Working with our friend, designer Garry Walling, on preliminary designs, we decided to focus on two core ideas: (1) use the original 1440 sq ft foundation for the main house, plus add a second story, and (2) build a separate garage/studio unit, positioned near the main house.

We happened upon our architect serendipitously. A spring wind blew down of our fence, and in the process of rebuilding it we met our future builder who told us about an architect he had worked with while building a duplex. At about the same time Garry told us about an architect who left her firm and was on her own. Turns out, both were talking about Kelly Mitchell.

Kelly’s design sense and ours meshed well. We decided to try to find a balance between a contemporary design and a design that fit our Shorecrest neighborhood. The last thing we wanted was a house that was offensive. In a nutshell, we wanted to avoid the McMansion syndrome: overbuilding a property with a faux castle or villa.

When Kelly and Garry unveiled the potential house designs, we all gravitated to what would end up being the final design. It was beautifully contemporary, satisfied our desire for a lot of natural light, minimized the amount of lot space used, and accommodated our lifestyle.

And beyond the basics like an amazing master suite and an entertainment-focused living area, our “wants” – studio, office, and meditation room – were perfectly integrated.

Kelly Mitchell was excited about building Green and obtaining LEED certification. Much like us, she has a keen sense of responsibility when it comes to caring for the environment. Kelly shares that sense with her husband and business partner, Sean Garman. Together they form Mitchell | Garman Design Collaborative. In addition, Sean is a LEED accredited professional with Dallas-based Perkins + Will, and luckily for us, he is acting as our Green Consultant.

Robert Mateo DiagoBuddha


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