Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2016, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Pure

What’s the best description of “modern” style? — how about spare, simple and …pure?  Here’s an update from this year’s Modern Atlanta (MA!)/Design is Human Contemporary Architecture and Design Tour.

Modern Atlanta Homes Tour - living space

Is it the simplicity, or is it all that gray and white that makes it seem pure? Here’s a patio with a touch of color…

Modern Atlanta Homes Tour - Patio seating area

Modern Atlanta Homes Tour, patio seating area — still “modern”

Modern Atlanta Homes Tour - Entryway fountain

And an entryway fountain –  color courtesy of nature,  spare and pure (and maybe even Zen?)

Modern Atlanta Homes Tour - Living room behind glass

Living room behind glass – on the tour, some homes are completed and lived in, some are in progress, some are in-between. This room is from the same home as the fireplace photo, and like it, this room was staged by Ligne Roset.

One thing about all these modern spaces — there can be no cozy piles of papers like what tends to accumulate in the corners of, well, some of our homes. That would definitely ruin those clean spare lines.  I guess there’s no choice but to downsize before going “modern.”

I should know all about downsizing by now, but there’s always something to learn. I’ve been reading Downsizing the Family Home, by Marni Jameson — here’s a sampling…

Everything we own has power … Letting go of anything we have seen or used or experienced as a child is hard because the memory embedded in the object has such power. We fear if we let go of the object, we’ll lose the memory.       — Organizing guru Peter Walsh, quoted in Downsizing the Family Home, by Marni Jameson

Simply and starkly put, sorting through a household makes us face our own mortality: the passage of time, life and death, where we’ve been, where we haven’t been, where we are in life, successes and regrets.    — Downsizing the Family Home, by Marni Jameson

Modern Atlanta Homes Tour - Modern warmed with wood and stone

Modern can be a little cool — here’s a space that’s warmed with wood and stone

Modern Atlanta Homes Tour - stair with modern light

I love all the angles in this sleek modern stairway.

Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2016 - Stairway in remodeled house

My favorites on the tour are often the remodeled houses. The wood in this stairway links cool modern and warm vintage.

If I ever have a modern-style home of my own, it won’t be large and lavish like these homes, but I hope it can be as simple and pure. I’ll go with this definition of pure —  “containing nothing that does not properly belong.”

Still, on homes tours, I always wonder what’s behind the doors they mark “Please do not enter” — could there possibly be a little, just a little,  junky mess?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Pure

More on the Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2016

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15 thoughts on “Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2016, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Pure

  1. I have a girlfriend who renovated a home and took the clean, spare route. It looks nice enough, but it is not a ‘happy’ place to visit. Most of the furniture isn’t that comfortable to sit on. The rectangular rooms (with their high ceilings) have echo problems. It just doesn’t look or feel like people live there!

    • Yes, I think it could be easy to go overboard on the clean and spare. But I’m told my old oak furniture isn’t very comfortable either. I think I have a problem with liking the way things look more than the way they work in practice. The acoustics would be a problem though, and I hadn’t thought about that. There are some nice points to having a place that feels “lived in”! Thanks for commenting – Sandy

    • Ah – I always come home from these tours feeling inspired to clean and de-clutter. And for a while, I do, then I slow down… we’ll see how long my energy lasts this time. (I think having those interesting architectural angles would help too)

    • Sometimes I’m so tempted to just peek behind one of those closed-off doors when no one’s looking. Once in a while the really posh ones have open doors showing their amazing color coordinated closets — that’s always fun.

  2. When I was a student in the 1960’s I started collecting nursery rhymes and poetry which I could use once I started teaching. I built up quite a collection in a folder. I also got into the habit of cutting poems out of the daily newspaper if they appealed to me. One poem impressed me so much I have treasured it for the last 50 years. I still have the original cutting. Brown with age, I’ve now laminated it so that it doesn’t get damaged. It is called Miss Margaret’s New House and it chimed with me really strongly.
    As regular readers of my blog will know, my much loved mum died in 2012. She lived just a couple of doors away from me, which was really handy when I was caring for her. But once she had died, the house being so close was a constant source of sadness which I could not escape.
    The house was empty and forlorn for months but now new people have bought the house to ‘do up’ and live in. It seems to me that there will be nothing left of the original house soon. It now has a huge extension on the back, the lovely hardwood window frames have been replaced with white plastic and the leaded lights are gone. The kitchen has been ripped out and a new one built in the extension. The wall between the bathroom and toilet has been knocked through and all the fittings have been replaced. The climbing roses have been cut down and the rambling hedgerow tamed and trimmed. All the carpets are gone and modern wooden flooring installed and the walls have all be painted in neutral tones.
    I’m sure it will all be lovely by the time they move in, but no longer will it be ‘my mum’s house’. This is a blessing in a way as I will no longer feel those pangs of sadness as I pass by on my walks with the dog or my grandson. Every trace of my mum’s taste and personality has gone from the house now, along with her fixtures and fittings, into the skip.
    Her style was plain and simple. She loved the soft pink on the walls, pale green on the floors ~ always Wilton, always 80/20 wool. She loved roses in the garden, flowers in the house, and dark oak Ercol furniture. She loved soft cushions and silver ornaments. Her door, like her heart, was always open to visitors, especially her family. She never forgot a birthday and was generous to a fault. Not a day goes by when I don’t miss her.
    Now to get back to the poem! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
    Miss Margaret’s New House

    She never liked The Firs. She said
    ‘Give me simplicity.
    Pretentious roofs and leaded panes…
    Lord, how they sicken me!

    I’ll have an honest house one day.
    Clean-shaped outside and in.
    Where need shall take its dues, and oust
    The merely finikin.

    A downright house, a compact house-I am small;
    The lone pea in its vasty pod
    Is not my role at all

    Nor yet for me pert painted doors,
    Flame yellow, scarlet bright;
    A low house with white window sills,
    And trees to left and right.

    A quiet house, a peaceful house…
    Cool in the August heat,
    But snug and safe when parching winds
    Drive brown leaves down the street…

    This will I have’, she said and let
    It cost me what it may
    I shall not grudge that dwelling’s price…
    She moved in yesterday.

    It took the sum of all she had,
    But well content she seemed;
    She has them all-the sheltering trees,
    The quiet that she dreamed;

    The low pitched roof, the straight bare walls-
    All hers, and perfect, save
    For the white window sills. There are
    No windows in a grave.

    By Ana Jackson

    • Thank you so much for the poem – I can see why you kept it. And I’m sorry for your loss. My mother died over a decade ago, but I miss her every day. Logically I know that we can’t keep all our loved ones things, but it’s still hard to let them go, and it must be shocking to see your mother’s house so radically altered. (she sounds wonderful, and so elegant) Plus, it seems a shame to me when people move into homes and completely tear out beautiful and well-built vintage features. I know it happens, but I can’t help but wonder why not buy a home to their taste in the first place? — but here I am, feeling attached to “things” when I need to look around me and remember, in the end, it’s just stuff. Thanks again — Sandy

  3. I like modern style homes because the more space, the less clutter, dirt and dust there might be. Might make cleaning easier too. That modern fire place in the first photo looks verrrry fine 👌

    • Oh yes, don’t you love that fireplace? I like the ‘less clutter’ factor, especially right now… early summer and outdoor spiders want to come in and be sociable. I have too many things they can lurk behind (yeah — ewwww)

  4. These houses are absolutely stunning; the sense of openness just captivated me. I’ve seen your other posts and there are some gorgeous photos there. Keep ’em coming ’cause I’ll be following you from now on! 🙂

    Have an amazing day!!!

  5. Pingback: Pure (Lion’s Head) | What's (in) the picture?

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