Living in retirement on the shore of Lake Chesdin: A son designs a home for his parents
Dr. and Mrs. Murray are now living in Dinwiddie County, Virginia on the shore of Lake Chesdin in a custom home designed by their son, Brant Murray, who is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Architecture. The Murrays are enjoying retirement in their two-story 3,998 square foot custom home with four bedrooms, three and one-half bathrooms, and two car garage. Careful attention was paid to the fact that this home will not need to change as the owners enter into retirement.
All main living spaces are located on the first floor and the four areas where the owners spend the majority of their time (great room, kitchen, office, and master bedroom) all have magnificent views to the lake. The dining room and living room are also situated to take advantage of the views to the lake and surrounding forest. A guest room with a bathroom and separate entrance is also located on the first floor. Utility areas on the first floor include the laundry room, which is conveniently located next to the master bedroom, and plentiful storage space. When family, relatives, and guests visit, two additional bedrooms, a bathroom, powder room, and a sitting room are located on the second floor.
The interior design of the home was motivated by the placement of the house on the crest of the site facing the lake on the northern edge of the property. From the main entrance the view extends through the foyer, living room, and great room looking out to the lake. The entrance path takes the visitor off axis into one of two hallways thus allowing the rediscovery of the living room and great room from different angles. The addition of a Solatube from the second story roof allows an abundance of natural light to flow from the ceiling into the living room. The amount of glazing on the northern facade allows wonderful views to the lake while avoiding direct sunlight exposure. The extended roof overhang covers the sitting area on the upper deck, while the lower deck allows the owners ample space for their potted garden plants and extraordinary views to the lake.
The exterior of the home was inspired by the Craftsman style. A stone foundation supporting a system of vinyl boards and vinyl shingle siding gives the home its distinctive appearance along the lake. Low maintenance materials were chosen for all exterior surfaces of the home as well as the deck and porches. A pergola comprised of stained rough hewn cedar boards and stone columns greets visitors as they drive up to the house. A covered staircase from the first floor guest room allows the owners to access the work room and crawl space below the house. The 170 square foot garden room located to the east of the house, with direct access to the laundry/mud room, was also designed to mirror the appearance of the main house.
The exterior landscaping was motivated in part by the large amount of existing boulders and rocks on the site. These rocks serve both decorative and functional purposes. The larger boulders have been placed to serve as visual highlights in the landscaping, while the smaller rocks are used to line the walking paths. At the lake edge, boulders and rocks were placed to create a barrier wall for a landscaped area, which will help to prevent run-off from going directly into the lake.
South Facade facing driveway: Pergola and front entrance
Great Room on first floor: looking north through Living Room and Foyer to front entrance
Sitting Room on second floor: looking through windows on south facade
North Facade facing the lake: Master Bedroom on the left, Great Room in the center, Eating Nook on the right
View to Lake Chesdin: looking north from upper deck