Minimalist, modern design seemed like a lofty, aspiration goal for Vivian Lee, who saw them as grand, tony structures in other neighborhoods.

After years of condo living, she and her husband, Benjamin, searched for single-family homes to purchase in Midtown Atlanta, but found mostly bungalows, Tudors and one-story, post-World War II homes.

ExploreGALLERY: See more photos of the Lees’ home here

“That just was not our style. We just didn’t see anything representing what we wanted,” she said.

Then they came across a plot of land with a rat-infested, derelict 1940s home. The couple decided to hire Steve Robinson with Axios Architecture to design a bold new residence, which is on the June 10-11 MA! Architecture Tour in Atlanta.

“What’s nice about this is, certainly from the exterior, it makes the house look even larger or more grand than it is, but on the inside it’s actually quite modest,” she said. “It’s not humongous inside.”

Snapshot

Residents: Benjamin and Vivian Lee, and their 1-year-old daughter, Siena, and Chihuahua, Bodie. Benjamin is an attorney; Vivian is a journalist.

Combined ShapeCaption
Vivian and Benjamin Lee bought a derelict 1940s home in 2014 for its half-acre lot and Midtown location. In 2016, the couple built a 3,200-square-foot modern dream home on the lot, where they now live with their 1-year-old daughter, Siena, and Chihuahua, Bodie. Vivian Lee is a journalist, and Benjamin Lee is an attorney.

Credit: Christopher Oquendo Photography

Vivian and Benjamin Lee bought a derelict 1940s home in 2014 for its half-acre lot and Midtown location. In 2016, the couple built a 3,200-square-foot modern dream home on the lot, where they now live with their 1-year-old daughter, Siena, and Chihuahua, Bodie. Vivian Lee is a journalist, and Benjamin Lee is an attorney.

Credit: Christopher Oquendo Photography

Combined ShapeCaption
Vivian and Benjamin Lee bought a derelict 1940s home in 2014 for its half-acre lot and Midtown location. In 2016, the couple built a 3,200-square-foot modern dream home on the lot, where they now live with their 1-year-old daughter, Siena, and Chihuahua, Bodie. Vivian Lee is a journalist, and Benjamin Lee is an attorney.

Credit: Christopher Oquendo Photography

Credit: Christopher Oquendo Photography

Location: Atlanta's Piedmont Heights neighborhood

Size: About 3,200 square feet, four bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths

Year built: 2016

Builder: HR Construction

Architect: Axios Architecture

Architectural style: Modern

Favorite architectural elements: The design of the exterior, which has synthetic recycled wood siding and cantilevers, has a trompe l'oeil effect that gives the illusion that the home is larger than it is on the inside, Vivian said. The striking sheetrock details hewn into the ceilings and walls create spectacular sight lines, she said. "Ben and Vivian, they wanted something that was stable and calm and timeless," said their architect, Steve Robinson.

Interior design style: Melange of modern and traditional

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A bar in the dining room backs up to one of two sliding modern barn doors, which can be closed to create a separate space from the kitchen.

Credit: Christopher Oquendo Photography

A bar in the dining room backs up to one of two sliding modern barn doors, which can be closed to create a separate space from the kitchen.

Credit: Christopher Oquendo Photography

Combined ShapeCaption
A bar in the dining room backs up to one of two sliding modern barn doors, which can be closed to create a separate space from the kitchen.

Credit: Christopher Oquendo Photography

Credit: Christopher Oquendo Photography

Favorite interior design elements: The dining room chandelier creates a subtle veil separating that room from the living room, Vivian said. In addition, they added sliding doors on the first level so they would have the opportunity to separate the dining room and kitchen when needed. The entire space exudes clean, minimalist style. "For us, this design has always been essentially pleasing. We're not the kind who have a lot of knickknacks or a lot of grandiose furniture," Vivian Lee said.

Favorite outdoor feature: The half-acre lot in Midtown. "We definitely have taken advantage of playing outside on the lawn with our 1-year-old and Chihuahua many times, which we never really had the option to [do] in our previous homes," she said.

Resources: Furniture from RH Modern

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The Lees have decorated their home with traditional and modern furnishings. Deep-set windows allow in light and, combined with the monumental fireplace wall, define the two-story living room.

Credit: Christopher Oquendo Photography

The Lees have decorated their home with traditional and modern furnishings. Deep-set windows allow in light and, combined with the monumental fireplace wall, define the two-story living room.

Credit: Christopher Oquendo Photography

Combined ShapeCaption
The Lees have decorated their home with traditional and modern furnishings. Deep-set windows allow in light and, combined with the monumental fireplace wall, define the two-story living room.

Credit: Christopher Oquendo Photography

Credit: Christopher Oquendo Photography