The Inside Story
By: Kitty Golding
Partnering with clients to make their dreams come to life inspires us in our work as interior designers. Client, turned friend, Anne Pitzer and her husband Jan built their forever home in Brighton and we were honored to be a part of it. Anne, a newly retired nurse and Jan, a small business owner, had been planning and imagining their lake home for several years. They purchased beautiful agrarian lake front land with the plans to build a home large enough to have their children and then future grandchildren, all who live out of town, come home and spend time vacationing at the lake. Considering this, the architect drafted two full guest suites, a children’s loft plus a large bonus suite that would house an entire visiting family. Designing a lodge-like, farmhouse style that didn’t scream, “look at me!” and blended into the lake and treed setting, was the client’s preference for their 6500 plus square foot home.
Shortly after being retained as the designers, we walked the property together as she shared her visions of their soon to be lake home. She talked about family, how much she loved the setting and the natural elements she wanted to bring into the design to create a cohesive balance between the nature outside and the design inside – or what we call timeless design.
Based on inspirations that Anne had collected to show us, we produced many customized plans and elevations for the interior. She stated that one of her favorite parts of the process was to review and talk about the plans and think about how it would look when finished. Every detail was carefully planned out in those drawings over the period of a year and was a collaborative effort. She stated it was so well planned, that even after being in the home for three and a half years now, they wouldn’t change a thing.
One of the couple’s favorite architectural details is the stone structure through the middle of the home, showcasing four of the home’s five fireplaces. A see-through fireplace dividing the great room and dining room provides ambience and extra seating on the raised hearths. A fair amount of design work went into creating the balance of stone, hearths and mantels, each having its own custom design, but all relating. Several field trips together to search for the perfect rock and locally sourced barnwood timber materials produced the anticipated outcome.
The breakfast/sunroom was a main focus of design for Anne since it is the space they planned to spend the most time in. It was based on a room in Jan’s grandparent’s home. A place where family gathered and shared coffee and meals. The result was a light filled area with lake views, housing a large banquette on one side and a cozy sitting area on the other side. Barnwood ceiling beams on top of painted beadboard was the genesis to creating warmth in this room. Antiquing being a favorite hobby, found Anne a beautiful warm wood turned leg dining table and we paired that with the upholstered bench seating boasting lots of pillows in teals, yellows, greens, oranges and aqua colors. We created a color palette throughout the home of variations of blues, oranges, grays and warm natural wood tones.
True to the old saying, the kitchen is the heart of the home, Anne agrees that it is where everyone wants to be! The lake views from there are stunning, especially the sunsets. This year she taught her adult children to make “lefse”, a Norwegian traditional potato flatbread that their Grandma always makes during the holidays. They gathered around the ten-foot granite topped island in a “bread-making” production line, creating the types of memory making gatherings she had envisioned.
This was the first time the couple had worked with an interior designer and when asking them to evaluate that decision, they stated that the value is easily seen in the finished project. They stated, “There are so many details to designing a house and having it all flow from room to room. We achieved that and we love our new home! Having an interior designer helped to relieve some of the stress and provided us with our desired outcome.”
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