Great Room: Into the Woods

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Photograph by Ryan Kurtz

One space does triple duty for a young family in Anderson Township.

About three years ago, Andrew and Rachel Peters went to visit friends who’d just moved to Anderson Township’s Hermitage Club. When they saw the wooded lots surrounding a man-made lake, Andrew turned to Rachel and said, “We’re gonna live out here.”

“I just thought, ‘Oh, OK, sure,’” Rachel says. “And here we are.”

Here turns out to be their three-story, Kurt Platte–designed home, and specifically, the home’s heart, the kitchen/dining room/great room on the third floor. “We’ve inverted the living space,” Rachel says. With three kids, the family’s bedrooms are one floor below; an apartment for Rachel’s mother is on the first floor. It’s a light, airy space. Sliding glass doors in the great room open to a deck, and there are no upper cabinets in the kitchen, which lies opposite the fireplace. What do they do about storage? There’s an elegant solution: drawers. Rachel opens a bottom drawer in one of the two islands. It’s filled to the brim with kid papers, drawings, and placemats.

The house replaced an 800-square-foot cabin built by the property’s original owner for his family. “We met the owner, and she told us about growing up here,” Rachel says. “[How] her dad had built a great life for his family here, not a great house. Andrew told her that he hoped in 60 years, our kids would say the same thing.”

Originally published in the January 2014 issue

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