Friday, January 01, 2010
Colorful and Comfortable
Unlike many vacation retreats or retiree habitats, Jim and Joyce Sciaretta's Smith Mountain Lake house is home to a family.
Oldest son Michael lived here briefly until his marriage to
Rachel in 2003. Daughter Alexandra was in residence seven years before
The Sciarettas love the informality of lake living.
"We have no formal living room and no formal dining room," said Joyce. "We don't live like that. We're very informal people."
Joyce describes the decor as "cottage style." It's a lakeside version of English Country, with comfy furniture that invites visitors to sprawl on the couch. This style typically uses colors from nature - reminiscent of an English country garden. Joyce chose the various coordinating fabrics and had the upholstery and drapery work professionally done.
"I love color, cozy and comfortable," she said.
Also typical of this decorating style are collections. One of the Sciaretta's most treasured is a family photo collection that lines the hallway and covers the top of several furniture pieces. Joyce also collects Brambly Hedge English books and china and has prints by illustrator Tasha Tudor, a Caldecott Medal winner, on display.
The charm of outdoor Southern living is evident in the large windows that draw magnificent lake and mountain views into the house. There's ample space to have a cup of tea on the intimate patio outside the master suite or to entertain a crowd, such as the guests at Michael and Rachel's wedding, on the large patio off the kitchen. The ceremony itself was on the level, grassy point which has since been the site of volleyball games, horseshoe contests and bocce ball games in the specially installed clay bocce court (similar to a clay tennis court). It's an easy walk - no stairs involved - to the dock, where a personal watercraft, two boats and two kayaks are housed. The home's 450 feet of shoreline also includes a natural sandy beach.
we were living in
Jim added, "We got that look by having different ceiling heights and six different roof pitches, as if from several successive additions."
The only actual addition, built two years later, was a pergola added over the patio where the wedding reception tent had been. Wisteria is being trained to cover the structure, but with only one year of growth, it just reaches the roof.
Sciarettas, both born and raised in
They broke ground on Sept. 11, 2001.
"I got a cellphone call asking if I was watching TV," Jim said. "I said, 'What do you mean? I'm standing in a hole. There's no TV around here.' We saw the tragic events later on the evening news."
after the terrorist attacks in
"We expect to grow old living here," Jim said. "The lot is flat with no steps to the dock; the house has all the primary living spaces on the main floor, including master and guest suites. There's no basement. The second floor has the children's rooms."
Interesting use has been made of often-wasted attic space. An interior stairway leads to the garage attic - a large, finished room with a pool table. Another attic space houses a workout room, and what the homeowners call the 'super attic,' the very highest one, has been claimed by daughter Alex. Her large loft - a combination bedroom, study area and lounging space - is painted appropriately wild colors. Her former bedroom has been turned into a guest/grandchild bedroom.
Outside the home, it's evident that Joyce enjoys gardening. The prolific hydrangeas and other flowers reflect the pink and green color scheme of the inside. There's also an extensive herb garden.
"We especially love this area because of the peacefulness, the beauty and all the nice, friendly people here," Joyce said.