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Posts Tagged ‘Design Matters’

It’s crazy how it can take half a lifetime sometimes for someone to get a clear understanding of who they are. I’ve often thought of myself to be of a rebellious nature. A reckless of sorts. In reality though, I actually love order. I love for things to be congruent. I think if you boil it down, for me, it’s an appreciation and a deep yearning to see people as who they really are. Who they were uniquely designed to be. Those being true to themselves and not following somebody else’s description of who they should be. (Or it could be, a deep hatred for phonies. I don’t know). Either way, I think it started young. You see, a little claim to fame for our family is that my Mom is/was related to Jim Morrison. (You know, of The Doors). Say what you will, but, there is no denying that he lived a bold, brash, brazen and, yes, in a way, brilliant and beautiful life. Now, I never knew him. He split the scene when I was two and I’m pretty sure that he never bounced me on his knee. However, I guess if you have a smidgen of him stuck down in your bones than you may have a tendency to want to live life your own way.

Maybe I’ve over mystified this, but, probably because of that, I’ve always had this lifelong fascination with people living out authentic, true lives. Great big lives. Ones with a voice. Hell, the last thing that I want to feel at the end of my life is that I lived some quaint little life that didn’t reflect the deepest essence of me. And here is where our Homes step in to tell our story.

Just as we express who we are through our outward appearance, through our sense of style, through the way we carry ourselves. So too, our Homes should be a reflection of our core identity. True representations of what resonates deep down inside each one of us. Making us tick. Making us feel at ease. And that, my friends, is why I love being a builder. When you see that connection being made with your clients, it’s magical. And, it makes all of the blood, sweat and tears worth it every single time.

One of my biggest dreams, and daily prayers, for my life, is that I would one day have the great privilege of building each of my children’s dream homes. We’re already talking about what these will look like. But, to see the beauty that is at the root of their being come into focus through the manifestation of these Homes, Homes that would be an expression of the lives they have created, would not only be a blast but would also be a pure joy to experience. As for everyone else out there, I’d say: Build on. Go out and make your homes your own. An outward expression of your True Beautiful Self. Just as Jim lived his life up front and out loud, go do the same.

Jim Morrison's "Love Street" Home

Jim Morrison’s “Love Street” Home

Dining Room

Dining Room

Patio

Patio

Outdoor Shower ~ You think this saw some activity?

Outdoor Shower ~ Umm…wonder what kind of activity this thing saw?

The Den

The Den

Take care and All my Bests,

Kyle

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Ha ~ This one totally cracked me up.  You know how in my last post, I talked about the elusive masterpieces tucked away on gracious Atlantan Lots.  Architectural gems that are hidden all around town.  Beautifully sculpted dream homes with magnificent detailing designed by abundantly talented artisans. Well, I’ve been intrigued with this one from the road for some time now.

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You’d think that this is a gentleman’s farm stuck right in the heart of Buckhead.  Based off of the country feel and the regal barn, what do you suppose the main house will look?

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Here we go…rounding the corner and climbing the hill.

Bonneau Ansley Post

Funky at it’s finest.  Nothing Traditional, or Conventional, or Rule Abiding about this one.

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Definitely with a style of its own.  Oversized and Quirky.

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And then the character just pours on out with every frame.

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I happen to love it.  I love that it’s funky.  That the homeowner’s personality is reflected thru and thru.  And, even though it is an architectural free for all, it is Well Composed.  Everything fits.  It all ties together.  And we can see the owner in its presence.  ~Too cool~

#agenuinefind

#aboundingstyle

#tbt

Take Care and All My Bests,

Kyle

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Welcome to Grand Ol’ Atlanta. There’s no other place like it. 75 to 100 years ago, the outlining boundary of the city was acre after acre of rolling country side. Gentleman farms for the families of the business tycoons who pioneered this burgeoning new town. It was not uncommon at all for a family to build their estate on a 60+ acre piece while their children occupied the forty acres to the south and their best friends another forty to the west. Even though the parcels have been broken down over the years, they still remain magnificent!

What this translates into is an air of privacy, of sophistication, of style that is rarely seen in any residential community, anywhere. And, one that is almost impossible to replicate.

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Chalk it up to massive lots, crowned with a spectacular coverage of trees, meticulously placed homes, architectural gemstones, and what you have left is just plain Magical.

Mysterious.

Alluring.

Captivating.

Beauty unfolding with every turn. Treasures held exclusively for family and close friends.

And, for some of us, the joy of exploration.

All my Bests,

Kyle

#AtlantaLiving

#southerngems

#thebeautyofHomerevealed

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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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Hey ~ we’ll get straight to the meat with this one.  It’s Thanksgiving weekend and I’m having a wonderful time down in Macon, GA.  Enjoying the season with the extended family and soaking in the beautiful weather.  As with a lot of family get-togethers though, some of the conversations have settled in around current events.  All the basic junk that you hear over and over.  Kind of a steady drumbeat of a bleak outlook. (more…)

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The other day I wrote a post about an amazing home that we had a chance to explore and about the conversations that subsequently developed surrounding the “Character” of the home.  How it primarily goes back to the level of thought that is put forward into the formation of the project. As I think about it a little bit more though, there is another piece of the puzzle that is worthy of consideration.  You see, after that evening, a friend of mine sent me a link of a North Carolina Architectural firm, who he has been following, showing off some of their spectacular work.

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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. (more…)

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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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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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