When a Birmingham couple decided to build on Lake Martin, they were looking for something a little different, something with a bit of architectural flair, and they found just what they wanted with Birmingham architect Jeff Dungan.
After Dungan’s architectural drawings were complete, the couple selected TCC General Contractors, located in both Birmingham and Alexander City, to build their home at just under 6,000 square feet.
Their limewashed stone home is situated on a wooded point in Willow Glynn, a location that suits their purpose for ease of travel back and forth to Birmingham. They have plenty of room for family and friends to visit, with a relaxed interior color scheme, furniture and décor to keep life simple while visiting the lake.
The lady of the house, who enjoys gardening, contracted Lorberbaum, Odrezin and Associates to landscape the home with shrubbery, hydrangeas, ferns, rosemary hedges and trees that will grow to fill the space. Stone retaining walls were built to blend with the natural landscape and were treated with vines and cascading roses. She added additional plantings that she enjoys, such as climbing Lady Banks’ roses, creeping fig vines and jasmine, among others.
Just beyond a heavy, arched wooden door leading from the pea gravel concrete driveway, an open courtyard greets guests as they walk toward substantial iron and glass front doors and sidelights. A water feature with a fountain and lighted trough cools the space, which is decorated simply with dining table and chairs and two cushioned circular chairs by JANUS et Cie, perfect for shady afternoons on the grass grid and paving stones of the courtyard.
Inside, the foyer walls echo the stone exterior; then, give way to smooth Venetian plaster walls throughout the main living areas. The floors in the main living areas are FireRock concrete pavers, while the bedroom floors are hardwood. The ceilings are pecky cypress with beams in many areas. Neutral-colored sisal and wool rugs warm the spaces throughout the home.
Past the foyer, a large open hallway serves as the hub for access to the living area straight ahead; the kitchen through an arched hallway to the right; the master bedroom on the left; and an open staircase. The area includes two large, white overlapping cowhide rugs and antiqued speckled mirrors that hang above two long benches.
The homeowners enlisted Birmingham decorator Liz Hand Woods to help them with décor and furnishings, some of which were custom made for the house and some of which were selected from Woods’ boutique, Details.
“I have known and worked with Liz at least 20 years, so she knows my taste and my budget, which made it very easy,” the homeowner said.
Woods hung a gauzy curtain in front of the open staircase, creating a soft backdrop for a heavy reclaimed wood table holding an iron sculpted lamp, books and an arrangement of flowers, grasses and branches.
The owner repurposed a wooden trellis, most often used outdoors, to add a natural touch to the glass vase. She created similar, yet smaller and more delicate, arrangements for the coffee table in the adjoining room.
“I love working with flowers and usually do my own arrangements. I usually just stop by Trader Joe’s to see what flowers they have and combine that with what I have in my yard. I just enjoy playing around with the arrangements,” she explained.
Working with the couple’s contemporary vision as the foundation, Woods created a peaceful space for relaxing in the main living area. Focused on a limestone fireplace and asymmetrical chimney – also built with limewashed stone – a cream-colored sofa and four side chairs cater to comfortable gatherings. The coffee table, with iron legs and a hide top, offers the perfect spot for books and sculpture. For the corner of the room, Woods selected a unique conversation piece – a chair crafted from petrified wood, balancing additional pieces of petrified wood in the home. In addition to lamps and the windows, a two-tiered iron chandelier, track lighting and lights behind the beams add to the ambience of the room.
Iron and glass windows and doors, surrounded by the limewashed stone, make up the back wall of the living area, where the doors open to a screened porch and a ceiling that maintains the 22-foot height of the adjoining main room. A seating area, a television for those special games and a dining table and chairs provide just the right spaces for guests to relax and enjoy the lake view and cool breezes. Two side doors from the porch allow access to the yard, the lake and a swimming pool, complete with a full bath and shower in a small pool house on the concrete decking.
The dining area off the main room offers a view of the lake on two sides and a round table and chairs for easy conversation. An antiqued mirror behind the glass shelves of the bar area reflects the natural light from the windows.
The gourmet kitchen, replete with a 9-foot by 5-foot island, allows space for two refrigerators, one for food and one for drinks. Huge windows over the sink and countertop offer a view of the lake for the chefs. Cabinets are gray, and the countertops and island surfaces are Alabama marble. Four barstools with goat hair seats and backs present stylish and comfortable seating at the island. A glass chandelier with large, heavy teardrops – the owners’ favorite light fixture in the house – hangs over the island, reflecting the room and the sun shining in through the windows.
An oversized pantry behind a hidden wall in the kitchen also serves as the safe room for dangerous weather.
“The concrete safe room/pantry was the first thing built, since we don’t have a basement. A metal door rolls down just inside,” she said.
Just off the kitchen, a cooking porch with a built-in grill is easily accessible.
The corner master suite faces the lake in one direction and the pool and side garden in the other. Furniture for the room was custom built for the couple. An inverted bell chandelier reflects the room and casts a soft glow on the ceiling. The bath features a soaker tub centered under a beautiful arch that mirrors the arch leading into the kitchen. An Alabama marble countertop, along with white and gray porcelain tile, keeps the clean, crisp look of the home. Floor-to-ceiling treatments cover the windows when privacy is desired.
A guest room and bathroom are located on the main floor, and three additional bedrooms and baths are upstairs. These rooms feature the same neutral colors for furniture and bedding. Simple Roman shades cover the windows. Also upstairs, a loft with a sofa and chairs looks over the living area through an oval window fashioned with an iron grate that is as decorative as it is functional for safety. An additional seating area with two chaise lounges adds more sleeping space upstairs.
With both contemporary elegance and peaceful living, this beautiful Willow Glynn home has become a haven for family and friends to gather and enjoy good times at Lake Martin.