changing hands

May 8th 2012 Comments: 3 Topics: ,

Once a project is completed, we have the romantic notion that our clients will grow old there and, after a long, long life, pass their treasured possession along to an eager and loving heir.
This is not the rule; it’s actually a rare exception. Over the past 30 years we’ve had hundreds of our houses trade hands and it’s always interesting to watch into whose hands they fall.

In the early 1990s, we designed a large, contemporary home for a couple on a difficult site outside of Atlanta, Georgia. We brought in John Saladino for the interior decorating and he did, as expected, a beautiful job furnishing the estate. The house was even featured in the now defunct (and sorely missed) magazine House and Garden. A few pages from the spread are featured below. The house was sold by our clients soon afterward and, over the years, we lost touch with the property and the subsequent chain of ownership.

A while back, I received the embedded video below from a friend. Now, we’ve been featured in the publishing world’s finest magazines and on some of the top decorating TV shows, but this was a first for us. It seems one of our designs was spotlighted on the show MTV Cribs, a show where rock stars give tours of their new-money-tricked-out mega-mansions.  This was certainly not one of our usual press venues.  Apparently, the Atlanta property we designed over 20 years ago is now owned by the rap superstar Akon. From the looks of it, he’s very proud of the estate and has maintained it beautifully.

As a clarification (and in our defense), the alligator pit was not original to our design…


  1. JBW says:

    An alligator pit under the coffee table! I am SO copying that idea.

  2. Leah Stephens says:

    We should have known that y’all were simpatico with Akon.

  3. Michael says:

    Always intrigued by this house (or should I say estate)—my first introduction to the brilliance of Bobby McAlpine. Still have the H&G article in my idea file. Was disappointed that this house was not included in your book, “Finding Home.” Would love to see the floorplans!!! Cannot believe how little money Akon paid for this when he bought it.

Leave a comment