When you’ve spent a fast-paced week listening to voicemails and ASAP phone calls, imagine the serenity of relaxing on the porch, just listening to owls call to one another across the water. That’s how the weekend begins for the homeowners of ‘At Wit’s End,’ an Innsbrook lakefront home they describe as “the perfect gathering place for friends and family.”
With soaring ceilings, a wraparound deck and expansive windows framing lake views, it would be tempting to describe the home as ‘grand,’ but the couple has stayed true to their original mantra—“It’s a lake place!”
“During the design/build process it’s very easy to get carried away, and we didn’t want the house to mushroom into something beyond what it was intended to be,” says the homeowner. “We began with a ‘philosophy of place’—our memories of living and vacationing in Colorado, Minnesota and Wyoming. And we worked with our good friend, designer Steve Patton, to bring that vision to life with a palette inspired by the colors of Missouri.”
Although they just moved into the home in late December, the homeowners are longtime fans of the Innsbrook resort community. “We came here in 2001 and spent the night with friends and loved it so much we bought an A-frame the next day!” The couple purchased their lakefront lot soon after, and then discovered they were expecting twins. “Immediately we thought, What were we thinking? We’ll never have enough time to build! So we had the land for all these years without a house, although we did build a dock so we could go boating,” she says. But the tug of the lakefront view was a strong incentive, she adds. “It’s hard to drive away from this place. So as the kids got a little older we said, We can do this!”
The proximity of Innsbrook is ideal for the family’s lifestyle because they enjoy being at the house as much as possible throughout the year. “We want the kids to have the experience of being out in nature, and as soon they get here, they immediately gravitate to the outdoors,” she says. “In the summer they head straight for the lake. In the winter there are other things to enjoy, like watching the bald eagle that returns with its mate every year. Whether it’s eagles or salamanders or deer walking nearby, it’s a great experience for them.”
All of the relaxing spaces in the house are definitely kid-friendly, especially the lower level, outfitted with a shuffleboard table, plenty of games and a separate sound system. A wall of glass offers the same spectacular views as the main living area directly above, and it’s just a few steps to the small lawn (“Perfect for playing washers with Grandpa!”) or the path of Tennessee stone that leads down the hillside to the beach.
Designed with five bedrooms, the welcoming home was modified from a 4-bedroom plan with a larger master bedroom. “We wanted to have guests and we wanted them to be comfortable in their own room,” explains the homeowner. “We don’t need a grand bedroom and bath—remember, this is a lake house!” The master bedroom is a cozy space with French doors leading to a small balcony overlooking the water. “It’s so quiet and peaceful, looking across the lake to the foothills beyond. This is where my husband enjoys his cigar in the evening, and we have our coffee in the morning,” she adds. “There’s no to-do lists, no obligations. We’re completely unplugged.”