Indian Hill Chateau
Auto dealer Lorinn Williams’ enchanting dream home
By Kelly Z. Clark | Photos by Robin Victor Goetz/RVGP Inc.
They say a man’s home is his castle… until the queen arrives! In the case of the Williams’ home, you could say the queen was the mastermind behind the castle.
Lorinn Williams had a dream of building a home that was reminiscent of a French estate or castle that would be complete with a turret and cupola. For two years she gathered magazine clippings, newspaper articles and anything else she could find that represented her vision for her home. She then took her mass of inspiration to Cincinnati architect, Mary Cassinelli. With Cassinelli’s expertise, the ideas were fleshed out and translated into hand-drawn architectural renderings.
The homeowner also had another goal for her modern day castle and that was to honor the wishes of Emily, her 13-year-old daughter, that the house would include at least a few elements that were “green” or environmentally friendly. Lorinn took a large step in that direction by using repurposed hardwood on the first floor with a low VOC finish and stain, and cork flooring on the second floor. All the walls were painted using low VOC paint, and many of the lights are motion activated so they turn on only when someone is in the room.
Unlike the drafty, dank castles of old, the Williams’ home feels immediately warm as you enter into the large foyer with dark hardwood flooring juxtaposed by an exquisite and brilliant crystal chandelier. Just off the foyer are two grand circular staircases—one leading to the upstairs through the turret, and one leading to the lower level. The staircase leading to the upstairs had to be installed in one complete piece and was therefore too large to come through the front door. The only option then was to lower it by crane before the turret was built. “That was an exciting day!” Lorinn remembers. Most exciting for her though, is the authenticity of her turret which she refers to as a “true turret.” That’s because its interior extends up to a point, rather than having a flat ceiling. The height of the turret is punctuated by an impressive five-foot chandelier.
Storm the castle—it’s party time!
The Williams family loves to entertain large groups of friends and family and this home was designed with that in mind. Lorinn thrives on the opportunity to cook and bake for guests in their beautiful kitchen. “There are always baked goods here,” she says. “It’s why I keep so much real butter in my freezer!” A stunning backdrop to those sweet treats is the granite countertops and custom stove hood with its decorative paint finish. If sweets aren’t your style, then perhaps you’d prefer to enjoy a drink at the adjacent pub-style bar with its custom stained-glass lighting and hand-hewn wood countertops that appear to have been worn by years of guests gathered to visit and celebrate. According to Lorinn, their guests routinely gather at the pub or on the impressive patio with its stained concrete floors and striking view to the back yard through floor to ceiling screens. In another move to use green products, the curtain panels on the patio were fabricated from recycled fabric with the help of designer Tina Engdahl of Apollo Draperies. The patio is so open and airy it gives the sense of truly being outdoors, but only if being outdoors could include a gorgeous full kitchen, dining area and living area with a stone fireplace. Without exception, the patio is Lorinn’s favorite area of the home, and with or without guests, the Williams family eats their dinner together on the patio whenever possible.
A room fit for your “HIGH-ness”
The home’s living room has soaring 22-foot ceilings with wood beams and arced trusses. To balance the drama of the ceiling beams, Lorinn chose a massive marble fireplace as the room’s focal point. If the fireplace isn’t enough to get your attention, then the ornate, oversized church pew next to the fireplace is so unique it’s a sure-fire showstopper. The “crowning glory” is the crown shaped corona above the pew that spills a decadent curtain down around the church pew like a huge royal robe. Creating this sumptuous curtain using just the right combination of fabrics and trims was also a design feat of Engdahl’s. Even with all its elements of grandeur, this room still exudes a feeling of coziness and comfortable living.
A striking selection of light fixtures is found throughout the home, and Lorinn admits beautiful lighting is one of her passions. Of course, proper lighting was also important to play off of the artistic faux paint effects in places such as the powder room and master bedroom, as well as the scene of a French villa painted just outside the master bedroom.
Now that Lorinn has the French estate of her dreams, she and her family will travel to France for the first time next spring. Then, for her family, returning home to their own castle will be the perfect end to an enchanting vacation.
Designer: Homeowner; Architects: Ken Bowerman and Mary Cassinelli; Builder: Core Resources, Inc., Project Manager Todd Brandenburg; Flooring: Schumacher Hardwood Floors; Staircase: Cincinnati Stair; Kitchen cabinetry: Kemp supplied by Sims-Lohman; Kitchen countertops: Sims-Lohman; Kitchen backsplash: M.C. Tile; Kitchen sinks and faucets: Ferguson; Appliances: Bosch dishwasher, Viking range, Liebherr refrigerator, all supplied by The Appliance Loft; Lighting: Lighting EFX; Painting: Ron McIlvain Painting; Faux finishes: Andrea Frangioso; Furniture: Select pieces from Brian Gibson, DIGS; Home Theatre: Sound Advice; Cork, hardwood and carpet: KW Flooring; Stained glass: Stained Glass Overlay; Windows: Integrity by Marvin; Draperies: Apollo Drapery; Doors: Marsh Building Products; Brick: The Belden Brick Company in Canton, Ohio (Lorinn’s hometown); Landscaping: Botanics; Irrigation: Lawn Management Sprinkler Co.