|Tour ISSUU Digital Publication|
When Mike and Stephanie Tuttle were ready to move to East Texas after living in the Dallas area, they insisted on a few things: lots of a space for their horses to roam and a comfortable home in the country surrounded by the beauty of nature.
They found property in the Garden Valley area that has pine covered hills, open pastures and a beautiful 25-acre lake. It was exactly what they wanted. However, the decades-old house on the property was too small and did not meet their needs.
“It was really segmented and very chopped up,” says Mrs. Tuttle.
The best thing about the house was that it was perfectly positioned on a hill overlooking the lake on one side and trees on another.
Their solution was to strip the existing structure down to its foundation, stone fireplace and studs and start over. They called in Bill Andreason of Heritage Builders in Lindale to oversee the project.
The new home is a two-story story ranch with lots of stonework and timbering. When pressed to define the architectural style, Andreason simply calls it rustic elegance.
The first floor is dominated by a great room with a 22-foot high pitched ceiling supported by large wooden beams. The great room encompasses a living area centered around a towering fireplace. Dominant features include a chandelier made from dozens of pairs of antlers and a wall of large windows that looks out on woods where deer are spotted on many afternoons.
In another section of this open space is the kitchen with industrial-grade appliances and marble countertops.
The first floor also houses the master bedroom suite and both his and her offices. Mr. Tuttle jokes that his wife, got the better of the two office spaces. In one of their previous houses, he had a huge office. This time he wanted something much smaller.
The second floor houses three guest bedrooms, a workout room and common space on the landing at the top of the stairs.
Mrs. Tuttle used the talents of interior designer Patricia Ridnour of Dallas, with whom she has worked for years, to help her furnish and decorate. Furnishings include antiques with sentimental value that have been in the family for years and new pieces specifically selected for the home.
A pair of fat raccoons paddling a canoe filled with apples forms the whimsical centerpiece on the table in the great room and reflects both their love of nature and sense of fun. A portion of the weathered wooden flooring saved from the original home was repurposed as a decorative element on some of the walls.
The house also holds surprises. Space under the stairway is a secret play room for their grandchildren. Some of the doors are disguised to blend into the walls.
Mr. Tuttle’s favorite features are located outside where tons of white stone mined from a quarry in Oklahoma create spaces for relaxation and entertainment.
“Look at my redneck bathtub,” he says pointing out the tub located in an open-air, yet private, bathroom in the back of the house. A shower is only steps away. And yes, he sometimes uses both the tub and shower.
On another stone landing sits a fire pit surrounded by red lounging chairs. Nearby, a fountain sprays out water which tumbles down a rock-lined stream into a pond at the bottom of the hill.
Other outdoor features are a fully-functional kitchen and covered living room and a screened-in porch that lets the breeze in but keeps the bugs out. The Tuttles added a balcony off one of the second-story guest room to take advantage of a spectacular view of the lake. Andreason, who builds homes in many sizes and price ranges, says that the words cozy and comfortable kept coming up when working with Tuttles.
“They wanted different areas, both inside and outside, that would give cozy, enjoyable spaces to congregate in.” The Tuttles couldn’t be more thrilled with the way things turned out. Mr. Tuttle says the ranch retreat provides an escape from the pressures of work. Mrs. Tuttle says the house feels intimate yet is big enough for when their grown children visit with the grandkids and when they frequently have friends over to entertain.
From comfortable furnishings, to relaxing porches to beautiful views, it’s a place that puts people at ease.
For more information contact:
Glen Ehrhardt, President
Harvest Timber Specialty Products
PO Box 59
Lakebay, WA 98349
- (253) 884-6255
- (253) 884-6256