House at Lake Blackshear

This is their dream home. They raised their children and now they have grandchildren. It’s the last home they’ll build and they expect to live there for the rest of their lives. They even put an elevator in, I mean they’re ready – for entertaining, for grandchildren and for retirement.

They bought this land on Lake Blackshear and had a first right of refusal on the lot next door. The plan was to buy the second lot in a few years and build a guest house on it. Well, of course, the second lot came up for sale and they had to go ahead and buy it. So, before the main house got built beyond pouring the foundation, the guest house was being built too.

Sara came to me after she had gotten the house plans and a friend had started kind of helping her. Then she realized it was going to be way too overwhelming and she needed some real help, someone who could devote time to it.

The first time I met Sara it was winter time, freezing cold, and I met her at the house. The house was actually sticked and you could see the floor plan by walking through the house. Within three minutes I knew that Sara was one that really didn’t know exactly what she wanted, but she did know exactly how she wanted to live there. And all she had to do was tell me that she wanted to be comfortable for her and Dennis, but what she really wanted was for it to be comfortable for family and friends to gather and have fun with plenty of seating and a comfortable place for everybody.

It took two years to do. Sara and I worked together on everything, the stone, the color for the siding, the moldings, paint colors, draperies, upholstery, tiles, carpets, furniture and art. She met me at market in Atlanta and spent a couple of days walking through showrooms. They already had the flooring, re-claimed heart pine from an old warehouse. All the cabinetry was custom done by Mary Lefevres’ Inscape Designs. The lighting is custom as well, a lot of it recessed with dimmer switches and voice command control.

The main house is three stories. On the first floor is a foyer with a central elevator and staircase then a bedroom with bath, an exercise room and a big family room with a fireplace. The second floor has the main living room and dining room, breakfast room, kitchen, huge den, two guestrooms and baths. The third floor is a complete master suite: bedroom and bath, sitting area and an office which they share.

We took the furnishings from their old home and filled the guest house except for the few pieces that went into the main house. She had already purchased a few things, and I found a few pieces for her. I found a great armoire. It’s heart-pine, 1800s and actually had a date on the back of it from a black cabinet maker that was known to make cabinetry before the Civil War in Americus and Sumter County. That armoire is in the guest room with an iron bed from Old Biscayne Designs.

Probably the most fun and the most challenging thing about this project was the installation, since almost everything was going to the second floor and third floor. And most pieces were really, really massive. Some had to be craned in and the rest of it went up the back staircase.

Outside they have a large pool with a hot tub and a waterfall. Sara says Dennis’ way to relax is to get in the pool and swim some laps. There’s a picture here of Sara on the pier enjoying her views.

Dennis and Sara are in their late 50s. They have 3 sons, all grown, and several grandchildren. When their kids come to visit, the grandkids stay in the main house and their parents stay in the guest house. Although their home has been featured in Southwest Georgia Living, Sara didn’t want a show house. She wanted a comfortable useable house. They want to live there the rest of their lives in a home that is welcoming for family and friends.