“I design the homes that my clients want to build, not the home I want them to build”, says Michael W. Garrell. This refreshing philosophy is just one of many traits that makes “BALA”,”Best in American Living Award” winning Garrell Associates the perfect fit for your residential design needs.”


Michael W. Garrell is an Architectural graduate of Southern Technical Institute (Southern Poly). In the 1980s, Mike honed his skills working in construction-related energy initiatives as well as for local architects and builders. In 1993 Mike launched his own firm with no pre-designed plans,the firm’s early days were both exciting and daunting. In every design meeting with builders, Mike would take careful notes, and then go off to transform what he had learned into practical yet compelling residential products. Armed with his new creations, they would go to work convincing those same builders and developers that his designs would outsell the competition. They did.


Knowing that good residential design is the most important component of the building process, he soon saw their designs succeed in the Atlanta market. His mastery of the design process is at the heart of the firms comfort level across all house styles. Now offering both custom home designs and pre-designed home plans, his portfolio ranges from rustic mountain vacation homes to getaway beach cottages to luxury manor estates.


Building someone’s own special “castle” is an intensely personal journey, and the company has a profound respect for the process. The firm’s consultants meet with each client and review their lifestyle, needs, dreams, and desires. Ideas from these brainstorming sessions evolve into home designs that are livable and functional.


They then apply these and other design innovations to traditional house design, constantly seeking new ways to move Classicism in fresh and original directions. His designs pay homage to traditional elements and rely heavily on historical precedence. He masterfully blend these classic elements into new floor plans that feature open flow and plenty of natural light.


By conservative estimate, numerous families move into a new Garrell Associates home design every day across the country and beyond. Nearly a decade and a half of designing has yielded a portfolio of over 3000 home plans. To date, this prolific output has garnered the firm more than 200 professional awards, with numerous Street of Dreams® honors in 1999, 2001, 2005, and 2006. One rustic yet elegant design for a show home in Big Canoe, Georgia featured truss work made from 200 year-old virgin pine logs reclaimed from a river bottom, and a kitchen with oiled, natural slate countertops.This “Tranquility” show home earned the firm the prestigious “Best in American Living Award” (BALA) from Professional Builder magazine. While the considerable industry recognition has been enormously gratifying for the firm, Mike’s true reward comes from knowing that thousands of people enjoy an unparalleled quality of life with their families living in the homes they have created.


The firm cares about each client and becomes a faithful steward of their dreams, keeping loyal clients coming back. That caring extends to their community as well. Over the years, the firm has donated design work for structures owned by the Chattahoochee Nature Center, Wildlife Federation, the Paul Anderson Youth Home and HomeAid Atlanta. For the latter’s 2006 annual benefit, Project Playhouse, the firm generously designed three showcase playhouses modeled after the original Fayette County Courthouse,the St. Simons Lighthouse and a kids size Tranquility. This public event raised much-needed funds for Atlanta’s homeless. Mike firmly believes in protecting the environment and the future of our children. The firm is always happy to donate to these worthy causes.


Starting initially in the metro Atlanta area, the firm continues to expand nationally. For Mike Garrell it is all about continuing to innovate and grow. “Every day is another opportunity to create ever better, more distinctive, and more livable designs – designs that make a home a joy and a treasure. “. Thousands of Garrell Associates clients would agree.