The other evening I was listening to an interview with a newly found author who I am hooked on. (more…)
Greetings ~ As 2016 is kicking off in fine fashion, I’ve made a few changes in my world. Essentially, bringing everything into greater alignment. From the building side of things, I have made the switch to join Malone Construction. A company with a storied history (nearly 70 years) of building some of Atlanta’s finest homes not to mention many of the cities most prominent commercial spaces. The thing that I appreciate the most though is (more…)
First, to the Home.
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
” I Know A Place”Sometimes when I am lost I fall into a kind of trance and as if sleepwalking find myself unconsciously falling toward a place known by few though by some. Its architecture begins long before I get there, for it transcends the physical. Though I go alone, I always carry some one with me perhaps an imaginary friend and wear a silent, contained smile as if to say, “I know a place.” It was conceived by no grown up but by a dearer creature and was designed to vail the brashness that lay outside it. It has no exterior though it has a lovely face for those who might not understand and an almost apologetic one for those who do. It is built of compassion and so, made to endure. Anything new to enter is quick to have a healthy coating of a life rubbed over it to cloak and protect it from any one occurrence that might make itself known and appear forever too important. It is here I am safe and here I am clever and here I am known and here I cannot stay too long. I know a place whose beauty is incidental for it is more a piece of understanding and in every morsel a lesson in survival, and it will last. I know a place that is infinitely complex and at once simple. It knows more than me for it leaves me clues. And in its fog there is familiarity and clarity. I have always known it. I know a place and it is you.
Home ~ Even though it resonates with nearly everyone ~
there are many who can feel it, some who can visualize it, yet,
there are very, very few who can articulate it. Bobby just happens
to be one of those exclusive few who can. And, he continuously
tries to help each and all of us understand what our senses are
trying to convey.
Stay tuned for the follow up post that highlights this facinating evening.
All my Bests,
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.
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.
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.
As I turned the corner on my approach, I immediately knew that I was in for something special.
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.
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.
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.
What an Entry!
And the Kitchen.
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.
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.
Master Bath ~ Polished, Refined, Elegant, Sophisticated. Yet Comfortable.
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.
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.
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.
How’s that for an outdoor living space.
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!
I’m calling the room over the garage for my office. My oldest son wants it for his bedroom.
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!
Posted in Authentic Design, General, Interior Views, Kitchen Design, Thoughts, Transformations, What is Composed, tagged Atlanta, Castro Design Studio, Design Build, Inspirations Kitchen and Bath, Pella, Peter Block Architecture, Remodeling, Renovations, Sarah Susanka on August 18, 2011 | 7 Comments »
“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.”
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.
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.
In this scenario, the doorway that is centered at the far end of the hallway, leads the entire composition marching up to its entry.
This is one of my all time favorite images. The good folks at Peter Block Architects are certainly leading the way.
Talk about being drawn through a room. I am dying to see what awaits for us on the other side.