Life of the Party
Couple dances their way through life
It’s Saturday night and you’re surrounded by friends, dancing and having a great time. A state-of-the-art stereo system blasts your favorite songs, while colored lights flash and doors open to an outdoor oasis where the party continues. If you are friends of Mike and Olga Dyer, you’re not out at some extravagant new party spot, you’re at their home, in their personal night club where they entertain nearly every weekend. When Mike married Olga, who is from a busy city in South America, she expressed the desire to live in a more rural environment when they came back to the States after their wedding. “She was in love with the climate, the leaves changing colors, the different seasons,” says Mike. The couple wasn’t in any particular hurry to buy and they looked at over one hundred homes before realizing that everything they were looking for could be found in a golf course community. Although neither of them actually golf, the picturesque landscapes would allow plenty of ideal views from a front porch or back patio.
A passion for dance
The home they decided on was a builder’s model in the Country Club of the North, which they loved due to the many upgrades, but it also allowed them to add their own flair through decorating. The couple’s personality is shown most in the entertainment areas of the house including the home theater and the disco room in the basement. Mike says there is rarely a weekend without 40 or 50 friends over for a dinner party with plenty of dancing. Olga loves to dance and was in a well-known dance group in Columbia where she grew up. “She always said she wanted a place to dance and that was one stipulation we were looking for in a house…it had to have some kind of space we could turn into a ballroom/disco area,” Mike says.
The couple transformed an unfinished space in the basement to their disco, complete with a bar, open dance floor, disco ball and top-of-the-line stereo system and flashing lights. The room also includes sliding doors that open to the back patio, which becomes an extension of the disco. Mike says the party often ends up outside in the warmer months, and because of rock speakers on the patio, no one ever misses a beat.
The patio is an impressive site created by Dwight Goodin of Paver Planet, who worked to create something truly unique, which is a frequent request of Mike’s. “The patio’s inspiration is a raft floating over the water,” Goodin says. Mike spends a lot of time in the Caribbean and wanted a tropical feel in his own back yard. Goodin and his team created the effect by framing the patio with reclaimed glass that has been broken and tumbled. The glass is under-lit to give a perfect glow at night, while the fire pit on the patio sits in front of a water wall that puts out a calm and soothing noise.
Back inside, if the dance party ends early, guests can make their way to the home theater for a late night screening of their favorite movie. Mike is not fond of the typical furniture found in most home theaters, and wanted something a little lighter. His decorator, Theresa Terebinski, suggested he use a few green leather chairs he had in a previous home; Mike loved the idea and they ordered more chairs in a variety of colors. “They’re just very comfortable and not as formal, so guests can really make themselves at home when we’re watching a movie,” Mike says.
With all of the entertaining going on in this house, it wouldn’t be complete without the latest technology to control everything. Mike Volk, who worked on the audio/visual elements throughout the house, introduced the homeowners to the Savant system—the first and only Apple-based control, automation and entertainment system.
“At the heart of the system is an apple computer, which talks with all the other components throughout the home,” Volk says. “The best thing about the system is the fact that the user interface is the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, so we literally have iPads built into the walls for really convenient usage,” he says.
The system is used in independent zones, with independent source controls so the homeowners can listen to multiple different sources in every room simultaneously. If there is a song on satellite radio and Mike or Olga wish to know more about the artist or album, all they have to do is look at the iPad and all the information is right at their fingertips.
An open book
Practically every room in the couple’s home is used for entertaining and the open layout was an element the couple loved. The large kitchen/great room is a popular gathering place and also has a fantastic view. “We chose not to dress the windows along that entire side of the house to bring in an abundant amount of natural light,” Terebinski says.
One change Mike did make to the home was the addition of a wine room in the kitchen, which used to be a second pantry. “I love wine and it’s something that I collect and really wanted to incorporate into the house,” Mike says. “It’s great because it’s really part of the kitchen and because the kitchen is so open it’s very visible so guests can go in and look around,” he says.
Overall, Mike is very proud of the fact that he did not have to sacrifice his contemporary design style, even though his home is in a more traditional neighborhood. “We didn’t build from the ground up and we had this shell to work with that I think really worked to our advantage,” he says. “Everything fell together exactly how I like it and when I come home at night I’m just stunned that I live here.”
Decorator: Theresa Terebinski; Home theater and bar room renovation: Shane Moore, Novo Construction; Audio visual: Mike Volk, Modern Media Innovations; Specialty woodworking: Deon and Leanna Brugmann; Landscape design and installation: Dwight Goodin, Paver Planet; Window tinting: Jason Jones; Draperies and window coverings: Ryan Knorr, Budget Blinds; Garden and container planters: Catherine Burkey