The Joneses, of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, formerly had a vacation home at Pomme de Terre Lake near Pittsburg, Missouri. But they couldn’t be waterfront because of Corps of Engineers rules, and had community dock problems. Also, they couldn’t leave their boat in the water. They launched it when they arrived, and had to tow it out when they left at the end of the weekend.
When they began looking for another location, Brenda says they had not planned on making their second home at the Lake of the Ozarks. But they’re glad they came. They say they love the action here! “Our cove is very busy in the summer,” Dwayne says. “In the mornings, the jet-skiers and wakeboarders come in and have a good time and are using the Lake; then about noon, people start coving out.
So in our opinion, everyone gets to enjoy the Lake. And we enjoy watching them!” The home is about a mile and a half from the main channel, across
from Shady Gators/Lazy Gators and Camden on the Lake, and Jolly Roger’s is only about 15 minutes by water. The Joneses really like being
centrally located. Their first home at Lake of the Ozarks was right across the cove from their current home. They noticed the property that was seldom
used, and often commented that it was a great site. About four years ago, they spotted a For Sale sign on the property. They bought it, tore the house down, started looking for a builder with whom they could feel comfortable (which took two years), and the next thing, “we were building a house!” Brenda exclaims.
The front of the house wasn’t their main concern. They wanted everything on the Lake side. However, Dwayne does like that you can “see through” from the front door to the Lake side. “It’s a great first impression,” he says. “We had several pictures of how we wanted our home to look; what we wanted to achieve,” Brenda says. “We have the more formal areas on the first level. The casual, more rustic Lake look, with access to the dock and to play and have fun are on the lower level. The upstairs is more me, the downstairs is more Dwayne.”
Dwayne says, “I’m co-owner and one of the founders of Liberty Hardwoods, and we just had our 20th anniversary. We do a lot of custom moldings, which you see here in the house. They were all supplied by Liberty. The darker woodwork is really out of style. Everybody paints. But I’m not going to do that. We have this darker, more formal cherrywood up here. I wanted wood floors, which are all white oak hardwood. Quartered, rift and plain-sliced white oak. It’s three different ways the logs are cut for different effects.”
“Dwayne picked out most of the wood, but I picked out most of the paint colors,” Brenda says. In the large kitchen, Brenda loves the big island topped with granite. She says her last kitchen was very small, so she wanted this one to be big and open. She also wanted a gas stove, as she had never had one.
She says the hardest part about building a house is getting the granite to match the cabinets to match the flooring. “It’s difficult getting everything to coordinate when you’re in a store and have to put everything together in your head,” Brenda says. A pantry off the kitchen walks through to the laundry room, which opens back into a hallway that leads back to the kitchen/dining area. A half bath is off the hallway.
The screen porch off the kitchen serves as a pleasant breakfast area, or for coffee and a hangout area for Brenda and her friends. French doors in both the dining area and the living room open to the upper deck. Behind the dining room table are double doors to a study that is furnished with a foldout sofa and a coffee table. It can be used as private space for reading, or as a bedroom for Brenda’s father when he visits.
One thing the Joneses were particular about was having the living room, dining room and kitchen be one long, continuous area. In the living room, Dwayne decided on the gas fireplace and Brenda on the stone bookcases on both sides, with stone that complemented the wood. The mason who constructed the fireplace said there was stone left over and asked if they wanted the wall by the staircase done. Brenda says the finished wall really makes the room!
And that staircase is the focal point of the entire home! Temporary stairs were in place while the house was being built. When they were first planning the house, Brenda mentioned a house they had looked at that had a spiral staircase and said “I want one of these!” Because of price considerations, Dwayne finally decided that he would do the bottom staircase just as regular stairs, and at the upper end, he wanted to do the spiral as a surprise for Brenda. It had to be squeezed in a bit because of space considerations, but it worked.
When it was finally in, they came in the front door with friends and Brenda saw it for the first time. She had to do a triple take, and was thrilled! She loves the spiral staircase! Two beautiful chandeliers grace the top of the stairway. The top level of the home usually isn’t used unless they have a houseful. There are two more guestrooms, a full bath and a bonus room that will eventually serve as a TV room, playroom for grandkids and more.
Back at the bottom of the spiral staircase is the master suite. The doorway is angled just a bit to separate the room from the main living space without adding a hallway. French doors open from the bedroom onto the upper deck. The master bath is the centerpiece of the suite. The eye is immediately drawn to the large, arched window with a window seat beneath. An eye-catching medallion in the flooring makes the room one-of-a-kind. A built-in bench in the large shower speaks to possible future safety needs, and the beautiful double-sink countertop is granite that was once again a difficult, but lovely, choice.
When the Joneses are here in warmer weather they spend most of their time outdoors, either in the open-air kitchen or the screen porch. When friends and family gather, it’s on the dock during the daytime and the lower deck at night. The lower deck is covered by the upper deck, so it’s a great place to spend time even if it’s lightly raining. Brenda’s favorite outdoor feature is the upper deck. The couple got the idea for the design from a neighbor’s deck while boating farther down the cove. They looked at it many times and decided to model theirs after it, although not identical. The soaring wood ceiling and ceiling fan, along with the front detail, are eye-catching from both the water and from inside the home.
Dwayne says he wanted 18-inch stone columns, but the builder talked him into 24-inch for a more massive impression from the Lake. The decking is stamped concrete to cut down on maintenance. Wood tops the pillars and panels the ceiling, but the design incorporates lots of stone and concrete. The wood needs to be refinished every couple of years, but the amount of stone and concrete cuts down on the maintenance.
“When we’re at the Lake we want to have time to relax and enjoy ourselves, not constantly work!” Dwayne says. Brenda loves the screen porch adjacent to the deck where she can get away from mosquitos and other distractions and just relax. She loves to have her morning coffee there. Dwayne says he and their two sons made the curved rafters and the barrel ceiling to surprise Brenda. The boys like to come down during the summer. Dwayne’s daughter comes down a couple of times, but gets tied up with her kids’ activities.
They have a friend, Kevin, who comes with them often and loves to fish. The couple often have a houseful, especially on holiday weekends, so it’s nice to have room to spread out. Dwayne comes down often without Brenda, and usually with Kevin, and on those occasions they use only the bottom level of the house.
This is Dwayne’s “man” level. “It has a totally functional kitchen and bar. When Brenda’s not here we don’t use the upstairs at all except to go in and out,” Dwayne says. “It’s just the boys and their friends and Kevin. Kevin’s just a good friend of mine. We’ve been buddies for a long time and he comes down and helps me do stuff.”
The woodwork is rustic hickory. It’s very popular right now and Dwayne loves it. All the doors are solid. They were custom built, and Liberty supplied all the wood. The fireplace is a working, wood-burning unit, which is nice in the evening when it’s a little cool to be outside. At one end are two bedrooms with a shared bathroom (the only one with a bathtub). One is Lakeside. At the other end is another Lakeside bedroom and a bath. The two sons and their best friend usually claim those bedrooms.
The home has double water heaters to ensure that everyone has hot water when they have a full house and everyone is coming in from boating and swimming. There’s also a bath off the outdoor kitchen. Dwayne loves going to Cargo Largo in Kansas City — he says he never knows what he’s going to find there. That’s where he found the game table where they like to play cards and other games sometimes in the evenings and on rainy afternoons.
He’s not a wine drinker but keeps a good selection on hand for friends who are. What looks like just a bar here is actually a complete kitchen in miniature, just enough for the weekend.
Built into one end is a unique wine opener. A large room in back of this kitchen/bar behind a single sliding barn door is planned to be a wine cellar/safe room. On the covered deck is an outdoor kitchen with a built-in grill, a bathroom and even a TV mounted above the sink. Dwayne says they watch Chiefs games out here, and that it’s a popular evening gathering spot.
Favorite times for both Dwayne and Brenda are when they have family and friends over and are sitting on the lower deck and just relaxing and enjoying the breeze off the Lake and looking forward to the weekend. •