Design & Build Magazine May/June 2015


Design & Build MAY/JUNE 2015 $6.99

be inspired...

Cover feature:

Château Soleil

Atlanta Symphony Decorators’

Show House and Gardens

Take it Outside

The Charm of an Outdoor

Movie Screening

...for when you need a little more Zen.


4084 Presidential Pky

Atlanta, GA 30340

Store Hours

(770) 458-2111 (p) Mon - Fri 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

(770) 458-0290 (f)

MTI “Adrian” Freestanding Soaker Tub


Welcome to Design & Build

... be inspired!


Note from the Editor in Chief

There are many types of architecture

to fall in love

with, but my new favorite

is the French château. My visit

to the Atlanta Symphony Showcase

Home and Gardens is the

joie de vivre behind this love affair.

Château Soleil, a gorgeous

Neoclassical home located on

Northside Drive, was on tour this

spring to raise money for the Atlanta

Symphony Orchestra’s outreach

programs. It is truly amazing

to drive past the many fabulous

homes located in this section of

Atlanta, but quite another to get a

glimpse inside one of the jewels

of the neighborhood. This year,

the event showcased the work of

more than 30 of the top decorators

in the city and what a “WOW!”

factor there was. Even with so

many different styles, the rooms

exhibited a great flow—meshing

well together—and each decorator

took great pride in presenting their

work. If you missed this wonderful

home tour, go ahead and put it

on your calendar for 2016, and in

the meantime, plan to visit the 2nd

Annual Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

Designer Showhouse, Sept

11 - Oct 4 at Serenbe in the Chattahoochee

Hills outside of Atlanta.

It’s an easy drive and well worth

the taking. Experience the magic

of Serenbe, a community which

maintains a focus on wellbeing.

You may want to kick off your

shoes, “buy some boots, and faded

jeans and get back to the basics

of life.” (lyrics from Waylon Jennings’

“Luckenbach, Texas”)

Middleton Place is one of my

favorite places on earth for many

different reasons. This plantation

in Dorchester County is a National

Historic Landmark and home to

America’s oldest landscaped gardens.

It is a short drive outside of

the bustle of Charleston, but miles

away in serenity. I have fond memories

of staying there years ago

when the Inn at Middleton Place

first opened its doors to welcome

guests. It was a joy to revisit and

explore the grounds once again,

from touring the gardens and the

stable yard to taking in the wonder

of it all. If you decide to visit, I advise

you to do nothing at all except

turn off all your devices, relax, and

take in the scenery. Perhaps you

will catch a glimpse of a majestic

Bald Eagle floating over the Ashley

River, or just close your eyes

to be transported back in time. It’s

all up to you.

DESIGN&BUILD, MAY/JUNE 2015 Issue (ISSN 2376-0656). Published bimonthly (J/F, M/A, M/J, J/A,

S/O & N/D) by Kim Jackson Media Group, LLC., 183 West Jefferson Street, Box 4, Madison, GA 30650.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to DESIGN & BUILD, P.O. Box 1085, Madison, GA 30650.

President & Publisher

William D. Medlock

Editor in Chief

Kim D. Jackson

Editor/Creative Director

Tracey Buckalew


Contact us at:

(706) 474-4320


©2015 Design&Build Magazine.

All Rights Reserved.

Design&Build Magazine is published by Kim Jackson

Media Group, LLC. No portion of this issue including

publisher-designed advertisements may be copied,

scanned, or reproduced in any manner without prior

written consent from the publisher.

Design&Build Magazine accepts no responsibility

for unsolicited manuscripts, artwork or photographs.

These will not be returned unless accompanied by a

self addressed, stamped envelope.

To subscribe to Design&Build Magazine, visit

TheMasters 2015 • 404.622.9001

Shane Meder presents


May-June 2015



8 Neoclassical Beauty

The 2015 Atlanta

Symphony Associates’

Show House & Gardens

Atlanta, GA

16 Beach Sexy

Hilton Head Island, SC


22 The Midas Touch

Augusta, GA

8 16 22



30 Intent to Reinvent:

ChristChurch Presbyterian

Depa rtments


42 Wine and the Arts


62 When Opportunity Knocks...


How a Small Town Rocks the Music World


Guitar Hero: Scott Baxendale


SWASH by Whirlpool

Tagg GPS Pet Tracker

e-cloth & Universal Stone

LG Twin Wash


The Color of Gullah-Geechee


Take that Party Outside

(with recipes!)


44 DESTINATION GOLF: The Inn at Middleton Place

48 DESTINATION LUXURY: Hills & Dales Estates


Guitar Hero: Scott Baxendale


The Color of Gullah-Geechee


56 Design: At Home with Shane

Shane Meder

58 Remodel: The Perfect Marriage

Vanessa Reilly

60 Finance: Consider This

Lee Abney

Ghosts of Notre Dame

30 x 40

(price upon request)


Hidden in Plain Sight


On the cover:

At 14,000 sq. ft of opulence, the

2015 ASO Decorator Showcase

Home & Gardens boasts a room

to satisfy every taste.

Tel 239.248.0659



Cover photography

by Kim Jackson

Madison, Georgia


BQ vert seasons ad:Layout 1 3/11/15 1:04 PM Page 1


Doc Lawrence

Veteran travel writer and published

author Doc Lawrence

combines three decades

of experience on the road

with expertise in wine, spirits,

arts, fine dining and Southern

heritage. One of the country’s

top journallists, Doc, based

in Atlanta, covers America’s

Vanessa Reilly

Vanessa Reilly has been listing

and selling homes in Atlanta

for over a decade. In 2008,

she married her love for interior

design with her passion

for mid-century architecture

and flipped her first home.

Since then, she has visualized,


Jamie Miles

After graduating high school,

Jamie traveled to Dallas,

Texas and attended Southern

Methodist University. She

received a B.F.A. in Video

Cinema and a B. S. in Political

Science. From there she traveled

to Emory University in At-

Shane Meder

Shane Meder is an award-winning

designer primarily serving

Atlanta and surrounding communities

for more than 20 years.

His Atlanta-based firm, Black

Sheep Interiors, is committed

to offering highly personalized

interior design to clients, helping

them create the home of

lanta, Georgia and received

her Juris Doctorate. A twist of

events opened the door to

a creative writing platform,

and once Jamie slipped her

5’9 ½” inch frame through

the wee opening, she never

looked back.

their dreams. While the majority

of the firm’s projects embrace

current home design and new

construction throughout the

Atlanta area, Black Sheep Interior’s

work also includes homes

and estates in New York, Chicago,

San Francisco, Dallas, Hilton

Head, Brussels, and London.

stages, parks, galleries, artisinal

farms and fine dining

restaurants. Co-authored

with TV Celebrity Chef Lara

Lyn Carter, “Southern Thymes

Shared” (Pelican Publishing)

Doc pairs the wines of the

world with Ms. Carter’s amazing


designed and sold dozens of

modern renovations in metro

Atlanta. She is the Broker/

Owner of domoREALTY, a

Real Estate firm that specializes

in listing and selling some of

the coolest homes in the ATL.

Contributing Photographers / Images

Mary Powell Photography

Ed Castro Landscape

Brandy Angel

Kim Jackson

Neal’s Design & Remodel

Julie Herron Carson

Dana Browner

Bryan Patrick Flynn /HGTV

Scripps Networks Interactive/

Pamela Baxendale

Lee Abney

Lee M. Abney is an

attorney in Madison,

Georgia focusing

on Real Estate


In his spare time,

he is a father,

husband, an avid

runner, and occasional


Christine Tibbetts

Christine Tibbetts is

a veteran journalist,

classically trained

as a reporter and

editor. A New Jersey

native living in

Georgia, she crafts

stories focusing on

the essence of places

and the people

within them.

Lake Oconee,Georgia







Begin your journey here!


Lake Oconee’s #1 Realtor

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Lake Oconee Realty

Tom Martin, Broker-in-Charge

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Loren Taylor Interior Design - Grand Foyer

Melanie Turner Interiors - Guest Bedroom


Neoclassical Beaut y

CHÂTEAU SOLEIL IS THE 2015 ATLANTA SYMPHONY classically-designed, formal, terraced garden with inviting

walkways that surround the saline swimming pool,

Associates (ASA) Decorators’ Show House & Gardens

home, held April 18 – May 10. This stunning neoclassical

French château by architectural designer William T. Baker arrived to the building industry through a back

and a large motor court for an inviting entrance.

Founded in 1970, the Decorators’ Show House & Gardens is a fundraising

Baker, was built in 1998 on two lushly landscaped acres. door. After graduating from Emory University with an

cornerstone of the Atlanta Symphony Associates (ASA). All proceeds benefit

At 14,000 square-foot, the grand estate is considered MBA in finance, he worked at Sun Trust bank where he

the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s education and community outreach initiatives,

which touch the lives of countless children and adults throughout great-

one of the finest examples of European-style craftsmanship

in Atlanta and is an early example of a Baker home. banking. Baker grew up in Nashville where his father

soon discovered his real passion was architecture, not

The house features six bedrooms, seven baths, four halfbaths

and a 26-foot, domed, marble entrance. The house completing a few drafting classes, he was ready to open

was a furniture maker, so design runs in his veins. Upon

er Atlanta each year. Leading interior designers from across Atlanta, grace

one of the city’s storied estates with a collective aesthetic vision, and the

also boasts a Versailles-inspired grand living room with his business. Interestingly, Château Soleil was one of

marble fireplace and a formal dining room with 16-foot the first houses ever drawn on a CAD program. Before

“one of a kind” open house attracts thousands of visitors each year.

ceilings, three intimate family rooms, and a separate then, according to Baker, all houses were hand-drafted.

library and study. The grounds include a breathtaking, “Château Soleil was designed for a family who moved


to the Atlanta area. I was involved from the lot purchase

to the completion of the house, which is situated

along a ridge. The land slopes away from front

and rear, which made it perfect from a gardening

aspect, as well as providing spectacular views. In

building, it is important to start with the land and

study the property to determine the best place to put

the house. Topography always determines the footprint

of the house.”

His client for Château Soleil possessed a real interest

in French architecture. “They had spent time

in France, and had a vision for a home that would

be symmetrical in style. The first floor ceilings are

12 feet high. This is important, because it enables

you to correctly proportion the French doors and

windows. In French architectural design, doors and

windows are more than a two-to-one ratio. They are

taller and thinner...60 inches wide,” Baker explains.

“While it is symmetrical and formal, this is still a

really fun house. When you go into the foyer, there

is a vestibule hall that leads to a two-story rotunda.

This is a real surprise to anyone who has not been

here before.”

The house is very cheerful and colorful, and has

a great visual connection to the grounds and gardens,

with a wonderful circular flow. “The owners

presented me with a program for the house,” Baker

elaborates. “They wanted a master on the first floor

with a his-and-her bath, along with a guest suite,

kitchen, formal dining, study and breakfast room,

all on the main floor. This is a large program for

the first floor, and it still needed to be symmetrical.”

In neoclassical times, the French saw symmetry in

nature and in certain forms, shape and proportions.

As a result, they believed that certain proportions in

nature are more pleasing than others.

Baker shared with me the steps that he takes

during the construction process, particularly for designing

an estate home.

Lot selection is the first criteria to consider.

The type of home to be built will be dictated by

the topography with driveways and garages. It is at

this time the builder should look to see if there are

views, or natural lighting upon which they should


Second is to develop a program for what the

owners want. How many bedrooms? How many

types of other rooms? How they will entertain in the

house, and how many people do they expect to entertain

in the dining room? How do the rooms relate

Stuart Pliner Design - Butler’s Pantry and Dining Room Hall

Robert Brown Interior Design - Master Bedroom

Boxwoods - Formal Dining Room



Rooms Revamped - Kitchen

Vern Yip Designs - Family Room

to the exterior gardens? All this has to be considered.

Third is to understand what style or materials

for which the clients have ideas. Maybe they want a

French house or want a stone house with a slate roof.

Perhaps they want a family friendly house. It’s best if

they are familiar with many types. If not, we start going

through a photo journey—the discovery process—

sometimes short, sometimes long, until we are all in

agreement that the details are complete.

Lastly, as the designer, I come back with suggestions.

I will bring them fresh ideas; things they have

not considered but will add to the overall design.

Baker believes it is important for a house to live well

and age well, and those are two very key goals. “You

want a house to live long and happily, to be multiple

generational. Houses have their own You want to know the

lives... I design houses that age well, quality of construction is

with sustainable architecture being the

going to be the highest

goal. Houses built since the mid 80’s

have been a turning point as to when

possible, because it is

construction quality jumped. The quality

of today’s construction is far supe-

the client perfection.

so important to give

rior, due to building codes becoming

- William Baker

more stringent.”

Baker’s favorite projects are the estate

lot houses which he claims bring “the joy of his

profession for me.” He prefers to oversee the entire

project from construction plans forward, and has a

handful of architects, decorators, landscape architects

and contractors that are his preferred partners.

William T. Baker. Residential Designer

Mr. Baker founded his Atlanta based firm,

William T. Baker & Associates, in 1985. He

has received numerous awards for his work

including the prestigious Arthur Ross Award

for Architecture in New York City in 1993,

the Urban Design Commission Award for

Excellence in Atlanta in 2005 and The Georgia Trust for

Historic Preservation - Preservation Award for Excellence

in Rehabilitation of a Historic Structure Atlanta,

Georgia, 2002.

In 2004, he published his first book, New Classicists,

an international best seller that has been translated into

Mandarin. In 2008, he published a second book, Architectural

Excellence in a Diverse World Culture, discussing

the principles of architectural aesthetics. Since then,

he has published Great American Homes Volumes 1 and

2 featuring more recent work from his portfolio.

This talented individual is the Founder and Principal

of one of the foremost residential architecture firms in

the United States today. He has achieved an international

reputation for high-design combined with a keen sensitivity

for plans that live well.

He enjoys a reputation for the impeccable design of

private residences, commercial projects, and historic

renovations. His work spans the world and has been featured

extensively in print and broadcast media. He writes

and lectures on a variety of subjects including architectural

design, theory, and the history of architecture.

DB Written by Kim Jackson



Where to get the Look

Ann Wisniewski

AJW Designs, Inc.

Powder Room by Kitchen

Design Students

Art Institute of Atlanta

Recreation Room

Beth Kooby

Beth Kooby Design

Terrace & Staircase

Powder Rooms

Randy Korando &

Dan Belman


Dining Room

Barbara Peacock-Snook

California Closets

“His” Master Closet

Cathy Rhodes

Cathy Rhodes Interiors

Rear Stairwell & Terrace


Chip Wade

Chip Wade Creative

Front Terrace & Side

Kitchen Patio

Douglas Hilton

DWH Interiors

Grand Stairwell

Hanna Seaton & Ed Castro

Ed Castro Landscape

Pool Deck

Gregg Irby

Gregg Irby Gallery

Gallery Cafe

Danielle Rollins &

Bill Ingram

Ingram Rollins

“Hers” Master Bath & Closet

Jessica Bradley

Jessica Bradley Interiors

Laundry Room & Pantry

It took a


Chateau Soleil Grand Entrance

Maxine Hyland &

Danielle King

Kings Home furnishings

Rear Stairwell & Landing

Bryan Kirkland, Iesia King

Kirkland & King Design


Guest Room 1

Kimberly Grigg

Knotting Hill Interiors

Nursery & Bath

Loren Audrey Taylor

Loren Taylor Interior Design


Bill Hudgins

Lush Life

Upper Terrace

Melanie Turner

Melanie Turner Interiors

Guest Bedroom & Bath

Nina Nash

Mathews Furniture

Rear Entry Hallway

Lance Jackson &

David Ecton

Parker Kennedy Living

Gentlemen’s Study

Patricia McLean

Patricia McLean

Interiors, Inc.

Guest Room 2 & Bath

Steven Pararo &

Bebe Mengistu

Pineapple House Interior

Upper Hall & Family Room

Ed Castro Landscape - Pool Deck

Chip Wade Creative - Side Kitchen Patio

Robert Brown

Robert Brown Interior

Master Bedroom &

“His” Bath

Robin LaMonte

Rooms Revamped


Michael Boyd

Smith Boyd Interiors

Living Room

Staci Steen

Steen Designs, LLC

Rear Entry Powder Room

Stuart Pliner

Stuart Pliner Design

Butler’s Pantry/Dining Hall

Vern Yip

Vern Yip Designs

Family & Breakfast Rooms




The floors were just basic wood planks - nothing fancy. I wanted to see the knots...the character...

I wanted them to be perfectly imperfect. I had them painted black, and then one coat

of polyurethane finished them up. The’ve been great to hide the wear and tear from the dog’s

nails, and clean up with a simple mixture of vinegar and water.

~Kimberly Durrence, homeowner

Beach Sexy

The St. Simons house owned by

Kimberly Durrence is adorable. It

really is. Sexy, romantic and airy,

without being overly feminine or

fussy, this beach island residence

inspires you to visit….and stay.



in many areas of her daily life, Kimberly is self-confident and

bold, letting her imagination run free when choosing pieces

to adorn her home. “I really wasn’t going for feminine or romantic,”

she says, as I’m oohing and aahing over her home. “I

simply put things together that I love, and somehow they just

work.” Antique rifles left to Kimberly upon her father’s passing

are arranged over the fireplace in a room dominated by an

airy, beach-inspired vibe splashed with a little pink here and

there. Incongruent, yet it does indeed “work.” It’s an example

in eclecticism for sure, arranged into a visual feast which carries

a comfortable ambiance irresistible to guests of either gender.

Bought from the original owners 26 years ago when Kimberly

and her [then] 10-year-old son moved from Reidsville, Ga

to the coast, St. Simons Island met the requirements the recently-single

mom was looking for—a place to make a fresh start

in a community that was small enough for her pre-teen son to

roam safely. The house they chose had been the first one in the

subdivision, and actualy had an interesting inception. Kimberly

explains that the home was built by a couple and their son (an



The space pictured at the

bottom of this page actually

has a secret room

behind one wall. The

grandkids love it. If you

look for it, youll see a little

glass handle between the

two chairs. It opens up into

a play area!

There is a lot of space

here, but it’s just

myself and Mime, my

rescue, and I love to

ramble around

the house. It’s a

magical place.

~Kimberly Durrence

architectural student at the time)

as a “family project.” Similarly

fearless in the quest to experiment,

Kimberly has added onto

the house (and redecorated) three


“Architect? I’ve never used

an architect,” she laughs, in response

to my inquiry. “And I

only use contractors who don’t

use the words, ‘It can’t be done’

or ‘That won’t work,’” she continues.

“I use Tommy Allen for

my projects now. When I tell

him my ideas, he says, ‘Well,

I’ll have to let that marinate for

a little bit.’ Then he comes back

to me with a plan.” As far as the

décor, Kimberly simply says, “I

just take a color or fabric from

one room and ‘float’ it through to


As casual as that comment may

sound, design sense is indeed a

creative gift. An eye for color and

balance can surely be learned,

but innate talent is effortless and

brilliant. Kimberly credits the

awakening of her eye for design

with summer afternoons spent at

Summerford Drug Store in Reidsville.

“From the time I was a

little girl, I’ve loved magazines.

I’d spend the day in town with

Daddy, and the first thing I’d do

is go to the book aisle in the drug

store and pick up the design and

house magazines,” she explains.

“I’d spend all afternoon going

through them one-by-one.”

As we wrap up the interview

with a discussion of how the

small yard was transformed into

an English parterre, Kimberly

says, “You’ll see when you come

to visit.” Sometimes overly sensitive

to imposing on another’s

hospitality (and privacy), I seldom

act on invitations to stay at

someone’s home. It’s just who I

am. That being said, I don’t think

I’ll be able to resist seeing this

property in person. I take a deep

sigh of relaxation just from the

photos—imagine being there in


Let me know when my room’s

ready, girl. I’m on my way!


Written by Tracey Buckalew

I feel like I’ve done a ying

and yang balance in this

house. It is feminine, but

men are comfortable

here. They seem to appreciate

the use of space,

the black floors and

checkerboard accents.

~Kimberly Durrence

Where to get

the Lo ok


Chunky coffee table:

The Market on Newcastle


Checkerboard coffee


Pierce and Parker Interiors



Rattan Chair:

The Market on Newcastle



Nelda’s Slipcover Shop



Elizabeth Varn Interiors



WalMart (yes, really!)


Collection and Antique


Hwy 17, Brunswick


M idas

T ouch

Donnie Thompson is well known in

Augusta as the “Man with the Midas

touch.” He opened Windsor Jewelry

in 1975, and it grew from a small, four

showcase storefront in the National

Hills Shopping Center on Washington

Road to the premiere jewelry business

in the Southeast. Adoring customers

come from far and near to bring

home the green Windsor jewelry box.

In the past 40 years, Windsor has occupied

three different buildings without

moving more than 300 feet, and now

resides in an impressive two-story brick

building just a stone’s throw from the

Augusta National Golf Course.




with an array of fine watches, diamond rings, bracelets, and

necklaces on display to dazzle the eye. In fact, you will find

enough glittering baubles at Windsor, which ranks in the top

five for an independent jewelry store in the U.S., to celebrate

any occasion. There are more than 4000 engagement/anniversary

rings alone resting quietly in a showcase which runs 52 linear

feet and is 18 inches deep. That’s a lot of rings and enough to

satisfy even the most discriminating buyer. The staff is friendly,

helpful and very available. Donnie is at the helm, and along

with his son Shane and daughter Christina, they operate a family-owned

business where the customer is definitely made to

feel welcome.

Life as a jeweler leads to travel, and while on a trip to Geneva,

Switzerland to buy watches, Donnie stayed in a villa that

had become a boutique hotel. It captured his imagination, and

as time passed, he thought often of the villa, with its spectacular

views and high ceilings. Eventually, Donnie sketched out

his vision and gave the drawing to Architect David McArthur

to formalize. Plans to build his dream Chateau were underway.

He purchased a tract of property located on the Savannah River

which was at one time, an Indian trading ground. Private and

secluded, the site is just below where the rapids end and offers

a pristine natural environment that is still very accessible to the


Throughout the build, Donnie was involved in all aspects of

the construction. It was his vision for the great room walls to

be made of limestone with gleaming cherry floors. The builder

couldn’t visualize the concept at first, but agreed with his

choices after the house started coming together. The house is

a massive 13,000-square-foot structure that feels even larger,

with perfectly proportioned rooms. All the walls in the house

are made from 2 x 6 boards (as opposed to 2 x 4), and the interior

doors that were used for the bedrooms, kitchen, etc., are all

actually exterior grade, and very heavy. Thompson explains that

regular interior doors would have been overwhelmed in such

a big space. Balconies off the upstairs bedrooms overlook the

great room as well as opening out to spacious porches offering

a splendid view of the river.

All the rooms are big, offering an incredible feeling of openness,

and finished with wonderful molding. Donnie choose to

paint everything one color, use only one type of tile and one

wood which offers a feeling of cohesiveness inside the home

and lends to the ancient feel of a European villa. The bedrooms

are large (the master bedroom has 2900 sq feet itself) and in order

to create a more intimate feeling, the space is separated with

large cabinetry which Donnie designed. Cabinetmaker John

Murdock made custom interiors for the house, including much

of the furniture, mirrors, and cabinet. He created clever touches

such as vents made to look like old ship hatches.

The kitchen is located off one side of the great room with the

master bedroom on the opposite side. There is a fabulous walkin

pantry, what seems to be unlimited Quartz counter space,

Viking appliances and two dining areas adjoining the kitchen.

The formal dining room is accessed through an archway from

the kitchen, while informal dining is enjoyed in the great room,

with nice views of the river.

Stretching along the back of the house is a beautiful patio

area, lower than the main floor of the house. “I lowered the

deck so there would not be any visual obstruction from the windows,”

said Thompson. “The water is really blue along here,

just like the ocean. This is as good a view as you can get anywhere

around here.”

The house is filled to the brim with Donnie’s collections of

military history which is largely museum quality. There are authentic

Civil War Records and an Atlas of the Rebellion. He

has some trench binoculars, an impressive collection of military

hats, a carrier pigeon coop used during WWII, a suit of armor

and original documents from 1610 that were from Jefferson

Davis. There is a stunning silver tea service made from British

coins were melted down after the Revolutionary War and

made by friends of Paul Revere. Indian artifacts on display were

found during the construction of the house.

All in all, it is an impressive setting filled with priceless objects

that has the feeling of home. Everything in the house has

a sense of history which can be awe inspiring, but at the end of

the day, it’s all part of the furnishings to Donnie. “My favorite

part of this home is the main living area,” says Donnie. “It’s

beautiful in the evening.”


Written by Kim Jackson



A Gift

For Cooks & Wine


“The perfect pairing of treasured Southern

recipes, celebration menus and a primer on

worldwide wine.”

Michelle M. Winner, President, International Food,

Wine and Travel Writers Association

“Doc Lawrence pairs Old and New World wines

with Chef Lara Lyn Carter’s Deep South dishes,

making this marvelously collectible book a

priceless kitchen resource. Thomas Jefferson

would be very proud.”

Carl White, award-winning host of “Life in the Carolinas.”

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Stay Tuned!

5 BR 3 BA and 2 half baths on 8 Morgan County

acres with a small pond! This very spacious

home has 2 fireplaces, an office, family room

and a sun room. It even has a full basement.

Plus, it’s only minutes from Baxter!


5 BR (with Walk-ins) 5/2.5 BA home is on 1.5 acres with

community green space on each side. It has 2 FPs, a pool,

2 kitchens, a media room, game room w/bar, boathouse

(stubbed for another bathroom), in-law suite, an office

and more space for expansion in daylight basement!

A must-see!


Enjoy beautiful sunsets from this level, cleared,

one-acre lot. Located at the end of a quiet

street and has dock in place. Has good water

and overlooks national forest.



A Tribute

The Madison Chamber Music

Festival is made possible

through the significant support

of the Robert M. and Lilias Baldwin

Turnell Foundation.

Robert and Lilias Baldwin

Turnell were both natives of

Madison. Robert was a visionary

who, along with several

others, formed a foundation

to purchase and protect the

1895 Graded School Building

in which the Madison-Morgan

Cultural Center is housed. Lilias

became the patron whose quiet

and generous support continued

Robert’s vision and was

a major factor in enabling the

Cultural Center to become a

regional leader in the performing

and visual arts. The Madison

Chamber Music Festival is dedicated

to the memory of Robert

and Lilias Baldwin Turnell.


How a Small Town Rocks the

International Music World

The Madison-Morgan Cultural Center began life in 1895 as one of the first graded public schools

in the South and served Madison’s students until 1957. The stately red brick Romanesque Rival

building is situated on what amounts to a city block, and it’s preservation is an example of the

forward vision prevalent in this quaint small town. By the sustained efforts in the early 1970’s of

leading Madisonians including Robert Turnell, Kay Tipton and Joe Bell, the Morgan County

Foundation Inc. was formed to preserve and protect the stately building. Through many different

means and with significant assistance, funds were raised to purchase the facility from the school

board and reopen it in 1976 as an art and cultural venue.


the Madison Morgan Cultural Center when you pass through the

large wooden doors at the top of a wide flight of concrete stairs. As

you enter the main hallway into a uniquely well preserved historical

school building which now serves as a museum and performing

arts venue, a journey back into history awaits you.

The Cultural Center draws an audience that is both local and

regional with a wide variety of programming from art exhibits to

live performances on the main stage of what was originally the

school auditorium. Cultural Center members, board members, the

dedicated staff, and countless volunteers work tirelessly to keep

the doors open and provide a center that is unique to a small community.

While there are many events that are particularly well

received, none is the equal to the Chamber Music Festival, held

each year from May through June. Over the previous decade, the

Chamber Music Festival has partnered with the incomparable

Christopher Rex, Artistic Director and Principal Cellist with the

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra to bring world class Chamber music

to Madison. Performances are staged in a wide variety of venues

including private homes, restaurants and the Cultural Center itself.

Now in the 13th year, the event has grown in prestige and continues

to attract world-renowned musicians. Past performances

include sibling virtuosos David and Julie Coucheron, violinist and

pianist, respectively; award-winning violinist Chee-Yun; Russian-born

pianist Natasha Paremski and Ukraine-born Valentina

Lisitsa, the first “YouTube star” of classical music who converted

her internet success into a global concert career. Because the venues

for this festival trend toward seating for the intimate-sized audience,

artists linger and mingle amongst guests after the concerts.

Rebecca Bonas, director of the Chamber Music Festival, says,

“It’s big-city quality with small-town hospitality.” This year’s

lineup is once again stellar. Performances for the 2015 series include

The Kruger Brothers at the Cultural Center auditorium, the

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Brass quintet at Town Park, the

Grammy-award nominated Eroica Trio and the Dover Quartet,

winner of the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition

with special guest Christopher Rex.

DB Written by Kim Jackson




Intent to Reinvent




Church and worship is sometimes as much

a “being within yourself”as a physical location.

It is okay to find church on a golf

course, fishing or horseback riding on a Sunday

morning, because what could be better

than the great outdoors created by the

divine being? For others, “church” must always

be inside a beautiful sanctuary in fellowship

with one another. A fallen Southern

Baptist, I find myself on many Sunday mornings

kneeling inside a small, plain and beautifully

humble Episcopal church but other

Sunday’s not... for one reason or the other.

I’ve toured cathedrals around the world

and in most major cities and still appreciate

the reverence that falls over me as I pass

through the doors of a place of worship.

Atlanta is blessed with many breathtaking

churches, cathedrals and synagogues,

many of which are richly steeped in tradition.

My children were confirmed at Saint

Phillips Cathedral and wedding vows were

said out loud at Peachtree Christian Church,

surely one of the most beautiful places to

be wed in Atlanta. Sometimes, though, tradition

breaks the mold as with Christ Church

Presbyterian. The congregation realized

that preserving and repurposing a building

was preferable to destroying and rebuilding

it. I’m thinking that God Almighty would be





Christ Church Presbyterian realized they had outgrown

their original space, they set about searching

for a new location that

would accommodate

their growing numbers

as well as serve

the community in a

profound way. “Our

congregation is committed

to serving both

our neighborhood and

the City of Atlanta

through welcome, outreach

and worship,”

said Rev. Dr. Paul

Gardner, the senior

pastor. “We outgrew

our former facility and

needed a larger space

where we could worship

and meet together,

invite people to join us and

provide gathering spaces for youth, classes, meals,

counseling and ministry work.” Seven years ago, the

congregation purchased a three-story office building

at the corner of Peachtree and 25th Streets, just a

few blocks from their former location, and began

the process of clarifying what they wanted

to do with the site. Church members

agreed they wanted to incorporate

as much of the existing building

as possible into a new facility,

rather than destroy it.

“Christ Church researched

and interviewed a number of

architecture and construction

firms,” said Ted Hall, owner’s representative

for the project. “The building

committee was familiar with Gertler & Wente

through their innovative repurposing of a 1913

Manhattan parking garage into a spectacular new

church for Redeemer Presbyterian Church. We believed

G&W could bring fresh and exciting ideas to

Atlanta to transform our vision for a new sanctuary

into a beautiful design. And Van Winkle Construction

has a great deal of experience building churches including

some of metro Atlanta’s iconic sanctuaries.”

The two architecture

firms collaborated on a

design that expanded

the existing building

on its south side and

elevated the roof and

windows above a 925-

seat sanctuary with

a cross formed from

narrow windows on

the north-facing wall.

Seating inside the sanctuary

is accomplished

through stackable chairs,

rather than permanent

pews, making the room

flexible for other uses

apart from worship services.

The Peachtree

Street side of the building

features a subtle tower with three crosses facing

north, south and east. An inviting courtyard transitions

visitors from the busy city streetscape to the

more contemplative areas of the building.

“As New Urbanists, we like to push buildings

out to the sidewalk to encourage interaction

and pedestrian traffic – goals

shared by Christ Church,” said

Jerry Spangler, AIA, LEED AP,

and founding principal of TSW.

“The new church features a coffee

shop facing Peachtree Street

and an art gallery on the building’s

south side. The contextual

modern design helps the structure

blend in with its neighbors, and we used

steel and glass in the construction as well as

more traditional church building materials like

brick and stone. The exterior is clad in a largescale

porcelain panel along with the brick, glass and

steel. Passers-by know it’s a church, but they might

have to take a second look to be sure,” he said.

DB Written by Julie Herron Carson

“Christ Church is a dynamic, young congregation

with a strong mission of reaching out to the

community. In our early meetings with church

leaders, they stressed their desire for a visible, environmentally-friendly

church building that invites

people in and serves the community in ways beyond

traditional worship. They wanted the structure

to make a strong architectural statement

and reflect the forward-thinking, modern dynamic

of Midtown. At the same time, we all agreed

that using as much of the existing building as was

feasible would be good for the environment and

cost-effective for the church.”

~Larry J. Wente of Gertler & Wente




Guitar Hero

Although big guitar manufacturers like Gibson and Martin are certainly respected

among guitar players, a custom piece from Master Luthier Scott

Baxendale is requested by many of the top performers in the country. He

keeps alive the art of handcrafting guitars, refining the painstaking techniques

and intricate processes necessary to a construct an instrument that

is extraordinary in quality. Often, they are one of a kind. When we caught

up with Baxendale for this interview, we were not surprised to find he’d been

honored as a 2014 Rare Craft Fellowship finalist by The Balvenie, in partnership

with the American Craft Council. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Scott




in 1963. Used as a prop for his band “The Shaggy Dogs,”

ten-year-old Scott made cardboard guitars with wooden

necks, strings from fishing line, knobs out of buttons,

and painted them for effect. He and his band mates then

“went on tour,” at their elementary school, singing a

Beatle-inspired original, “I Want to Hold Your Paw.”

“I’d give anything to have one of those guitars, now,”

Baxendale laughs, as we talk about his past creations.

He had no way of knowing how prophetic that boyhood

project would be. Eleven years later, Baxendale would

begin making guitars in Kansas with famed designer,

Stuart Mossman, effectively building a knowledge base

that would support a successful career.

Eventually, Baxendale opened a guitar shop across

from the Bluebird Theatre in Denver, which became a

scheduled stop for bands on tour. Musicians praised his

work on their instruments and the tonal quality of his “reworked”

guitars and, by word of mouth, his fame spread.

The design of a guitar’s brace pattern is largely responsible

for the quality of sound, and Baxendale has

developed a signature shape, weight and position that

perpetuates a continual ripple of excitement throughout

the musical community. This pattern was developed after

years of studying and working on hundreds of prewar

Martin guitars at Gruhn Guitars in Nashville. “The

30’s Martin and Gibson’s were the Holy Grail of acoustic

guitars,” he says. Working on what he believed to be

the “best of the best” allowed him to analyze and study

how and what made those instruments produce such a

rich tone.

It’s this knowledge and practical experience that affords

Baxendale the ability to interpret what he observes

in his clients mannerisms, blend that knowledge with

their aspirations—and inspirations—and painstakingly

create a carved masterpiece that inspires its owner to

stretch their creativity.

Baxendale’s talent has been sought

after by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Carl

Perkins, James Burton (Elvis/Ricky Nelson/

Elvis Costello/ John Denver), Chris Hillman

(Byrds/Flying Burrito Brothers/Buffalo

Springfield), Willie Nelson, Jorma Kaukonen

(Jefferson Airplane), Greg Lake (Emerson

Lake & Palmer), Joe Walsh (Eagles/James

Gang), Donovan, Mick Jones (Clash), and

John Mellencamp.

Other well-known customers are: Jeff

Tweedy (Wilco), Jimmy Herring (Widespread

Panic), Jason Isbell, Dave Barbe,

Mitch Easter, and Luther Dickinson.



the mandolin

behind every

great man...

The concept for this mandolin was originally conceived

in Denver as a commission for a customer.

This one, he started building for himself in 2007.

Put on the back burner until he had time to devote to

a personal project, Baxendale simply couldn’t find

time to finish it. Inspired by the F5 mandolin design,

which is characterized by f holes instead of the

traditional, circular sound holes, the design was, according

to Baxendale, “complicated and difficult.”

But finish it he did, and admits he finds himself

taking it home and playing it frequently. With his

friend Jack Logan writing and performing the lyrics

that Baxendale sets to music, the duo are recording

an album.

the craft

Now located in Athens, Baxendale’s shop

constructs and reworks guitars, and here is

where Baxendale’s Luthier Academy teaches

students the mechanics of guitars in two intense,

six-month sessions. His students do a

re-build, and then create a new guitar from a

kit, or build their own in the advanced class. If

making a guitar is not of interest, students can

opt to develop skills with restorations, or train

to be guitar tech.

Comparable to a full-time job, the Academy

requires a commitment of five days a week

from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Robert Motes,

the very first student of the Luthier Academy

in 2010, how he would rate the program. “Out

of one-to-ten, you mean?” he asked. “About

a 30. Scott FAR exceeded my expectations.”


custom guitars that her husband makes, Pamela Baxendale

is an artist in her own right. Aside from the inherent coolness

of owning a piece of art that was made from the same

piece of wood from which a guitar was constructed for, say,

Mike Cooley, Jimmy Herring, Patterson Hood or Luther

Dickinson, the wood is often valuable or exotic. Ebony,

Brazilian or Indian rosewood, and curly maple are used, as

are remnants of mother of pearl or abalone accents.

Each face is unique and individual, created “in the moment”

by inspiration. Bits and pieces are collected by Pamela

as if she’s on a scavenger hunt. Sometimes they are

found in scrap piles, sometimes

they are simply old buttons,

used guitar picks, or bowties

fashioned from pieces of spruce

found in an old garage.

“This face (shown right) was

inspired by Mike Cooley of

the Drive-by Truckers. It was

donated to Nuci’s Space for a

Silent Auction at the 40 Watt

Club in Athens. This face has

scraps of wood Scott used to

build the original Cooleycaster

guitar and the Cooleybird

Acoustic guitar. I also included

one of Cooley’s used guitar

picks, and a patch cord from his

pedal board. Spenser Frye, of

Athens Area Habitat, donated

the lovely piece of weathered


The bottom image is a sculpture

of a Whippet face, mounted

on a nice weathered board

from the Habitat ReStore, made

from scraps of Baxendale Custom

Rosewood, Slope D Acoustic Guitar, that Scott built

for Ken Latimer, who rescues Whippets. When Ken told us

about his Whippets, I knew I had

to make this face for him to hang

in his cabin in Virginia.

The piece shown at left was

also donated to Nuci’s Space for

a Fund Raiser. He is made with

scraps from Jimmy Herring’s

Baxendale Superlative custom

guitar. His hair is from the Indian

Rosewood back, and the Spruce

from the top, as is the right eyebrow.

Ebony weights for the

bracing were cut from the little

piece on top of his head. The

block in the left hand corner is

the form that Scott cut his pearl

for the headstock inlay. I used it

for my Baxendale signature.

The last sculpture was my donation

to the silent auction for

Breastfest Athens, 2014. I started

with a piece of wood shelving

bought from Athens Area Habitat.

Her hair is cut from a rosewood

guitar back, her nose is

mahogany, lips are curly maple.

Her left eye and eyebrow are

rosewood scraps, and there are mother of pearl highlights

on her eyes. The lock of hair on her left side is a top brace,

cut and shaped from spruce. I thought it was befitting to

include a pair of spruce guitar top, sound holes, as breasts,

and topped her off with the perfect accessory, a pink bow,

made from spruce, for her hair. “

Pamela and Scott can be reached through the company

website at

DB Written by Tracey Buckalew



KeepersOfTheCult u re


Sweet grass basket weavers along Low Country byways introduce travelers to

the distinctive culture known as Gullah Geechee, but experiences with a vibrant

depth exist behind the scenes.

Passionate people along a four-state southern corridor are preserving language,

music, folklore, art and structures because theirs is a culture shaped by specific

and distinctive circumstances. There is no other like it.

Follow this cultural landscape from Wilmington, North Carolina to St. Augustine,

Florida. It is an official National Heritage Area called the Gullah Geechee Cultural

Heritage Corridor, and as a corridor with a name, it is very, very new. As a culture,

it is very well established.


the color of


along Highway 17 and highlighted with banners in tourism

visitor sites; brochures and maps are in the works.

Build awareness with these road signs; details about experiences

are coming, says Dr. Herman Blake, executive

director of the Corridor Commission, and the planning is


In Georgia, explorations with depth are already possible

at the Geechee Kunda cultural center in Riceboro, 31 miles

south of Savannah, on Cumberland and Sapelo islands and

at Seabrook Village in Sunbury, Exit 76 from I-95.

Geechee Kunda tours are self-guided or formal, ranging

from an hour to all day, including a meal with tradition, and

always augmented with video.

Seek out National Park Service 35-year veteran Michael

Allen in South Carolina for the passionate story of this

Corridor’s early visioning and careful development.

“What history is not being considered?” Allen says was

the focus of a multitude of gatherings. “We pursued a

quest to identify the stories to be told and the voices telling

them.” This fueled the visioning which led to the Gullah

Geechee Corridor in North and South Carolina, Georgia

and Florida, Allen says.

The mission? Discovering what could protect, preserve

and sustain this way of life. This is a living culture, people

forcibly transported from their African homes to America’s

south, surviving often in extreme isolation.

Consider Geechee Kunda for an afternoon, an entire day

or a special event for insight. This is a living museum for

a living culture.

Founders Jim and Pat Bacote recognize the grounds of

their home and cultural center as sacred land and they share

music, scholarly events, art of many dimensions and exhibitions

both temporary and rotating to teach history and

to present the dynamic, culture of Gullah Geechee people


“Healing can come about by understanding the true

history of the African presence in America,” Bacote says.

“This is the epicenter of the African culture in America.”

Retreat Plantation was the name of these 4,000 acres

where rice, indigo and cotton were grown. Today’s owners

consider their teams of artists, herbalists, actors, musicians

and scholars to be “keepers of the culture.”

Advance notice, or reservations for special events, opens


Local Art

An impromptu visit three miles off Interstate 95 in Liberty County reveals

artifacts, relics, implements and sculpture in the midst of buildings devoted

to displaying textiles from Africa and Gullah Geechee artisans today, and

teaching the crafts, lifestyle and history of slaves who shaped a culture of

their African traditions in new, forced-upon-them location.

even more opportunity, including

access to the Bacote’s extensive

textile collection from Africa.

This is also the place to immerse

in the language developed

through merging linguistic traditions

of Africans in America and

preserved and utilized today.

“A lot of energy is being put into

this language,” Bacote says, “by

historians, linguists, descendants.

This language is our collective,

shared history, not tribalistic.”

Try your skills reading the

charts in the Geechee Kunda exhibition

hall. Order a Bible from

Amazon and have the entire New

Testament in Gullah and in English,

Dr. Blake, Corridor executive

director suggests.

Take a boat for another Georgia

Gullah Geechee experience.

Water is the only route to Sapelo


Catch the Georgia Department

of Natural Resources ferry outside

of Darien to experience Sapelo

Island and the Hogg Hummock


Or reserve a few days at Eagle

Island, in a handsome lodge on

a private back barrier island and

ask Capt. Andy Hill to take you to


He keeps a vehicle on Sapelo,

knows the way to the most divine,

pristine beach named Nannygoat and is friends with Cornelia


She is a keeper of the culture, lived all her life on Sapelo

and invites visitors to meet the ancestors through her

skilled storytelling.

Quick to point out, “This is a community. We send children

to school. We protect the marshes.”

Bailey works closely with SICARS—Sapelo Island

Cultural Revitalization Society—and they partnered 20

years ago with historic preservation teams from the Savannah

College of Art and Design to renovate the First

African Baptist Church.

Such partnerships are anticipated along the Gullah

Geechee Corridor, Dr. Blake says, now that a full-time

director is in place. That only happened Jan. 2, 2015.

“This is a sustenance community

where people live

from the land and from the

sea; their homes are simple

and utilitarian,” he says,

“and their church has colored

glass and high ceilings,

good cross ventilation and

heart pine. ”

“The Sapelo church is iconic,”

says Bob Dickensheets, director

of external relations at SCAD and

historic preservation expert who

worked closely with community

members and students on the restoration.

After at least 20 years of

structural instability rendering

it non-usable, the church was restored

with SCAD students on

school holidays and weekends

and Hogg Hummock residents “if

the fish weren’t biting,” Dickensheets

says with admiration for

the island culture “which starts at

sunrise and ends at sunset.”

Sapelo’s Hogg Hummock Gullah

Geechee community also

documented and maintains their

200-year-old cemetery named Behavior,

restored the Farmers Alliance

Hall and organizes cultural

events to share the culture with


Seabrook Village caught the attention

of the Olympics in Atlanta

in 1996, one of only a dozen Cultural

Olympiad awards.

Vernacular architecture—lots of

it—is here with furnished homes,

school and church from the late

1800s when slaves leaving plantations

formed an intact community.

Interpreters come from the Gullah

Geechee community, understanding

the “making do” creativity of problem solving

among people who had nothing.

A good way to access Seabrook Village is through nearby

Dunham Farms, 10,000 acres of lush Southern live

oaks, long views across riverbanks, marshes feeding the

ecosystems wrapped around a bed and breakfast inn.

This land belongs to the same family receiving a king’s

Grant in April of 1755.

As the Gullah Geechee Corridor National Heritage

Area broadens the spotlight on established dynamic interactions

with these resilient people, it may also open

access to other events and communities for travelers on

Highway 17 to experience.

DB Written by Christine Tibbetts



SipsAlongT heWay

Wine and the Arts

a natural relationship

Fernbank Museum

Jim Sanders is widely considered the father of fine wines in Georgia. For years,

his wine store in the Buckhead section of Atlanta was a gathering spot for an

assemblage of wine enthusiasts that included prominent physicians, Georgia

Supreme Court justices, journalists, actors and playwrights. After consuming generous

pours and enjoying his French-inspired, southern-influenced cuisine, happy

guests purchased wines that bore the owner’s label, J.Sanders, about 170

different ones mostly from Burgundy.

Many regulars at his store were stalwarts with the High Museum of Atlanta Wine

Auction, an annual multi-day celebration of wines of the world and the culinary

creations of celebrity chefs, the primary fund-raiser for the acclaimed museum.


the South with a stunning blockbuster just before the Atlanta

Summer Olympics. As a result of the Museum’s auction

gala, I met many notables in the world of wine, and one still

stands out: Alexandra de Nanancourt of fabled Laurent-Perrier.

We met for breakfast and confirmed an old tradition of

enjoying flutes of Champagne with ham and eggs. The bubbly

that morning was from her family’s Champagne house,

and the stories she shared confirmed the romantic chemistry

of champagne.

The tradition of wine and the arts is firmly established. The

Atlanta Symphony and the Alliance Theatre have long traditions

as does the Michael C. Carlos Museum, the palatial

marble facility on Emory University’s campus. Likewise,

the Fernbank Museum of Natural History hosts events that

combine social celebrations with enrichment programs. Tom

Key’s magnificent Balzer Theatre at Herren’s next door to

Downtown Atlanta’s Rialto Center for the Performing Arts

incorporates wine and gourmet functions to keep the bank

accounts replenished.

From time immemorial New Orleans has celebrated the

arts through the magic of wine. Le Petit Theatre du Vieux

Carre is the oldest continuing theatrical company in North

America, strategically positioned near legendary restaurants

and luxury hotels.

Savannah, Charleston, Tallahassee, Chattanooga, St. Augustine,

Asheville and many other cities have their unique

relationships that showcase music, fine art with Old and New

World wines.

Wines pair well with good music and visual art. Georgia

O’Keefe’s flowers almost demand a bottle of Margaux, the

noble Bordeaux. Gevry-Chambertain, Napoleon’s favorite

red, goes down well with the love songs of Edith Piaf. Imagine

a room full of celebrants enjoying Champagne with Beethoven’s

“Ode to Joy” filling the air. Suddenly, there’s joie

de vivre everywhere.

The High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction is the largest

fundraising event for the leading art museum in the Southeast..

The Wine Auction is the top charity fundraising event

in Atlanta, ranked by Wine Spectator as the fifth largest charity

wine auction in the United States and the number-one

charity wine auction benefiting the arts. The funds generated

amount to more than $20 million over the last 20 years,

and support the Museum’s exhibitions and educational programming

providing funds for dynamic youth education

programs, which draw thousands of schoolchildren to the

museum each year.

Spivey Hall, Georgia’s concert counterpart to Carnegie

Hall on the campus of Clayton State College and University

merges fundraising events with aspects of the good life. That

holds true for the Mobile Opera and countless other cultural



Hard as it may be to believe today, there was a time not long

ago when much of the region was a wine vacuum. What was

available was junk wine. With the introduction of fine wines

from France by Jim Sanders and the instruction gained from

his incomparable wine classes (thousands completed this),

things gradually changed. The inclusion of wines into arts-related

events particularly fund raisers owes much to Sanders

and his generosity.

A ticket to events like the High Museum’s annual wine auction

translates into the outreach program. Few things inspire more

happiness than observing children smiling as they behold a Monet,

a Picasso or one of Reverend Howard Finster’s heavenly-connected

works. In every group of young visitors, it’s possible that

a future artist, author, actor, ballet dancer, composer or sommelier

is born.

DB Written by Doc Lawrence




Photos courtesy of the Inn at Middleton Place



EEscape life’s hurry and worry with a IT IS A CHALLENGE TO PROVIDE AN ADEQUATE

description of Middleton Place and the Inn which is part of the

visit to the unique and beautiful Inn

historic grounds. With certainty, nowhere else in the world compares.

The Inn at Middleton Place welcomes those seeking a

at Middleton Place overlooking the

Ashley River. The Inn is part of Middleton

Place, a national historic land-

among tall pines and live oaks - only a short stroll from Middle-

peaceful retreat and offers unsurpassed natural beauty for a quiet

vacation, or a weekend getaway. The Inn’s 55 rooms are secluded

mark located 14 miles from downtown

Charleston. Middleton Place

ton Place, iconic feature of the South Carolina Low Country and

home of America’s oldest landscaped gardens. Dramatic floor-toceiling

windows bring into every room all the rich tones of the

offers a unique vacation destination woodland setting, with sweeping views over the winding Ashley

for those who are accustomed to River. Upon these banks a rice plantation flourished more than

200 years ago.

staying on the beaten path.

The Inn was designed by architects W.G. Clark and Charles

The Inn at Middleton Place in Charleston, SC

(Architects W.G. Clark and Charles Menefee III ) is recognized for its

outstanding concept and design by the American Institute for Architecture

with its Honor Award, the profession’s highest accolade for individual

buildings by American architects.

Menefee III, who were inspired by the “thin shacks and sheds

of insubstantial beauty” of the Southern vernacular building tradition.

They are known for structures that are at once modest,

rigorous, and economical in detail. Blending the ease and informality

of the architecture of the historic South with the elegance

of end-of-the-century modernism, they created a captivating retreat

that is hard to leave.

A perfect combination of modern design and environmentally

sensitive layout is part and parcel of what makes this property

unique. Every effort was made to integrate the structure into

the landscape while at the same time complementing historic

Charleston architecture; more specifically, the architectural ruins

that seem to be emerging out of the earth and ancient forests

and that can still be found throughout the Low Country. Very

few trees were removed or disturbed during construction, and

over the years, fig vines have grown to cover many of the Inn’s

exterior walls. By design, the woods surrounding the Inn seem

to be reclaiming the buildings, blending them seamlessly into

the 100-year-old live oaks, Spanish moss, and other flora found

along the banks of the Ashley River. Even the Inn’s 55 guest

rooms, with their extensive use of cypress and minimal apparent

design remind one of a quaint cabin in the woods.

Admission to Middleton Place – home to America’s oldest formal

landscaped gardens – helps seal the experience, and is included with

each room rental. Guests of The Inn have access to all the points of

interest which make Middleton Place so fascinating. In addition to

the Gardens, begun in 1741, the House Museum (1755) offers tours

daily and the Stable yards bring to life the sights and sounds of an

18th and 19th-century plantation.

DB Information courtesy of the Inn at Middleton Place






LaGrange is one of those warmly welcoming

Southern towns that make

strangers immediately feel at home.

Walking around is easy, part of an almost

effortless experience that fits into

what many think of as the good life.

When you experience this, you know it.


once was and a clear view of what now is, particularly with

things cultural. LaGrange has a symphony, an outstanding

museum, community theater, terrific restaurants, good local

retail stores and stately homes. With LaGrange College as the

hub the academic community assures uninterrupted vision.

Hills & Dales Estate is in the historic district, close to

downtown. Noted for gardens and advanced architectural

design, the home and grounds was dedicated to public

enjoyment by one of the South’s great industrial families.

Featuring one of the most widely acclaimed gardens in the

Southeast, the vision for everything here came from textile

manufacturer Fuller E. Callaway who commissioned the

noted architect Neel Reid of the Atlanta architectural firm

of Hentz & Reid to design the home reminiscent of an

Italian villa. Complimenting the beautiful Georgian Italian

structure, the Callaway’s restored the gardens and carefully

added fountains and statuary to enhance the Italianate

character of this west Georgia Eden.

When the family inheritance ended, the estate was given to

the Fuller E. Callaway Foundation. After renovations and the

addition of a very impressive visitor center, the estate opened

to the public in 2004. Additional renovations on the second

and third floor of the home were completed in 2010. Now

visitors tour all three floors of the home, which is furnished

A visit here is a stroll

into the grandeur of

architecture, botany,

interior design and

restrained opulence.

Butterflies, songbirds and

honeybees thrive among

the carefully manicured

grounds, among the

best-preserved 19th

century gardens

in the South.

Visitor information:

with family heirlooms and antiques,

making it a well-maintained and quite

enjoyable museum.

Not surprisingly, Hills & Dales Estate

is a popular place for weddings and

cultural events.

The facility management is community-oriented

with an educational outreach

program that includes growing orchids,

gardening with herbs, plant propagation

and seasonal gardening tasks. Hills

& Dales Estate has venerable roots but

the presence of families with children

enjoying ancient boxwoods, spectacular

flowers and fresh air confirms that the

Callaway Foundation mission of public

enrichment is working well.

DB Written by Doc Lawrence


Immerse yourself in local

flora by ending your

day at nearby

Callaway Gardens. The

Southern Pine Cottages are

private, spacious, relaxing,

and exceedingly

charming. Each of the

155 units are tucked away

in a gorgeous woodland

setting and offer superior

amenities in a relaxing,

comfortable setting.




by life,


by space.

At domoREALTY, we’re

passionate about architecture,

marketing and design.

Follow us on our quest for

great design:


C: 4O4.556.1733 F: 4O4.974.9549

O: 4O4.974.955O



PetF rien dlySpaces


in plain sight

Start your own DIY project...

Scripps Networks Interactive courtesy of

Spot doesn’t want

a room to his own;

he wants to share

yours! That doesn’t

mean he can’t

have a designated

space just for

him alone. In fact,

if you take some

initiative from the

ideas here, you

won’t even have

to sacrifice your

aesthetics to do so.


ideas that can be used to incorporate pets into a beautifully

designed room, you need to find the happy

medium between what looks good and what pets will

actually use.

Number One: Cats love to get IN and UNDER

things. This makes an end table with doors an unbelievably

brilliant place in which to hide a litter box.

Number Two: Dogs like to have a space to call their

own. A place where they are out of the way of foot

traffic—where they can watch the comings-and-goings,

yet not get stepped on—is the ideal.

Incorporating a front row seat from which your

pet can supervise the goings-on into your carefully

groomed décor can be a challenge, but it is doable if

you simply think outside the box.

Cabinet designers, remodeling companies, and

pet-friendly interior designers know all the tricks.

Some may even show you how to do it yourself, if you

are so motivated.

Cover an old couch cushion with fabric that matches

your own decor. Instant dog bed. Have extra room inside

an armoire, buffet, or side table, and you are willing

to transform it into a hidden space for your fourlegged

pals? Go for it! But, if you are not confident in

your skills, we highly recommend hiring a professional.

Once you make that first cut, there’s no going back.

For those of you whose home is lovingly—and

tastefully—shared with your pets, enjoy the magic of

a home well synchronized for pets...and their humans.


Photo left: Gidget, owned

by Brian Patrick Flynn of

HGTV, reclines in an end

table that doubles as a

dog bed.

Photos opposite page:

1 & 2) Flynn shares a before-and-after

version of

his visually-friendly, hidden

litter box.

3) Dana Browner built an

under-stairs space for her

dog Gracie. It is a wonderful

concept for unused

space. Notice the window!

4) We love the idea that a

pet gate can be tucked

away behind a cabinet!

Thank you, Neals Design

Remodel, for this idea.

5) Also from Neals, an under-desk

space customized

for fur-babies.

...or plan ahead

when building

a new space.


your pets into

a sophisticated

living space is

easier than you

might think!




1 2


to this




Swash by Whirlpool

Closet-sized dry-cleaning machine


stores, with their interesting array of electronics, gadgets and

check stealing products. On a recent ramble through Best Buy,

we discovered our newest love: the Swash machine, by Whirlpool.

The device is a collaboration between Proctor and Gamble

(maker of soaps and washing powders) and Whirlpool. This

slim machine is only a tiny bit larger than a men’s suit jacket and

will fit neatly into your walk-in closet. You pull out a little vertical

drawer, put a garment on the hanger, and attach some clips at

the bottom to pull it taut. Insert a pod of cleaning solution, and

in ten minutes, you’re item is refreshed and ready to wear. As an

aside - you are not washing. This is a simple in -home refreshing

for not-quite-dirty clothes. Swash your clothes in 10 minutes

or less. By the time you are out of the shower, your clothes are

wrinkle free, refreshed and ready for a re-wear!

Need one? $499.00 at


GPS Pet Tracker

Keep track of your little wanderer


yours doesn’t become part of the statistic. Not only can you find

them when they’re missing, but you also have a record of where

they’ve been and whether they are experiencing extreme temperatures.

With a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 10 days, a map and

directions to lead you to your pet, and text/email alerts when

your little adventurer goes out-of-bounds, there is no reason to

lose your furry friend ever again.

The rugged, waterproof casing ensures that even rough play

won’t damage the goods. Nationwide cell and GPS technology

ensures that you can locate your little buddy anywhere in the


Need one? $69.00 at DB

e-cloth and

Universal Stone

Perfect cleaning with just water


households, as the “green living” movement gains momentum.

At first glance, the claim that a cloth could clean effectively

with only water, seems unlikely. However, the proof is in the

puddin’—I mean, the fibers.

At a ratio of 1.6 million fibers per square inch (as opposed to

the standard 90,000-200,000 of other microfibers) the e-cloth

traps not only dirt, water and grease from hard surfaces, but also

99% of bacteria. Then, when you rinse the cloth under a stream

of hot water, all but .01% of trapped deposits are washed down

the drain.

Not just for cleaning, these cloths will leave your mirrors lint

and streak free, and your stainless steel surfaces free of smudges

and fingerprints.

Good for at least 300 washes (guaranteed by the company),

your e-cloth is certainly economical.

For restoration of metals, plastics and ceramic, the Universal

Stone product, applied with the applicator sponge, is a non-abrasive

cleaning agent made from natural ingredients. It polishes,

cleans and preserves all in one step. Fabulous!

Need a set? $49.99 at


Twin Wash

Two loads at the same time


We’re in! The Twin Wash is not an entire washing machine unit,

it’s actually just a separate drawer that fits under any of LG’s

front-load washers. It will handle your delicates while you’ve

got the heavier loads up top. With an entirely different cycle,

you literally can do two different things at the same time!

This is so new it’s not even on the market yet, so keep a look






Take that

party outside...

Remember drive-in theaters? There’s

something about watching a movie

out-of-doors that adds a little zest to the

experience. Those of you who saw the

movie The Wedding Planner, watched

as the characters fell in love during an

outdoor movie screening at a park. It

was romantic and charming. We don’t

see why our readers can’t recreate

that magic at home in their own back



memorable movie night in just a few thoughtful moments

and a search through a linen closet or spare

bedroom. Sure you have to drag some things outside,

and then have to drag them back indoors. Think of the

memories made! It’s worth a little effort.

Pillows, quilts, some candles, a movie projector or

flat screen tv... Set the stage minimally or as extravagantly

as you want. It’s your party!

Be creative. Throw a white sheet over a fence, or

tack it to the side of a shed. Want something with a little

more structure? Folding-frame outdoor projection

screens can be purchased for under $200, and come in

several different types. Outdoor models can be inflatable

(yes, really!) or manual, that set up on a tripod or


Let’s talk seating. There’s nothing wrong with letting

kids pile on a blanket strewn with pillows, but for

more sophistication, pull your patio furniture in front

of the screen for more comfort. Futons are fabulous for

outdoor lounging.

Time to talk food. Ooey, gooey caramel popcorn,

bottled drinks, gourmet popsicles...oh myyyy. The

possibilities are endless, and the best’re

OUTSIDE! Spills and accidents—no problem! Be



Chatham Double Chaise

$349.00 – $1,249.00

Elite Screens Yardmaster

Portable Outdoor Screen

Starts at $189.78

Party photos courtesy of

Popsicles top row,

left to right:

Orange Rosemary,

Fudge, Lemon Meringue,

Root Beer Float,

Berry Cheesecake.

Bottom row:

Banana Colada,

Strawberry Shortcake,

Cucumber Mint,

Key Lime Pie,

Peach Lavender.

For a full recipe list,


Lemon Meringue


• 6 eggs

• 1 c. cane sugar or coconut sugar

• 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice

• 1 TBS. lemon zest

• 8 TBS. butter

• 1/2 cup cream

• 1/4 cup cane sugar or coconut sugar


In a glass bowl over a saucepan of boiling

water, whisk eggs, 1 c. sugar & lemon juice.

Stir constantly until temperature reaches

160 degrees.

Remove from heat and mix in lemon zest &


With a mixer set on high, mix cream & sugar

until whipping cream forms.

Layer the lemon curd & whipping cream,

then pour in popsicle molds and freeze for 6+


Key Lime Pie


• 2 cans coconut milk or whole milk

• Juice & zest of 1 lime

• 3 TBS. honey

• pinch of salt

• 1 c. chopped macadamia nuts


Mix coconut milk, lime juice & zest & honey

in a blender/food processor.

Pour into popsicle molds or cups and freeze

for 6+ hours.

Remove from mold & roll in chopped nuts.

Banana Colada


• 4-5 bananas

• 2 cans of coconut milk

• 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1 c. chocolate chips

• 1/2 c. coconut flakes


Mix bananas, coconut milk, vanilla, & salt in

a blender/food processor. Blend.

Toast coconut flakes in a pan over medium

heat for about 5 min.

Pour liquid mixture into popsicle molds, top

with toasted coconut, and freeze for 6+ hours.

Slowly melt chocolate chips in a glass bowl

over a saucepan of boiling water, then dip

into chocolate and freeze for 5 minutes.






I just bought a home with box

beams on either side of my

kitchen island, one has to be

there, the other is just boxed

to create balance, can I do

anything to make this more


Add a weight line by creating a

larger base at bottom, making the

columns appear more centered.

Depending on your ceiling, you

may be able to create a detail

on the box beams to match your

crown molding, which gives the

overall appearance of the room a

more stylish and finished look!

At Home With Shane

In my every day journey from home

to home and from client to client,

I am inspired.

Design & Build magazine brings you...

Shane Meder

Q: Is there a specific guide to use when selecting a rug size

for my room?

A: A rug should bring a space together. A guide I use is to always

make sure the rug at least comes half way under the sofa.

If the room has a fireplace, keep the rug two feet from the hearth.

It is always better to choose larger sizes vs. smaller. A larger rug

will make the space feel warmer and more comfortable.

Q: What is your advice on choosing the right size of tile for

my bathroom?

A: Actually, larger size tile in smaller spaces make the floor

feel larger because there are fewer grout lines. I am a firm believer

that less is more. With a thin line of grout, it allows the tile

to feel larger, and does not distract from the beauty and movement

of the tile or stone. This is referred to as a butt joint.

Q: Is there one room in the home I should not include family


A: As a rule, I never place family portraits in dining rooms. It

is the place that you host guests, and it is important to have soft

art that dictates a calming and welcoming effect.

Q: I am holding on to my mother’s porcelain lamps.

Should I incorporate these heirlooms in today’s transitional

living room?

A: I highly recommend using your mother’s lamps. It will

bring more sentimental value to your space. Adding a new shade

and an acrylic base is a great way to reinvent them.

Q: What is the best way to freshen up a vanity when remodeling

a bathroom?

A: Vanities typically are very easy to paint. By also adding a

new top, such as granite or cement, you can freshen up the over

all look. By updating the handles and knobs, you can totally

re-create the style. When doing so, be mindful of the finish of

faucet and lighting. They too, can be reinvented by choosing the

same finish...

Q: I have a dresser my husband and I started keeping

house with, and we love it. However after moving here from

Boston, we believe the very traditional style feels heavy and

older and then the one in our new home at Reynolds. Any

thoughts or ideas to help us keep it, but give it a new look

in our new home. I love color. Do I dare explore with this


A: One word... “paint!” And as for color, find yourself a palette

that you love and want to explore!

If you love color, think young and fresh, which is exactly what

the dresser is longing for!

Have a question for Shane? He is available by email at

He can also be reached through his website at





The Perfect Marriage

(of original & modern)

There is something very sexy and

satisfying about a renovation that has

been tastefully infused with

original details.

Design & Build magazine brings you...

Vanessa Reilly


over the years, I have seen all types of renovations.

From a $100,000 lime green kitchen

to a freshly carpeted bathroom floor.

Many projects have left me scratching my

head. When it comes to a remodel, everyone

has their own personal style, but one theme

that I’ve noticed over the years in the most

striking renovations is a balanced blend of

reclaimed original features in juxtaposition

with intelligent, modern upgrades. There is

something very sexy and satisfying about a

renovation that has been tastefully infused

with original details.

My favorite style of renovation has always

been mid-century modern. The clean lines,

walls of glass, and natural flow of interior to

exterior spaces tugs on my heart strings. It

started as a hobby and morphed into an obsession.

Renovating a mid-century home is

like putting a puzzle together. How can you

preserve the original features while updating

the space so that it feels current and fresh?

The most recent renovation project I had

the opportunity to work on was a home built

in 1972 located in the mid-century modern

neighborhood of Northcrest. The original

owners had taken pride during their ownership,

and many of the home’s original features

were impeccably maintained. We called it the

“Lynnray House” and it boasted a dramatic

elevation with a low pitch roof, multi-level

floor plan and plenty of glass that let the natural

surroundings in.

The actual floor plan needed little modification.

Just one wall was brought down to

open the kitchen up to the main living space.

The windows were replaced and expanded

to enhance the love affair with the natural

light and the interchangeable indoor/outdoor

living. Surprisingly, the only original wood

floors were in the bedrooms. The rest of the

home had a lovely mud-colored carpet, which

looked like it could have been original as

well! We added wood floors throughout the

home and blended them perfectly with the existing

wood in the bedrooms.

For me, inspiration often comes from my

surroundings. In this case I drew upon the

warmth of the original tongue and groove

ceilings and offset the warm wood tones with

a cool, modern, paint pallet. The new kitchen

was opened up and streamlined and I intentionally

chose to not use upper cabinets and

instead opted for a larger bank of built-ins

around the refrigerator. This kept the eye focused

on the dynamic pitch of the tongue and

groove ceiling - the starring character of this


In the bathrooms, the old shower tile was

replaced with large, white, rectangular tile

that traveled vertically up the wall and visually

added even more height to the space,

again, playing up the T&G wood ceilings.

The original tile was left on the floor and

simply acid washed and re-grouted. This

gave the bathrooms a bit of history and depth.

All the fixtures, vanities and toilets were replaced.

The finished product was a striking

mix of contemporary and years gone by. A

labor of love that told a story in the details,

ornamented with special touches and infused

with natural light.

Have a question for Vanessa? She is available

by email at

She can also be reached through her website






Consider This

Aceing your mortgage application

Applying for a mortgage is a major milestone in

your life. It signifies the purchase of a home and

the achievement of the American dream. To

make sure that the American dream doesn’t turn

into a nightmare, several items must be considered

before submitting your application. Mortgage

companies will look not only into your current

financial situation but also your ability to pay

long term, especially considering the fact that

your mortgage will be for 15 to 30 years. Below

are the five factors which are most important for

putting your best foot forward to

qualify for a mortgage.


the mortgage for which you are applying. Generally

speaking you should not purchase a home which is more

than 3 times your annual salary. In the same vein you

should not obtain a mortgage which accounts for more

than one-third of your income. Assuming there is no major

change in your income during the term of your mortgage

this should ensure its ongoing affordability for you

and your family.

The second item to consider is the amount of the down

payment. A target goal should be 20% of the purchase

price for your new home. If you are unable to make a

down payment of 20% you typically will have to purchase

insurance which protects the mortgage company

from default. This insurance is called private mortgage

insurance and will remain a portion of your monthly payment

until you reach at least an 80:20 ratio in debt to

value. If you are unable to make a 20% down payment,

one potential workaround to avoid private mortgage insurance

would be to finance 80% of your loan through a

first mortgage and the remaining amount through a second

mortgage. You will need to discuss this with your

mortgage broker to determine if it is an option for you.

Applying for a mortgage will require a strong credit

score. In order to build your credit score consider obtaining

a credit card and using it for everyday purchases. At

the end of each month pay off the entire balance. After

doing so for 12 consecutive months you will see an increase

in your credit score. You can also build credit by

making on time car payments. If you initially do not qualify

for a mortgage, try purchasing a home through your

local bank and making on time payments for a period of

12 months. Building your credit demonstrates to your

mortgage company that you are a good risk and your

chances of approval improve exponentially. Your credit

score will likely be the determining factor as to whether

you receive mortgage approval.

In order to demonstrate to the mortgage company that

you are a good candidate, you need to have been employed

for a period in excess of one year. Job stability

shows a funding stream that will be used to pay back the

mortgage. Your mortgage broker will require copies of

two or more years of tax returns, as well as W-2 and pay

stubs showing continued employment. It is also typical

for a mortgage company to contact your employer to

verify employment during the loan process and sometimes

on the day of closing. You will also be asked to

sign documentation which states that your employment

is unchanged and that your income is the same as what is

reflected on your loan application.

The final thing to consider before applying for a mortgage

is that you have not requested credit for any other

large purchase at the time of your mortgage application

or while your mortgage application is pending before

closing. During the underwriting process the mortgage

company will review your income and credit history to

make a determination as to whether they believe you

can meet the terms of the mortgage. If you have recently

made a new debt obligation, it will be hard to determine

whether you can effectively service that debt in addition

to your new mortgage. Once you are approved and preparing

to close, if you were to purchase a car or boat,

the credit used could be detrimental to your mortgage

approval. If new credit is applied for and received during

this period, oftentimes your mortgage approval will be

withdrawn and the mortgage company will be unwilling

to move forward with your loan. A good rule of thumb is

to avoid applying for any new credit during the six-month

period before applying for your mortgage and under no

circumstances should you apply for new credit after your

mortgage approval before your closing.

Applying for a mortgage is a daunting task. There is

a mountain of paperwork and requests for income verification,

credit and job history. The process will be time

consuming and sometimes frustrating. By considering

the five factors outlined, you should have a smoother

experience with your mortgage broker. If you are able

to address these matters before completing your application

and your mortgage is affordable according to your

current income then getting approved for a mortgage

should be attainable. Each mortgage company has different

guidelines for approval, but improved credit scores,

a solid down payment and a demonstrated ability to pay

will go a long way in approval of a new mortgage and

attaining the American Dream by buying a new home.


Written by Lee Abney







Jamie Miles

writer, wife, mother and turtle wranglerY

When Opportunity Knocks,

Should You Always Answer?

“I got a call out of the blue. This

really nice guy wanted to sell his

house before it went through the

foreclosure process,” remembered

Abney. Asking advice

from industry friends, consensus

was the 20-year-old house needed

a little work for a reasonable

amount of money. After walking

through the house with the owner,

Abney agreed, and within two

weeks of that first phone call, the

Abney family’s lakefront dream

came true. What dream doesn’t

need a little work?

“The first time I go out to the

house and it’s mine, I walk through the door and my legs turn black.” Fleas. Once the

former owner’s dogs moved out, the insatiable pests picked the new owner as their

next host. Conditions were so insufferable, the contractor refused to start work till the

fleas were gone. But as the Man Who Came to Dinner, these teensy guests weren’t vacating

their turf without a war. His foe firmly entrenched, Abney naively—by his own

admission—set out 30 flea bomb cans. The result “was like I fed the fleas.” Round

Two, Abney turned to the professionals. After their treatment, “it was like they fed

the fleas.” The company tried a second time using so much flea-killing juice in Lee’s

words, “the carpets went ‘squish, squish, squish’” — to no avail. Round One, Two

and Three going to the fleas, who were now drunk on pesticide.

Calling another company out of the bullpen, this pest reliever refused to treat the

house until the carpeting was removed. A Catch-22 for Commander Abney, because

no person of sound mind wanted to tear out the flea infested, insecticide-pickled carpet.

Finally, with a Matterhorn of carpet in the dumpster out front, the all-out assault

began. The new strategy treated the whole house, the attic, the crawl space and 30,000

square feet of yard. Round Four found Abney KO’ing the fleas and the remodel could

begin. Or so he thought.

The first task was to remove wallpaper throughout the entire house. Like their fellow

inhabitants—the fleas—the wallpaper refused to go peacefully. Every square inch

had to be peeled off by hand. This left the interior of the house covered in bitty shards

of discarded wallpaper, layers of dust, and riddled with ladders. “You couldn’t walk

through the rooms because the floors were covered in ripped wallpaper. We went

through the money from the bank in the first two and a half months.” He added with

a slight grin, “Then it became too depressing to keep track of.”

When he first bought the house and was given a two-month timeline, Abney envisioned

a grand Fourth of July with hotdogs and fireworks, or a large Labor Day

bash for family, friends and clients. After Labor Day came and went, he received a

call from a good client who joked that his invitation to Abney’s Labor Day lake party

must have gotten lost in the mail. “I had to tell him that my lake house is in shambles.

There was no party.”

Replacing the HVAC was the one big expense Abney knew about at purchase. But

unforeseen time—and money-consuming roadblocks—kept appearing faster than a

frisky flea reproduces. The front steps needed replacing. Then, because the former

owners smoked, residual tar stains on ceilings and accompanying cigarette smell ended

up being as hard to evict as the wallpaper and the fleas. Oh, and when a worker

Attorney Lee Abney kept a

lookout for a sweetheart deal on

lakefront property since moving

to Madison in 2001. Abney’s

parents, living in Dublin, Georgia,

had long entertained the idea of

a place on Lake Oconee, close

to Lee’s family and their son and

family in Milledgeville. Then in

June 2014, the perfect opportunity

appeared. Or was it the perfect


used an upstairs toilet, an unknown leak flooded newly restored

downstairs ceilings.

While Lee spent nights after work and every weekend replacing

faucets and painting walls with the construction crew, he

wasn’t the only family member stressed by this home remodel

gone south—north, east and west. Summer Abney, Lee’s wife

and Morgan County High School math teacher, spent those

same work nights and weekends home alone with the couples’

young son, McCullough. “Summer was 100 percent right,” Lee

laughed. “I’m an eternal optimist, and she’s a realist. It turned

into Lee’s Folly.”

“The way I envisioned it, you hand someone a check, then

come back out and the work is done.” Reality ended up to be

quite different. Abney quickly learned that the more he distanced

himself from the project, the faster things spiraled out

of control. He realized early on that to afford the remodel, he

was going to have to strap on a tool belt and don a painter’s cap.

“Anything you could do with a drill and not have to have any

construction skill, I did it,” he laughed. This included painting

DB Written by Jamie Miles

walls and working on the dock. He handled a lot of the cleanup,

hauling loads of rotted wood and wallpaper scraps out to

the dumpster. Weekends were packed full of trips with the contractor

to Home Depot and Lowe’s to select materials and haul

them to the house in his truck.

Lee’s Folly—though painful at times—paid a big dividend.

Three generations now have a beautiful lakefront home to enjoy.

And, the ordeal gave Lee a new perspective on what his

clients face. “Lots of times, I’ll close a construction loan, then

later close the permanent financing. I’ll ask if they are happy

with the house while making small talk. Now I truly understand

what these people spent the last year doing.” Lee laughed that

remodeling or building a house is like a part time job without

an end date. “You just do it till it’s done.” What started out as

a two-month rehab with a small budget, ended up taking over

three times as long and costing double the forecast amount. And

as of this printing, Lee’s Folly is not quite over. There’s one

door left to weather strip, and one can light to be installed. No

need to check your inbox for any Fourth of July invites just yet. DB


DB &


Ameris Bank...............................................BC

Black Sheep Interiors...................................3

Brian Quinn/Coldwell Banker.......................7

Companion Animal Rescue, Inc................33

DOMO Realty................................................49

Ed Castro Landscape..................................48

I. Bowman Gallery.......................................63

Kokopelli Builders.........................................65

Madison Area Real Estate Sales................27

Noland Atlanta Bath & Idea Ctr..Inside Cover

Southern Thymes Shared Cookbook........26

Sotheby’s International Realty.....................64

Suzita George Art...........................................5 JAN/FEB 2015





Summer 2014 inspired

DBSpring2015.indd 1 12/4/2014 12:51:37 PM

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899 Big Horn Hollow


ba. 404.372.8144 mw. 678.520.9922 o. 404.237.5000 |

Lake Oconee’s award-winning design & build firm brings the finest of planning,

workmanship, and detail to your custom-built home. When looking for a buider

with experience, the best realtors recommend Kokopelli Builders.

Kokopelli Builders - specializing in fine homes at Lake Oconee, Lake Hartwell and

Lake Keowee.


1090 Crystal Point

© MMXV Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Equal

Housing Opportunity. Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated.

Kokopelli Builders • 404-396-6519 •

The Power of Quality Mortgage Bankers,

providing Quality Mortgage Solutions.

At Ameris Bank, we are here to help homebuyers find the mortgage that best fits their needs and make the

process as simple as possible. With our “in-house” underwriting, funding and closing, we strive to not only

close on time, every time, but also to close the loan as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Easy online application for pre-qualification

Appraisers familiar with home values in your community

“In-House” underwriting, funding and closing

Consistent updates throughout the loan process

Timely processing and closing

Brian McCorvey

Mortgage Branch Manager, NMLS #166888

Direct: 404.405.0487

1800 Parkway Place, Ste. 820 | Marietta, GA 30067

Blake Bicking

Mortgage Banker, NMLS# 1052299

Direct: 770.499.2807

1800 Parkway Place, Ste. 820 | Marietta, GA 30067

All loans subject to credit approval.

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