Thursday, January 26, 2012

Four Beautiful Homes–2012 edition

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This year, the 2012 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 29th from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Tickets cost $30, and include entry to the Inspiration House (open on January 29, and February 2-5, and February 9-12). 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, and this year’s beneficiary is All About Developmental Disabilities (AADD). For more than 50 years, AADD has been Atlanta’s foremost nonprofit provider of support services to children, adults, and families living with developmental disabilities.

Last fall, 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.

Photographer Emily Followill documented the homes with her camera; Emily’s work has appeared in numerous publications including Veranda, Southern Living, Traditional Home, Garden & Gun, and Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles.  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! 

Northside Drive

This custom French Normandy style house was the result of a collaboration between architects Spitzmiller & Norris and interior designer Suzanne Kasler; the homeowner gave the renowned architecture and design teams carte blanche to create a highly livable and beautiful space that would work well for both family life and entertaining.

The architects characterize the house as having a whisper of French Normandy – they did not strictly adhere to the style, but rather took aspects of it. Of particular note are the chimneys, which find their precedent in the 17th century architecture of western coastal France. The elegant pointed arch limestone door surround, the cedar shake roof, and the subtle color scheme of the bricks and shutters complete the soft European aesthetic of the house.

Inside the house, the light wood floors and open and connected feel of the floorplan work seamlessly with the French Normandy style of the exterior.

With this superb architectural backdrop, Kasler expertly sequenced color and texture throughout the rooms, and used a mix of the antique, the vintage, and the contemporary to achieve a timeless yet also fresh feel to the house. The interiors of the house were featured as the cover story of House Beautiful in 2008, as well as in Kasler’s book Inspired Interiors.

This house is a wonderful example of the new traditional aesthetic in Atlanta; the architecture, design, and landscape are all rooted in the classic foundation that Atlanta loves so much, but with a wonderful relaxed elegance.

Nancy Creek Road

This majestic English-Manor style home, designed by William T. Baker, follows in the grand tradition of Buckhead estates and combines a high level of craftsmanship and design. The subtleties of English Manor style architecture are captured with the incredible attention to detail in the house.

The English clay tile roof and the limestone accents reflect Tudor architecture, as does the stone cladding, imported from Pennsylvania. Even the mortar was researched to match time honored traditions.

The amazing interior details include hand carved doors and wainscoting with Gothic inspired designs, and an intricately carved oak staircase. The library’s plaster ceiling incorporates an Elizabethan pattern, and is a particular highlight.

The formal dining room has beautiful details, including a minstrel gallery (not seen in this photo).

While the house presents a formal appearance, the floorplan represents the more casual way in which families live in the 21st century. At its heart, this is a family house, and the flow and design of the house work beautifully for the homeowners and their children. The family spends much time in the kitchen-family room, a space that is simultaneously airy and open, with its soaring ceiling, as well as comfortable and relaxed.

The interior design of the house was largely orchestrated by Nancy Warren, who created both formal and casual areas with a wonderful livability. Nancy incorporated many fine furniture pieces and artwork that the homeowners already possessed, as well as new finds especially suited for the house. The result is a house that flows in both color and style in a seamless manner, and truly reflects the homeowners. 

Tuxedo Road

The setting for this 1930s Georgian Revival house is truly idyllic; positioned on one of Atlanta’s most prestigious streets, the entrance is lined by an allée of trees that beautifully frames the house and provides a fitting entrance to this one of a kind house.

The homeowners have lived here for over 30 years, and are only the third owners of the house. A strong passion for their home is seen in the extensive renovation projects that have taken place through the years; although they have taken great care to maintain the original integrity of the floor plan, every space has been updated or expanded in some way to create a more family friendly and light filled design.

In recent years, significant updates and renovations to the upstairs have taken place. A grown son’s bedroom was recently transformed into a luxurious guest suite, and a custom designed mural was hand painted by Ray Goins in the entry and stair hall. Designer Beth Webb was involved in the recent renovations and the new streamlined direction of the upstairs décor.

A recently renovated bathroom with a striking curved tile wall.

A detail shot of a treasured object also shows some of the beautiful architectural detail that abounds in this classic house.

The strength of the architecture provides an ideal backdrop for the owners’ collection of treasured items from their extensive travels throughout the world. Each item has a story and a memory, reflecting a lifetime of adventure and experiences. Walking through the rooms in the house is like going on a journey around the world, and makes the décor of the house a deeply personal reflection of the passions and interests of the homeowners.

Nawench Drive

I could not put interior photos of this house on the blog, but it is absolutely magnificent - Jackye Lanham at her best! Those of you who get to see it in person on Sunday are in for a treat.
Nestled into a private wooded lot, this stone and white clapboard house imparts a sense of great age, and yet the house was completed only a year ago. Architect Stan Dixon looked to American architectural references as inspiration for the design, in particular the pre-revolutionary farm houses built of stone found in Pennsylvania’s Bucks County.

For the interiors, the goal was to create a modern house with an older feel, and an atmosphere of relaxed elegance that reflects the homeowners’ Southern heritage and love of family. The layout of the interior and the architectural details were carefully considered to support these goals. Several comfortable gathering spaces were created for the family, which are used for different purposes through the seasons.

Interior designer Jackye Lanham’s goal was to complement the integrity of the architecture, yet also reflect the personality and Southern roots of the homeowners. This was achieved by featuring the owners’ collection of antiques and family heirlooms, and using historical colors and natural fabrics with heavy weaves to work with the period of the architectural inspiration. Lanham’s signature touches and mastery at the art of the vignette add unique character to the décor.

Although great care was taken to reflect the beauty and aesthetic of 18th century American design, the house is also thoroughly reflective of family life in the 21st century. In recognition of the superb quality of the design of the house, D. Stanley Dixon Architects received the prestigious Shutze award for excellence in classical architecture for this house, establishing it in a unique place in the architectural legacy of Atlanta.

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QD collage

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sisal stair runners

For more inspirational finds, please visit www.quatrefoildesign.com

January is here, and I am now tackling some of the open items that fell to the wayside after the push to finish the house build in the late summer/early fall.

One of the highest priority items is a runner for the main stairs, seen above.  This grainy image was taken this morning with my iphone, sorry for the poor quality of the photo!  Lack of a runner has not bothered me in the slightest from a visual perspective; the stairs were crafted with the mellow white oak that we used for the rest of the house, with the same lightly limewashed finish that gives them the appearance of the natural color of the oak (as with most things, we spent three months and created countless samples to get the exact tone that I had in mind).  The stairs are 4 feet wide.

However, from a safety perspective, it is clear that we need a runner.  So my next project is selecting a runner for the stairs, and given that I have always wanted a sisal runner, and this is what I have been investigating.

Pictures on the internet are not easy to find – perhaps because the tag on the picture is usually not about the stair runner.  This picture, a still shot from a recent movie, shows a beautiful runner on the stairs.  I am not sure if it is sisal or seagrass, but I love the neutral and textured look.

Another picture I was able to find shows stairs that also are sisal or seagrass, again with the dark tape for contrast.

This stair runner is clearly seagrass.  I like the look of the contrasting tape, but for me I prefer a tape color that matches the color of the seagrass or sisal. Source.

Another dark binding.  I love the look of this stair well, with the texture of the sisal, the paneling, the interesting variety of framed items on the walls.

Another sisal or seagrass runner, via House Beautiful. I initially interpreted the left side as a dark tape, but now I think it is the dark wood showing – the runner is quite wide with a very small reveal on the side.

This has the effect of a sisal rug, although I am not sure if it is sisal.  Design by Barry Dixon, via Acanthus and Acorn in her wonderful post (click here) on stair runners. 

This herringbone pattern sisal is really beautiful.  It appears that the edges are serged rather than bound with tape, which gives a clean look.  I considered using a sisal with this pattern, but given that I have a plain sisal upstairs, and a diamond sisal in the dining room downstairs, I wanted to use one of the patterns already established in the house rather than introducing another pattern.

Here is a great picture of a stair runner in a plain sisal – from a recent project by Suzanne Kasler, via Traditional Home.  The tape is tone on tone with the sisal, and the installation is more of the upholstered style where the carpet conforms to the edge of the stairs.  I love the relaxed elegance of a sisal stair runner.  In fact, I could truly use sisal in every room in my house – my husband forbade me from doing this in the new house, but I was able to get sisal in at least two rooms!

Here is the picture, via Traditional Home, that got me motivated to go ahead and tackle the stair runner.  This is the diamond pattern sisal that I have in my dining room – it is really striking.  Note how the pattern is installed with the diamond on the vertical rather than the horizontal – from what I understand, this pattern is typically installed on the horizontal.  I wonder if the vertical orientation was deemed to work better with the shape and curve of the stairs?

Interestingly, the price on this diamond sisal has come down significantly over the past year.  I have heard it is because one mill used to have a lock on this design, and now several are making it.  Note how this sisal has a serged edge, from what I understand something relatively new with sisal.  Does anyone know how successful a serged edge has been with sisal?

This is not a professional picture, and the stairs are somewhat narrow, but another example of the diamond sisal on stairs.  Note how the diamond pattern is installed differently than the picture above, with the diamond wide rather than tall.

So, this is where I would love your input! To refresh your memory, here are my stairs.  Given the width of the stairs, I think the diamond pattern sisal would work well, and would tie in well with the diamond pattern that is in the dining room.
The question is, should I do the diamond on the vertical or the horizontal?

Here is on the horizontal (iphone snap taken from my dining room).

Or on the vertical?
Your thoughts would be appreciated!

Update: I have heard that one of the directions is the standard installation because it is much stronger and the runner wears better - I am trying to figure out which way, but this might be the deciding factor!

QD collage

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