Home Design and Build by Exquisite Homes by TXR
Written by Kathy Roberts, editor
Photography by Rachel Taylor, Jacob Carola and provided
A fabulous location on the Lake, in a culde sac with more than 500 feet of seawalled Lakefront. So much land and what to do? The owners are longtime visitors to the Lake, and finally decided they wanted a home they could call their own. Then they found this setting in a quiet cove, and fell in love.
They immediately consulted with Architect Tom Roof of Exquisite Homes by TXR Architects and Constructors, a local architect-led design-build (ALDB) firm. Tom toured the property with them to discuss the option of either remodeling the existing home or demolishing it and building a new one. The property was actually two adjoining lots, with the existing house built on one of the lots, and the adjacent lot landscaped. It truly appeared to be a home with a vacant lot.
The property, with a true, gently sloping topography, is located on a secondary point within the 5mm cove. It offers expansive cove views, as well as a captivating panorama of the main channel. Upon touring the existing home and the property, Tom recommended demolition, then construction of a new home sited in the center of the lot to take full advantage of the sweeping Lakefront with its multiple views.
The owners were excited to get started and immediately began searching images of home styles, and quickly settling on the idea of a Cape Cod style home; and so began the concept for Nantucket Point. The owners, having recently completed the construction of their new permanent home, introduced Tom to Interior Designer Amy Studebaker of Amy Studebaker Design in St. Louis. While Tom worked with the owners on the architecture of the home, Amy visited Nantucket Island with the lady of the house to gain an understanding of the architecture and the feeling that it creates, and to cultivate both interior and exterior features to be incorporated into the design.
As the design progressed, permits were executed for the clearing, grading and demolition of the existing home, while the construction details were developed to provide the necessary construction documentation for bidding, permitting and construction. Amy continued cultivating the interior concepts.
Open-web wood trusses were chosen for the floor structure to provide access for duct and electrical work without the need for drop soffits. The main-level floor was topped with lightweight concrete to provide a solid feel and to assist in reducing noise transfer between the floors.
A significant feature of the home is the second-level wraparound deck. The covered decks provided walk-outs from every main-level room, as well as covered patio walk-outs for all the lower-level rooms.
There have been many different deck materials utilized in construction at the Lake, with each presenting both positives and negatives. Concrete decks provide a solid surface and substance, but little opportunity to correct the water related issues that typically occur over time due to the freeze-thaw climate. Wood decks provide warmth and beauty, but require maintenance and have the issue of water dripping between the boards to the areas below.
In keeping with Cape Cod style, IPE wood — a Brazilian hardwood — was selected for its beauty, longevity and low maintenance. The decking was installed with concealed fasteners over a pedestal system and single-membrane TPO roofing. This arrangement allows water to drain between the deck boards onto the concealed TPO roof below, with internal drains piped down through the stone columns below and into the site storm-drainage system. This allows for the beauty of a wood deck above and dry patio space below with painted wood ceilings. To address the issue of unsightly soffit vents in the upper deck wood ceilings, a concealed “edge vent” was utilized for the necessary attic venting. The resulting aesthetic is clean, warm and truly stunning. New England fieldstone wraps the base of the home as well as all the retaining walls, and flagstone was selected for the patios.
A significant interior feature of the home is the gambrel “barn”- shaped roof framing the great room. The truss manufacturer would not take on the responsibility of the design of such a truss, so TXR located some gambrel truss designs generated by the Louisiana State University Ag School and worked with the structural engineer to design a truss to create the desired result.
This framing, along with the radius framing of the master bedroom, were all accomplished in a “stick-built” fashion on site. The majority of the home was framed on-site, but to expedite the process many of the roof components were pre-fabricated off-site, including the dormers and the bell-shaped roof above the turret. This bell shaped roof was then picked up by the roofer and taken to his shop for the installation of the copper cladding. Once completed it was craned into place. Using this approach made it possible for this difficult component to be assembled under ideal conditions with the utmost care and craftsmanship. Amy says they wanted the home to have a charming feel, and worked with Tom on adding dormers, eyebrow arches, shutters and more to re-create this feeling. All-natural materials were used on the exterior of the home in order to convey the authenticity of the Cape Cod style. This included a cedar-shake roof with copper accents and flashings, and cedar shake siding — all untreated so they will naturally weather and develop a patina over time.
A favorite exterior feature they found interesting at the island homes included the use of shells for driveways, with cobbles surrounding the shells, as well as the 8- to 10-foot expanse of cobbles at the beginning of the drives. Although they didn’t use shells or cobbles here, they created a semblance of them with colored concrete and flagstone borders. A porte cochere leads from this entry court to rear-entry garages to enhance the aesthetic of the home’s roadside elevation and entry.
To truly bring the Cape Code style of the interior of the home to life, Amy specified a combination of ship-lap and board-and-batten to finish most of the walls and ceilings on the main level. Because they were keeping the house simple, texture was important, so she created “exposed” walls with 2- by- 4s and conduit showing. The ship-lap and board-and-batten also would help convey the
If a wall had cabinetry, it was to go all the way to the ceiling, as the cabinets would then
overtake the wall and bring about a feel or experience to each space. Several rooms where this is noticeable are the office, book nook, kitchen and the armoire in the master bathroom. In the kitchen/dining area, a ladder slides on a track that runs the length of the dining room and kitchen to access the highest cupboards.
Amy felt that with as much detail as they were putting into the design of the home, the hall closet as well as the closets of the bunk rooms couldn’t just be closets with doors, so she designed these to take on the look of older-style built-in cabinets/armoires. They also wanted each bathroom to have a special, unique feel. On a buying trip in the South, they found an interesting piece of furniture, had the top taken off, and designed a marble top to reflect the style of a vintage washstand. The arrangement of the home was to include main-level living with an adult wing and a children’s wing to mitigate noisy activities.
Because the homeowners entertain other couples with children, a second guest master bedroom was incorporated into the main level along with the master bedroom, great room, dining room, kitchen and office. The floor plan was arranged in an “L” shape to provide every room with a view of the Lake.
The walk-out lower level would include bunk rooms for the children at the east end of the home under the kitchen and dining area, again to address the desired noise mitigation. Two additional en suite guest rooms were located in the west wing. The two wings are separated by the game room, which can be closed off from the family room by reclaimed wood barn doors on sliders. Additional “central” spaces in the lower level include the galley kitchen, pool bath and changing room, lounge and fitness room. Room sizes were measured and sized to provide a cozy versus expansive feel.
Amy says they were inspired by one Nantucket home in particular. Their use of transom windows placed in various areas for interest led Amy to do the same, as it leads back to a charming feeling and creates unexpected interest. Also in keeping with the creation of “charm” in the house, they located two areas where they felt a step up could enhance the coziness and feel of the space — the breakfast nook, and the book nook just inside the front door.
The book nook also offers up a special touch for the kids: A ladder inside leads up to their own “secret room.” Amy says she and TXR worked closely on the placement of this room. To conceal the entry, she specified board-and-batten to run over the entry area so the batten strips would hide the cutout for the door. On the lower level, the rope on a bell in the hallway can be pulled to open a secret door. Inside is a ladder leading back up to the secret room and the bell tower!
As the construction of the project progressed under TXR Project Manager Rocky Corpe’s stewardship, attention was pointed to further the design development of the dock, pool and landscaping. Tom developed a dock scheme with the owner and bid the work to several Ameren approved dock builders in order to have the dock completed and delivered so it could be wired, inspected and ready in concert with the completion of the home.
The pool was configured to mirror the sweeping edge of the seawall surrounding the property. Along with this the decision was made to build a stone retaining wall wrapping the house and continuing across each side of the pool. In turn, the pool was designed with a 50-foot infinity edge, with the water to gently fall over the stone wall. Landscape architect Gay Goessling of Goessling Design in St. Louis was retained to design the landscape and collaborate on the hardscape. Originally designed with a circular auto court, Gay suggested a square shape with garden walls. Everyone thought it was a wonderful idea, so the plan was revised to incorporate this configuration.
Tom designed the drive with a gentle curve, off-centered from the auto court but centered on the front entry of the home. In lieu of garden walls, another Nantucket feature — the white picket fence — was designed with stone pilasters to enclose the auto court and frame the roadway entrance to enhance the entry sequence.
The landscape plan includes several varieties of hydrangea — a plant with showy clusters of colorful flowers — surrounding the auto court and continuing around the flagstone patios. Boxwood shrubs span the base of the front porch and the lakeside retaining wall. To enhance the beauty of the landscape at night, an exterior lighting plan was developed that featured uplights of the home’s stone columns and walls, along with soft pathway lights and uplights of the large trees. A continuous light strip was incorporated into the top of the Lakeside retaining wall to gently wash the stone behind the boxwoods with light.
All the lighting in the home is controlled with a system installed and programmed by The Entertainer, and utilizes LED technology for energy efficiency. The system also controls the security cameras, audio, video and HVAC systems, allowing the owner complete control of the property both when on-site and away. A gas-powered generator provides backup power should the primary electrical service go down.
Finishing touches on the home include copper gooseneck lighting fixtures along the decks and patios, which are connected by a gentle winding steel stair with illuminated stringers and IPE wood treads. A 35-foot-tall illuminated flagpole was installed as the final piece to identify this wonderful home from the Lake.
TXR constructed this 6,580-square-foot home for initial occupancy last October, 13 months from the start of demolition of the existing home. They look forward to the spring bloom as the home is readied for the summer season at the Lake of the Ozarks. •