Private Lake Residence, United States

Every home begins with a story. For this couple, both avid art collectors, raising their children on a wooded lake lot was an important part of their life. However, their existing home didn’t share their desired connection to nature. The home felt compartmentalized and too formal for their lifestyle. While discussing their dream home, an art dealers suggested that they meet with architect Charles R. Stinson and CRS Interiors. She had a desire for a feeling of warmth and he had a proclivity for modern architecture, so the art dealer felt that Stinson would be a perfect match.

In addition to a greater connection to nature, the couple was looking for an understated, yet unique home that would help to frame their family’s everyday lives. Numerous discussions revolved around how to make friends and extended family feel comfortable while visiting. As a result, the large and open main living areas are complemented by many small, intimate areas. The home feels very grounded by the natural stone forms and human-scale of spaces, yet the extensive windows and soaring overhangs evoke a feeling of floating above the lake.

The homeowners were initially planning on a hip roof, but evolved towards all flat roofs. Stinson suggested the horizontal lines of the roof would help to balance the strong, vertical presence of the trees and stone forms. The decision for flat roofs was also inspired by their artwork. The composition of horizontal and vertical planes was analogous to the direction the couple’s taste had been evolving towards in art. The use of commercial-grade roofing materials met their desire for durability and longevity in addition to allowing for a unique home design.

As they progressed, the meetings with Stinson also became an opportunity for the couple to release their own creative abilities. She was interested in how to create a feeling of warmth and he was very detail-oriented due to his engineering background, so many discussions focused on the choice of materials and how they could be configured or detailed. The use of each material, whether the copper roof edge, the wood ceilings and walls, or the vertical stone “fin” walls has it’s own energy and feeling that had to be balanced in the context of the whole home. CRS Interiors was brought in for the interior design due to their deep understanding of Stinson’s architecture and ability to preserve the balance of materials down to the most minute details. The result is a tightly integrated composition of art, built-ins, and accessories that harken to the level of integration seen in a finely crafted sailboat.

As Charles R. Stinson Architects evolved the early concepts into construction documents and ground was broken on-site, the couple enjoyed the construction process more than they had ever imagined. They were immediately given comfort by the degree of commitment and follow-through during and after construction. They felt listened to and have fond memories of how the positive attitude of Stinson and his team helped them navigate through the most challenging parts of the construction process.

The couple and their family are settled into their home and have been able to reflect on the process and fully test out the different spaces of the home. They are especially touched by how the intimate areas of the house have positively influenced and shaped their interactions as a family. They are also touched by how comfortable friends and extended family have been while visiting. As a result of their collaborative co-creation with Stinson and his team, the couple feel that their home is an extension of their family. The home is both a family retreat and sanctuary; a place to reconnect to each other as well as the natural environment.

The same kinship that brought the family and Stinson together at beginning of the design process, has blossomed into a friendship that continues to grow. In fact, the relationship has led to the design of their family’s Colorado ski condo, which applies the same principles of a warm, modern architecture to a smaller space.

Charles R. Stinson, AIA, ASID
Chuck Thiss of Charles R. Stinson Architects
Interior Designer: CRS Interiors
Landscape Architect: Coen + Partners
Builder: Streeter & Associates
Photography: Paul Crosby