Time-Honored Tradition Meets Modern

Premier Living

By Christina Davenport
Photography by Philip Slowiak

Trip and Chris Smith were perfectly content living in their Riverview home when they were approached by a potential buyer. After striking up a deal, the Smiths needed a new place to call home, and Trip’s family property immediately came to mind.

“This is part of a piece of property that Trip’s family purchased in the 1950s,” explains Chris. “We needed somewhere to go and had always loved this piece of property, so we purchased it from Trip’s mother and uncle with the intention of building this house.”

Two years after breaking ground, the Smiths moved into their new home. While the exterior offers up a more modern flair with its strong lines and angular roofline, the inside of the home is much more traditional in nature. An elongated layout capitalizes on the riverfront views, and the use of stone and wood give the home a certain sense of place.   

“This is the highest point on the property,” adds Trip. “On top of that, once we started building, we found a lot of bedrock to get through for the lower level, but it was worth the effort. We have a great view.”

As a result, the Smiths have now curated a home that imbues relaxation and serenity while simultaneously celebrating family – both past and present.

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Stepping into the foyer, guests are immediately welcomed with an artful combination of styles. Family heirlooms and mementos are displayed front and center, and their storied history showcases the family’s legacy. These items contribute to a more traditional style, while the same stonework found on the outside of the house adds a rustic feel. The stone walls are paired with several hardwoods found in the room’s double front doors and angled ceiling for even more warmth. By contrast, cool-toned slate floors work to layer in another material and texture.

Recessed lighting and a candle-style pendant fixture emit a soft, warm glow, but natural light streaming in through several nearby windows is what truly illuminates the space. A large threshold to the left draws visitors further into the home and toward the other main living spaces. After passing a grand piano and several captivating works of art, guests are well on their way to the heart of the home.

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Just around the corner from the foyer is the great room. Many of the home’s themes are continued in this space. A suite of traditional furniture rests on top of a large oriental rug in the center of the room. While the rug brings in some richer pops of color, the majority of the room is outfitted in neutral tones.

A stone fireplace provides continuity with the rest of the home, and a honed cedar mantel is a beautiful addition. The fireplace is flanked by a pair of built-ins that matches a nearby entertainment center. These dark wood pieces gives the space a bit of contrast, and their shelves are full of fond family memories.

The towering 18-foot ceilings give the space some added grandeur, and a pair of skylights flood the room with sunlight. Also adding to the opulence are two glass display cases built into the wall that separate the living room from the adjacent space.

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Perhaps the grandest space of all within the Smith household is the formal dining room, but that isn’t to say it’s not comfortable or intimate. A long dining room table can accommodate 14 at full capacity, which keeps the focus on family just as the Smiths intended.

Queen Anne chairs and a trio of chandeliers suspended from lighting clouds are an ornate touch. This room is again swathed in neutrals with the exception of several panels, which feature a blue and pink floral pattern. The pinks in the wall panels repeat a similar hue found in the oversized area rug, and the entire room is rounded out with family portraits and traditional furniture pieces.

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the Smiths

“We are very focused on family. Our home has to be such that it can be a gathering place for everybody.
It also has to be comfortable and somewhere that our family doesn’t feel like they are in a museum or can’t touch anything. We host every holiday here, and the dining room and kitchen needed to be big enough that we weren’t tripping all over each other. The whole focus when building this house was
being able to have comfortable quality time with friends and family.” – Chris Smith

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On the other side of the main floor is the spacious master suite. In addition to building a home that could accommodate their growing family, the Smiths also wanted a home where they could age in place. That goal is effortlessly achieved in the bedroom where there is plenty of space to move about paired with pristine waterfront views.

The bathroom also features everything one might need including a soaking tub, glass-enclosed shower, his-and-hers vanity with plenty of storage, and an outhouse-inspired water closet for an added dose of character.

“I’d classify this house as something I never thought
I would live in. Sometimes when I drive up and see it,
I still think to myself ‘Who lives there?’” says Chris. “It’s very different than what I thought we’d end up in, but it just fits the property and we’ve enjoyed every minute of living here.”

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