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Yearly Archive 2017

The Design Process

The design process for completing a custom home consists of four steps. Although this process can differ between firms and clients, the steps for A Classical Studio involve: Programming and Investigation, Schematic Design, Design Development, and Construction Development. Our client is involved through the entire process and consulted for each important decision to ensure their vision becomes the reality of their custom home.


This process begins with a client interview in which we start to establish the scope of the project by discussing lifestyle, personal taste, location and community, room necessities and sizes, specific furniture requirements as well as the aesthetics of the home.


All of the information collected during the Programming & Investigation phase will be evaluated and presented back to our clients visually. These visual presentations will be in the form of precedent studies, schematic plans and elevations.


In this phase we will further develop the reflection of our client’s ideas, lifestyle and values. After we have the plans and elevations close to final development, we will move to CAD drafting.


Construction Documents continue to advance detail to the Design Development drawings by adding notes and dimensions to the existing drawings. New drawings including sections, details, schedules and general notes are added to the set.

Top 5 Georgia Lakes to Build your Lake House

With fall quickly approaching, the time has come to reminisce on the great summer memories that have passed. Days on the lake, fishing, boating, and relaxing with your family and friends. A sure indicator that it might be time to actually build that lake house you’ve been dreaming of. Georgia’s lake house market consisted of about 1500 homes sold in 2016, accounting for $383 million in volume! Here are the top 5 lakes in Georgia to consider for the location of your vacation spot, just in time for the lake season next year.

  1. Lake Lanier

Lake Lanier is a man-made lake, created in 1956 by the Buford Dam. Water from the Chattahoochee and Chestatee River both feed into Lanier. This lake makes up 38,000 acres and 692 miles of shoreline, leaving plenty of room for spectacular views and accessibility. Geographically, Lake Lanier can be found in multiple counties, including Hall, Forsyth, Dawson, and Gwinnett. Homes on the shoreline can vary in price, but average around $500k, selling over 350 lake front homes last year! In addition to presenting a true community lifestyle, Lake Lanier Island also offers tons of recreational activities such as resorts, waterparks, camping, hiking and more that you can check out here.

  1. Lake Sinclair

Lake Sinclair is also a man-made lake located on the Oconee River in central Georgia, and is operated by Georgia Power. It was created in 1953 and contains 15,000 acres of water with 417 miles of shore line. Lake Sinclair is known to be more quiet and quant than Lake Lanier, and is about half the size. Stretching through Baldwin, Hancock, and Putnam counties, homes are less common with less than 100 sold last year. To learn more about Lake Sinclair, check out this article from Atlanta Magazine.

  1. Lake Hartwell

Lake Hartwell is a man-made lake created in the 1950’s bordering Georgia and South Carolina in Anderson County. Multiple rivers feed into this lake, including the Savannah, Tugaloo and Seneca River. Classified as one of the largest lakes in the southeast, in includes 58,000 acres and 962 miles of shoreline. It’s recognized as one of the best fishing spots in Georgia, and offers tons of camping and hiking options. Over 250 homes were sold on Lake Hartwell last year with an average price approaching $400k, depending on the location of the home.

  1. Lake Allatoona

One of Georgia’s smaller lakes, Allatoona covers 12,000 acres with 270 miles of shoreline. This lake is located mostly in Bartow and Cherokee County, but does cover a small bit in Cobb as well. It’s managed by the U.S Army Corp of Engineers, and totaled $31.5 million to create back in 1950. With only about 100 homes sold last year at an average of $300k, Allatoona allows for more seclusion for those who choose to build here instead of just enjoy for the afternoon. This lake is a beautiful place to visit not only in the summer, but the fall as well. Equipped with great attractions such as camping, hiking, and fishing, it’s a great get away for any time of year.

  1. Lake Oconee

Lake Oconee is located between Atlanta and Augusta, with 19,000 acres and 374 miles of shoreline created in 1979. Jam packed with attractions from resorts, weddings and the famous Ritz-Carlton to camping, kayaking and fishing, this lake is a great place to call home at any time of year. This is evident in the price tag, with homes averaging in the low $600k range to purchase, and about 150 sold last year.

Step by Step: How to Collaborate Between Client and Designer/Architect using Pinterest/Houzz

Step by Step: How to Collaborate Between Client and Designer/Architect



For the client

  • Once you are signed in, click on your profile icon at the top of the page where it says “Your Houzz”- This should bring up all of the “Ideabooks” the you have been working on
  • Select the idea book you would like to share, for example “New House”, and at the top it will say ‘Add or Edit Collaborators”
  • Houzz will ask for a name or email address of who you want to share with, and it should come right up.
  • Click send, and it’s on the way!

For the designer

  • When you log in to Houzz, you will get a notification at the top that you have been added to the Ideabook of your client
  • From this point forward, everything they add to this Ideabook will automatically be sent to you, and you will receive a notification for each picture saved to the book in Houzz



 For the client

  • Login to Pinterest and go to your home page/ view profile at the top right with your name
  • Select the board you would like to add a collaborator to
  • Click the plus sign at the top of the page, and type in the name of who you wish to add (A Classical Studio here)
  • You should then see that name added with yours under collaborators on the right side
  • Click done, and this will send the invite to your designer for them to accept

Note: You may have to follow the person whom you wish to add before you can send them an invitation to collaborate. If this is the case, type their name into the search bar at the top, and hit follow once you reach their page.

For the designer

  • The recipient of the invite (A Classical Studio here) will login to Pinterest and click on the notifications icon at the top right
  • Here you will see notifications and inbox
  • Select inbox and you will see the invitation to connect, where you can accept
  • From this point forward, you can see the collaboration board on your home page, and it will automatically update

Note: There may not be any indicator that you received this invitation, such as a notification. If not, the invitee will have to let you know they sent you the invitation to collaborate.

A Trip to Bulloch Hall

Last week, our team at A Classical Studio took a trip to view Bulloch Hall located in Historic Roswell, GA. This beautiful example of Greek revival architecture is a great source of inspiration and influence for what we now recognize as part of our Classical heritage. A Classical Studio studies this type of architecture, as it represents the timeless values and integrity we strive to incorporate into our work.

The Greek revival period began in the late 1820’s and thrived throughout the United States though the 1860’s. The Civil War led to the demise of this style, and much of the grand Southern examples were destroyed during the war. Although the Greek revival movement appears in its most memorable and prominent form in the south, the flexibility and ideology behind the style can be found throughout the United States. Greek Revival architecture has been attributed as the first American style of architecture, expressing our independence and democratic ideals.

Bulloch Hall was built in 1839 by Willis Ball, for Major James Stephens Bulloch. It was the first of many homes that Ball built in the Roswell area. This home has many pronounced characteristics that identify with the Greek Revival era homes.

  • It is believed that Asher Benjamin’s “The Architect or Practical House Carpenter” 1830, was used to design and detail Bullock Hall. Examples of fireplace mantels and moldings, taken directly from the book can be seen throughout the house.
  • The four large columns in the front reach 21 feet high, supporting the entablature including the heavy cornice resting above.
  • Symmetry is found throughout this home from composition of the front elevation to the layout of the plan down to the detailing of the front and rear entrances.
  • Many homes in this period were painted white to resemble the white marble of their Greek precedent.