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In 2000, when these stylish, hip homeowners purchased this lakefront property, the structure that stood there was a rundown shadow of what had been a charming lake house. So, to create their dream home, they took a hands-on approach, working with architect Steven Harris on the overall design and architect David Abelow to implement the design and to incorporate the desired materials. Thus, after renovating and staying in the guest cottage on the property, the homeowners replaced the ailing structure and moved in with their three children to the beautiful property that exists on Blue Heron Lake today.
The concept of the architecture is inspired by the intersecting planes and natural elements seen in the works of architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra. The homeowners wanted a modernist design, much like Neutra’s works on the West Coast, but with materials more suited to the Northeast; for example, the floating cantilevered roof is fortified against heavy snows with sturdy steel beams.
The chosen materials work well to emphasize the intersecting planes of the home’s design. Dark “blocks” of cedar, which extend upward to connect the first and second floors, provide vertical “anchors” that help demarcate the openness of the indoor space; natural wood floors complement the vertical blocks while highlighting the characteristics of the material. Much of the construction is of natural stone and stucco, with bluestone accents at the edges of the main rooms and striking fieldstone walls that intersect the glass windows to create strong visual lines between the outside and inside spaces.
A stone path, resembling a dry stream bed, leads to two enormous stones, which serve as steps up to a bluestone bridge that crosses a man-made reflecting pool and leads to the front door. Inside, the open floorplan, which includes the living and dining spaces, takes full advantage of the lake-facing wall of window. The kitchen, with its own spectacular view of the lake, is outfitted with bluestone floors, high ceilings and a center island. The counters and island are topped with Calacatta gold marble. The breakfast nook, seen here with a Saarinen table and chair set, is adorned with a David Weeks chandelier, which is mirrored by a matching fixture just outside in the outdoor patio.
As much as the beauty of nature spills visually into the home, a lifestyle here will easily expand outward. Blue Heron Lake is completely private, accessible only by the 11 other homes around its edge. In the summer, the lake stays a delicious 80 degrees, perfect for swimming, and in the winter, the lake consistently freezes, making it an ideal location for skating or cross-country skiing.
Every season brings a new surprise. In the winter, snowy nights make the house feel like a snow globe. With summer come floods of light and the picturesque scenes of family, friends and neighbors enjoying the lake. Spring and autumn mornings bring an ethereal mist rising from the water. Yet, perhaps the most thrilling visual is that of the enormous cherry tree in full bloom, its vibrant color mirrored in the reflecting pool and visible through the house from across the lake.
For more information about this home on the market, visit the official listing.
Photography by Tim Lee
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