Archive for August, 2011


I guess a lot of people know that I have a personal pet peeve with the level of character and detail that typically go into the creation of a roof dormer.  Having grown up in Atlanta; mostly in some form of suburbia, I’ve seen my share of poorly constructed renditions.  I’ve probably built a few bad ones as well considering my entire career (from age 13 to now 42) has been in this homebuilding endeavor.  As builders though, our approach has historically been concerned with the interior perspective.  Whether we were trying to maximize daylight, satisfy egress or simply increase floor space, we’ve left the exterior to fend for itself.  And what we are left with is a mass of poor examples.












This is such a shame too, because, the roof dormer is an area of the Home that truly emphasizes the overall quality of the structure.  It is an area that reinforces its personality.  And, it is an area that brings the whole composition together.

Now, that's style.

Here Bradley E. Heppner Architecture creates a work of art out of an otherwise small dormer addition.  The proportion and scale, not to mention, the choice of materials speak volumes to the level of attention that is paid to this project.  I absolutely love the multiple panes in the steel window.


Castro Design Studio takes a different approach here as the  dormers are brought front and center allowing the facade to pierce the cornice line.  By maintaining a consistent pitch among the various roof lines, a cohesiveness is achieved unifying the entire project.

Utterly Stunning

What more can I say.   Hats off to  Peter Block Architects
An absolute picture of perfection.
Please forgive the format (screen shot style) of the photo above, but, this is just so good that I had to include it here.  Without the arched front entry, symmetrical chimneys or flared dormers, this house could be considered fairly ordinary.  However, now it is a masterpiece.  And, the first thing that jumped out to me were those beautiful dormers.  They not only compliment the arch of the front door and  porch roof, but, they also add a level of uniqueness and charm; bringing forth the individual strength of the Home.  Isn’t it cool how they just kind of lay up there on the main roof.
I recognize that these examples represent a home of a certain stature, but, we can replicate these techniques in homes of all price ranges.  All it takes is time and attention.  Plus, who wouldn’t want to live in a Home with true custom detailing after taking into consideration the contribution and impact that well thought out architecture brings to the table.
I would love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to leave a comment below.
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Hey Guys ~

I thought I’d pull one out of the archives for you here.  This one has always been one of my favorites.  The owners found this little gem and started right in transforming it into a place of their own.  Tucked away in the serene Loring Heights community just west of Atlanta, this bungalow offered up a ton of potential.  In a course of two separate projects, we came in to create a master bedroom / bathroom addition and renovate the kitchen.  In part I, we’ll explore the master bath.  I think the reason that I like this remodel so much is because you will not find one ounce of “Fluff” anywhere in it.  I apologize that we do not have any quality before pictures.  Not sure what we were thinking there.  But, since it’s the weekend, we’ll keep it lite and just give you the finished product.


Such A Very Well Composed Space

As you can see, even though we are working in some tight quarters, a rich and elegant ensemble is achieved throughout.

All the Pieces Fit Perfectly


Love the Medicine Cabinets


Simply Styling


Every Inch is Carefully Planned


And Storage Space is No Longer a Problem


Warm Tones, Sleek Stylings, Classic Hardware and Cool Feet.


Gotta Have the Do-Dad Shelf

And, now for the crowning jewel.

Talk About Luxe


The Fixture Selection is Spot On.


Here's to the Showering Experience ~ Raining Down

 Every room of this home has been renovated and customized to truly represent the homeowners individual personalities.  And, in the end, we have a space with a harmonious continuity that is warm, unique, expressive, comfortable and well composed.  I can’t wait to share with you Part II where we will showcase what we were able accomplish with the limited galley kitchen.
If you would like to see more of what we’re up to,
please visit the Distinctive Remodeling Website.
As always, Like if you “Like”, E-mail, Friend or Follow
I also Love to hear your Thoughts, so feel free to leave a comment below

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“When we think about the views offered by a home, we are normally referring to exterior views, but carefully designed interior views can also add enormously to the quality and character of a home.”

Sarah Susanka

The quote above is from Sarah Susanka’s book Home by Design.  I’ve often fallen back on this book when designing a new space because it is just plain chock full of excellent strategies.  It is definitely a must have reference book to have on hand for anyone considering themselves a Home enthusiast.  We can think of an interior view as basically an architectural design approach that focuses the visual composition of the space.


Photo via Things That Inspire

If you are not aware of the Things that Inspire Blog Site then you certainly need to check it out.  It has become revered as one of the most popular Interior / Home Design blogs published in the Atlanta market.  In the photo above, notice how the artwork is framed perfectly by the arched opening.  More surprisingly, even though you are not aware of it, your eye is unconsciously being drawn through the room taking in each element, layer by layer.

Photo via Things That Inspire


Here, a window is utilized at the back of the Master Closet to pull you through the room.  Some will claim that a window is the most difficult feature to incorporate into an interior view because it also impacts the exterior elevation, but, that is what makes the practice of architecture such a grand endeavor.  It is truly one of the greatest puzzle building exercises known to mankind. 



From the Portfolio of Castro Design Studio, LLC


In this scenario, the doorway that is centered at the far end of the hallway, leads the entire composition marching up to its entry.



From the Portfolio of Peter Block Architects


This is one of my all time favorite images.  The good folks at Peter Block Architects are certainly leading the way.



From the Portfolio of Castro Design Studio, LLC



Talk about being drawn through a room.  I am dying to see what awaits for us on the other side.



From the Portfolio of Castro Design Studio, LLC

Even though this room is not symmetrical, it is still perfectly balanced and your eye begins to explore all of the different elements slowly making your way to the far windows.  All I can say is…Absolutely Well Done.

From the Portfolio of Castro Design Studio, LLC

In this image, the hood is utilized as the central focal point and then your eye is allowed to wander out to either side as you study further.
 And now for one of our own

Distinctive Remodeling Solutions

We started with this small galley kitchen.

Distinctive Remodeling Solutions

Which was separated from the family room by this wall.

Distinctive Remodeling Solutions

So we opened it up a bit, thus creating an incredible interior view.
Distinctive Remodeling Solutions
I suppose you can say that I am a very visually oriented person, but, it is simply how I relate to the world.  When things are orderly, aligned into a nice composition or basically just fit together well, I am at ease.  When they are out of whack or dis-jointed, I am typically uncomfortable.  Here we have a range alcove taking center stage as the focal point of the room regardless of the vantage point from which you are viewing it.  From there, your eye ventures out to the rich, “teaberry” colored cabinetry; onto the handsome, handcrafted islands and finally landing on the awesome custom 11′ wide bowed bay window.  Huge thank you to Drew Hall with Pella Windows and Doors for helping me with the details on this one.  Also, Kudos to Michael Bell and Michelle Taylor at Inspirations Kitchen and Bath who helped us pull the whole ensemble together.  And I couldn’t sign off without giving a proper acknowledgement to our project manager Kane Hawkins for not only executing the details of the project flawlessly, but also, for taking care of our client all the way through.  It is amazing how much you can do when you surround yourself with good people.
We do plan on spotlighting this project as a feature post on its own in the near future, so stay tuned.
To see more of what we are up to, please visit the Distinctive Remodeling Website.
If you Like, please “Like”, e-mail, friend or follow.
Also, I love to hear your views on the importance and impact of carefully crafted interior views, so please leave a comment.


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In today’s current real estate condition, one thing remains as true as ever. Location, Location, Location. With home prices hovering at all time lows, people are able to target sought after neighborhoods and communities and take up residence in areas that they have longed to be a part of. And, that is exactly what this homeowner did. With guts, vision and a strong ambition, they were able to transform this forgotten, dilapidated, 1905 relic into a charming abode.


Someone, Please call off the Wrecking Ball!



This one's in need of a little Curb Appeal!


Not to mention, a few structural reinforcements.


Built in the Historic District of Grant Park (Atlanta), this home had been put through a series a renovations. In the 1950’s, it was converted into a quad-plex and currently had three separate entrances. Our mission was to transform it back into a single family residence, shore up the structural integrity and restore its original architectural detailing. All of this while operating on a strict budget.


And here we are Today!



Curb Appeal Restored!


With the structure brought back into Balance.

Every inch of the Home was touched.

Personally, I Love the windows.


Here we have beautiful blend matching the current design with a historical reflection.


Did I mention that I am a sucker for wonderful windows!


And Interior Views!


What a comfortable room.

This Home is now perfectly charming in every detail from its authentic elliptical arches, to the fabulously restored heart pine floors, to the original, vintage fireplaces.  Everything has been restored.  It is a project like this that gets me up in the morning and keeps me pressing on.  Ones where a house come to life.  Where we are Creating Homes that People Can Delight In.
To see more about what we’re up to, please visit our Distinctive Remodeling Website.
If you “Like”, Please Like, Share, E-mail, Friend or Follow
And as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts so feel free to leave a comment. 

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