Taking roughly a year to build, Larson Building Co.’s European chateau in Mills Farm, with 6,800 square feet of finished space, had its last stone laid the evening before the doors opened for the HBA’s 2015 Spring Parade of Homes, where it was chosen as the American Dream Award’s Grand Award Winner. After touring the house, which boasts a total of 11,242 square feet including the unfinished basement, it’s easy to see how it sold after only two days on the tour (and with multiple offers)—and it wasn’t for sale during construction.
To create a plan that blended well within the Mills Farm community and their target budget, owner Lance Larson and Jim Kiely, chief of operations at Larson Building Co., came up with “The Interlachen,” named after a popular resort town in the Swiss Alps, a brand-new floor plan with details and distinguished architecture that made this home the talk of the tour.
“When you build a true custom home, you are able to get exactly what you want, eliminating the things that you don’t want,” Kiely says. “This allows for nicer spaces in the areas that you live in the most. Eliminating the spaces that you don’t need also helps greatly when trying to meet the client’s budget. Each home that Larson Building Company constructs is a home that is built for the very first time. Because of that, you will find a lot of opportunities during the build that can be taken advantage of. Our homes are designed by us, with the expertise of a professional architect, which gives our clients the distinguished architecture they expect to receive when building their dream home.”
Architect Gerald Janssen at Elswood Smith Carlson Architects was presented with the conceptual plan, where “he put his own spin on the floor plan and gave the exterior a lot of interest and eye candy,” Kiely adds, while designer Erin Mankameyer, owner of Groover Interior Design, created a classy, elegant interior with designer furnishings and a timeless color palette. “It’s an Old World European chateau feel but with a sophisticated, modern twist,” Mankameyer explains of the interiors. “There are natural, rustic elements mixed with clean, simple lines and a color palette that’s light, bright and soft.”
Architectural and interior design features aside, energy efficiency is also a main priority when building a Larson home; this one has an HERS rating of 49 (the lower the number, the more energy-efficient the home). Wrapped in high-quality, energy-efficient Marvin Integrity windows, with 96-percent efficient, 16-seer HVAC equipment and an extreme level of insulation and sealing, the home is estimated to cost only $202 a year to cool.
The exterior, with a porte cochere, motor court and five-car garage, features travertine, stone and 100-year-old brick pavers, a combination of materials that also flow through the interiors and out to a covered backyard patio, built-in fire pit and seating wall. The 1.5-story, with five bedrooms, five full- and two half-baths, and an unfinished lower level (that has big finishing plans!) combines subtle faux finishes with colorful wallpaper, trendy fixtures and custom design details that’s suitable for the family of seven that is taking up residence in September.
If you weren’t one of the 10,000-plus to tour the home during the Parade, here’s an in-depth look at some of the home’s most prized features.
An Entry That Truly Welcomes
If you want to make a statement, you add a turret. It’s a defining feature on the outside that can make an even bigger impact inside. Larson, Kiely and Janssen shared design ideas that materialized into the circular beam design that presently shows off the height of the turret inside. Custom wrought iron stair spindles, inspired by the front door design, plush designer carpet and a dazzling Currey & Co. chandelier round out the entry aesthetics.