Thursday, November 01, 2012

SML meets NYC

Terry and Jan Snyder's Park Place home exudes sleek sophistication inside and out

The look and feel is that of a New York City loft. And while it may not be a design style often seen at Smith Mountain Lake, it’s a perfect fit for this home in the community of Park Place.
    “When we decided to build a house here, we wanted to have a complete change of style from what we had in our [traditional] home in northern Virginia,” said Jan Snyder, who, with husband Terry, designed the ultramodern home.
    From the entryway, visitors immediately are greeted with a breathtaking view down the Roanoke River channel. The entry hall, which features a domed ceiling, leads to the main living area with bamboo floors, stone interior walls and a sleek, modern kitchen that blends into the great room.
    “Every room has an outstanding view of the lake, which we optimized by using the largest windows available,” Jan said.
    Terry added, “In addition, we took the time to carefully think about each room and how we would use it and live in it. That was the best advice our builder gave us, and we took it very seriously.”
    The home’s contractor was Brockworks, Inc.’s John Brock, who has been building at the lake since 1994 and is known for finding innovative ways to use space, often utilizing advanced technology.
    “The builder had [several] significant suggestions that had a huge impact,” Terry said. “One was incorporating another dome in the foyer and adding more curves as finishing touches. Another was that he engineered the stairs to the observatory so it did not require columns, which enhanced the open feel of the room.”
    Brock said he used 3-D modeling software to help the homeowners conceptualize how the stairs would look leading up to the observatory, a room that offers a nearly 360-degree view that the couple uses for reading, watching the weather change over the lake or as a getaway.
    “It was a challenge, but it turned out great,” Brock said. “I never shy away from a challenge. That’s what makes the job fun.”
Another favorite spot in the home is the kitchen, which was also a challenge, but for a different reason.
    “The kitchen designer from Bowman’s [Woodworking in Ferrum] wanted everything to look normal, and I kept saying, ‘No, we want the look of a New York loft,’” Jan explained. “[Owner] Nathan Bowman coined the word ‘snormal’ for ‘Snyder normal,’ and he started calling everything we were doing ‘snormal’ for each room where they were doing cabinets for us. It was kind of cute and a good laugh.”
    The end result was a striking kitchen that features a combination of red and natural birch cabinets and two different colors of granite countertops. The center island is a rounded triangle, and there’s a preponderance of black and steel, which gives the room a high-tech look. One backsplash has button-sized stainless steel discs surrounded by black grout.
    “Everyone said, ‘You can’t do black grout. You’ll hate it.’ But guess what — I love it,” Jan said.
    The kitchen is also highly functional with two dishwashers, a warming drawer, built-in coffee maker, a regular oven, steaming oven,  ice maker near the refrigerated drink drawers and wine chiller. High glass-front cabinets exhibit a teacup collection, and other illuminated shelves show mementos and Jan’s parents’ collection of cocktail glasses.
    “I look at those, and I can see my parents and their friends using those glasses at parties,” Jan said.
    The glassy eating area at the end of the kitchen has a domed ceiling and a view of the water and Smith Mountain.
    “We got the idea for that ceiling while eating under a dome at 419 West restaurant in Roanoke,” Jan said.  
    For the distinctive wall and furniture colors, Jan sought the assistance of interior designer Miranda Shotwell, owner of Designer Solutions.
    “I told her to get me out of my comfort zone and pick colors I wouldn’t ordinarily select,” said Jan, who sold or gave away the furniture in their previous home, replacing it with new pieces with a flair for art deco and old Hollywood styles.
    The Snyders managed to blend the high-tech look of flame ribbon fireplaces with antiques: a French mirror from the 1700s and antique mercury glass vessels.
    “Our theme is circles,” said Jan, who pointed out multiple uses of the shape throughout the home, including the decorative front door, garage doors, interior doors and various mirrors and rugs. “Maybe the circles join the different time periods from the high-tech style, to the ’40s Hollywood look, to the New York loft style, to the antiques of the 1700s.”
    The Snyders both work from home full time for Hewlett-Packard supporting the Department of the Navy’s intranet. Terry’s home office is near the great room, and Jan’s is part of an additional guest suite above the garage.
    With the master suite on the main level, the Snyders primarily enjoy one-level living in the home, which took 22 months to construct. However, the walk-out lower level includes two guest suites, a kitchenette, another great room and a pool table area to accommodate family and guests.


Year Built: 2009
Square Footage: 6,312
Design Style: Contemporary
Builder: John Brock, Brockworks, Inc.
Dock Builder: Rick McKown
Interior Designer: Jan Snyder with assistance from Miranda Shotwell, Designer Solutions
Landscaper: Seven Oaks Landscape & Hardscape


Favorite Spot
“Our bedroom. I feel like I’m in a resort hotel every time I walk in the room,” Jan said.

We Couldn’t Live Without
Jan pointed to the kitchen’s built-in espresso/cappuccino/coffee machine while Terry cited the home’s large lakeside windows, which were strategically placed to take advantage of the long water views.

Glad We Splurged On
The octagonal observatory on the home’s top floor, designed to capture a 360-degree view of the surrounding area.

Why We Chose SML
“I grew up in Southern Maryland on saltwater rivers and loved the water, but wanted fresh water,” Terry said. “The size of SML was also a benefit since there are lots of places to explore.”