From the brilliant red walls of the dining room to the pale peach walls in the living room, the home of James and Avis Lyle is a showcase for her talent.
The home is a backdrop for her watercolor and acrylic Southern landscapes and still lifes.
But it also holds some of her most precious family heirlooms: the dining room chairs with the needlepoint seat covers her grandmother sewed, her mother's fine porcelain flower collection, the two cedar chests her father made and the horse statues she collected as a teen-ager. Her father's prized pool table is the focal point of their game room.
The 9,000-square-foot, brick, Greek-revival home was built for entertaining friends and family.
"My husband comes from a large family, so we have a lot of large family gatherings. He is also a member of Rotary, so we also have Rotary parties and cookouts in our back yard," Mrs. Lyle said.
The couple built the house 3´ years ago in the 600 block of Spyglass Road in West Lake. It has an open floor plan introduced by a wide foyer that features a black-and-white tile floor and a spiral staircase.
Handcrafted, walnut-finished paneling is used in several rooms throughout the house, including the den, the office and a game room upstairs. One of the focal points in the house is in the den, where a 6-foot-tall, intricately carved Sir Walter Raleigh mantel fills one wall.
"It took five men to carry it in," said Mrs. Lyle, who found the mantel at an auction house in Atlanta. "We think it's European, but we're not sure of its origin."
With its imposing brick and white-column facade, the house is certainly stately. But its formality is downplayed in the decor, which is grounded by earth tones - green, burgundy and rust colors. The grass-cloth wallpaper in the den carries out the theme and offers added texture.
The white kitchen is light and airy, taking advantage of the view of the back yard, the golf course and the pool, one of the Lyles' favorite places to be, even in the winter, when it is covered.
Upstairs, Mrs. Lyle has a studio where she is preparing for her first show Nov. 18 at the Old Government House. Mr. Lyle's dark and masculine wood-paneled office is next to the studio. Down the hall is the game room, which also features a beautiful antique carved and inlaid wood bar. The room displays Mr. Lyle's collection of signatures from famous pilots, including Chuck Yeager and John Glenn.
The Lyles have been married 21 years and designed the house so they could live there comfortably for another couple of decades, at least. It has an elevator from the first to the second floor and a second master bedroom downstairs.
They share their domain with Charlotte, a 2-year-old Maltese. She makes herself at home there - playing tug of war with shoes, and dominating all the furniture and all the affection of those who come to visit.
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