Entertaining takes center stage in Powell renovation
Nestled among the rolling hills of Powell, Ohio, lies several hundred acres — a “Camelot” of sorts — for four generations of the same family. Anchoring the property is a French farmhouse originally designed in the 1970s by noted architect George Acock.
Since that time, the 10,000-square-foot house has undergone several transformations, the most recent being a complete reconfiguration and renovation of the kitchen wing completed in late 2011. A collaboration by Dave Stock and Doug Stone of Stock & Stone Architects and Rick Miller of Miller VanOrder Interior Design, the new footprint is a masterful interplay of light infused spaces, illuminated by a bank of five sets of French doors that span an entire kitchen wall. “The total renovation took over 12 months to complete and the results are fabulous,” says Mark Hardymon of Mark Hardymon Builders, Inc. who served as general contractor. “The new kitchen terrace is a work of art in itself.”
The homeowner’s love of art is reflected everywhere in the home, from the artwork gracing the rooms to the music of Gershwin, Lerner and Lowe, or Rodgers and Hammerstein playing in the background. “It’s an incredibly welcoming home,” says Miller, adding, “There has never been a stranger in this house.”
Let the Sunshine In –Hair
“Contemporary with a twist” is how Miller describes the design goal of the kitchen renovation. The room’s original Douglas fir ceiling support beams were retained and a clerestory—high windows above the first floor—was added to allow maximum light to filter throughout the space. “My client was really excited about the addition of the French doors and windows which are handcrafted from steel and come from France; they give the kitchen a chic sophistication,” notes Miller.
Most People Long For Another Island –South Pacific
Opening the kitchen up by removing an existing wall had one drawback: loss of cabinet space. Miller decided that the new island should be as deep as possible to maximize storage.
“Because the new island is larger than most—12'5" by 5'—we had to use two slabs of marble for the counter. The marble the client selected is Calacatta Gold which has a lot of flowing movement, so we chose to book-match the two slabs,” Miller says, explaining that book-matching is a fabrication and installation technique where the patterns in the two slabs mirror the image of each other. “The effect is subtle but mesmerizing,” he says.
The homeowner liked the idea of a farmhouse sink, and Miller found one in hammered recycled copper with a brushed nickel finish. “It looks like a farm sink but contemporary,” he notes.
The Viking cooktop now rests in an alcove on the back stone wall which used to store wood for the five fireplaces. To bring out the golden color of the stone, Miller suggested an iridescent amber glass tile backsplash. “Rick never ceases to amaze me—the interplay between the glass texture, the basketweave design and the stone is nothing short of genius,” the homeowner notes, “It’s one of my favorite design elements in the kitchen.”
The color in the kitchen is the same neutral used throughout the home. “While the palette is the same, each room takes on a different feel because of the architectural nuances and artwork,” Miller explains. “My client has a wide aesthetic range and is not the type to contain himself to one certain ‘look’.”
The cabinets in the kitchen are custom-made painted poplar by D.L. Atkinson in Grove City. For visual interest the island, which is a different style, was painted a shade lighter than the walls and cabinets. A flagstone and wood floor was replaced with dark walnut planks. The homeowner humorously notes, “The Old World patina of the floor has been meticulously crafted by my three-year-old granddaughter, Isabeau Raine, who has a penchant for only wearing her Disney princess high heels.”
Summertime –Porgy and Bess
The hallway off the kitchen leads to a renovated butler’s pantry that Miller wanted to finish differently from the kitchen. “It is a smaller space with a lower ceiling so we used a darker shade to make it moody and a bit romantic,” the designer says.
Lining the hallway is a collection of 28 individually framed letters. “We are a family of letter writers,” the homeowner explains. “One summer my 12 year old son went away to camp and was having a tough time being away. My mother wrote him over 50 letters that summer-one each day. To make them even more special, she embellished each letter with a hand-drawn illustration, sometimes in watercolor, sometimes in pen and ink, and sometimes both. When viewed in their entirety, they are the most remarkable example of strength, love, guidance, and support I have ever seen. I cherish these more than anything I have. They are the first of my possessions I would rescue if there were a fire in the house,” he says unequivocally.
“They are absolutely charming.” echoes Rick Miller, and recommends making a template prior to hanging a large collection such as this. “I take the size of the walls and how many pieces I’ve got and plan it all out ahead of time. You don’t want to just wing it or it will look like the St. Valentine’s Day massacre,” he explains with a laugh.
There’s Simply Not a More Congenial Spot –Camelot
The kitchen’s French doors open onto an expansive terrace. Dramatically arching cedar beams form a peak that defines an open-air room. A cut limestone fireplace creates one “wall” of the terrace and a striking granite fountain creates another. The floor is comprised of flagstones, a portion of which were recycled from the old kitchen.
The terrace has a dining table and several conversation nooks, perfect for the intimate parties the homeowner enjoys. “The art of entertaining is a lost art these days,” he says. “Today, I prefer much smaller gatherings to the ones I used to host ten years ago. For me, eight to ten people with a space where everyone can sit and relax with a glass of wine letting the conversation flow is just perfect,” he notes.
Throughout, there are combinations of textures and dimensions. “Any good design involves layers,” Miller reflects. “Here we had the original architecture with beams and heavy stone. Then we added sleek steel doors and windows, balanced by a gutsy island topped with eye-catching marble. Balance, harmony, and a workable space—all achieved!”
Certainly not a more congenial spot for happily-ever-aftering, this Camelot.
Architect: Stock & Stone; General Contractor: Mark Hardymon Builders; Interior design: Rick Miller, Miller VanOrder Interior Design; Landscape and outdoor lighting design: Jonathan Spayde, Landfare Ltd.; Fountain installation: Jonathan Spayde and Zach Miller, Landfare Ltd.; Backsplash tile: Extrados by Oceanside Glasstile, from Classico Tile and Marble; Island pendant lights: Bronze-finished metal, from Visual, Miller VanOrder Interior Design; Island marble: Book-matched by Modlich Stone Works; Outdoor furniture: Restoration Hardware; French Doors: Bliss Nor-Am
Art for Life
The largest charity art auction in Central Ohio will take place
September 22 at the Columbus Museum of Art.
Art for Life has been the most significant fundraiser for AIDS Resource Center Ohio (formerly known as the Columbus AIDS Task Force) since its premiere in 1989. Art for Life is a special evening of celebration set against the backdrop of amazing art that has been donated by local and national artists to help support AIDS Resource Center Ohio and the much needed programs and services provided for our community.
The Honorary Chair for the evening will be
Dr. E. Gordon Gee, President of The Ohio State University.
For more information please visit www.artforlifecolumbus.org