Globe-Trotting Bachelor’s Lakeside Retreat

lakeside retreat sunroom

When Theresa and John Dorlini of Circle Design Studio were tasked with this complete renovation on picturesque Smith-Mountain Lake, in the Roanoke Valley, the globe-trotting, self-described bachelor simply requested a luxurious retreat that showcases the phenomenal lakefront views as well as his impressive art collection.

The homeowner, a CEO, art collector, lover of the outdoors, and former competitive water skier, bought the house sight unseen. Originally built in 1996, it sits on a 6-acre wooded peninsula surrounded with views on three sides of Smith Mountain Lake. The home would be occupied two to three weeks at a time for a comfortable, isolated, getaway in between the demands of his corporate lifestyle abroad. However, he knew the house was badly outdated and lacked the architectural sophistication he was accustomed to in his international travels.

As interior designer and general contractor on the project, the Dorlinis were able to coordinate the many custom details seamlessly resulting in an interior that perfectly blends the client’s modern tastes with the existing character of the house. By removing load-bearing walls throughout the home and adding unique design details, CIRCLE Design Studio transformed the home from a dated space to one that honors the home’s architectural style while keeping in line with the homeowner’s preferences for modern and clean-lined design. 

“The design concept is masculine, clean-lined, not overtly modern, but with an infusion of rustic elements, textures, and warmth complimentary to the existing character of the home and natural surroundings of the lake” explained Theresa Dorlini. Rich white walls were used to accent the beautiful artwork throughout.

While the space is open and inviting, the warmth of the details is what is so engaging. This is a home that, even though used sparingly, invites the homeowner to relax and recharge in a naturally accessible space.

lakeside retreat living room

Living Room (above)

As the focal point of this space, Circle added in a custom wood-burning fireplace. The arch motif was used for the fireplace surround which was clad with porcelain tile cut by waterjet.

Sunroom (above)

They replaced all exterior doors, windows, and skylights in this sunroom. The choice of chandelier from Vibia (Spain), made of cables, was intentional not to obstruct views to the lake.

Entryway (above)

In the entry of the home, they replaced the original knee wall banister with this custom iron railing with an alternating pattern of straight and hammered pickets. They also removed the original wood- burning fireplace to create a niche, custom-sized and lighted to display one of the homeowner’s cherished sculptures.

lakeside retreat kitchen

Kitchen (above)

Both load-bearing walls were replaced in the kitchen with LVL beams to allow a clear view of the lake through the kitchen from the opposite side of the house. With the loss of wall space, the gas cooktop was installed in the island with a downdraft exhaust because an overhead hood would block the view. The warm wood-paneled ceiling keeps the kitchen cozy.

lakeside retreat master suite

Master Suite (above)

In the master suite, the focus centered on the bathroom area, installing a plinth beneath a new soaking tub, clad on all sides in Caesarstone, to allow a direct line of sight to the lake.

lakeside retreat wine cellar

Wine Cellar (above)

A 1,000-bottle capacity self-contained custom wine cellar was added to the unfinished basement.

About the designers: Located in Roanoke, VA, Principals John and Theresa Dorlini helm Circle Design Studio, a multi-disciplinary design-build firm. With in-house architects, designers, and contractors, CDS manages residential and commercial clients across the Southeast. Along with raising four young children and a precocious puppy, John & Theresa are consistently sought after as industry leaders for speaking engagements throughout the U.S.

If you enjoyed this project, you might like this cabin remodel in Boston. Check it out!

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