Elevated Entertaining

(above) photo by Jackie Jones

by Katie Faulkner  |  Photography by Philip Slowiak

For Janet Miller, home sweet home has many amazing amenities and memories with her children. From the dry heat sauna in the basement to the peaceful master suite to the opulent outdoor area, this house has plenty of places to relax, entertain, and spend time with family.

Entering the home creates a grand effect, with a foyer that is open all the way through the second story. Arched French doors add charm while not impeding the view of the beautifully landscaped outdoors. Open to the staircase and formal dining room on either side, as well as the formal living room, much of the home is in sight from the front door.

With extra-wide door casings, the formal dining room is very open to the rest of the home. A Duncan Phyfe table is surrounded by upholstered parsons chairs that comfortably seat eight for entertaining and holiday meals. Soft green color on the walls emphasizes the home’s stunning natural surroundings. “We’re on five acres here with lots of woods around us, so it feels very private and quiet,” Janet says.

Through the hallway are the kitchen and great room, which are open to each other.

In the kitchen and great room, slate-tiled floors add dimension and character, connecting the two rooms’ identities. An enormous kitchen island features a poured concrete countertop and prep sink with additional seating and storage. State-of-the-art stainless steel appliances include a large Wolf range with a hood, an industrial-sized refrigerator, a dishwasher, and a wine chiller, making this an ideal kitchen for entertaining guests. “I always enjoy having friends and family over. This is a great house for hosting,” Janet says.

As the kitchen opens to the great room, another table with Windsor-style chairs is accompanied by a glass-front hutch to serve as a more casual dining area. The great room opens up to the second story with a stacked-stone fireplace and clerestory windows drawing eyes upward. “This is definitely where we spend the most time in the house. It just feels like the heart of the home, and it’s where everyone gravitates,” Janet says. With plenty of plush seating, gorgeous views of the woods outside, a wood-burning fireplace, and a large television, it’s easy to see why.

Also on the main level is the master suite. A serene light blue shade washes the walls and tray ceiling. The color nicely complements the traditional dark wood furniture, including the sleigh bed and antique Duncan Phyfe vanity. “We built this home to be exactly what we wanted, and it’s reflective of my personal style. It’s very classic, and I love the flow of the floor plan,” Janet shares.

In the adjoining master bathroom, that classic style is carried on in traditional dark cabinetry and elegant granite countertops with dual sinks. The appliance garage makes keeping this countertop clear a breeze. Meanwhile, travertine tile and an opulent walk-in shower pair with the free-standing soaking tub to transform this room into an elegant escape.

From the master bedroom, a peaceful porch is accessible with views of the woods and lush scenery – a beautiful addition to this relaxing retreat. The porch is also accessible from the great room, so it can be enjoyed by all.

Downstairs, below the main level of the home is the terrace level. This space is ideal for entertaining. It features a pool table, dry sauna, a home gym, a music room, bedrooms, bathrooms, and living areas. It also boasts a custom-built wet bar. The space is complete with a wine cooler, wine racks, refrigerator, sink, dishwasher, and icemaker. But the true cherry on top of this entertaining area is that it opens directly to the pool and outdoor living space. As Janet says, “It’s so fun to have friends over to watch a game or hang out. This space is a great stopping point to keep food and drinks accessible without going up to the main level.”

The curved pool incorporates the natural landscaping with grass patches for elegant visual interest and to help cultivate the courtyard feeling. Rose trees and ground cover add beauty to the space, while to the side, another show-stopping bar and outdoor living area can be found in the pool house. This gazebo-shaped building features a long, curved bar top, sink, grill, and refrigerator to make hosting fun and easy. It also has a large television, a fireplace, and windows that can be opened wide during nice weather or closed to keep the space more warm or cool. “In the summertime, this is absolutely my favorite place,” Janet says. “I actually designed it after a bar I had visited in St. Thomas called ‘The Love Shack.’ This is a smaller version, but it fits into the hillside and is definitely a focal point here.”

Janet loves to make use of the gym and sauna downstairs and invites friends over to enjoy the pool whenever she has the chance. She and her sons have ample opportunity to entertain in this home, while also enjoying all the useful and elevated features that Janet incorporated into the home’s design.

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