He wanted a breezeway.
She wanted a sunroom.
Those weren’t the only considerations that went into Mark and Ellie Lewis’ decision-making process when they built their new home at 3010 Durado Court, but these two must-haves were certainly near the top of the list.
The breezeway -- an architectural element that seems like a blast from the past -- was Mark’s idea as a connector between the main home and pool house.
And Ellie wanted the sunroom to have a good view of the family-friendly pool. It had to be visible from most of the main floor of the house, so she could keep an eye on the kids, she said.
They both got what they wanted, and the finished home is part of the upcoming Architects’ Home Tour happening Sept. 21.
Tucked behind the fourth hole at Firethorn Golf course, the home was designed by architect Dave Johnson, with LOTS of input from Mark Lewis, who is a veteran home builder. At first, Lewis thought he and his wife would be able to piece together their ideas and have a draftsman put it on paper. “We discovered it was going to take more than that,” he said.
With 8,000 square feet, a complicated roofline and a pristine lot that called for the house to be sited perfectly to take advantage of the views, Lewis knew having an architect was a good idea.
Architect Johnson of Studio 951, who has known Lewis for several years, said the project was a good collaboration. “He understands construction, and they knew exactly what they wanted,” Johnson said. “And the lot was amazing.”
Exterior shapes, rooflines and some surface aesthetics are part of what Johnson brought to the table, he said. “We made some refinements and pulled it all together.”
Over the past 25 years Lewis has built many kinds of houses, including custom homes, and he and his family have lived in them, then moved and lived in another one. But this house is one he views as a long-term residence because of the design and the lot. “It was one of the last original lots left at Firethorn,” he said.
After purchasing the lot in August 2013 and selling their house, things moved very quickly. “We began framing on Thanksgiving day,” Lewis said. They moved in at the end of May, last spring.
Getting everything done in that short a time is unusual, Johnson said. “It helps that Mark is in the home-building business.”
Picking the finishes, refining a floor plan and all of the hundreds of other details that go into building a house are something that Mark and Ellie Lewis had done before. But doing it for a very contemporary-style home was completely different, he said. Interior designer Diane Gernstein from Interiors Joan helped with the design details.
From the beginning they knew the color palette would be grays, white and black. “No browns,” Mark Lewis said.
And the couple love the website houzz.com. “It was our Bible,” he said. They would see things they liked and decide how they might incorporate them into the house.
Johnson said contemporary-style homes often have distinctive edges and rooflines, sometimes more glass incorporated in the design and good flow from outside to inside.
Because of that view, the entire back of the house is glass, making it both easy to enjoy the scenery and to see what was happening in the pool. Even the master bedroom has access to the view.
The home had to be practical, too. Children -- Jonah, 9, Alaina, 12 and Kaeden, 17 -- needed their own spaces and places for friends to gather. In addition to their bedrooms, the pool area and downstairs theater room are geared toward that.
Surfaces, from the heated floors to the laminate cabinets and quartz countertops. are easy to keep clean.
And there are laundry areas in practical places. One is right off the giant master dressing room/closet, and another is in the mudroom, near the pool, where towels can be washed and dried easily.
Even Mark Lewis’ requested “breezeway,” which connects the home to the pool house offers a “back” entry that goes directly to the patio/pool area, bypassing the main house. “That way kids and their friends just go straight to the pool,” said Ellie Lewis.
Floors there are stained concrete, which works with the industrial vibe of the pool house with its glass “garage door” that faces the pool and can open up to expand the entertaining area.
And thanks to the structure of the breezeway, the narrow basement room underneath it was perfect for a wine cellar.
Every room has lots of closets for storage since the couple are admitted neatniks. A large pantry off the kitchen holds small appliances, an extra fridge and anything else, so the kitchen counters are clear.
Although they have lived in the house for only four months, it feels right, Mark Lewis said. “This is going to be our home for a long time.”