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Well… all I can say is, I hate it that you missed this one.  What an amazing home to run through.

Evening was falling; and yet, the entire crew was converging fast.  Filled with anticipation.  Darting through Atlanta’s traffic with a single purpose in mind.  I knew that we would have a great turn out, but, I was truly impressed when I turned the corner onto Andrews Drive at 5:58 only to find it already throughly lined.  The only thing more impressive was the stature of the Home with every window lit as it sat in the backdrop of a heavily wooded lot.  Our hosts, the team of Dawn Mullins at Harry Normans, were wonderful.  They took care of everything.  Even providing chauffeuring services, escorting attendees up the lengthy cobblestone driveway.

Having being dropped at the foot of this masterpiece, we began to soak it all in.

Continue Reading »

Well ~ It’s that time of year.  The holiday season is upon us and a ton of cool events are comin’ down the pipes.  Stay plugged in here and I’ll feed you as many as I can.

Let me start out these postings with one of my favorite groups:  The Insitute of Classical Architecture and Art.

The other week, we had a guest lecture and book signing from the lendendary Gil Schafer at one of Atlanta’s most prominent architect’s personal home.  Instead of going on and on with this one, I think I’ll just shut up and let the photos speak for themselves. Continue Reading »

You know I love architecture.  I live for it.  I suppose that most people get that about me.  (Hopefully, not to the point of bordering on excessive / just to be seen as a genuine passion).  That’s certainly why I do what I do.  Whether restoring an older home back to it’s original beauty or bringing a new one up out of the ground to stand on its own, I love witnessing the nature of the home as it is revealed.  To me, exceptional architecture and design transcends the visual.  It reaches deep down into one’s soul and attaches to the very essence of our being.  It is something that we can connect to and relate to.  It calms us and generates a true heartfelt joy.  When done well, it is something that you feel at the very core of who you are.

That is why when I saw these photos of a project by Castro Design Studio float across Facebook, I knew that I would have to share them.  This Home simply exudes perfection which translates into pure comfort.  I hope you enjoy. Continue Reading »

Hey Guys ~ I’m back.  Man, has it been crazy over here.  We’ve  just moved into our new home and are  loving every minute of getting adjusted.  There are a lot of great stories here, but, I’m going  to hold onto to those for now.  You see, I’ve got another story that simply needs to be told.  This evening,  I was out for a run when I passed a forgotten development.  The entrance has been chained up for years.  It’s name has been taken down.  I knew what was up in there, but, I didn’t want to see it again.  Basically because things have been going really good lately and this was certainly a reminder of tougher days.  Days that we don’t necessarily want to re-live.  Then something told me that I needed to share “the other side of the story” so I ventured on up.  Continue Reading »

Yep, that’s me.  I’d be the idiot that you would usually find hanging off the back of a jet ski with a camera in my hand.  In fact, if anyone could draw a caricature of that (Ahem … Kane Hawkins, who happens to be the best illustrator I’ve ever met) I’d love to have one as my new profile pic. 

Anyway, here’s a little randomness from the Lake.

Building ~

Who doesn’t get excited about new construction these days.

Rising Up After the Storm

Yeah, that’s a Harrison Sign!  They’re absolutely everywhere these days.

Really Cool

There was Activity Everywhere

I don’t think that a day went by when I didn’t see a crane or pump truck in full swing.  Love It! 

A Collection of Classic Lake Property ~

Majestic

Prestigious

Stately

I guess I was in a classic white, gracious, state of mind this week.

New Editions ~

Modern Twist

Really Cool Balcony

Spitzmiller and Norris

Local Guys Crushing It! 

Docks that embody the essence of Lake Burton ~ 

Vintage

Quaint

Comfortable

While I Love these quintessential boat houses, this more modern one has recently captured my heart.

Refined

Treasured ~

“Anchorage”

Anchorage Marina

 I think we spend far too much time up here; however, it is one of the best places on earth to waste the day away at.

 Aspirations ~

What a Setting

I would take this one any day of the week.  Pretty awesome how it sits real low on the water in such an unassuming manner.

That’ll Work!

On the other hand, even this one would work just fine.  Anything to get in on the Lake and then transform it into the sweetest cottage on the waters. 

Ruckus

Tearing It Up

Climbing High

Chaos!

Pure Freedom

Until next time…

All my Bests,

Kyle

Ahh… the waters.  The restoring, regenerating, replenishing power of the waters.  Nothing that I have found can quite renew my spirit the way that Lake Burton can.  I’ve been wanting to write about the lake again for a while now, but, sometimes a post just needs to develop on it’s own.  This has been one of those posts.  You see, it has taken the unfolding of some personal events and a few national news stories for it to finally take shape and gel. 

As you may know, a couple of weeks ago, my entire extended family got together for our annual week up at Lake Burton.  One of my favorite outings of the year.  Since each family seems to be all over the place these days with – commitments, obligations and responsibilities…travel, play and immediate family – it’s hard to find significant time for everyone to come together as a group.  The Lake though.  The Lake has the amazing ability to pull us all up there. 

As long as I can remember, this place has been an absolute favorite of mine.  Going back to my childhood, I have such wonderous and vivid memories of coming up here (occasionally with a good buddy in tow) and stomping through its woods or paddling across her waters for days on end.  Everything was an exploration.  An imaginative expedition.  Now, even though I am older, the adventure still remains.

Let me back up a bit and explain what made this particular year an amazing standout experience.  This time I wanted to try something new.  Typically, we are wide open from sun up to sun down.  12 hours or so on the water, a Fat supper and then finish the evening with some good old fashioned hanging around the fire pit.  We retire to what my wife and I refer to as the cave.  A room with no windows.  A wickedly comfortable bed.  Heavy, heavy drapes over the french doors leading in.  And, Cold, Cold, Cold.  A perfect place to recharge.  A place where I can comfortably sleep in at.  This year though, I chose to make a point to wake up early and hit the water before the rest of the world came to.  And, I was going to take a few kids with me.  I’m so glad that I did.  While the first morning came early, it was really cool to hear my youngest son asking, from the foot of my bed, if we could go yet.  Instantly, I knew that this was going to be fun.  And so we set out.  Grabbed some gear.  Two dogs.  A quick bite and headed out into the dark.

We’re Off

The waters were at peace.  We sliced through them with perfect ease.  Totally invigorating.  Then we slowed to check things out a little closer.  Things neither of us had picked up on before.  I could see him light up, intrigued by the mystery as we poked along, taking in the surroundings. 

The Hut

The Waterwheel

 

A Very Cool Entry

 Such Cool Stuff, but, here’s where the real fun began.  As we began to look at things more closely, we started to talk about dreams.  And it got good.  Over the coarse of our stay, all of the kids would come along.  Sometimes two or three at a time.  Sometimes individually.  We would cruise the shorelines when all was still and study the homes.  By looking at houses (or boat docks, or details) you get a sense of who they are.  Of what they wanted to get out of life.  You could see what excited them.  I would point out a boat dock like this one and talk about the cool features to it.

Lake Living on the Porch

My little one would totally disagree and lead me to the other side of the channel to this one.

Calder’s Choice

“See, this one is much better.  It has more stone, 4 boat slips, a jet ski lift, a jumping platform and a Hot Tub”.  I didn’t even know that he had noticed this one before.

Here’s a house that he loves.  (Yeah, it has 5 stories).

Crazy

He’s kind of eclectic.  We found this one while trolling through an ubscure cove.

Here’s my daughter’s.

Absolutely Stunning

Man, that girl has some style!

My oldest son can’t quite find his on the lake yet.  Maybe that’s because it will more than likely be fashioned after the modest Tony Stark (Ironman) lair.  I’m certainly going to have to hone my skills if I ever want a shot at building that one.

 My wife and I have settled on this one.

What a Setting

Just About Perfect

Here’s the beauty of the story.  As you look into your child’s eyes.  As they scan the horizon.  And you catch that gleam.  That gleam of hope.  Of desire.  You know it.  That “It” is what I am looking for.  And, that “It”  is what I will fight for.  That is what will keep strong men and women, as well as this great nation, moving forward and rising up.  As we appraoch this 4th, if you feel that there is no hope in our nation.  Like this country is falling in a firey wreck.  Look into the eyes of a child.  There is so much hope in there and about these days to come.  When you really think about it, with the degree of advancement that we are experiencing in today’s world, the level of opportunity has never been as high.  We just need to ignore the background noise.  So, when those folks say that the coming generations will never have it as good as their predecessors, don’t buy into it.  The future is still so bright.  You can find it in the eyes of a child.  And, when you do find “It”, do everything in your power to make “It” happen.

What a Discovery

I found it there.  

I found it at the Lake in the early magical hours of the morning. 

All My Bests,

Kyle

First, to the Home.

McAlpine Home

Living Room

Dining Area

The Kitchen ~ part 1

The Kitchen ~ part 2

The Master

Her Bath, and yes, there was a His

Covered Patio ~ part 1

Covered Patio ~ part 2

The Pool!!!

So Cool!!!

Once again, the ICAA knocks it out of the park.  This time with a guest lecture (for members only) by McApline Tankersly’s own Bobby McAlpine.  The location was in a Home of one of his few Atlanta projects.  Even though it’s tucked away in the heart of Buckhead, I’ve driven past it many times and always wanted to check it out first hand.  Before actually attending the event though, I had in my mind that this was going to be a piece about architecture and style.  However, afterwards, I think I’ll take it in a little bit of a different direction. 

You see, this was an experience.  Probably because everybody there knew each other and the setting was real comfortable, but, this was no ordinary lecture.  Not in the least.   Bobby’s approach was very candid and he had everybody absolutely captivated.  And that means a lot considering that there were so many talented folks in the room. 

He started out by telling of his childhood.  Born the son of a mill manager in rural Alabama.  Playing in one “dirt lot” after another.  Until one day, when he was still quite young, he looked around and recognized that this was “not his world” … and then he sought out to find it.  

He then relayed an anecdote about how a turn of the century business tycoon was about to make the speech of his career when he was tapped on the shoulder, only to be notified that his long time office manager had passed away.  Afterwards, as the partners tried to come up with a proper eulogy for this lady and everyone was stuck with nothing to say, he announced that “She was born in 1888 in a barn, died in 1932 in a prestigious Manhattan highrise office…She was an astronaut.”

I love that!!!

He then began to take us through a stream of projects.  Typical of presentations like this. Yet, his was full of color.  Kind of the inside story.  But, what caught me was that he was both humble and bold.  What an amazing combination.  Certainly the traits that I would love to develop more of in my own character.

When he wrapped things up, he hung around to greet everyone individually.  Spending a considerable amount of time with anyone and everyone.  A line formed to meet with him.  This to me was the most valuable point of the evening.  I found a few of his past students who were not standing in line like the rest, but, who were recalling stories of spending time in his classroom.  You see, Bobby went back to Auburn University after he had established his own firm and taught for 9 years.  These guys said that he was like no other.  They spoke of the field trips they took to his current projects looking at things from a completely different perspective.  (None of the other professors at the time had their own firm or projects).  They talked about how he would let them try things their own way and then, after they had taken it so far, step in and show them a completely different way of “seeing” things.  They spoke of how he would take to the ones who “truly got it” and commit the time to train them and develop them into a superstar of their own right.  Absolutely cool.  I am such a fan of the whole principle of mentorship and apprenticeship and it appears that he lived it. 

Thanks to all for a wonderful evening,

All my Bests

Kyle

Amazing!

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