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Ease of Living

Written by Renee Dustman
Imagery by Sandra Kicman

With three grown sons (triplets, no less) making their own way in the world, and her husband at peace after a long illness, the family home had become too large and too much work for this homeowner. The time had come to downsize. The Summit at Woodcliff in Fairport, New York,
offered a “smaller and smarter home” with a first floor master and a homeowner association to maintain the property. Perfect for someone nearing retirement.
    Before signing off on the house plans, the homeowner enlisted the professional services of interior designer Christine Geiselhart. Together, they designed a custom-built home to suit. Ultimately, life experiences dictated the final outcome.

A Soothing Palette
Working seemingly backwards, the homeowner began the building process with the décor. Armed with a substantial digital idea book, the homeowner said,  “I selected my color scheme and the types of fabrics I wanted before I even designed my house.”    
    The final color palette is primarily neutral tones of creams, warm grays, and browns. Splashes of sea foam green and teal in the artwork, accessories, and accent walls add a pleasing sense of tranquility in every room. The furnishings on the main floor – much of it new from Ethan Allen – are oversized and selected for comfort and durability.

Built to Suit
Beyond aesthetics, the homeowner wanted an open concept to accommodate large family gatherings and provide ease of mobility. The original floor plan essentially provided this, but Geiselhart suggested further refinements.To allow for a view of the adjacent golf course, instead of the neighbor’s house, the driveway, garage, kitchen, and three-season room were essentially “flipped”  with the master suite. The three-season room off the kitchen was made into a four-season room; and the dining area was combined with the great room to allow more space in the kitchen for the island, which features an 11-foot by 4½-foot granite countertop.
    Door and sidelight heights were raised to 8 feet to allow more natural light. Pocket doors with frosted glass panels add to the illusion of more space and allow additional light to filter through, without sacrificing privacy. 
    The architectural details the homeowner likes best are the ones the average person wouldn’t even notice. There is a level transition from the garage to the home and from the bathroom to the shower. Outlets are on the baseboards, instead of on the walls. Light switches are wheelchair height, and doors meet standard handicap accessible width.

Functionality at Its Best
Another hidden feature is this home’s use of smart technology.  “ I can virtually operate everything in my home from my cell phone,”  the homeowner said.
    Whether home alone or traveling, a multitude of functions can be operated with a push of a button – from the garage door, to the interior and exterior lighting, to the security system, to the HVAC. If someone comes to the front door, she can see who it is, even if she’s not home.  “I really have every convenience at my fingertips.”  More than convenience, this is added security.
    There are also some really fun features, such as the ability to simply tap the top left corner of the kitchen island to activate the under-counter lights. The kitchen sink is also activated by touch.
    “It’s a fun, relaxing, beautiful, and calm home,” the homeowner said. Best of all, she’ll be able to enjoy it for years to come.

Best Tile   
Charlotte Appliance, Inc.    
Ethan Allen
Installers’ Warehouse   
Rochester Colonial   


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