When homeowners think about their dream house wish list, they may imagine a wine cellar or a home theater or a workout room.
Auto aficionados imagine a showroom garage.
This is not surprising when you consider that the (once-utilitarian) garage is now often as vital to a home as a state-of-the-art kitchen or an inviting master bedroom. And just as a wine connoisseur wants to showcase their vino collection, a car enthusiast wants to display their coveted cars.
This idea resonates with Dayton homeowners Dennis and Linda, who tapped Jenny Diorio at Diorio Construction to build their recently completed 5,000-square-foot showroom that mirrors the look of the house Diorio also built on their three-acre lot.
For Dennis, the love of cars – and Corvettes in particular – began at a young age. “My older brother was into racing,” he explains. “We raced together and built cars and engines.” This progressed to motorcycle racing, then motocross (and raising a family and having a career) until Dennis first entered the Corvette market some 25 years ago. Today he has 20 vehicles, 12 of which are Corvettes. “It was my childhood dream to have Corvettes,” he says.
Another dream come true must be the showroom itself, the aesthetics of which echo the aesthetics of the home, both inside and out, with the exception of the garage doors. “All the garage doors are glass so you can easily view the vehicles from the exterior,” Dennis says.
From the interior, the vehicles can be viewed by walking in between them – Dennis wanted enough depth to allow for twelve feet between each car – or from the second level luxury loft, bar and catwalk.
“The loft came about because I wanted a bar area where people could stand and have a view of the cars,” Dennis explains. “I appreciate cars and like admiring them as much as driving them.”
“Dennis had a real vision of how he saw his bar in the loft area,” recalls Diorio. “The whole space could have had an industrial feel. Instead, it’s classy and gorgeous and much more showroom than garage or storage warehouse. It’s just a whole other level.”
Shining the light
All HVAC is concealed behind drywall. LED lighting runs around the catwalk, while adjustable lighting was also incorporated to highlight the cars. At 1,300-square feet, the loft area is the perfect entertainment venue, a place where Dennis plans to hold car shows. “People with an appreciation of cars can come out and admire them,” he explains.
Guests will also be able to admire other unique features, including the showroom’s metallic wall. “With all of the windows and large garage doors, there wasn’t much wall space,” says Jenny. “So, this is a feature wall where he can display memorabilia if he wants.” More than anything, the wall serves as a distinctive accent and lends an automotive feel. The wall also dovetails beautifully with the Flexicore flooring, a hollow concrete product known for its structural efficiency. And below said floor is a full apartment, complete with great room, bedroom, wine center and bar, as well as all of the amenities anyone could want.
Guests who stay in the apartment don’t have far to go to the main house, as proximity was the name of the game all along. Diorio explains: “I have several clients that have lots of cars, but if they’re stored in a warehouse somewhere, they don’t drive them. So it’s nice to have them right there on the property.”
Rustic meets modern
Not to be forgotten is the house itself. The exterior resembles a rustic retreat, while the interior has a more modern flair, thanks to Linda’s creative vision. Open concept and mostly one level, the house boasts a breathtaking outdoor living area, which was Diorio’s plan when she built it as a model home. A four-panel sliding door opens onto a spacious porch adjacent to the pool. The porch screens can come down to make the porch an extension of the great room, perfect for entertaining. This space is also accessible from the master suite, which has a home gym.
“Everything is within steps of each other,” says Jenny. “You can go to the gym, open the master door and be at the swimming pool in two steps.”
There’s a full outdoor kitchen complete with grill, warming drawer, Green Egg smoker, built-in ice chest, beverage center and more. The indoor kitchen is similarly outfitted, but in order to keep the countertops free, the pantry is a walk-in work center that houses a number of small appliances, including a state-of-the-art Miele coffee maker, and a second refrigerator. There’s also a stunning wine room located right off the kitchen for convenience purposes.
“With the layout, we were trying to keep all of these spaces really convenient because they’re used every day,” Diorio explains.
In addition to convenience, high design defines every room of the home, just as it does in the auto showroom, a space that’s every bit as beautiful as the cars it houses.
RESOURCES Builder Jenny Diorio, Diorio Construction; Interior designer Sarah Kuns Designs; Kitchen and bathroom designer Jill Rubey, Requarth Co.; Appliances Thermador from Custom Distributors, Inc.; TV, Sound and Control4 System Integrity Audio; Flooring The Hamilton Parker Co.; Windows Pella Windows; Fireplace Dayton Fireplace; Decorative finishes Linda Krukenberg with Bel Finito; Landscape designer Grandma’s Gardens
Article by Lee Rhodes | Photos by Kelly Ann Photography
Article originally appeared in May 2023