As an architect — and specifically, as a female architect with children of her own — Amanda Orr likes to think she brings something interesting to the table when working with residential clients. “I’m biased of course, but I do think working with a female architect has its advantages. As a mom and wife, I’m acutely aware of what it takes to make a household run smoothly,” she says. “Having degrees in both interior design and architecture also helps in developing the project holistically.” An example: She might design doorways so a homeowner has views through the kitchen to the breakfast room or to the playroom where the children spend time.
For this Atlanta house, what began as a renovation ended up as a start-over. The homeowners were able to build their dream house on the lot where they had already lived for years. “On their wish list was more living space, better bedrooms for their children as they were getting older (and bigger), higher ceilings and more natural light,” says Amanda. “They also enjoy entertaining frequently, and so an easy flow and space for guests were paramount, along with a fabulous wine cellar close to the dining room.”
Amanda’s goal — working alongside interior designers Means + Carney and builder David Childers of Macallan Homes — was to find that perfect blend of traditional and modern. A lot of clients still hold onto many of the traditional rooms that are found in houses from generations past, Amanda says – such as a foyer, dining room, living room, kitchen, butler’s pantry and breakfast room. “The modern take on the floor plan has infused more communal spaces for the entire family; however, we’ve shifted the heart of the home to the kitchen, rather than the living room or parlor,” she says
Amanda praises the group effort to deliver on the homeowners’ wishes. “One of our overarching goals was to create an oasis for them away from the hectic schedules they juggle,” she says. “And I think we all accomplished that as a team.”
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