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THE BEAUTY OF Intentional Design

Written by Karen Marley
Imagery by Dewey Neild

After years of houses expanding to enormous proportions, designers and consumers are embracing designs that work harder and are smarter, not bigger. Yet even this approach has room to improve. A recent new home build, overlooking Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, New York, is a spectacular example of what happens when lifestyle meets mindfulness. The time has come for intentional design.
   “Intentional design centers around a client’s home being the totality of who they are; not just in aesthetics and lifestyle but also as an expression of what they value,” explains Lynda Myers, owner of Lynda MyersInterior Design.
   Myers worked closely with homeowner Alex Deyhim to design a home using local service providers, with attention to a small footprint and entertaining family.
   “I wanted to build something unique. Beautiful. Comfortable. Contemporary. Bright and simple. A place to bring family together and maximize the outdoors,” says Deyhim, an engineering professor at Cornell University and businessman with an energetic, intelligent mind.

After years of searching, Deyhim settled on a steeply sloped site that could provide unfettered views of Cayuga Lake. The back of the building site opens to a deep forest and a creek tumbles along one side.
   Behemoth, 1- to 3-ton riprap made of local, Seneca stone, stabilizes the driveway. The home’s simple rectangular footprint shoots up three stories for a bird’s-eye view of the lake and forest. Myers, recognizing Deyhim is not one to lounge in a bedroom, relegated the master suite and guest bedrooms to the first floor thus preserving the most impressive views for above.
   The exterior grand stairway brings visitors up to the main entrance on the second floor, the shared kitchen and dining space. An internal stairway brings you up to the third floor wine bar and entertainment kitchen. The outdoor stucco kitchen extends the entertainment space.

Interior design and panoramic views work as one. In addition to the seemingly endless high-efficiency windows there are no interior walls to break up the captivating views of the lake and skyscapes. Elegant glass railings on exterior balconies are invisible.
   With no upper-floor wall space, there is also no artwork. Wood-Mode kitchen cabinetry with a mirror-like, white high-gloss finish reflects the lake’s diverse moods. Carved Carrara marble backsplash tiles in a wave pattern suggest the movement of water. Oversized heated floor tiles, in a riverbed gray, are a sleek touch. Myers designed the trapezoid-shaped kitchen island to support a 1,500-pound quartz countertop. The starburst light fixture
adds dimension.
   “The intention is that nature is the artwork,” explains Myers. “Alex has a brilliant mind and does not need visual clutter. He needs clean and simple.” Staying authentic to the Finger Lakes’ dominant colors are the grays, whites and pops of green in the color palette. Simple furniture forms also respect the natural, dynamic beauty outside. The effect is refreshing and peaceful.
   Deyhim recognizes how perfectly suited the home is for him. He says, “Make a mistake when designing your home and it’s like a small irritating stone in your shoe. I work with bright, exceptional people; people who design spaceships for NASA. Lynda is on top of my list as a design professional. With this home, I have no stones.”

Lynda Myers Interior Design
VP Innovations
Wood-Mode Fine Custom Cabinetry

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