2006 Homes Of The Year

(page 5 of 7)

a music roomHomes Of The Year: $500,000 to $750,000

Starting From Square One

The Yaktines demolished their old home to make room for their dream home on a beautiful plot of land.

David and Sandie Yaktine already had a house. It was a '60s-era ranch, and it sat in the exact spot where their hybrid of English craftsman and American shingle-style home now stands. For three years, the Yaktines tried to make their original home in the historic Jones Springs area work. They planned, began remodeling and before they got too far invested, they realized that what they wanted just wasn't going happen with what they had-so they started fresh. Plans were drawn up, and Habitat for Humanity was called in to salvage any part it could of the soon-to-be-demolished home. "I think everybody thought we were crazy," Sandie says. "[We] completely demolished the rest of the house, including the foundation. Our goal was to create a house that looked like it had been here all along."

The view from any of the windows spanning the back of the Yaktines' home explains why the couple moved its family into a house that had so little to be desired that it had to be demolished. The heavily wooded area on the Yaktines' five acres frames the teal blue spring that sits 100 yards from the back porch. Of course when the house was being designed, the view of the spring was taken into serious consideration. Windows were put in as many areas as possible and three porches were created. Because of the lay of the property, the house is viewable from all four sides, and it was also important to the homeowners that a four-sided house be designed.

The house's setting was not the only factor architect Michael Harned of Butler, Rosenbury & Partners had to consider. Sandie, who as a real estate agent has surveyed numerous homes, had many requests, from the windows in the children's closets to the gray-blue fiber-cement stacked shingles that cover the house. And even with some rare specifics, general contractor Kevin Clingan was able to build off of Harned's first drawing.

The Yaktines brought in arborist Kevin Harrell to ensure the least amount of disruption to the natural environment as possible. Having expanded considerably from the house that previously inhabited the land, the Yaktines cut down just one tree in the process.

"We let the trees frame the house, so that it feels like it belongs," Harned said. "If you stick with unique material you end up with a unique house. We also wanted materials that were as environmentally friendly as possible."
Fiber-cement shingles and manufactured stone were among the many advanced products that emulate old but don't have the drawbacks, such as rotting and limited durability. For environmental reasons, the shingles were painted off site. 

The Yaktines wanted a three-car garage, but it was important that that wing of the house not dominate. The large circle drive was created to complete an L-shaped front of the house, and Harned used distinctive rooflines and tapered columns to help draw the eye to the main entrance.

The front door opens to a great room with a formal seating area that includes the Yaktines 1906 Chancery concert grand piano. The 5,000-square-foot house expands from this central point with public areas to the left and private areas, including bedrooms and office, to the right.

The kitchen received perhaps the most attention to detail of any interior space from the white cabinets to the dark wood island to the custom tiles. The large island was set to provide room for entertaining and preparation. The counters are two types of granite, and the windows along the back open the kitchen to that ever-so-important view. Sally Sweeny of Kitchens Only in Kansas City was brought in to maximize the efficiency of the kitchen. She moved the location of the cook top and zoned the space for cooking, entertaining and cleanup. Shane King, a Springfield interior designer, helped bring the rest of the house together.

A four-square pattern is repeated through the house in small details on places such as the windows, the cherry inlay in the white oak flooring in the entry way, the ceiling treatment in the hearth room and in the banister. Bathroom tiles were saved from the previous house and used on the hearth room fireplace.

Sandie's collections, such as her children's plates, books and post cards, are centrally displayed. "The interior has a feeling of heritage that compliments our family heirlooms and antiques," Sandie says. "On the exterior I wanted a traditional grandma house feel. I wanted to feel like I was going to Thanksgiving every day when I came home. David and I are not pretentious. We didn't want a house that screamed out, 'Hey, look at us.' We wanted a house for our family."

Windows line one side of the back hall that leads to the master bedroom. This corridor varies greatly from the poorly lit hallway in the original house. Along with providing access to the view, the windows also let in a great deal of natural light and are a Low-E insulated glass as to improve energy efficiency. The Yaktines put their bar in this hall on the main floor (where they frequently entertain) and intentionally kept it out of the basement (where the couple's son and daughter rule the roost).

The interior color palette is of gold, red, sage green and pumpkin-all of which are meant to stay true to the house's natural surroundings. The only room which skews from the color palette belongs to 10-year-old Aleena, who chose a bright pink and green motif.

Because of its glow and its warmth, Sandie says, she is glad they painted the master bedroom toasted marshmallow. Just off the master bedroom are the exercise and laundry rooms. The laundry room was strategically placed near the bedroom, and the couple has been pleased with the efficiency of having it so close.

Springfield artist Martin Thurston painted a mural over the bathtub in the master bathroom. Sandie had the chandelier from the previous house hung in the bathroom as well.

The previous owner of the original house had researched the history of the property with hopes of having it named an historical area. The land was never formally recognized, but it was discovered that the lot was the location of the first election in Greene County in 1836 and was visited by Laura Ingalls Wilder, who ate lunch at the spring on her way to Mansfield.
"We really bought the house for the property," Sandie says. "It's a magical piece of property. We really feel like we got a bargain in the long run."

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