Where Sanctuary and Serenity Become One
Hidden beneath a dense canopy of trees on North Lake Drive in Bayside, a striking beige contemporary home sits inside the boundaries of a fenced yard shaped by the beautiful landscape. Built in 1991, the house is tucked into a well-maintained expanse of foliage and garden space visible from a driveway that leads to the homes entryway.
The owners worked closely with their architect and builder to meticulously preserve 90 percent of the propertys original trees while building their inspiring open-concept home. Large granite boulders, shipped from northern Wisconsin and positioned by the owner infuse an elemental decoration to the circular driveway. The front drive was originally made from red granite pebbles. Plywood from the propertys trees was then placed over the pebbles and an additional layer of square shaped bricks were set on top. Carefully selected environmentally conscious materials like these are used throughout the yard and embody the spirit of the homes entire construction.
Dense cover provided by Scotch pines helps keep the house cool in summer. The shade-covered landscape is adjoined by a serene Japanese-style garden. A red granite pebble walking path meanders through the garden, interspersed with small wooden bridges spanning a winding ravine. The garden, created and maintained by the owner, entices visitors to stroll through the yard and contemplate the aesthetic wonders of the home and land surrounding it.
Contemplating the garden from the drive, one is drawn to the homes unique design. Its slight angle from Lake Drive matches the contours of the land. A flat roof and walls placed at right angles with a soft-colored but sleek exterior hint at Frank Lloyd Wright styling.
Through the front door one is greeted by a cascade of light emanating from the large window opposite the foyer. The owners designed the home with the intention of bringing the outside in. Thick insulation maintains a pleasant interior temperature so one can appreciate the view of the outdoors yet remain comfortable throughout Midwestern summers and winters.
Blond maple hardwood floors, featured throughout much of the house, are complemented by a brown circular marble inset beside a dinette and kitchen. The earth tones complement views of the ground-level outdoor deck that one can reach through a glass doorway beside the dinette.
Looking up, the high ceilings are spanned by a half-cylindrically shaped skylight. The interior was designed with inspiration from artistic styles of the American Southwest, Japan, and Europe. One feels warm and flowing energy within this space. It invites both comfort and exploration, surprising visitors with unique lines which unfold as one walks into each of the rooms. The minimalist, unfettered interior structure combines Southwestern-style openness with the calm of a Zen garden.
Through the dinette area one enters a spacious kitchen with heated floors crafted from the same marble as the circular inset seen from the foyer. Granite countertops provide an ample sturdy space for cooking. High-quality Gaggenau appliances throughout the kitchen include a gas/electric hybrid stove that sits conveniently beside a Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer.
One exits the kitchen next to the hallway bathroom. Modern fixtures sparkle in bright light, with white walls contrasting with the black marble sink and pedestal. A sculpted arc of wall stretches outward from beside the bathroom forming a gallery hallway leading to the dining room. The gently curving wall provides a sculpted display space. A built-in wood mantle is straddled by a thick plate of glass resting on polished metal cylinder-shaped braces. This gallery space is lit by a row of individual ceiling lights that deliver ample luminosity to the owners fine-art collection. Gaze upon the walls soft curves and the points of light reflecting on the glass mantle while enjoying the gently sculptured space as you walk through.
Beyond the gallery, a large dining room with maple hardwood floors is bordered by built-in wood storage cabinets. This is a perfect spot for entertaining guests. The open-top cabinets can serve as a buffet while allowing an open view of the spacious living room.
Proceeding down three wide, hardwood steps one descends into the sunk-in living room. Large, gently sloped windows open onto a view of the garden. A gas and electric black marble fireplace fits nicely within a bank of built-in wood storage cabinets with glass shelving. The cabinets are the perfect spot to store your wine collection. The gentle, postmodern fluidity of the rooms slightly curved wall and the efficient, modular storage cabinets are punctuated by the gently energetic feel of the rooms styling.
On the opposite side of the house, a ground floor bedroom can also be used as a study. A built-in wood desk unit with shelving sits unobtrusively on the far wall. A colorful view of the flower-filled backyard is seen through a semi-circular bank of corner windows. On the near wall, glass doors open onto a backyard deck. The window and glass doors allow ambient natural light to saturate the room, making it a perfect place to work and study. And when evening falls, the rustle of wildflowers in the yard and decorative plants on the deck will inspire a peaceful rest after the days work is through.
Looking up from the hardwood floor staircase beside a sharply-angled wall, the skylight is visible through the open space to the homes cathedral ceiling. Cylindrical wooden hand railings contrast with the clean white walls as one ascends toward the bright upper floor of the house.
On the top floor, one of the homes three upstairs decks is seen through a rectangular set of windows overlooking a stand of trees. The partly-fenced-in deck with a white hand railing surrounds the rear of the house. The deck can be reached through the upstairs bedroom. The second bedroom is constructed in the exact image of the bedroom/study on the lower floor. Its situated directly above it and shares the same lines, styling, and desk unit. A circular bank of windows opens onto the same green space as below, and glass doors let residents walk onto the outside deck.
The decks expansive view of lush greenery enlivens the day, while an evening spent under the open sky invites possibilities for star-gazing. The master suite features a large bedroom complete with marble gas fireplace, a private terrace, its own office, dual walk-in closets, and master bathroom with Jacuzzi. A stand-up shower stall with glass doors complements the Jacuzzi. Heated bathroom floors, his and hers sinks, and a large window behind the Jacuzzi make the bathroom a remarkably comfortable spot to freshen up before starting the day.
Leaving this home, meandering once more through the meditative garden, one passes a granite sculpture from the Southwest, a pair of eagles captured in free fall, their forceful talons clasped together eternally in stone. The sense of nature captured in that moment, depicted in this sculpture, reflects the peace one feels when exploring and dwelling in this creatively designed home.