— Natalie Martinez


I don’t like to play favorites, but getting out to 154 McClean St in Decatur has been tough over the last four weeks. I started a real estate practice class that has me out of the office about 30 hours per week for the last month. I’ve been balancing that with full-time architecture work, recruiting for an architecture position that I’m looking to fill, and planning for business growth. Lots of amazing synergy has been buzzing around the Natalie Martinez world this past month and my not so little McClean house hasn’t gotten any attention until now.  (If you want to keep up with the latest project updates, make sure you’re following me on Instagram.  I share photos of projects and places I’ve been throughout the week.)

In the past two years, I’ve designed many houses on narrow lots. (That’s just a reality when you build houses intown.  Most residential lots zoned residential have 40-60′ frontage. This combined with setback restrictions usually yields a 30′ wide house.   The lot for the McClean house was almost a double lot and afforded a more gracious design on the property. I took advantage of the space by adding a wrap around porch and  breezeway connecting the house and garage. Look for more Craftsman inspired projects this Fall brought to you by Natalie Martinez + Parclife Homes!


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People often ask me if I work with any builder and the answer is always no. I only work with builders who have an existing portfolio of quality homes that I have actually seen and walked through. In addition,  I prefer to work with collaborative clients who have just as much vision, if not more vision than I have when it comes to reimagining a dilapidated property or a home growing in the weeds.  Just like any other professionals, I choose to work with builders who are trying to become better at their craft.  These are just a few reasons why I like working with Atlanta builders Parclife Homes on their renovation and new construction projects in the city. They are very hands-on and even build custom elements with their own hands and their cabinetmaker is a man in his woodshop, not a guy in a factory line. I wish I could take credit for some of their details, but I can’t.

So, you want to get a taste for a project that’s coming soon? Check out one of my current project with Parclife Homes in the Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta right across from the Bessie Branham Park.

94 Kirkwood Rd is a Craftsman-inspired bungalow and will be listed for sale in Fall 2014!

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ice-bucket-challenge-fb-user-profile-1My friend and blog follower, Betsy Harvey, tagged me in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!

Elena has watched a few of the ice bucket challenges on Facebook and cracks up everytime. When I asked her if she wanted to dump water on me, she said, “Yea!!” So here it is! Life is short. Why not?!

Donate to the ALSA.

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This picture was an outtake from a group photo last week, but I think it captures something special. I’ve been keeping a secret from you and I’m excited to finally share some big news!  I’ve joined the Raw Real Estate Team at Keller Williams Metro Atlanta! The Raw Real Estate Team is a specialized group of real estate, construction, and design professionals.  We’re a full service real estate group, so that means we have people who can help you buy or sell your house, but we also have a unique niche that separates us from the pack: we are really good at finding intown real estate opportunities for investors and savvy home buyers who want to capitalize on a home building or renovation project in Atlanta’s wonderful, walkable neighborhoods. The Team helps our clients find a property or lot, guides them through the financing process, collaborates on the design (that’s where I come in!), and then permits and builds the project! Sounds like something you’d want to be a part of, right?!

What does this mean for my micro residential architecture practice? Well, the business model doesn’t change much, except that I’ll have to continue to turn away work that isn’t a good fit for me and I will need to make a choice: I either grow and hire someone or I scale back temporarily.  When I’m doing strictly design, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing. When I’m in real estate mode, I’ll be operating under the Raw Real Estate and Keller Williams brands because I will need to be affiliated with a brokerage.  I’m also going to become laser focused on the  investment, design, & construction opportunities in my key segments of Atlanta –communities that are walkable and family-friendly with great schools, but without neighborhood design restrictions–so we can infuse some small modern houses into the market. (Is anyone else smiling or is it just me?)

This recent evolution to expand and enter the real estate field came from my desire to better serve my existing clients, have my hand in the storytelling part of homebuilding, and create a practice that feels the most like me. The biggest perk of being an entrepreneur is that I can create something that truly encompasses all of my passions–design, storytelling, relationship building, and real estate investments.  This year has been amazing and exhausting, just like having a baby all over again.  Even when I’m tired and overworked, there haven’t been any regrets about stepping out and having a go at this.

So that’s the big news!  Let me know if you have any questions or if there is anything we can do to help you with your home building/ renovation project or residential real estate investments. My business from the beginning has been referral-based so I hope you’ll continue to follow me on this journey to build homes and change a city.


Raw Real Estate Team. Ashley Pruett, Reuben Green, Natalie Martinez, and Jeff Raw

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3106 Dale Drive is finally on the market!

Today I wanted share the interior photos because I still haven’t made a video! I’m hoping to do that in the next week. You can check out the listing for more information and photos.

All photos were taken by Josh Vick, a real estate photographer in Atlanta.


This is part of the home’s original sunroom. We reconfigured windows and vaulted the ceiling and think of this room more like a sitting room or small reading area.


This is the dining room. The coffered ceiling is a popular ceiling treatment these days.


The kitchen is an example of a current trend for an open floor room with an oversized island that is perfect for pulling up a stool for casual meals. The kitchen is flanked by a butler’s pantry and a family room.


Cool grays are a popular wall color right now as well. The white cabinets, stainless steel appliances, chrome finishes complement the gray nicely.


Marble is a luxurious staple in this master bathroom suite and is a way to carry the gray palette upstairs. Whenever I design master bathrooms for spec houses, I always design something that I would want myself. In this house, I imagined soaking in the tub and looking up at the tree canopy in the private backyard.

What do you think of the Dale House interiors?

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