Open Spaces & Full Hearts

By Katie Faulkner  |  Photography by Philip Slowiak

Amanda and Keith Porter, who works with locally based Stone Source, moved into an idyllic neighborhood on the NorthShore several years ago. They lived in their dream location but not exactly their dream home. For eleven years they owned the vacant lot next door and entertained eager ideas about it. Now, after deciding to finally sell and start building, they have just finished constructing their dream home, created by McCoy Homes and Caughman + Caughman Architects. With clean lines, soothing colors, and plenty of shared space for their family of four, this home is full of love, not walls or clutter.

Straight Lines (above) The living room emphasizes the Porters’ affinity for clean lines with a shiplap focal wall, square-armed sofas, and linear furniture. The geometric pendant light punctuates the theme in style.

 


Approaching the Porters’ home from the street, a historic stone retaining wall elevates their yard, and the home’s craftsman-style exteriors are evident. In keeping with craftsman styling, straight lines, white trim, hardy board, and imitation wood shake siding add to the nostalgic appearance of the home’s new construction. A vaulted portico with a light blue painted wooden ceiling draws on Amanda’s Southern roots. An extra-large front door with shelved transom windows is painted a beautiful teal blue, shades of which are carried throughout the home.

As soon as you enter the home, Keith and Amanda’s leading concept becomes apparent. “When we were building the house, the most important thing to us was making sure the main living areas had a very open floor plan,” Keith explains. Their goal was to keep the family together during all of the evening and weekend hours they would spend at home. To accomplish this, the living room, kitchen, and dining areas are all part of a spacious, wide open, and fully connected living area. Amanda says, “As our boys get older they need more room for activities and to have friends over. This home is perfect for both family time and entertaining.” As a result, the family spends most of the evening together downstairs, and only head upstairs when it’s time for bed. “That’s exactly how we wanted it!” Keith smiles.

Directly across from the front door, on the back wall, is the living room. A focal wall of soft gray shiplap defines the seating area and backs the large craftsman-style fireplace. Straight-lined, dark furniture punctuates the otherwise light room, and the television is mounted above the mantle, affording a view from the other two open spaces as well. “We can all be doing different things down here and watching a movie together at the same time,” Keith explains. Continuing the straight-lined theme, a chic, boxy metal pendant light elevates the aesthetic in this shared space.  Just behind the living room, the kitchen and dining room sit parallel to each other.

Showstopper (above) This kitchen is a dazzling combination of sleek white surfaces, straight lines, super white honed marble, chrome and stainless hardware, and craftsman features. Amanda says she looks forward to holiday baking in this stunning space.


 

In the kitchen, sleek white custom cabinetry and super white honed marble countertops create a crisp, clean appearance. The palatial island and extra-high backsplash add visual height and width to the space as well. A Walker Zanger, deep blue-gray subway tile makes up the extended backsplash. With extra-wide windows and window casings, the Porters opted for floating shelves in lieu of bulkier top cabinetry, helping the space to feel open and roomy. The flat panel cabinets are painted in a snow white shade with a gray glaze. Straight chrome hardware is accentuated by chrome pendant lights above the counters. “We are planning to have Christmas celebrations at our house, and we’ll enjoy a Griswold-style holiday!” Amanda laughs. “I’m really looking forward to decorating for the holidays and, especially having my new kitchen for baking.”

Adjacent to the kitchen is the open dining area. “I know that we use this space so much more than we would have if we hadn’t designed it to be part of the open floor plan. The kids will sit here and work on something while we’re cooking dinner or watching something on television. And we all still get to be together,” Keith explains. Elegantly elemental and dark-stained furniture anchors the dining suite in this light, open space. The rough grain finish and oil-rubbed bronze light fixture add a touch of texture to the space. While the boys often use this space to work on homework and other projects, the family usually ends up eating dinner at the kitchen island. “It’s still nice to have all of the seating right here next to each other,” Keith says. The open concept creates an ideal space for hosting gatherings. And the Porters hope to have many of those. “The boys are both really involved in sports, so I’m sure we’ll have team get-togethers over here, being this close to the school,” Keith says. Just off the dining room is a luxurious powder room and home office, which can serve as a guest bedroom also.

Peaceful Slumbers (above) The bedroom is flanked in accent walls of a soothing dark teal color. The unobscured space makes for a serene respite.


Nearby, a winding staircase, with craftsman millwork and straight angle turns, leads to the top floor and bedrooms. To the right is the master suite. A spacious bedroom soaked in sunlight also boasts a shiplap focal wall, similar to the one in the living room, but stark white in contrast. Flanked in dark teal walls, the bedroom has a peaceful blue hue and houses cherry furniture, which really pops off the muted background. In the corner, a custom window seat was one of Amanda’s only requests. Lounging in this space, one has a far reaching view down two different neighborhood streets. His and hers walk-in closets complete this tranquil room.

Photo by Emily Long


“This house has been a long time dream for me and Keith. We’re just so excited to enjoy it while our boys grow up!”


– Amanda Porter

 


A connected master bath is cloaked in decadent tile and countertops. A Carrera marble vanity top, baseboards, and shower bench brighten the room with their crisp white coloring. On the floor, slate is laid in a 90-degree herringbone pattern for added visual interest, and chrome hardware and lighting adds luster.

Back downstairs is another favorite hangout area for the family. Out back, a large covered porch houses a cozy seating area large enough for the whole family, a few friends, and Keith’s cooking area. A huge stainless grill is tucked into a Dekton countertop and brick-built island. The vaulted portico is painted in the same light blue as the one over the front door. This, paired with columns that have blue painted inlays continue the home’s exterior craftsman features. The dreamy family space is just one of many that Amanda, Keith, and their two boys enjoy.

Within walking distance to the boys’ school and with views of their neighborhood play areas, this idyllic home is designed with family in mind, and the Porters look forward to many more years of utilizing its open spaces for quality time. Amanda says, “This house has been a long time dream for me and Keith. We have spent countless hours deciding on the layout and all the specifics. We’re just so excited to enjoy it while our boys grow up!”

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