Saturday, January 17, 2009

House of the Week - Neoclassical Transformation

When I created the post about French inspired renovations in Atlanta, it made me realize how few of my posts contain pictures of houses. And yet, my computer files contain hundreds of pictures of houses that I find to be beautiful and inspirational. I have always loved houses and architecture. I remember visiting Newport, Rhode Island as a child and being mesmerized by the Newport Mansions, not just for their size and grandeur, but also because they combined so many things that I find beautiful: art, architecture, interior decor, and landscape design.

I feel fortunate to live in Atlanta, a city that has so many beautiful homes and illustrious architects. Homes from Atlanta are frequently featured on the pages of the design magazines that we all love, and I pass by many of them every day on my driving route. Now that I have a dog, I have started to plan my dog walks in the most beautiful neighborhoods in Atlanta so I can look at homes while my dog burns off some of his almost endless energy.

The Front Before

When looking at the website for a custom home builder in Atlanta, I spotted a renovation project of a Georgian brick home from the 70s (pictured above).


I realized that I recognized the house - I pass it on one of my favorite walks. What a transformation! I had originally thought the new and improved house was somewhat French in style, but then began to wonder if it was more Neoclassical. Fellow blogger Architect Design confirmed that the style of the new house is indeed more Neoclassical in form because of the classic pediment, prominent entryway and Baroque door surround. I think that the transformation is quite striking. As someone who usually thinks more in terms of building a new house rather than renovating, it was really eye opening for me to see what can be done to change the exterior of a home.

I love the symmetry of the house, and the beautiful door surround. I also like that you can see straight through the house to the back. What do you think of this house? I wish I could see the inside!


  1. I can't believe the transformation. It looks absolutely incredible. Great find.

  2. Love the reno on the brick Georgian. Living in the DC area I have come to appreciate brick houses...Calif ranch is what I grew up with. I also love to take pictures of houses too...especially late spring...Fay

  3. It's a beauty. It reminds me of how tired I am of red brick. The 12 over 12 windows in the original are great. I hope they were salvaged.

    Know the architect?

  4. Thanks for the comments, everyone.

    Terry, I have no information on the architect, but I am going to dig around next week and see what I can find. I am curious too!

  5. I guess I'm a traditionalist, I prefer the original Georgian style to the gussied up Frenchish style. But, you have a keen eye to have recognized the house!

  6. I have to disagree with my dear friend Linda! I adore the new facade and find it hard to believe it is the same house - amazing!!!!!!!!!

  7. I was excited to have made the connection!

    If this were my home...I probably would be somewhere in between Joni and Linda's opinions. I probably would have painted the brick cream, changed the shutters and maybe the windows, and done the arched dormers on the sides.

    I really would like to find out the architect for this renovation, because it was quite a creative update.

  8. Amazing transformation. Love the windows and the whole symmetry thing. Can't get enough of symmetry! A-M xx

  9. this was a great makeover...I like neo classical...Who would have figured! It is beautiful...

  10. What a brilliant makeover. Maybe you should knock on the door and say that your readers are desperate for a look inside! xv

  11. Vicki - funny! Since I admire so many houses around Atlanta, I am always thrilled when one that I admire goes on the market...and most of the time, I am so disappointed with how it looks on the inside. So maybe it is better to imagine!

  12. I keep asking myself why they'd spend so much money to change what is already an impressive house. But the more I look at the original, the less I like it. It's a top heavy mixture of styles. (Mixtures are fine when they work.) This one is a colonial revival with a too steep French style roof.

    My eye is drawn to the roof and how the 2nd story windows poke into the cornice. That's often a good thing but in this case I don't think so.

    I think the 2 best changes are narrowing the cornice to let the 2nd story windows "breath" and adding the 2 little dormers to break up the mass of the domineering roof.

    Your results my vary.

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  14. Hm, I have to say I really prefer the Georgian brick. I adore French style homes, but this one just isn't hitting the note quite right for me. It's probably the entrance - something about the gray plus the stain they chose for the door really detracts from the rest of the house for me.

    I like your idea of having painted the brick cream and adding glossy shutters.

  15. You are so lucky to live in such an amazing neighborhood! I love that house, it's so beautiful. To me that's the perfect colour to paint a house that you wouldn't tire of, just a nice yellowy beige. Where I live (I don't know if it's the same there) if a house (exterior) is a grayed green I know it was probably painted more than 5 years ago (before brown was so big) and if it's brown, I know it was painted less than 5 years ago. It's fascinating to watch the colour trends now that I've been in it for 10 years.

  16. I was sort of wondering the same thing as you and Terry (2nd comment). Why? Not for me to ask, I guess.

    That said, I do prefer the new style.

  17. Oh my gosh! All I have to say is this house must be in one heck of a good location for the new owners to want to spend that kind of money to make over the exterior of their house! My question is, if they love that style so much, why not buy that style OR build it themselves? I do admit though, I like what they got for all of that money spent!

  18. I LOVE the renovation. the original looks too heavy. i am not a big fan of red brick unless it is really old and more varied in color. The architect did an awesome job. I love this post:)


  19. I love the house either way! I'll move in :) Great and interesting post. I often have wondered what style I would change the facade of my little 50's ranch into if I could! Great post!!!

  20. I remember going to Newport when I was a kid too & just loving visiting the mansions! (I went in fully resisting my family for making me go on the tours, haha)

    But I love renovations like this because it respects the work, recources & the effort that went into creating the originial house. I love working with what you have & it's really great to see such a gorgeous turn-out. I'm much more impressed by renovations than new construction because it takes such creativity & problem-solving.


Thank you for your comments! I strive to make my blog positive in tone, and appreciate the same courtesy when comments are made. Thank you!


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