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Artful Living | Charles Stinson Designs an Indoor/Outdoor Architectural Marvel

Photography by Corey Gaffer

There’s always been something special about this spot, even before the debut of this stunning home, which today rises like the prow of a boat from the point of a peninsula, pushing forward into the water. But now there’s another level of magic.

Architect Charles Stinson designed the natural white limestone residence to be an indoor/outdoor oasis for a busy, outdoorsy family. In fact, as dreaming and designs got underway, so did news that the homeowners would soon be welcoming twins, giving Stinson some new considerations to puzzle over.

Artful Living | Charles Stinson Designs an Indoor/Outdoor Architectural Marvel

Two wings are anchored by a great room, and every space is connected to the outside, with a grand entrance to an infinity pool with cascading sides leading to the lake. “It’s not only about defining these spaces you live in, but letting the light in and connecting you to it,” Stinson explains. As such, he designed the windows and roof overhangs to allow for natural illumination without glare, letting light in during the winter but blocking sizzling rays come summer. The windows also line up for cross ventilation. 

“Instead of creating a house like a cave, this house is like a hole in the trunk of a tree with a great view,” he notes. “It’s like living in the spaces between the branches and leaves. There’s a definite but ever-present changing light and view around you. Birds fly along one side of the house, you see them on the other side and their shadows come right through.”

Artful Living | Charles Stinson Designs an Indoor/Outdoor Architectural Marvel

One wing features the kitchen, with a huge built-in breakfast booth and custom cabinetry by Braaten Creative Woods with interior Italian plaster finishes by Darril Otto. Behind that, her office, a huge laundry and mudroom with a craft area, and the four-car garage. Above that, entertaining spaces and kids’ bedrooms. The other wing comprises his office and the owners’ suite. Connecting the two wings is a great room 2.5 stories high, with a catwalk and a staircase on each side.

Interior designer Kim Streeter took on the palette and furnishings. “We started with blue and brown, because those were their wedding colors and they’ve maintained a love for those colors,” she explains. She succeeded in balancing the luxurious, airy abode with a sense of coziness; being very family-oriented and having younger kids means they want interactive spaces that make it easy to connect and spend time together. “We chose a lot of special pieces and finishes, but we also wanted it to be comfortable and inviting so it wasn’t too intimidating for guests to come and enjoy,” she adds.

Artful Living | Charles Stinson Designs an Indoor/Outdoor Architectural Marvel

Because the owners entertain frequently and spend lots of time with extended family, the kitchen and living areas were paramount. “The kitchen is usually the HQ for family time,” says Streeter. “When the mother is cooking the meals, the kids are often hanging out in the casual seating area in the kitchen, having a conversation about how the day went. We designed that space to be pretty flexible, with durable fabrics and rugs.” Custom cabinetry is capped with Cambria countertops and complemented by Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances.

Farther afield in the great room, Streeter layered in more formal, upscale pieces primed for entertaining, such as a Minotti furniture grouping, customized to a height that makes them easy to get in and out of. A nest area closer to the front of the home offers a smaller secondary conversation nook.

Artful Living | Charles Stinson Designs an Indoor/Outdoor Architectural Marvel

Streeter says the owners’ suite was a fun project: “a Zen, timeless space that met their needs for great light, a soaking tub and a steam shower.” It’s truly a getaway within the oasis-like abode. They also custom designed their closets, taking into account exactly how they wanted to organize them. And the kids gave input on their rooms, outlining their preferences (which changed over time as the house was designed). 

In the end, the owners use every inch of their home and look forward to many joyous, active days — inside and out. “This house allows the family to be totally private and still connected to nature; it allows their spirits to soar,” Stinson confirms. “They just love it. They really do.” 

Read this article as it appears in the magazine.

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