check out here, here and here.

McAlpine Tankersley Masterpiece

McAlpine Tankersly Masterpiece

Peter Block Beaut

 While these are relatively famous, there are others that consistently distract me as I shoot around town.

Brookhaven Baby!

Hidden on Blackland

Such Subtle Style

Now this one is quickly becoming my favorite.

So Perfectly Situated

A Pure Delight

 

Everything about this home is just simply comfortable.  I love the low roof lines, the beautifully shaped dormers, the offering of the shaded recesses, the strength and refinement of the masonry and the mixture of both colors and textures.  And then there’s the magnificent landscape…so well taken care of.  For me, the home states to the world that you’ve made it and yet you have the least little desire to flaunt it.   The whole ensemble makes me feel at ease. 

I think if you wanted to get technical, each of these homes would fall into the category of the French Country genre.  labeling them though, is not much of a concern to me.  What is of interest is that there is a common thread running through the entire collection.  It is the way they make me feel.  Perfectly at peace.  Now that’s how I want to spend my days.

All my Best,

Kyle

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The other night, as my wife and I were spending a quiet evening reading, she handed me the latest edition of Southern Living stating that I had to take a look because  just about everybody I ever speak about is mentioned somewhere in the issue.  And sure enough, it was chock full of local talent.  So, I dove right in.  (more…)

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Greetings All.  You know, one thing that I love to do with this blog is to promote other individuals or entities.  But, I am hesitant to plug just anyone.  You see, this is something that I place a great deal of consideration into.  It is something that I certainly do not take lightly.  From my perspective, they have to be truly worthy.  Truly knocking it out of the park. (more…)

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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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I think you will most definitely enjoy this one. It was not only fun to build out, but, it also had an incredible, earth-shattering impact on the character of the Home. Located in the Brookfield Country Club right on the golf course, this home was the collection of multiple renovations performed by the previous owner. Not only did the craftsmanship leave a lot to be desired, the interior lacked continuity and flow. Our clients purchased the property out of foreclosure with the hopes of transforming it into something special. The only problem was…they had a hard time figuring out what that “something special” was supposed to look like.

Here we have the kitchen:

This is where we started

A Tight Galley Layout

Completely Sealed Off

As you can see, the kitchen was separated from the massive family room and confined to a relatively small space. maneuvering around with multiple cooks (or just kids for that matter) was extremely difficult. It was dark, dated and not a lot of fun to hang out in. Counter top space; while lacking from the get go, would end up being consumed by school work, dishes/glasses or whatever else the general chaos of the day would throw at it. Organizational and storage considerations were a most in the new design. The other major challenge was connecting the kitchen and breakfast room with the adjoining family room and sunroom.
So we sat down and let the design process begin. As personal style and taste attributes began to surface, it became clear that we were heading in the direction of a very Transitional feel. The homeowners also gravitated to the use of strong contrasting materials. Michael Bell and Michelle Taylor with Bell Custom Cabinetry got the ball rolling by pulling together the character of the kitchen. Aren’t those islands amazing!

Moments of Reflection

The perimeter cabinets were finished in a deep, rich “Teaberry” color while the islands were a custom hand-selected paint color that complimented the other adjoining rooms. We then reversed the counter top colors to offset the cabinetry. We have a polished Maroon Cohiba on the islands and a solid Organic White from Ceasarstone on the outlining wall cabinets. A Sub Zero refrigerator and 6 burner Wolf Range provide the muscle to space. Glass shelf niches inside the cooking alcove enhance the professional appearance while the beveled subway tile backsplash instill the quiet elegance that brings everything together.
One of my favorite additions to the new space was replacing that huge bowed bay window. The subdivision was originally developed and largely built out by Chatham Custom Homes. They had included these large, locally built units on a great number of the homes as kind of their signature look. Our clients loved the connection that these units had with the community, but, knew that they had outlived their prime. So, we brought in Pella Windows and Doors to help us re-create some new windows that would retain the original integrity. Drew Hall, our Pella Rep., executed the specifications of these custom units meticulously. I wish we had a better photo that captured the view of the pool and the fairway, but, trust me when I say that it is inspiring to say the least.

What a Focal Point

Another key player on the team was Theresa Minkoff with Moda Floors and Interiors. She worked hand in hand with our clients throughout the entire project guiding the design decisions and ensuring that a cohesive look was achieved in the end. My hat is certainly tipped to her for the talent that she brings to the table by being able to listen to the client and interpret their desires and wishes. It is a unique skill that few people have, but, I can tell you that she is one of the best there is.
Taking It All In.
Some of the components that I Love in this kitchen are the custom milled trim details surrounding the cooking alcove, the strong support columns on the main island, the authentic end panels, the furniture base and scrolled toe kick and the tall pantry cabinets flanking the formal entrance to the Dining Room.
I believe that what we ended up with is a unified, sleek, elegant space that is also very comfortable to a growing family.
Next Comes The Fireplaces:

Yikes!

Wow!

The fireplace separating the family room from the sunroom can only be described as a monstrosity. It was dark, heavy and looming. Blocking all of the natural light from entering the family room. And, upon further inspection, was completely unsafe for operation. Some of the things that we tackled here were: re-building the firebox and flue liners; removing the cased openings on either side; re-working the lighting scheme; running wide plank hardwood flooring throughout; installing a floating mantle; employing sharp, white, quartzite stone on the surround and a Honed Maroon Cohiba slab on the raised hearth.
This is my Favorite part!

Amazing!

Now, what we are looking at is light, warm, inviting and completely in style.

So Cool!

Touch of Class.

Some of the other areas of the Home that we worked on were: re-configuring the laundry room with some new, custom, “drop zone” cabinetry; re-doing the powder room with a new sink cabinet, new plumbing, electrical and accessories and repainting the entire first floor. There is nothing more gratifying for me than witnessing a well designed, highly collaborative project come together. Many thanks to our industry partners for helping us transform this house into a Home that our clients can delight in.
To see more of what we’re up to, please click here to visit the Distinctive Remodeling Website.
If you Like, feel free to E-mail, Friend or Follow!
And as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please drop me a comment below.
Kyle

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A couple of weeks ago, I featured this home’s master bath. In case you missed it, you can catch it here. Today ~ I thought I’d bring you some photos from the kitchen project. I absolutely love this home . It is located in the quiet little community of Loring Heights, just west of Atlanta. For these owners, it is all about the location. Here, they are minutes from Atlantic Station and a vibrant lifestyle while still residing in a quiet, peaceful setting surrounded by nature. All of the homes in the neighborhood are quaint and the streets are lined with magnificent trees. They found this unpolished gem and instantly knew that it had the potential to be transformed it into an abode which could truly reflect their individuality. Earlier, we added on a new master bedroom, master bath and reworked the hall bath and laundry. The owners tackled other areas on their own creating balance and flow as you move from one space to another. The kitchen though was the last daunting challenge. The original layout was confined to an 8′ x 8′ room which was cut off from the eating area and disconnected from other areas of the home. Here again, I apologize for the lack of before pictures, but I hope you enjoy these.

Very Comfortable

I’m standing in what was originally the breakfast room. There was actually a full wall located approximately where the raised bar top is which separated these two rooms.

I Love the Color Scheme

With the small confines of this kitchen, everything was about maximizing its storage and organizational abilities. All of the details were very well thought out and every item had its place.

The Tapered Leg, Furniture Base and Cove Crown Treatments are a Perfect Fit

Never Underestimate the Importance of Lighting

It’s funny, but, these simple little pendants singlehandedly bring the whole space together.
Check out the styling plate rack on the right.

Right now, I am standing in what use to be a side porch. Quite often, homes that were built in this era would have a morning porch where people could go out and have a cup of coffee while reading the paper. While nice to have, this was some valuable real estate that could be rolled into the kitchen plan.

Ahh...The Backsplash!

Where else can an owner have such free rein to express themselves and create an impact than with the elements of the kitchen backsplash. I love working with clients on this part of the design process, because, so often this is where you see imaginations get sparked and true personalities begin to shine. I wish you could see the rest of the Home. We only took photos of the part of the home that we worked on, yet, we missed the opportunity to show what a Well Composed Home can look like. Truly every room in this Home is connected to its adjoining space and the interior decor, finishes and artwork provide the cohesive framework. Very Well Done.

If you would like to see more of our work, please visit

the Distinctive Remodeling Website.

I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to leave a comment below.

Or Like, E-mail, Friend or Follow to stay in touch.

Thanks for Visiting

Kyle

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In case you missed it, I recently did a whole post on the importance of getting the roof dormer right.  You can see the whole thing by clicking here.  Anyway, while killing time and strolling through some websites I came across this one and it just blew me away.

 

From the Portfolio of Peter Block Architects

 
 
Talk about making a statement.  This one is so striking.  Right off the bat, you will notice the sculpted lower section of the bay providing all of the visual support necessary to confirm its structural integrity. Next, comes the intricate custom wrought iron railing that is complimentary to the piece that is used to support the garage lantern.  I love the size and scale of the panes of glass in the french door.  And then there is the crowning jewel.  The overhang of the hip roof is perfectly proportioned while the brackets provide the exact amount of balance.  Having never studied a lick of architectural theories or best design practices, one can still step back and appreciate this view because the end result is very pleasing to the eye.  And that, my friend, is what good architecture is all about.  You may not know what you like about it.  You just know that you like it.
 
To see more of their work, please click here:  Peter Block Architects.
 
If you like, please Like, E-mail, Friend or Follow
 
As always, feel free to leaved a comment.  I’d love to hear from you.
 
Kyle

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Sometimes we will rule out employing quality design elements or solid architectural detailing right from the get go because we think that it may be too cost prohibitive or that our project is not up to that level of distinction.  In reality though, there are so many ways to enhance the aesthetics of a home with some very simple techniques.

 

From the Portfolio of Spitzmiller and Norris

 
 
Notice how this simple (yet very elegant) box bay appears to be supported by four cantilevered beams.  This is such a nice touch that costs virtually pennies to execute in the whole scheme of things.  But, what it does do is create a sense of substance with the structure.  I picture this bay to be located on the side of the home where most of the visitors will pass.  Think of the impression that this will etch on the minds of your guests.  Very Well Done.
 
To see more of their projects, click here: Spitzmiller and Norris, Inc.
 
If you like, Like, E-mail, Friend or Follow
 
And as always, please leave a comment.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.
 
Kyle
 

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