Friday, January 28, 2011

Four Beautiful Homes

This year, the 2011 Cathedral Tour of Homes is delighted to present four beautiful landmark Atlanta homes that exemplify the best of Atlanta’s architectural heritage, with 21st century updates from some of the most talented architects and designers in practice today. The Tour of Homes presents a rare opportunity to get a glimpse into these fabulous houses and grounds that represent the enduring legacy of Atlanta architecture and design.

The Tour of Homes will take place on Sunday, January 30th from 12:30 pm to 5:00 pm, and Monday, January 31st from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Tickets cost $30. For more information and ticket sales, please visit www.cathedralantiques.org.   For architecture and design fans within driving distance of Atlanta, this is an event you can’t miss! The Cathedral Antiques Show and Tour of Homes is one of the biggest fundraisers for the Cathedral of St. Philip; this year’s beneficiary is H.E.R.O. for Children, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children infected with and affected by HIV-AIDS through enriching programs, unforgettable experiences, and connections with the community.

Last November, I interviewed the designers, architects, and homeowners involved with each home on the tour. When seeing the beautiful homes, and meeting the homeowners, it became clear that each house had its own story. It was fascinating to uncover the story and relay it in the descriptions that I wrote – I enjoyed every minute of my assignment!  My write-ups were included in the special Cathedral Antique Show insert in the February Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, now on newsstands.

My favorite interior and garden photographer, Emily Followill, documented the homes with her camera; Emily’s work has appeared in numerous publications (including Veranda, Southern Living, and Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles). I tried to time my visits to the houses in concert with Emily, as I love to see her photo shoots in action!   Emily donated her time and talents to this wonderful fundraising event, and the pictures are breathtaking. She graciously allowed me to use some of her pictures for this post; please visit her website (click here) for wonderful examples in her interior, garden, and lifestyle photography portfolio.

And so, without further ado, a sneak peek into the homes that will be on the Cathedral Tour of Homes this Sunday and Monday!  I would recommend either starting or ending with Fairfield Drive or Woodward Way; Fairfield Drive is the furthest north (not far from Chastain Park), and Woodward Way is the furthest south (although all of the houses are within a few miles of each other).  

Fairfield Drive

Long considered one of the most architecturally significant houses in Atlanta, this James Means masterpiece evokes the feel of a country home, yet is located only minutes from central Buckhead.

Completed in 1966, the house was truly a labor of love for Means and the original homeowners, who together painstakingly researched the Virginia Tidewater style of the mid-18th century. Two of the grand James River plantations, Carter’s Grove (c.1755) and Westover (c. 1734), were especially influential.  The bricks, floors, and slate roof were reclaimed, giving the home a feeling of great age.

Recently, the new homeowners hired Norman Askins with project manager Michelle Moody to renovate and expand the house while maintaining the integrity of Means’ original design.  The main rooms were basically untouched, but the kitchen was reconfigured and sympathetic wings were added at either end of the house. All of the changes are in keeping with the style of the original house, but continue the story of its evolution.

The interiors were gently updated by Virginian Ralph Harvard, who respected the original architectural details of the house while bringing it happily into the 21st century.  For example, Harvard incorporated antique wallpaper from Williamsburg that beautifully compliments the original Chinese paper supplied by decorator David Richmond Byers, and comfortable furniture and bright paints makes the house livable and cheery.

Jeremy Smearman of Planters created a landscape and hardscape design to enhance and complement the new additions to the home.

This is a rare opportunity to see one of the hidden gems of Atlanta architectural history.

Knollwood Drive

Watkins,Best Front
Designed by Clem Ford in the 1950s, this house has an immediate sense of presence from the moment it is first seen at the top of the curving drive. The French Normandy design, with its asymmetrical façade, stone and stucco exterior, slate roof, and simple ornamentation, combines a feeling of elegance with the strength characteristic of the architectural style.

The clean lines of the exterior provide a marvelous complement to the soft traditional décor of the interior and the magnificent detailed moldings in every room. The exquisite antiques collected by the homeowner further enhance the feeling of a Buckhead masterpiece.

Other one of a kind touches include the beautiful serpentine staircase in the grand entrance of the house, as well as the light filled family living addition and kitchen renovation completed in 2003 by noted architect Kenneth Lynch.

The 2.4 acre property completes the portrait of this stunning home, with its combination of wooded views and sculpted grounds. Renowned horticulturalist Ryan Gainey designed the landscape; the abundant flowers, terraced gardens, and sophisticated hardscape create an intimate connection between the home and its environment.

This family home is truly one of a kind, and each and every room – indoors and out - has been enjoyed through the years. This is the kind of longevity and timelessness that is such a hallmark of the enduring legacy of Atlanta architecture.


Arden Road

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The owners of this charming 1940s house moved from London several years ago, and fell in love with this home for its wonderful street presence, great bones, and gorgeous lot.  The house just needed a careful renovation to make it function for a family with growing children.

With architect Linda MacArthur at the helm, Jane Hollman of Studio Entourage on kitchen design, and Debbie Anderson as design project manager, the goal of the renovation was to maintain the street character of the house, while making the inside more livable for an active family.  The first floor was extensively reworked (largely within the original footprint) to create more of a connection between the interiors of the house and the outside views, as well as create more usable space.

Interior designer Margaret Bosbyshell beautifully incorporated the homeowners’ antiques collected from travels all over the world, and also created the serene and uncluttered environment desired by the owners. 

In mid 2010, the home’s living spaces were expanded with the addition of a separate pool house (built by Ladisic Fine Homes)  that was carefully planned to blend in seamlessly with the exterior of the original house, but on the interior reflect the homeowner’s interest in contemporary, streamlined design.  The original design team worked on this project, with the addition of Clary Bosbyshell on the interior design.  

The results are spectacular combination of the traditional and the contemporary that is a great reflection of Atlanta in 2011.

Woodward Way

This 1930s Georgian Revival is considered to be one of the most beautiful homes in Atlanta. The current homeowner fell in love with its charm and grace, and wanted to preserve this feel when she renovated in 2008.

The architectural team of Spitzmiller & Norris was hired to assist in bringing out the home's full potential, and the results are exquisite. The traditional 1930s floor plan was enhanced for modern day living by opening up the rooms to one another and improving the flow within the house. During the renovation, great care was given to preserving original features of the home, such as the elegant façade, the oak floors and mantels, and the large entry foyer with sweeping staircase.

The renovation created more of a connection between the interiors of the house and the beautiful lot, increasing the views and access to the outside.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in the new screened porch, which wraps around the back of the house and creates a space that has the elegance of an indoor room, but with a rustic twist. Karla Morris and Monica Eith were responsible for the interiors of this special space; so integral is this room to the house that it feels as if it has always been there.

The fresh architectural backdrop created the perfect setting for the magnificent decor in the house, with interiors by Susan Kingery and the homeowner (who owns the wonderful Atlanta store Peridot Distinctive Gifts).  The colors are soft and soothing, the style traditional and elegant but with a comfortable feel. Many family antiques and wonderful collections, combined with eclectic pieces and vibrant art, give this house a look that is exceptionally beautiful, and very reflective of the homeowner.

Also part of the Tour of Homes, and new this year is ‘The Inspiration House’, located at 2799 Andrews Drive (entrance is included as part of the Tour of Homes ticket).   Ten talented interior designers were each invited to adopt a room at The Inspiration House; their assignment was to show visitors a fresh approach to including antiques in today’s homes.  Some approached the task from a layered, classically traditional viewpoint, others took a pared down sleekly modern approach, while still others skillfully blended elements of old and new.  See the tour page for more information: http://www.cathedralantiques.org/tour.html

Tickets are available online, at the Cathedral of St. Philip, or at the door.  See the ticket page for more information: http://www.cathedralantiques.org/Tickets.html

The Cathedral Antiques Show takes place from, February 2-5.  It is a wonderful opportunity to view and shop for beautiful antiques; attend learning lectures from experts in the fields of antiques, architecture, and design; or  bring an antique in for appraisal.

A full schedule of events can be found on the Antique Show website: http://www.cathedralantiques.org/schedule.html.  Of particular note are an evening lecture and reception with Vince Dooley on Friday, February 4th at 7 pm;  and a lecture by interior designer Suzanne Kasler and architectural designer Bill Baker on Friday, February 4 at 2 pm.

For more information, please visit the Cathedral Antique Show website: http://www.cathedralantiques.org/index.html

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  1. sounds wonderful...wish I could attend...
    but the 10 ft of snow here in the midwest is keeping me home bound for a while...

  2. I am driving in from Nashville for this - can't wait!

  3. sonds wonderful! lovely images especially that one of Knollwood Drive... Have a great weekend!

  4. Great reporting! Love these homes, how inspirational!!!

  5. The landscape of Atlanta is just so breath-taking and the homes just add to the scenery!

  6. Thanks so much, Ms. TTI. We don't often get to see inside. The Fairfield dining room with the yellow "wallpaper" & deep set arched window looks like the total package for me. I'd like to turn around to see what's behind.

  7. Such pretty homes - I love the fourth one - that addtion is to die for!! I love the swing.

  8. You Southern Girls have it so good! Heaps of charm and gorgeous sprawling mansions. I agree with Gina, that swing is awesome!

  9. How beautiful these are! What a wonderful post...my kind of post. Just fabulous....I especially loved the first two...could easily move in either one, no problems! Thanks so much for this wonderful post, I know that I will come back and take a look...again and again.

  10. every time i see one or your magnificent post about altanta homes...
    i want to move there.

    the 1st two homes have me nutz.
    love 'em

  11. Fabulous post. Absolutely beautiful homes with wonderful informed descriptions! Next best thing to being there!!

  12. So pretty in their own way!

    I love the last one! They're all very charming!

    If you have a minute, please drop by my blog to see my new post: MICHAEL JORDAN buys a dining table with thousands of holes! Why? Go take a look! It's interesting! :-)

    Have a wonderful weekend!


    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

  13. How gorgeous all four are, Id be hard pressed to say which was my favorite!

  14. Holly, such gorgeous homes, that first image with the exterior and horse really got me! I know the tour will be fabulous! Wish I could be there.

    Art by Karena

  15. I am so glad I popped in on your blog to find this information. I live outside Atlanta and love to tour homes. These are wonderful. Now I just need to see if my sister can go with me.

  16. Boy, I wish I was in the area, what a fantastic tour this will be! Thanks for giving us a peek!!
    Nancy xo

  17. Beautiful homes. Looks like it will be a fabulous tour. Thanks for the look.

  18. So glad I stumbled across your blog - what fabulous inspiration for beautiful homes and home decor. Thanks for sharing!


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