January 14, 2010 | 16 comments
At first glance you might think I'm about to show you a house from somewhere in England. The architecture and landscaping as well as the selection of building materials so adeptly reflect that. Don't be fooled, however; this house is situated just outside of the city proper in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood. The visual deception is made possible because of the skillful collaboration between a few of Atlanta's most talented and revered in the housing industry.
I became aware of the house sometime early last year while it was under construction. I passed by it on one of my regular bicycling routes and knew something special was brewing when I saw the big red b on the white sign situated near the street. In Atlanta, the b sign of Benecki Fine Homes is synonymous with awe-inspiring architecture, luxury, and style. If you see the sign, you know the house is going to be amazing.
Fully intrigued, I faithfully rode past the house every week in anticipation, watching as the house came to fruition over the course of the next year.
As you approach the house it's immediately apparent that attention was paid to every detail. The driveway meets the street with a cobblestone section that turns to pea gravel bordered by cobblestone. Progressing forward, you enter the house's motor court inside a stone fence capped with limestone. Before entering the motor court, though, you cross under the most elaborate iron arch. It's a work of art unto itself. Enlarge the picture (and all of the others in this post) to really enjoy the detail.
The motor court itself is nothing short of spectacular - I could write an entire post about it alone. The landscaping and hardscaping are simply stunning. All of my favorites are accounted for: cobblestone, pea gravel, boxwoods, white hydrangeas, pachysandra - the list goes on. Landscape architecture by the esteemed firm: Land Plus.
Don't worry, the beauty doesn't stop with the motor court - we're just getting started! The entrance to the house is brilliant in all its detail. The limestone entry, the lanterns, the leaded glass windows, the door. Even the palette of all of the materials is in complete harmony. The slate roof has perfect grey, green tones that compliment the field stone facade of the home. The windows and garage doors are painted in a dark grey, green shade that matches to-a-T.
I particularly like the lanterns that flank the entry. The detail in the iron work is sublime. Often times these are gas-powered, but these are electrified. I revel in the fact that these are just as alluring and don't require the steady flow of gas. As much as I love the look of a gas flame at night, I can't help but think it's so wasteful resource-wise.
As you enter the house, to the left is the study. On the right is the dining room. Notice anything familiar here? The pecky cypress walls and the zodiac pendant in the study and the crystal chandelier in the dining room should be good clues. The interior of this house was clearly inspired by the interior of a home featured on Things That Inspire. It's no coincidence. The incredible talent, Melanie Turner, was responsible for both exquisite creations.
Three rooms line the back of the house. From left to right you have the master suite, a paneled living room and the great room. We'll start with the master suite. Notice the Suzanne Kasler chandelier. It's large scale complements the room nicely. The shiplap walls add enough texture to soften their white hue.
The master bath is showered (pun semi-intended) in travertine. The floors and the entire shower are lined with the beautiful stone. Notice the chevron pattern on the shower's floor - a great detail. The pewter tub from Waterworks speaks for itself.
Moving right, the next room is what I'll call a living room. The irregular-width, v-grooved paneling in the room is extraordinary. Again, the texture makes white the perfect hue. Though I love the paneling, my favorite part of the room is the fireplace. It is hands down my favorite fireplace in any house I've seen. The color of the stone and how it juxtaposes with the white walls and the silhouette of the surround are plain majestic. All of the stone used for the house is from Materials Marketing, a resource best known by architects and designers, but also open to the general public. And if that wasn't enough, the arched steel window seals the deal.
The right-most room is the great room. The round-arched steel windows are carried into this room yielding the perfect view of the backyard and it's beautiful landscaping. The ceiling is an eye-full too. The beams were limed to keep the room light and airy.
Connected to the great room is the kitchen. This kitchen is nothing short of amazing! The grand scale of the Lacanche range and the industrial chic Sub-Zero refrigerator really make a statement. The wall of windows over the sink along with the large island in the center is my preferred configuration for a kitchen. I'll take it!
The rear facade of the home really underscores the astonishing architecture of D. Stanley Dixon, one of Atlanta's most preeminent architects. Land Plus' deft selection of plants also carries over to the rear facade.
And that's the view from the steel windows. Pure perfection. The only thing missing is a rectangular pool running the length of the trees. I'm sure one will be added, though, if it hasn't been already.
Going back through my photos to create this post has reinvigorated my passion for architecture and design. This house is just so inspiring. A true testament to the immense talent of husband and wife team Stan and Melanie (Turner) Benecki. This house has mastered the language of timeless beauty.
I can only imagine what this house is like now that its first owners have moved in and furnished it. With any luck they had the assistance of Melanie to guide them in their selections.