The New/Old House

Anyone who has ever bought a truly old home knows that along with the charm, detail and history come leaks, creaks,  inefficiency and lots of repair bills.  I LOVE nothing more than a gorgeous old home and nothing makes me sadder than seeing one knocked down to make way for a McMansion or renovated improperly.  But old houses are a beast, and they aren’t for everyone.  New homes are just so much easier.  However, there are architects who design new houses to look just like old ones (my dad being one of them)- implementing reclaimed materials, handmade woodwork and mouldings and a great attention to detail and materials.  One other such architect is D. Stanley Dixon in Atlanta.  I GASPED when I saw this poolhouse (seriously, if this is the poolhouse can you even imagine what the main house looks like?)  in Atlanta Homes Magazine. Can I just live here?

Pool House Designed by Stan Dixon

Look at the level of detail here!

Pool House Designed by Stan Dixon

Stop it with these door/windows.

Pool House Designed by Stan Dixon

GET. OUT. No, get out with this “pool house”.

Pool House Designed by Stan Dixon

So cute I might have a stroke.

Pool House Designed by Stan Dixon

I feverishly went to look at more of his work on his website and was bowled over that these are NOT old homes.  Getting to have this kind of look with the efficiency and systems of a new home is the best of both worlds (but will certainly cost you a very pretty penny!)

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this house.

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I will say it again, I cannot believe this is new construction.

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Unbelievable light, texture and materials.

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This is true artistry. I am AMAZED!

43 comments

  1. Love all of this!! We’re actually house hunting right now, trying to decide if we’re up to the challenge of an antique home (which I love, but my husband is wary) because 99% of the homes and new constructions (on the market) in our area are slapdash McMansions, which is so sad. We would build something like these examples in a heartbeat, if it weren’t cost prohibitive!

  2. I found his website via a pinterest pic and lost an hour of my day without noticing. Just amazing.

  3. What’s not to love. Gorgeous! Truly the best of old-world details and modern efficiencies!

  4. Incredible. What inspiration. We have an older home (1940’s) and are getting ready for a major reno and addition. These are certainly great for ideas and keeping the old character alive.

  5. I can’t figure out how to post a link here, but Google “2009 Schutze Award Dixon” for exterior shots of the main home. It is about 10 minutes away from me, in a neighborhood in Buckhead called Haynes Manor, and actually is fairly modest-looking from the street. same architectural style as pool house. Love the bunk room but it is only accessed via a ladder. You know the cleaning ladies are cursing the homeowners every time they have to change those sheets!!

  6. I lived in Birmingham for years and am now in Boston. There is something about Southern homes (Birmingham, Atlanta, Nashville)… they seem able to do high-end customizations in so many homes that many people up here couldn’t afford. I can’t figure out the economics of it. Labor is cheaper down there, but the materials must cost the same… how do you have wrought iron casement windows, copper roofing, a new kitchen and a custom entry on a $400k home?

    1. Ha…I live in Midtown Atlanta, am a B’ham native, and wonder the same about all those amazing B’ham renovations I see in shelter mags. I think the property values are just so much lower there. In my ‘hood, old homes are being sold for $1 mill plus as tear-downs.

      1. You’re probably right. I think the nice areas of those cities have all been getting more expensive over the past few years. Still, it’s relative.

  7. Love this post Erin! It would be amazing if you could write a post about the differences between old and new construction. I’m currently taking a design course and learning bit by bit about trim and architectural details and all that, but would love to hear more on it from you. What trims are dead giveaways that something is “80’s builder?” As an example, my Mom just explained to me recently what to look for that classifies something as “Tudor.” So interesting to learn about these things and clearly you know a lot about architecture, so would love to see something like that if you ever feel like writing about it!

  8. Gah! *sigh* I wish.

    We just bought an 1895 Eastlake Victorian and are in the very early stages of reno. Beast is a good way to describe it. I couldn’t pass up the chance to bring it back to life.

    Considered a Connor Home (http://www.connorbuilding.com/) but couldn’t find a lot cheap enough on the North Shore so I could build the size house I wanted. This Old House just did a project with them in Essex, MA. Stunning house.

  9. Picking my jaw up off the floor now! We live in a Victorian cottage and while we love it and can’t even imagine of living somewhere else, there are some days where I definitely understand the value of a new build – we would save so much money on repairs and SO much time on cleaning. But it’s worth it :)

  10. Those details are what make the home, in my opinion, and I love to see people getting away from the boring cookie cutter styles. In order to get the best of both worlds in my home, we purchased a gorgeous 1925 craftsman, then fully updated the kitchen and bathrooms. This allowed us to retain the original character in the living room, dining room, etc, while having modern spaces too.
    I blogged about the before and after at littlebricklane.blogspot.com

  11. All I can say is WOW and I’m drooling! Nice to know that some new houses are being built like the stunning older homes with attention to every beautiful detail.

  12. As the owner of a house that is over 100 years old, I agree, you love the charm and general feeling of space and light that an older home can have. I love the moldings in my house so much that I broke the rule about how to hang your curtains just so I could still see the molding (I know…probably should not have done that). And I get to have a really big Christmas tree because my near 10 foot ceilings just beg for one. That said, my home is not the most efficient. And, you need lots of padding in your budget for renovations because you just know that when the walls get opened up the wiring is going to scare the bejesus out of you. And, someday my kitchen will get remodeled – just as soon as I save up the extra dough needed for asbestos abatement!

    These houses are amazing –the mill work is gorgeous. I’ve perused your dad’s site. I love his work – the Calhoun house is one of my favorites.

  13. Just incredible! My husband and I were so close to buying and renovating an 1890 Victorian farmhouse in rural Alabama, but opted instead to build a home in Mt Laurel in Birmingham where the houses are built in the style of Craftsmans (btw, the 2016 Southern Living idea house is being built here as I write). I love where I’m at, but I will always pine for what could have been for that old Victorian…

  14. The whole thing is amazing–those details!!! That wainscot trim on the staircase with the corner detail is to die for.

  15. Simply gorgeous. Such an inspiration for renovating an older home (which is what my husband and I are doing in Wellesley right now) I agree with you in that there is a charm with older homes that just cannot always be captured with new construction.

  16. What an unbelievable home! And I’m also now putting “Atlanta Homes” on my list of websites to look at. I’ve never seen them before!

  17. This is one of my all-time favorites that you have shared, Erin! There is nothing I don’t covet, admire and appreciate about this home. I see it as my dream home. Do we really have to live down south to get those details? I feel they are seldom found up here in the NE. Love! Love it!

  18. They say money doesn’t make you happy… ?!?!?!?!?! Ha!! Being able to afford one of these would for sure make me very, very happy!!

  19. We renovated a 1920’s colonial in Louisville and I was a total freak about maintaining the incredibly beautiful detail in every project we worked on. We managed to get the house pretty tight through careful window upgrades and foam insulation. Now we live in a 1963 home and while I miss the detail and craftsmanship of an antique home, it is exponentially easier to live with more modern and easily maintained surfaces and systems. If you have budget for high end service providers and custom everything, it is entirely possible to live green in an old home.

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