Who doesn’t love sunflowers? From Georgia O’Keeffe, to the huge fields that draw visitors searching for the next Christmas photo, sunflowers have been a staple of the garden.
A Blueprint for Family, Friends, and Future Generations
If you build it, they will come. That’s the wisdom behind a remarkable home designed to anticipate the needs of an expanding, multi-generational family. With their adult children scattered across the country and their own primary residence in Arizona, homeowners Brad and Pam Reeves wanted a heritage home that would serve as a central hub, connecting through the generations. They built a 9,000-square-foot masterpiece that demonstrates consideration for the past while being well-appointed to accommodate everyone’s needs, both now and in the future.
“We wanted a place where everyone could come home and stay connected; a trust for our children, future grandchildren and generations,” explained Pam Reeves. Finding such a place and making it a home took patience, sensitivity, and a passion for design.
With familial ties to Rochester, the Reeves decided on a waterfront location on Canandaigua Lake because of its proximity to friends and Bristol Mountain. It took two years before finding a property capable of supporting their plans and investment. They finally found what they were looking for in a family estate with a 90-year-old home, rich history, and ample lake frontage offering gorgeous views.
In keeping with their compassion for people and appreciation of heritage, the Reeves wanted to build their home to reflect a traditional lake style but with a fresh interpretation they could call their own. They drew inspiration from architect Robert A.M. Stern, who places great emphasis on the context and continuity of traditions. It took four years working closely with their designer, Arizona architect, and Rochester-based builders, Ketmar Development, to turn their vision into reality. During this time, the Reeves traveled the country visiting historical buildings and identifying Robert A.M. Stern architectural details and components that they wanted re-created in their home.
The house hints of a nautical theme. The main ceilings have a mahogany-like, tongue-and-groove wood. Dark beams define the living room and kitchen area. The exterior has stone, cedar planking, as well as traditional and wavy cedar shingles for a whimsical flavor. Historical elements also play a role, giving the home old-fashioned character. Peaked ceilings accentuated with various heights, corners, and angles make the house feel like it has evolved over time. Soapstone kitchen counters mimic those found in old cottages and homes.
All the bunk beds from the original home were kept and put in the new bunk house over the garage. Then there are the details.
Floor moldings were built to hide wall outlets. The engineered floors are made of European oak with exceptionally wide planks. All the cabinets are hand carved. The custom boathouse is rigged to eliminate visual disturbance.Nearly every room offers stunning lake views as does the wrap-around patio with a hot tub, fireplace, and dining area. A built-in ceiling heater adds up to 30 degrees to extend the summer season.
In a word, it’s spectacular. But the home’s true spirit is its philosophy of inclusion, as evidenced by its commitment to universal design. The Reeves explain, “We love visitors. This extends to kids and the elderly. As we grow older, we want to still be around the action but not be a burden. And we don’t want to retrofit!”The house consists of three buildings connected with bridges and covered walkways: the bunkhouse, a junior master suite, and the main residence. The master bedroom is on a second floor with a private patio while the junior master suite is on the first level but inaccessible from the upstairs. Every bedroom has its own wheelchair-friendly bathroom and shower. A central elevator provides easy access to every room, including the upstairs art deco game room. Bedrooms are equipped with coffee bars and mini refrigerators so guests can relax in their own quarters. The guest suite even provides a sitting area with pocket doors, creating a “crib room” for guests with infants.
From the very young to the elderly, the Reeves’ house provides a warm-hearted, accommodating family home for today and for generations to come.