Yellow Springs has a well-earned reputation for its unconventional charm. But tucked into the woods just outside the village is a truly unique gem for the area. From the moment visitors cross the threshold of this exquisite home, they know they are someplace special. The homeowners set out to create a healing home, one that is filled with daylight and built with natural elements. Nowhere is that vision more evident than in the main living area, where a striking interplay of light and space invites relaxation, contemplation and well-being.
One of five “pavilions,” or sections, in the 8,000 square-foot house, the living room, kitchen, dining room, and breakfast nook serve as a dramatic center to this well-planned home designed by ALT Architecture. A curved ceiling soars above the space, accented by exposed wood and steel I-beams. A wall of custom-designed windows further opens the area up, showcasing the refined simplicity of the interiors.
“We wanted a contemporary, elegant, industrial look, but we know those elements have a tendency to be cold,” says the homeowner. “We were up to the challenge of taking something large and making it warm.”
To offset the hard edges, the owners incorporated soft colors and textures throughout the interior. Wood laminate and tile accents anchor the space. Rich hues of cream and gray add warmth. Crushed velvet couches and dining room chairs serve as a comfy invitation to lose yourself in the surroundings. Art pieces, many purchased from nearby Yellow Springs, add pops of color. And after the sun goes down, accent lighting, combined with the enclosed gas fireplace, transform the living area into a truly sumptuous experience.
“This is the coziest place at night,” says the homeowner. “For as big as it is, you get the fire going, turn on the lighting and the space just glows.”
Healing by nature
Natural healing is important to both homeowners, and landscape views and natural light are key components to both physical and emotional health. But the couple was also designing with Ohio’s winters in mind. This was especially important to the husband, who originally hails from Texas.
“If we are going to be housebound during winter, we wanted to be in a house with lots of light that keeps us invigorated,” says the homeowner.
The generous use of glass captures the incredible views of the 11-acre wooded site, including a 300-year-old sycamore tree that first attracted the owners to the property. The site’s many heated water features offer both visual and auditory harmony year-round. And the home’s southern exposure allows natural light to flood the space without the harsh glare of direct sun.
Healthy by design
To promote serenity of mind, the homeowners created a home free of visual clutter. But beneath those clean lines and smooth surfaces are materials that are free of volatile organic chemicals and other harmful products. The owners also used LED lighting throughout, both because it is free of toxins and for the superior quality of light.
Even the water that feeds the radiant floor heating system is free of additives, like antifreeze. All water used on site is pumped from a 179-year-old springhouse and treated using UV filters. A battery of tankless water heaters ensures the owners always have water at just the right temperature.
In addition to being a healthy home, it is a smart house. Everything from the lighting to the air to the heating system is programmable by zones to optimize comfort for all occupants.
Make no mistake, this is a home of tranquility. But it was also designed to be lived in. Flanked by a guest suite on one side and the family’s five bedrooms on the other, the living area is the heart of this home. The open floor plan is as much about letting nature in as it is promoting interaction between family and friends.
Above the threshold leading into the family pavilion are the letters IWLYFATY, which stand for “I will love you for a thousand years.” It is a reference to the Christina Perri song, “A Thousand Years,” which was the owners’ wedding song. Indeed, this is a home to love for the ages, one that speaks to devotion for nature, for family and for contentment and well-being.
This home, located at 3443 Grinnell Road, is currently listed for sale by Kunal Patel Group.
Article by Bethany Reiff/Photos by Dawn M. Smith
Article originally appeared in Housetrends Cincinnati – October/November 2019