Climbing Higher in Life


The Phone Rang.

“I want to build a French house, not an American interpretation of a French house. Do you know the difference?” my caller asked. 

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


Though born in the US and living there now, I lived out my childhood and teen years in Paris, France, as the son of young Protestant missionaries. I spent many of my free days and evenings exploring the streets and boulevards of the City back then, and came to know it well, including restricted areas in the belly of the Louvre Museum, where the Egyptian mummies collection was preserved in cool climate controlled vaults. Inescapably, the great French art and architecture of the City was all around me then, and it remains one of my many passions today.

This unexpected phone call now was promising. The gentleman caller described his magnificent vision of a new home as if from a dream, soaring in scale, authentic in its classical detailing and choice of materials and craftsmanship, inspired by his summer vacations in majestic France, taken over each of the preceding 25 years without fail. He now wanted to build upon those trans-formative experiences, that had birthed his love of France, its architecture, and eventually his coveted collection of fine post-impressionist art and rare French wines. The glorious architecture of Paris, and his many hours spent wandering her streets with his spouse, had forever altered his view of the world and what it meant to live, and now he wanted to experience it every day.

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

…That day, as we traded our fond memories of France, he chose to place his trust in me, to carefully conceive, design and build his new and deeply personal work of architecture, a new home.

Today, peace reigns over the completed masterpiece, fully framed by a tranquil garden, shaped in its every gesture, detail and nuance by the finest master artisans and craftsmen. His love of fine art shines in the rare Nabis paintings and the Degas sculptures that ornament the rooms. His and his wife’s love of Paris and for each other, and their life journey, is remembered in every room and detail in some way.  Their home both transcends and embodies their life and story…bridging and connecting across time and meaning in a way that only works of fine art can do. The whole ensemble is striking to behold and experience with them, this oasis in a hectic world, a place to rest and be restored. Here they celebrate their life, faith, family and close friends, and welcomes special guests when the time is right. Their home is the rare fruit of seasoned accomplishment and courageous living with integrity, an oasis of beauty.

Are you an accomplished high achiever like my caller, a lover of the arts, of study and travel? Are you approaching that place and time in life when you need to invest in a fine home, something deeply meaningful and beautiful for you?

 What Do You Want to Build?

Perhaps, as you work and travel around the world, you have seen stunning architecture, conceived and built by passionate educated visionaries of the past. Such works stood for something much deeper and lasting in their creator’s lives, and today remain a rich part of our cultural heritage, many centuries later. Their works have endured as a testimony to their productive lives and passion the world, of their sacrifices, aspirations and hard-won achievements. Their hopes and dreams of “how the world should be” still shines through in their surviving artistry and architecture.

Maybe its time for you to commission a significant architecture of your own, in your own time today – deeply personal, meaningful, distinguished and refined. Maybe a quiet internal voice has been pressing you toward this noble undertaking for a long time now. Maybe your friends even tell you they see you at your core as a great builder of people, dynamic businesses or institutional enterprises, or more. But what if you pushed that envelope further now, and maybe build a work of distinguished architecture…

Is it time to build a permanent home – your own new place where you can be free to become the person you are choosing to become in the world?

Some things may 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 like you? Be honest.

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

I know How You Feel

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

Eventually, when I settled down as the CEO of my own expanding architectural practice, I finally faced the reality that I needed to change. So I began to delegate more, and focus myself where I was able to make the greatest impact for my clients. I became more intentional and a more centered person, closer in my relationships with family, friends, my health, and spiritual journey. Perhaps your journey has been similar.

I Want Something for You

This is why I want something really new for you – a new life chapter. As your trusted advisor I will help you focus, refine, express and experience the life you have always wanted to live, to become the person you want to become, at one with a one-of-a-kind personal work of architecture. We will celebrate your way of seeing the world and your unique life story in a fine design, of beautiful spaces, crafted details, enduring materials such as masonry or cut stone, hand chased bronze and hand finished mill-work and plaster. In the process of reflecting upon and expressing your life in this way, and through the singular work that results, you will catalyze deep and lasting growth in your life. The completed architecture can be a powerful sign to  the world, a statement and an influential legacy for your heirs. It will broaden your influence in the world, accelerate your business success and, most importantly, lead you into a much deeper engagement with what life means itself.

Does this vision resonate with you? If so, then you are the kind of person I do my best work with.

This is the heart of my work.

Step Forward

Only you can reach for this high prize.

Take the step now.

It’s easy! Set up a call to discuss here. 

I’ll see you on the other side.


– 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 musician, and lives and works in historic Alexandria, Virginia. For an introduction to his architectural philosophy, click the link below.

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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