Feature Firm: Southeast Studios
August 6, 2018 | Dana Hensey
Often architects can be divided by their opinion on the singular question – do you prefer modern or traditional architecture? Greg Mix, cofounder of Southeast Studios, has abundant experience with both and manages a feat that many architects can only try, but fail to do – he strikes a delicate balance of both contemporary and traditional in his designs.
Greg gained his appreciation for both Neo-Classical and Modern European and American architecture through his extensive travels of Europe and the United States. Using these influences, he masterfully incorporates them into his own designs of single family residences, mixed use, offices, shopping centers, and a multitude of other project types.
Within his single family residential design repertoire, Greg and Southeast Studios have built dozens of homes in Buckhead and Brookhaven, as well as in prestigious Atlanta subdivisions including River Club, Sweet Bottom Plantation, and Country Club of the South. The personalized services he provides to his clients result in beautiful homes that accommodate the needs, desires and lifestyles of his clients. In addition, his graceful designs and eye for detail create structures that are jewels for the entire community.
So although perhaps the most prominent/loud/well-known works of architecture – the ones whose metal facades soar on the cover of Architectural Record – are modern in style, it is often the designs which nod to the traditional that impact our world more on an everyday basis. They are the homes where we want to come home to at night, and where we want to spend our days.
Southeast Studios’ designs are carefully crafted, they are clean, and they are elegant. The projects below are just a handful of their works of modern art.
An Arts & Crafts Style House Renovation:
Located in College Park, Georgia, this renovation project began with a quaint 1930s bungalow with only 1500 square feet of enclosed space.
Southeast Studios worked closely with the owners to design extensive additions, including a new Arts & Crafts porch on its south elevation as a welcoming element for their children when they walk home along Madison Street. The porch is anchored with stone post pedestals beneath clean square columns, and embraces the desire to bring the living space outdoors. The architects also were keenly aware of its setting within an older neighborhood, and maintained traditional elements while sprucing up the home’s façade. The exterior is freshly clad in wood-grain siding and tasteful green siding with stone accents.
The finished home boasts over 3,900 square feet of bright, well-crafted space and an aesthetic that is lively while paying homage to its origins.
Opening the Ranch House — a Case Study in Home Renovation
The homes in Northern Dekalb County, Georgia, such as this Ranch House, are wildly desirable due to their location; well inside the Atlanta perimeter, they are convenient for people who work in the city. In addition, these homes, built in the 1960s, have large and fairly level lots. However, the housebuilding trends of the 60s and 70s were for homes to be laid out with many small, cut-up rooms. In today’s era, homeowners complain of the “chopped-up nature” of their designs, so they look to firms like Southeast Studios to make their homes more open and comfortable.
This ranch house is one of the thousands built in the 60s and 70s, and like so many of them, it has a load-bearing wall running directly down its middle, leaving small 12’ wide living, dining, kitchen, and den spaces around it with limited ability to expand.
Southeast Studios worked with interior designer Teresa Hamilton of T.L. Hamilton Designs, Inc., to develop a plan to open up these parts of the house. They also worked directly with the building, Jimmy Mahfoud of Mahfoud Construction, to install a new roof support beam and raise a 10’ high trey ceiling with built in cove lighting. The result is tremendous – rather than a dark, claustrophobic living room, the high trey ceiling provides a lighter, brighter, and more open feel to the new space.
They also designed a new, more open kitchen. Rather than full-height walls separating it from the living area, only a large island implies the division. The existing hall bathroom was widened, as was the narrow hallway to improve circulation. Spaces that were not opened up received face lifts – the fireplace was given a cement stucco coating and granite surround and hearth; a beverage center and lockers and cabinets were added to the rear, and the laundry room and bathrooms were given a complete update.
All in all, the house is now one that functions for a modern family with the bones of a sixties ranch.