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.
Living in Balance
Too often it seems achieving balance is an elusive pursuit. That is, until you experience Terry and Jayne Hunt’s lakeside home. Their contemporary ranch-style home is all about contrasts – dark and light, stone and wood, Old World craftsmanship and sleek modern lines. And yet these contrasts are precisely how the home creates an oasis of stability and equilibrium.
Situated on a long lot overlooking the lakeshore, the Hunts were enamored with the natural landscape and the many moods of light over the water and land. Sam Rode, of Rode Construction, describes the original site.
“There was an existing home on the property. The architect, Jack Sigrist, and Dan Hackett of Ted Collins Tree & Landscape kept one foundation wall and veneered it with stone. This created an outdoor patio area and established a design element.”
The Hunts embraced the use of stone. In a bold effort to make the interior reflect the outside, they requested a stone wall inside the house somewhere. The idea grew. The main portion of the structure running east-west is made entirely of stone while the north-south wings are wood. Balancing such a stark contrast in materials only works if exquisite attention is given to every detail, mood, and nuance of the structure and surrounding environment.
Rode and the Hunts wanted the stone-work to be outstanding and provide a design fulcrum for the home but without dominating the style. They decided on a dry stacked wall with hidden mortar. This required each stone be hand-chipped and skillfully placed. The Hunts selected raw granite, which created an additional challenge. Only a highly skilled mason could pull off the monumental effort of shaping such unforgiving rock. Rode found two such masons in a Bosnian father-son team. The Hunts raved, “They were absolutely special and amazing. Truthfully, I don’t know how many people are capable of doing stonework to this level. Every contractor loved and had a huge respect for them.” The masons used over 20 chipping hammers to delicately shape each piece of granite. “You can’t even slip a piece of paper between the stones,” observed Rode. The masons were on site for 11 months.
So much granite was being shipped to the site that the quarry even sent someone to see what the project was all about.
The raw granite is brown with purple and gray highlights. It glistens and glimmers, reflecting the array of light on the lake throughout the day and seasons. To further balance stone’s dark tendencies, the Hunts made light as important as the stonework.
For the lighting, the Hunts worked with Debra Audet, who has since passed away. They spent an inordinate amount of time reviewing fixtures that are all low voltage and European. “Debra was meticulous and incredibly creative, which made a huge impact. It’s the number one thing people notice.” While Audet achieved artistic levels with lighting fixtures, Sigrist incorporated triangulated window lines. The light contrasts with the heaviness of the stone and the wood creates a warm softness. The rooms are unified by a sense of sunny bright light, warmth, and security.
The home is built with contemporary, European lines which are exemplified in the kitchen. Michael Grisdale, a builder andfurniture designer, and designer Lorin Frye established a sleek, balanced look where cool stainless steel plays against the richness of the walnut cabinets. Clean horizontal lines provide a sense of organization. All the appliances are from European companies.
The contrast between modern European and Old World design is a common theme. Crisp, open space is warmed with more rough, antique furniture. The clean, fresh lookis emphasized everywhere. Even the toilet tank follows the European trend of being embedded invisibly into the wall.