“Do You Know the Difference?”


“I want to build a French house, not an American interpretation of a French house. Do you know the difference?” my caller asked me. “Yes, I said,”…without the slightest hesitation.

Yes! I said,” without the slightest hesitation, and I smiled. 


Though born in the US, I spent my childhood in that beautiful City of Lights, called Paris, France. And, great French architecture is one of my many design passions.

My gentleman caller described a magnificent vision for his new home, soaring in scale, authentic in its design details, materials and craftsmanship, inspired by many years of vacationing in majestic France, where he and his wife had traveled for each of the previous 25 summers.  He wanted to capture those transforming experiences that shaped so deeply the person he had now become, that gave birth to his deep love for post-impressionist art and Merlot wine. It was the transcendent qualities and meaningful engagement with real life that he appreciated so much in the architecture of Paris, and wanted to bring home…

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“I have the simplest of tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.” – Oscar Wilde


…That day, as we shared our fondest memories of France, he decided to place his trust in me to carefully conceive, design and build his long deferred dream for such a deeply personal architecture, to express and embody his life journey.

Today, peace reigns as his dream home stands fully realized in a tranquil garden, crafted in every detail and nuance by finest master artisans and artists. His love of the fine arts are memorialized in his Nabis Group paintings and his Degas sculptures that ornament his rooms. His and his wife’s love of Paris, for each other and their amazing life story are conveyed in every room and detail in some way.  Their home feels almost timeless now, eternal…because in a sense it is. The authenticity in its architecture, gardens, interior design, and in the story it tells us about its owners is seamlessly integrated. it is a beautiful things to behold and experience. It is a home that privileges family, friends and special guests, sharing a remarkable intimate journey with them.

What if you had a home like that?

 What Do You Want to Build?

Are you like my visionary clients?  Are you an accomplished high achiever, committed to winning at work and changing the world, and just as important – choosing to live a deep life? Do you long to experience even deeper layers of a meaningful life, connecting across generations into the ideas and experiences that shaped the ancients, and are now calling forth the present? Do you want to immerse yourself in transcendence, platonic beauty, art and deep architecture. If you choose to, you can live a life of impact and influence those around you into a better way.

As you have worked and traveled around the world, you have seen many amazing works of architecture conceived and built by powerful visionaries in the past. Their work has an almost intangible quality of connectedness to something much deeper and lasting in life. Perhaps it is time for you to commission powerful architecture in your own life, a distinguished work of architecture of your own, something personal and refined. In fact, maybe a quiet internal voice has been pressing you toward this undertaking for quite a long time now. Your friends have observed that at your deepest you are a builder: of people, enterprises, and things of powerful significance.

Maybe its time to build something even more beautiful and permanent – a personal statement in the form of a new place to exist and be in the world – a beautiful new home.

Do a few things stand in your way right now?  Maybe you can identify with this client:

“I am deeply driven by all I want to accomplish in life. But, time is slipping by and much of what I focus on every day now will not last.  I now want to create permanent things, higher things, and leave behind a meaningful legacy in this world when I am gone.” – Jack W.

Does that sound anything like you? Be honest.

If so, you’re not alone. We have all felt this way at times.

I know How You Feel

For years I ran like a hamster on the success treadmill, moving my young family from city to city, house to house as my career evolved. And the many career moves were often at the expense of what mattered most to me, my faith and family.

Eventually, when I settled down as the CEO of my own expanding architectural practice, I finally faced the reality that I needed to focus. So I began to delegate as much as I could, and immerse myself where I was uniquely able to make the most impact for my clients, in my designs. I became a more centered self, and invested more in my relationships with my family, friends, health, and spiritual journey. Today I am much more intentional.

I Want Something for You

I want something new for you, something quite important. As your trusted advisor, I want to help you refine and express your dream of a fulfilled life through a unique work of bespoke architecture, to convey your dramatic personal story in stone, bronze and glass; to shape both your cultural and personal legacy; to substantially raise your social status and thereby raise your social influence; so that you can help others flourish in a new way, so you can be released to finally become the person you have always wanted to be.

If you share that aspiration, then you are the kind of person I do my best work with.

Imagine how it would feel, to fully embrace your unique life story this way, to invest your hard earned wisdom in this new vision, with a new clarity, courage and commitment, to create a better life for you and those you love the most, surrounded by your very own, amazingly beautiful, exquisitely crafted, custom-designed architecture, framed by a beautiful garden, set within gorgeous rooms, meaningful art and furnishings?

I can help you do that. And it will transform your life.

What About Costs?

The creation of bespoke architecture involves a careful iterative design process. When a creation becomes crystallized in its scope and detail, costs may be identified with precision. Opportunity lost costs though, should be a consideration too. Truly transformational visions call out to be given life. Many a leader has regretted ignoring that call. What do you want to do?

Perhaps we will meet some day. Maybe we will discuss the great builders and transformational leaders of history who pushed a resistant world forward, and broke through the resolute obstacles that held back the world that should be.

What do you want to build?

To do some strategic thinking with me, go here now.

– Daniel Lee






  • About Daniel Lee


    Born in the United States, Daniel Lee spent his formative years abroad in Paris, France, where he was trained to see art, architecture and gardens as natural allies in the shaping of an imaginative and meaningful world. Focused exclusively on creating truly original works of design, he sees his clients as equal partners in shaping the world that should be. He loves to write, sketch, and read philosophy; is married to a poet, and lives and works in historic Alexandria, Virginia.

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"Daniel created beautiful architecture for my home, where i enjoy my life long collection of French Impressionist paintings. Every day has been enriched immeasurably by his talents and friendship."

- Spencer Hays, Chairman of Southwestern, & Commander of the French Legion of Honor