It’s quiet here except for a breeze awakening hardwood leaves, the sound of sneakers from a passing jogger and children splashing in the neighborhood pool. East Lake subdivision in Auburn was an obvious choice for the owners of Landmark Builders, LLC when choosing a site for the 2013 East Alabama Living Showcase Home. “East Lake has everything you could want,” says Landmark co-owner Maribeth Wolfe. “It has beautiful, generally level, lots and a great area for families to walk, run and push strollers. The clubhouse and pool are absolutely beautiful, and the homes are outstanding.”
The lot is close to the entrance and slightly elevated from the street. “It gives the home a seat of prominence while also providing privacy to its future owners,” says Maribeth. It’s almost three-quarters of an acre, backs up to a private estate and is wooded.
Choosing prime lots and creating beautiful homes isn’t new for the Auburn-based business. Craig and Maribeth Wolfe started Landmark in 2009 and have been building homes with impressive quality and design ever since.
Construction has always interested the couple. They both attended Auburn University and met their first year. “It was love at first sight,” says Maribeth. Craig studied building science and Maribeth, architecture. However, they both loved the outdoors and were eventually drawn to other fields and degrees. Shortly after graduation they married and years later had a daughter, Emmerson. “Her smile brightens every day, and she brings us joy we never imagined,” says Maribeth.
Landmark originated after Craig and Maribeth spent seven years in the construction industry. They built their first home in 2006, focusing on outstanding quality and affordability.
Maribeth says, “We discovered that we loved building homes.”
Craig adds, “Whether it is a custom or a spec, we love every aspect of the process: choosing a floor plan; watching it go up; picking the brick, paint, lighting and flooring; seeing the home come together; and witnessing the excitement of our customers when they see the finished product and move into their new home.”
Landmark has built a variety of homes including modern farm, traditional, distinct Southern charmers and European houses, specifically French. “I’ve never done a Mediterranean style house with an actual terracotta roof, and I would love to,” says Maribeth.
The 2013 showcase home will take a new approach to traditional style. “We chose the style of this home based on our desire to bring classic styling and detail back to homebuilding in the area,” she says. “This home will have all of today’s modern conveniences while providing beautiful details and thoughtful designs of past eras.”
Landmark recognizes that in recent years, homebuilders have gravitated toward cookie-cutter sameness, but now buyers are looking for something a little more unique. “We are returning to history and tradition to build the homes of tomorrow,” says Maribeth. “We are going to stop trying to recreate the wheel and turn to what we really did right. We want a theme that is going to inspire: one that preserves a sense of place and feeling of home.”
Landmark strives to build timeless homes, regardless of the style. “Each house, like every client, is one of a kind,” says Maribeth. “There is no particular style that we follow or try to impose. Each space we create reflects the dreams, personal tastes and desires of the people for whom it is created.” Landmark is inspired by traditional and classic architectures when designing homes, but the main approach is simple. “We listen to our customers,” says Maribeth.
Harold Nichols of Nichols Meinert Architects often partners with Landmark to design projects so he was Landmark’s first choice when selecting an architect for the showcase home. “His use of space is unsurpassed, with ample storage and graciously sized rooms,” says Maribeth. “We believe that with Harold’s help, the showcase home will be a true show stopper.”
“It is our pleasure to be providing the design for this year’s East Alabama Living Showcase Home,” says Nichols. “We so enjoy working with Landmark Builders and appreciate the fine work they do. Maribeth and I have worked closely together on this year’s design to integrate style, livability and build-ability. Using traditional materials with fine detailing, the home will have a welcoming presence upon approach.”
According to Nichols, the exterior of the home “will have a nice reflection to the street. Soft colors of mortar-washed brick and stucco along with a lowered, second-floor roof-overhang site” will blend nicely with the landscape.
“Surrounding trees will be utilized for shading and privacy,” says Nichols. “And a motor court surrounded by
a low wall will welcome the family
and guests alike.”
The back yard will have a private terrace and covered cabana, “offering wonderful options for entertaining or
repose.” According to Nichols, “You could even spend the whole day relaxing with friends and family.”
The home’s interior boasts of four bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths and will flow well for “easy living or gracious entertaining,” according to Maribeth. It’s not modern, but will have a crisp new look. “It’s a new house that will take on an old tradition,” she says. When asked of her favorite aspects of the plans, Maribeth settles on two: “I really love the number of windows and French doors that provide views to the backyard,” she says. “And I love that the kitchen is so large, bright and airy.”
“Through the tall, central front door, you are quickly offered views to the main areas of the home,” says Nichols. “The main area of the home offers several open and connected spaces for easy circulation and entertaining with most connecting to the terrace outside. There are also nearby spaces that are more private and intimate that allow the homeowner the opportunity to rest after work.”
He adds, “The family will certainly enjoy having a place to land upon entering through the side door or garage. And the second-floor area has the flexibility for a large family or to handle guests. Having at least one auxiliary bedroom with a private bath was a must.”
The future homeowner will surely treasure the home’s breathtaking appearance and practical living space. “Because we strive to create a home that is to be lived in and enjoyed, not only admired, we spend time developing a design with flow and purpose,” says Maribeth.
The 2013 East Alabama Living Showcase Home is located on lot number four, just inside East Lake’s grand entrance on Ogletree Road. Drive by to check out its location, make sure to follow its progress in the next three issues of East Alabama Living and visit landmarkbuildersllc.biz.