Nestled into 14 acres of rolling hills, creeks and forests in Indian Springs, AL, this 11,000-square-foot home is an oasis of crisp modernity. The active family of five who lives there wanted a home with spaces for their children to enjoy with friends, as well as open, transitional spaces tailored for entertaining guests. “They wanted to use the house and the land for their family, friends, coworkers and church community to utilize,” says Chris Reebals, president of Christopher Architecture & Interiors. “The large, flowing, open spaces were intentionally designed to allow folks to flow from one space to another, very much including the outside. Pools, fountains and courtyards all address the interior spaces and flow seamlessly from conditioned rooms to unconditioned, exterior spaces.” With its massive windows, this impressive home lets the unbridled beauty of nature take center stage. The family enjoys a breathtaking view of the trees and colors as they transition from fall to winter, offering an ever-evolving experience.
While there are some French Normandy influences in the hips and gables and suggestions of Dutch architecture in the parapets, Chris says that the strongest design influences were the nuances of the site and the client. “One of the amazing blessings of working with this client was their latitude and trust,” says Chris. “At the first meeting, they said, ‘You are the professionals. Take the canvas of our site and create.’ And it’s fun to look back. The initial sketches really ended up being what the house became.”
“The style is most definitely eclectic. The influences are diverse,” says architect Chris Reebals, president of Christopher Architecture & Interiors. “Historical architecture, regional architecture, nature, the site, our design sensibilities and the homeowners’ tastes, wants and needs.”
The home is situated atop the crest of a hill, offering beautiful views into the tangled wilderness. “The courtyard approach was designed to create an experience. Going from the wooded, natural areas into the pristine refinement of the manicured courtyard is intended to evoke an emotional and physical transition from nature’s domain to the home’s sleek interiors,” says Chris.
Heavy foliage stands in stark contrast to the clean lines of the light stucco, capturing the striking juxtaposition of nature’s overwhelming beauty and the elegant refinement of modern design.
The architectural team chose bluestone for the patio, because they wanted a natural stone that would complement the light stucco and limestone pool coping.
The spectacular family room features 24-foot-high ceilings, cedar trusses, a stone fireplace and gray-washed, pecky cypress paneling. The collection of pressed and framed botanicals have been in the homeowner’s family for years.
The floor-to-ceiling windows are a common thread throughout the home, offering breathtaking views and flooding the interiors with natural light. The furnishings were all custom-made, including the antique, mirror-top coffee table.
“The kitchen needed to be practical for this busy family,” says Joanna Goodman, director of interiors at Christopher Architecture & Interiors. “I think the only strong opinion the owner had concerned the built-in coffee maker.”
The interior design team worked closely with the fabricator on the custom cabinetry to perfect the stain on the base and island. Fantasy Brown Granite countertops allow for easy maintenance, and subway marble wall tiles complete the fresh look.
“The owner requested that the master bedroom function as their sanctuary,” says interior designer Joanna Goodman. “The suite is complete with gas fireplace and reading nook, coffee bar, adjoining study, master bathroom and closet, which contains its own laundry area.”
The vast, bright master bathroom features a custom tile floor. “Each individual piece was laid like a puzzle and I praise the installer for his patience and expertise,” says interior designer Joanna Goodman, adding, “the Bain Ultra spa-like tub sits in front of a six-by-eight-foot custom antique wall mirror, and the motorized drapery panel makes privacy a breeze.”
Prominent placement of the family’s magnificent grand piano was one of the few requests the homeowners made. The instrument is loved and played by the entire family.
Filled with light and music, the foyer is a bright, energetic space for tickling the ivories and welcoming friends and family into the home.
The hearth room, located between the foyer and kitchen, includes one of the home’s three fireplaces and natural pecky cypress ceilings. “Recently, the owner called me and said all along she thought this area would just be a pass-through to other rooms, but it has, in fact, become where the whole family hangs out,” says Joanna, adding, “and there is no TV!”
The durable mud room bathroom supports the kitchen, laundry, garage and pool area. The custom walnut vanity anchors the concrete vessel sink, and two lanterns are suspended from a reclaimed cedar beam.
The powder room, directly off the foyer, features a freestanding marble vanity with aged, unlacquered brass accents. The wall sconces glow against the Nina Campbell wall covering, and the golden Currey & Company light fixture is gorgeously accented against the dark ceiling.
The dramatic, arched entryway, curved iron gate, gaslit lamp and artistic landscape design subtly evoke the old-world charm of a European manor.
A stunning home, indeed! Thank you to Jean Allsopp for today’s beautiful photography. Want to see more of this gorgeous home? Visit our friends at Birmingham Magazine at al.com.
- Architecture: Chris Reebals and Bill Moore, Christopher Architecture & Interiors
- Interior design: Joanna Goodman and Emory Ratliff, Christopher Architecture & Interiors
- Construction: Stidco Construction
- Landscape architecture: Dave Eyrich, Environmental Design Studio
- Limestone: Tracery Stone
- Windows: Auburn Millwork Inc. with Lincoln Windows
- Countertops: Pacific Shore Stones and Axford Stone at (205) 516-3452
- Cabinets: Heath Hughes, Bespoke Custom Wood Designs
- Wall and floor tiles: Crossville Tile & Stone
- Lighting: Bevolo Gas & Electric Lighting, Circa Lighting, Currey & Company, Restoration Hardware, Gabby Home, Arteriors and The Urban Electric Co.
- Appliances: AllSouth Appliance Group Inc.
- Hardware: Brandino Brass
- Drapery, master bedroom bedding and motorized drapery: Erwin and Associates
- Plumbing: Kenny & Company