Building Homes for Hope

A preview of the second annual Lake Oconee Showcase of Homes tour to benefit Greene County Habitat for Humanity.

Last fall, Greene County Habitat for Humanity (GCHFH) launched its first ever “Showcase of Homes” tour at Reynolds Lake Oconee in hopes of raising funds to support its building projects throughout the coming year.

The wake of its success is still being felt, and each time a key is handed to a new homeowner, it reinforces the idea that Habitat for Humanity is about more than just building homes – it’s about building hope.

This year, the Lake Oconee Showcase of Homes returns on Saturday, Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The self-guided tour features six private residences along with two new Reynolds Lake Oconee models overlooking the Creek Club golf course.

The tour showcases the exquisite architecture, interior design, and landscaping of some of Lake Oconee’s most well-appointed homes. Docents will be on hand to provide details about each home.

A special VIP party will be held for the homeowners, top-level sponsors, and Habitat’s executive committee on the evening before the tour. Black Sheep Interiors and DreamBuilt will host the event at a separate private home they built and designed that will not be open for the tour.  

Proceeds from this year’s tour will once again go toward building projects in 2020 with the goal of raising enough funds to build two homes for deserving families in Greene County.

For tickets or more information on GCHFH and the upcoming Showcase of Homes, visit

For tickets or more information on GCHFH and the upcoming Showcase of Homes, visit

The Pool House

Tucked away behind natural contours and immaculate landscaping, this spectacular estate reveals an entertainer’s dream – a complete four-bedroom pool house on an adjoining lot; a “fun” house to accompany the more formal residence next door.

The properties are seamlessly connected on three different levels from the lake to the driveway through landscaping designs by Charles Miller, allowing easy access from the main house to the pool house.

But inside is where the pool house really shines.

A stunning wood ceiling draws the eye immediately upward, exposing intricate craftsmanship from the upstairs galleys leading to the bedrooms down to the open living space below. The homeowner sketched out a general idea of what she was envisioning, drawing from memories of places she’s lived over the years. The Dutch door in front is reminiscent of the all-girls boarding school she attended in New York where carriage houses lined a lake. The interior design came together in much the same way, inspired by family and made up of art and keepsakes that document a lifetime.

Built by DreamBuilt, the home boast four large bedrooms upstairs, connected by a modified Jack-and-Jill style bathroom where two full baths are connected only by a common tub area. Two of the rooms have built-in lofts, adding interest to the already inviting rooms.

A downstairs bathroom and changing room opens to the pool, giving grandchildren easy access to the whimsical space that offers three different stalls, two changing rooms and showers, and of course, a towel hook for each one. Over the garage they have their own bonus room, complete with a fire house pole from the loft, bunks, and plenty of space to play.

Comfort drives the design of the home and its use of space, making it the perfect place to relax and have fun at Lake Oconee. 

The homeowner had the dining room table custom made using wine crates from some of her son-in-law’s favorite wineries after it was used in her daughter’s wedding.

The bunk rooms have an additional built-in loft area, adding interest to an already inviting space.

Rooms with a view

From its place atop a steep lot overlooking Lake Oconee, this home conveys a rustic mountain retreat with its cedar trusses and stone details. But inside, bright greens and yellows give a traditional feel to its classically Southern design. Shane Meder, of Black Sheep Interiors, anchored the main living space next to the open dining area with a lush green French sofa and brought in soft yellows and grays with the window treatments and fabrics.

“It’s tricky to work with yellows and greens,” says Meder, “but this worked so well in this room because the fabric softened everything even more and the yellows became a natural way to invite the outside in through those windows.”

The view of the lake is what drove the homeowners to select the lot and its height affords each room a breathtaking view. The terraced lot, landscaped by Steve Noles, flows naturally down to the lake incorporating different outdoor spaces like an expansive fire pit and resort-style pool along the way.

An airy screened porch, accessible from the kitchen and adjoining living space, provides and intimate spot for entertaining or simply a cup of coffee in the morning.

The home’s kitchen is undoubtedly the favorite gathering spot. Shane Meder of Black Sheep interiors pulled in orange tones to balance the oversized island, built-in banquette, and keeping room that connect the overall kitchen space.

Reclaimed Modern

Ryan Miller of Artisan Built worked closely with the homeowners to create this minimalist retreat that blends a modern, streamlined feel with rustic, craftsman elements.

The home boasts reclaimed brick from Savannah, black slate and reclaimed white oak flooring, timbers for ceiling accents, antiqued mirrored walls and metal ceiling in the powder room, and custom steel fireplace and vent hood.

These materials, when combined with the clean lines of the home’s modern furniture and deep, monochromatic paint scheme, creates an unexpected yet comfortable marriage of craftsmanship.

“I love that everything is simple and clean,” says Miller. “It’s almost like a touch of reclaimed and modern together and it just works.”

The quarter sawn oak used to create the modern lines on this media wall was a natural element carried throughout the home to spaces like the waterfall kitchen island and master bathroom cabinet frame.

The textures of metal and stone against wood details give the home a distinguished outdoor living space.

The Great Indoors

A dramatic wall of windows beneath a vaulted ceiling gives way to a sweeping view of the outdoors in this home designed by Artisan Built. It was this natural environment that first drew the homeowners to Reynolds Lake Oconee and it was important to maximize the feeling of being surrounded by nature.

Inside, designer Marilyn Alea of Oconee Interiors was tasked with giving weight to the lofty space and creating an intimate living space within the open floor plan. She used a slate veneer with custom built shelving and lighting to break up the main wall and ground the space. Expansive window treatments frame the oversized windows with fabrics to complement the modern accent chairs and custom-made sofa.

Inside, the homeowners personalized their home with art – from hand-painted Disney animation celluloids from their childhood, to Garfield’s portrait on the upstairs catwalk by creator Jim Davis who introduced them to the area. They brought pieces from their home in Indiana created by artist friends, including portraits of each of their pets hung in the master hallway.   

The keeping room off the kitchen has become the homeowners’ favorite space. From morning coffee to meal preparations, the welcoming arrangement provides comfortable seating to connect the family and guests to the open kitchen and well-appointed grill deck just outside.
The bunkroom upstairs is a fun and cozy space for all six of the homeowners’ grandchildren. Ryan Miller of Artisan Built utilized the extra attic space in the room to create comfortable nooks on either side of the room.
The functionality of the home allows for easy transitions from the covered porch and pool area to the main living spaces inside.

Formal comfort

Natural light saturates the two-story great room of this home, situated on the No. 1 green of the Creek Club course at Reynolds Lake Oconee. It falls over the sunset pink velvet accent chairs in the beautifully-appointed living room and reaches into the elegant kitchen and keeping room, just past the formal dining area.  

The homeowners wanted a more formal home that was every bit as welcoming as your average lake house. They wanted to replicate the long views that they first discovered at the model homes at Mill Creek and worked with Jones & Jones Custom Homes to capture a piece of that view in each room of their home, from the screened porch and upstairs balcony, to the keeping room off the kitchen.

Soft textures and fabrics add to the formality of the home while keeping things comfortable and livable for the family and all of their guests.

The fireplace in the two story great room was custom built to accommodate the oversized art from the homeowners’ California home. When they bought the painting depicting the woods in rural Kentucky, they had no idea they’d end up in Georgia, surrounded by similar views.
The upstairs of the home was designed to completely give guests their own space while still being connected to the main spaces below.

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