|Near Chapel Hill, North Carolina|
The house at Three Waters from the front. The house blends Japanese and Arts and Crafts influences with a large copper "lantern" on the chimney drawing attention up wards to the sky above. Three foot overhangs with built-in wooden gutters with copper edging extend to seven feet at the clipped corners creating the effect of many sheltered bay windows. The kitchen door is tucked into one of these overhangs. The more formal entry into the music room has a French door with side lights set back into a deeply recessed porch which gives an intimate space in the sunken entry garden.
This image of the floor plan may help to explain the lay out. At the top of the page is the path from the parking area descending through the stone retaining wall and the formal garden. The formal entry is through the music room in the center of the home with it's view of the pond. To the right, behind the stone fireplace, is the living room and then the dining room with it's window seat. The informal entry at upper right leads more directly to the kitchen through the mud room/pantry. The adjacent powder room has a 9 inch thick sound proof wall separating it from the living room. The home office between the pantry and kitchen allows for family time in the evening to blend mail processing and homework with meal preparation. To the right of the dining area is the sun room sleeping porch with glass on three walls. To the left of the music room is another sound control wall which separates the public spaces from the bedroom wing. At the top of the page is the child's bedroom with walk-in closet, bath and laundry room. Below is the master bedroom with dressing room exterior door to the yoga deck and luxurious tile and wood bathing area with twin showers, cast iron whirlpool and in-wall stereo system.
The rock garden entry creates a civilized transition from inside to out. A computer controlled irrigation system mists the plants every morning at 7AM. The garden wall extends the length of the house with stone steps to the parking area. Low voltage lighting illuminates the garden and extends to the field beyond the parking area.
Entering through the music room brings you immediately to a special place filled with light with the warmth of the dry stack stone work on the back of the fireplace and a view of the 5 acre pond behind.
The property includes an island in the pond with a garden around a grassy lawn with a fire circle and numerous willow trees planted by the former owners. Between the house and the pond is a 14 foot long picnic table which overlooks a terraced volley ball court and dock at the edge of the water. The lane is named Three Waters after the pond and the Haw River and Cane Creek which both pass within a thousand feet of the property. It is very possible to carry a Kayak down the walking easement to Cane creek, paddle down stream to the Haw river then paddle back up stream to the ponds outlet to the river, portage to the pond and paddle back home. The trip takes about two hours. The area is also excellent for mountain biking and road biking.
The house is sited to take advantage of the view. The master bedroom and dining room have bay windows that give a wrap around view, The master bath has it's own small yoga deck and a long deck extends from the music room to the dining area for outdoor dining and reading.
The sun room has been used as a meeting room for Haw River Assembly board retreats, as a massage studio for the owners massage practice and as a bed room. Waking here to the morning light through the trees and the sounds of the forest is a wonderful way to start the day. During storm induced power failures the propane heat assures a warm place to enjoy the weather.
Two matching cabinets in the screen porch provide additional storage for books or to conceal a television or serve as a wardrobe. A heart woven into the shingle siding near the roof serves as a subtle romantic gesture to the lucky guests who have spent the night here.
A separate entry to the Sun Room allows it to serve as a home office. This entry has been designed to be converted to handicap access should that become necessary.
The back deck as seen from the dining room provides a sheltered place to enjoy the view of the pond.
Entering the house from the Sun Room gives a view of the full length of the living space. The dining room and kitchen are set off with subtle wooden arches.
Looking from the dining area into the kitchen. The eight doors for the wall cabinets on this wall were re-sawn and book matched from a single piece of clear yellow pine. The drawers below were also cut from select grain matched pieces of yellow pine. A floor to ceiling book case in the home office accommodates an extended media filtration system to remove pollen and other allergens from the room air.
Yellow pine columns and arches separate the rooms and the pyramidal vaulted yellow pine ceiling which is capped by a 4"x4" skylight with a ceiling fan suspended from it's center. The low dividing wall between the home office desk and the kitchen has shelving for grains and beans stored in glass jars.
The kitchen features two cast iron sinks, one for cooking, one for cleaning up. The microwave oven is concealed in a special cabinet under the countertop. Verdigris copper light fixtures with art glass were custom made for the house.
The home office off the kitchen provides room for a computer on an ell shaped rock maple desk with storage for papers and two file cabinets below with book cases and display shelves above. A sofa under the three windows is a sunny place to read the days mail before supper.
The entire pond side of the living area from the sun porch to the master bedroom is glazed with Low-E glass windows and doors. Here the view from the music room to the dining area takes in a row of doors and sidelights which flood these rooms with light.
The fire place is visible from the dining room. The living area directly in front of the fire place has no windows facing the entry so that there is a greater sense of privacy in the hearth where the family gathers on cold winter nights. The Fireplace has an external combustion air inlet and a multiple flue heat exchanger system for better energy efficiency.
The stereo cabinet contains a wood storage bin which loads from the outside. The stereo system is wired to 14 in-wall speakers located through out the house including the master bedroom and master bath as well as the kitchen and living area. Through out the house white ash floors with inlaid cast iron heating grilles set off the yellow pine trim.
Four windows in the room-wide bay of the master bed room offer views of the pond and the back yard.
The bathing area in the master bath has a Kohler cast iron whirlpool with a high volume tub filler with swiveling spout. The entire floor is mosaic tile with a floor drain and two shower valves and heads for showering togetherness. The ceiling and walls not exposed to water are yellow pine and the ceiling has a 1500 watt electric radiant heater for cold days. Two windows with lace curtains look out into the woods. A light fixture in the roof overhang allows the room to be lit from outside when showering at night for privacy. The door is protected by a solid sheet of copper with a tempered obscure glass panel for privacy and Corian threshold.
The dance studio from the parking area is accessible by this bridge which opens back stage onto a 10 by 14 raised stage with a 22 by 22 dance floor up stairs. Downstairs is a 22 by 22 shop and storage area with concrete floor and wiring for shop equipment for the previous owners wood working projects.
The dance studio is insulated with Styrofoam in the walls and 6 inches of fiberglass in the vaulted ceilings. The space is heated and cooled by a two and a half ton gas pack with programmable thermostat.