Welcome to a home where boy, boy, boy, meets location, location, location.
The signs are clear that three young boys are in residence in a newly built Washington Township home. Photos of the boys at various ages are placed liberally throughout. Artwork showcasing their footprints is on display. Baseball caps and sporting equipment are tucked away in a mudroom cubby and beneath second-floor bunk beds. There’s a cap printed with “#boymom” that hangs on a hook near the laundry room.
So, it’s not surprising when the homeowner is asked why he chose this particular location, he points out a window to the back yard indicating a path that cuts through the woods.
“That path, right there, takes you to Schoolhouse Park,” says Corey Knopp. “The main reason we bought this lot is we wanted to be near that park.” The Knopps’ prior home was less than a half mile away and didn’t have much of a back yard. The couple wanted space for the boys to play while keeping them in Centerville schools. “Carson and Luke both play basketball and baseball and Luke also plays football, Corey adds. “They can walk right through those trees to practice and bring friends home afterwards.”
Twelve-year-old Carson and 9-year-old Luke are both heavily involved with sports and there are signs that 3-year-old Bryce won’t be far behind. Their mother, Lindsay, is a physical education teacher at Fairbrook Elementary in Beavercreek. The family’s lower-level exercise room is amazingly equipped with multiple cardio machines, weights, benches, and a net to receive baseballs hit off a soft toss and golf balls hit off a tee. Lindsay gathers here for a workout with her sister and friends on a regular basis, and the boys, along with their cousins and buddies from the neighborhood, take full advantage of this space as well.
“We wanted to have some spaces where they can hang out with their friends and burn up some energy,” Corey says.
Building the dream
“When we first met with the Knopps, it was clear that this home was going to be all about family,” says builder Mike Simms with HBS Development/Homes by Simms. “Corey and Lindsay would have specific ideas about spaces that worked for the boys, and spaces that worked for them as a couple.”
HBS has been building luxury homes in the Dayton area since 1975. Since joining his father’s company shortly after graduating from college in 1991, Mike estimates his team has built close to 1,000 homes. Their experience paid off for the Knopps. “HBS developed a floor plan that really suited our family,” Corey says. “I feel like we take good advantage of all of the space.”
For example, an upstairs hallway which was originally earmarked for study areas was transformed into a bunk bed gaming spot that is a huge hit for all three boys and their friends. Simms had seen a similar space in a previous home his team built and made the initial suggestion. The trim carpentry team at Sabin Construction, suggested using end-to-end full-size beds to accommodate growing boys and occasional sleepovers.
Another example is the lack of a formal dining room in the floor plan. “We had one in our previous home and never used it,” Corey says. “We wanted to push that square footage into other areas—such as a larger great room and a wider staircase. We’re not formal people.”
“I just got rid of our formal china,” Lindsay says. “It was just taking up space.”
“Mike was great to work with,” Corey says. “For a number of reasons. First, he brought in Shannon Ruby as a residential designer, and we could meet with him as many times as we needed.” Shannon gave the Knopps several iterations of the front elevation before they nailed down a final design. “I really appreciated that,” Corey says.
“When construction began, Mike didn’t say ‘no’ to anything,” Corey adds. “He didn’t ask why we wanted a particular feature. He just developed a way to pull it off.”
Corey has high praise as well for Totha Hurt, office manager with HBS. “If I had an idea or thought, I would call Totha. She gets things done.”
Something for everyone
“Most of our weekends are filled up with the kids’ sporting activities,” Corey says. But when they’re not cheering from the sidelines, or shuttling to the swimming pool, you can often find the couple relaxing on the covered patio which features remote-controlled, retractable screens.
“When we have friends over, that is the spot,” says Lindsay. “Everyone flocks out there, even the boys. I think the fireplace and the screens are what makes it. They allow us to be out there nine months out of the year.”
The screens allow the couple to open the back sliding doors for an easy flow—for family, friends, and air—between the great room, kitchen, eating area and porch. With a large center island that seats four, it’s no surprise that the kitchen is also another popular hangout. Nine-foot ceilings and pendant lights dropping from an inserted ceiling detail, work together to make the kitchen a bright and airy space that draws the family together. Both Corey and Lindsay cook, but Corey, who now works in the healthcare industry, is also a culinary school graduate.
When asked if there is a special dish he likes to prepare, his answer, like the home’s location, centers around the boys. “These days, it’s mostly comfort food,” he says. “Whatever the kids will eat.”
Timing is everything
The family moved into the home in January of 2020, just a few weeks before a lot of the boys’ activities shut down. “We were able to really enjoy the house,” Corey says. The whole family took full advantage of the exercise room, and the covered patio, and they played a lot of ping pong, as well as a “ton of monopoly.”
When the weather warmed and it was time for landscaping, the couple turned over the reins. “We had opinions on everything about the house,” Corey says, “But when it came time for landscaping, we got Grandma’s Gardens on board and just let them go.”
Curved plantings and sidewalks often draw neighborhood friends to visit the Knopps via the covered porch entry. Dawn Redwood trees frame the open-air patio with its linear gas firepit and outdoor kitchen space. And clusters of Norway spruces and river birches stand alongside the boys as they cut through the path to the park that brought their family home.
Builder: Mike Simms, HBS Development; Residential designer: Shannon Ruby, S.L.Ruby Designs; Landscape designer: Grandma’s Gardens; Fireplace: Dayton Fireplace; Kitchen and bathroom cabinetry: Marsh Cabinets from Mauk Cabinets; Kitchen and bathroom sink and faucets: Kohler; Flooring, and tile in kitchen backsplash and shower: Pages Flooring; Bosch dishwasher and refrigerator, Wolf range: Ferguson; Lighting: Kichler from Premiere Lighting Gallery, and Restoration Hardware; Painting: Right Touch Paint; Murals: Cheeky Monkey by Chris “Red” Newman; Trim carpentry: Sabin Construction; Furniture: Arhaus; Window treatments: Sophisticated Shades; Windows and doors: Pella; Game table: Highpoint Cabinets