The Hangout House

The red brick façade of Lara and Al Shumaker’s home makes way for a cozy front porch complete with wispy hanging baskets and chairs with striped cushions. A tropical-inspired fan circulates above, keeping the area comfortable on warm summer days. Glass-paneled double doors open up to the well-appointed living room of this family home.

Photography by Med Dement

Lara and Al Shumaker with their daughters Kate and Stella //Photography by Med Dement


Near the door, a cluster of canvas family photos create a warm, welcoming entryway. “When you walk in, the living room is right here. It’s a very open plan, and everything ties back together,” says Lara.

Keeping a simplistic design scheme, the Shumakers kept their color tones a neutral blend of grays, tans, and beiges with pops of chartreuse in the living room. Choosing the right wall color proved to be a challenge, as the first choice reflected a lavender hue. “We painted this whole area, and then the sun came up and it was purple,” explains Lara. With large windows in the room that reflect the blue backyard pool, a grayer tone soon replaced the original.

In the living room, a tweed couch is given pizzazz with patterned pillows, and a geometric print chair nearby adds another element of visual interest. Overhead, an ornate metal chandelier hangs from a ceiling medallion, casting a warm glow. A stacked stone fireplace features a metal screen that mimics the iron chandelier, tying the room together.

Photography by Med Dement

Photography by Med Dement


In the kitchen, rich woods make the room feel instantly warm. Cherry cabinetry lines the perimeter of the room, while a lighter wood island provides additional countertop space and a quick place to eat. “I love the flow of the kitchen and the height of the countertops because I’m tall,” says Lara. In addition to high counters, professional-grade appliances make the kitchen fit for a chef. Cast iron pots and pans hang from the ceiling for easy access, while also providing a rustic look. A clay tile backsplash adds to the natural elements and makes cleaning up any meal prep splatters a breeze.

Nearby, the dining room mixes woodsy wildlife with chic, sophisticated décor. A serene painting of a white horse, along with white birch wood in the corner and a metal deer on the buffet table, provide splashes of nature. Clear glass candlesticks, gray walls, and an ornate chandelier bring formality to the mix. A circle-print rug adds a modern touch and rests under the wooden dining table, which is flanked by brown leather chairs.

Photography by Med Dement

Photography by Med Dement


With the main living space all on a single story, the layout is open to allow the family to easily access each part of the home. The master bedroom is set off by a coffered ceiling, soft blue-green walls, and a wooden sphere chandelier. “We wanted to make sure the bedroom was very neutral, because the door is always open. We didn’t want anything that would clash with the rest of the house,” says Lara. An upholstered headboard and thick white bed linens keep the bedroom looking crisp. A mixture of light pieces and heavier elements allow the room to strike the perfect balance of masculine and feminine.

Photography by Med Dement

Photography by Med Dement


The attached master bathroom is filled with earthy, relaxing hues. A tiled walk-in shower features sleek glass panels for an open feel. Two sinks – one pedestal sink and one built into the countertop – provide space for husband and wife. A countertop lamp emits a warm glow and gives a sense of coziness in the bathroom space, and a clawfoot tub with contrasting black feet helps make the space a relaxing respite.

Outside, trellises around the swimming pool allow flowered vines to grow, which shade the lounge chairs. The outdoor retreat is complete with a round wooden table and chairs, perfect to gather around at backyard cookouts.

When the Shumakers purchased their home, they knew they made the right choice. “We bought the house because a builder built it for himself. The open floor plan and attention to detail was great. We liked the flow, the idea of the basement, and the idea of a pool,” Al says. “Our goal was to have a house where all the kids’ friends want to be. We want to be the hangout house.”

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