How We Got Started
When the owners of this home decided to move back to their old North Atlanta neighborhood in Brookhaven, they found a lot on a nice quiet cul-de-sac that just happened to back up to the location of their old house, which they had built and sold just 10 years before. It was placed on this lot to blend in with the other homes as if it had been there all along. The house was to be designed in the style of a new England style cottage with rich textures of stone and cedar shakes. The stone work on the house is special, old weathered granite that took some searching to find.
G r e g M i x
& A s s o c i a t e s A r c h i t e c t s I nc A.I.A.
A Studio of Southeast Studios Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org 770-806-8866
Old Buckhead Style Cottage
The husband wanted a private hallway from his study to the master bedroom that would also have access to the master bath. This resulted in a route that actually gave the master bath more privacy. The builder, Chuck Magbee, installed a beautiful glass shower surround where glass comes down flush to the tile floor. There is no raised curb at the shower. The owners also had the builder install a "Marlborough" slipper tub manufactured by Victoria and Albert. It is a romantic curvaceous space for two.
We knew that getting daylight into the great room would be a problem with the roof of the back porch blocking the sun. Therefore, the great room is vaulted and has a large dormer that allows sunlight to flood the space. The ceiling of the Great Room is finished with painted wood boards, as are the vaulted ceiling of the Master Bedroom and Back Porch. French doors were placed at the rear of the Great Room to allow access to the back porch, and skylights were placed in the roof of the back porch to bring in more daylight.
An outdoor stone fireplace was added in one corner of the back porch. During construction, the owners decided to eliminate the screens and open the back porch to extend the blue stone flooring out onto a large patio in order to create a large outdoor living space. The patio is curved along the back age with a low stone wall that separates it from a planting bed with a curved walkway made from chips of blue slate.
We avoid publishing our custom clients' exact plan layouts to help maintain their privacy. The owners of this home graciously allowed us to share these photos, for which we are grateful. Please call us to discuss a custom design to meet your needs.
Greg Mix & Associates Architects Inc. A.I.A.
Chuck Magbee, Magbee Custom Homes
The kitchen countertops are made from Cara marble, the kitchen sink is an original Shaw's farm sink handcrafted in Darwin, England. The top of the center island is built from solid antique cherry. The cabinets are finished in a simple off-white image to fit in with the country kitchen look. All the countertops were built 6 inches higher for taller people since all of the men in the family are over 6 feet tall. The Brown antique transfer-ware tiles above the stove were purchased at Architectural Accents. The dishwasher drawers on each side of the kitchen sink are raised up in order to make it easier on the backs of the people using them. The front-loading washer and dryer in the laundry room are also mounted higher for the same reason. We included a laundry chute from the second floor above directly into the laundry room. The floors are an antique heart pine, which has a beautiful, warm deep color and pronounced wood grain. The lighting fixtures are all antique ones that the client used in her previous homes.
"I used the appliances that I have used in the past because I liked them. Subzero fridge, Viking stove, KitchenAid dishwasher drawers, and a Dacor microwave drawer."
The furniture in the home is a country French simple style while the fireplaces are authentic antique early American pieces. The artwork on the walls in the dining room and Great Britain are from the Art House in Atlanta.
Major changes would have to be made to the plans to accommodate the larger laundry room, a laundry chute, a huge walk-in pantry, rear entry porch, and back foyer off of the garage, mudroom, broom closet, elevator, and in particular a small private office and planning area that looked out over the turnaround area near the garage.
We started by relocating the stairs to a more central area of the house, directly off of the foyer. This freed up space between the garage and the kitchen, but it also helped to resolve several problems upstairs where they needed three bedrooms with individual baths, walk-in closets, and a hallway where the stair had been located in the original design. In order to get all the bedrooms and a bonus room in a structure that was to look more like a story-and-a-half house, we made the best use of every square foot of the Second Floor and Attic spaces. Extra light and floor space were gained in the upstairs rooms by strategically placing large dormers on the rear of the home. A good idea that the builder suggested is a permanent built-in attic stair. This is a real plus, as it allows safe and easy access to all of that attic storage space, and heating and air-conditioning equipment.
To look at it from the street, you would never know that this house contains more than 4700 square feet of floor area! The roof forms are, on the whole, kept below two stories to give more of a story-and-a-half appearance. The blue stone on the front porch and two bay windows also add more of a country charm to the feel of the house. In fact, the weathered granite and blue stone flooring were used all around the home on porches, chimneys, walls, the outdoor fireplace, patio walls, and as the stone base of all of the exterior walls. The front door is an extra large, solid mahogany door, 3 1/2 feet wide by 8 feet tall. There are three fireplaces in the residence and one outside on the patio.
"My favorite room in the house is the keeping room off the kitchen. We often sit next to the fireplace, as it is open to our kitchen as we're getting dinner ready, visiting with the kids. We also have a window seat in the keeping room by the kitchen table. It is our favorite window in the house."
The client had a very specific list of the items that they wanted to include in the design. Greg Mix had been the architect for their previous home, ten years before, and so they chose to work with us again on the design of this new home.
They wanted a design that would not show a garage - especially a three-car garage - from the front of the house, so they began browsing home designs and magazines to get ideas for an overall layout. Putting a garage to the rear of a home is more challenging because it takes up so much of the prime space where one usually has the kitchen and family areas with a view of the backyard.
Working from a Previous Design
They found a stock plan by Stephen Fuller that fit the bill, but they recognized that there were a great many modifications they wanted to make to the design. We advised them that, legally, they would need to purchase a license to design a "derivative work" from Stephen Fuller, since he owned the original copyright rights to that work. Most people do not realize this, but the rights to any design, by default, belong to the original designer or architect and are protected by law under the federal copyright act of 1990.