Tranquil Retreat – The peaceful home of Robert and Marsha Rea

0013Nestled in Rochester’s southwest woods, tucked away from the road and surrounded by a plethora of tall maple trees, is the serene home of Robert and Marsha Rea. Visitors are greeted by a wooden walkway crossing a babbling stream feeding into a large pond.

     Expansive 30-foot ceilings in the main living area invite you into the space. Huge wooden beams frame the area for views of a forested backyard, visible from nearly every room. Cedar plank ceilings draw the eye upward.

    “Our main requirement for the home was lots of natural light,” Marsha said. “We also wanted to feel like it was a ‘family’ space; we didn’t want the home so expansive that you could not see each other.”

    Unique touches such as a large triangular window and glass stair railing panels add to the openness of the four-bedroom, four-bath home. The master bedroom windows open into the treetops of the surrounding landscape, making the space a perfect retreat.

Planning time well spent

Exceptional amounts of natural light, clean lines and contemporary fixtures conceal the home’s true age of 14 years. Designed by David Kane of Kane and Johnson Architects, the home exudes tranquility and blends seamlessly into the surrounding natural landscape.

    “We took a year and a half to pick plans and build this house,” Marsha said. “I would encourage anyone who is interested in building a house that is ‘yours’ to find an architect who you can communicate with easily.”  

    Functional as well as beautiful, the kitchen features home-commercial appliances and custom cabinetry. There is a large built-in shelving unit for a collection of cookbooks, a concealed pantry, a six-burner Wolf stove, pull-out pot-and-pan storage and a large island.
A wall of countertop-height windows bathes the kitchen in light.

    Fran Olheiser of Fran Cabinets custom built the kitchen cabinetry, and his skill is
evident in the attention to detail. The same can be said for the rest of the house, built
by Wayne Ouellette of OSB Builders. “Working with David, Wayne and Fran was a
fantastic experience,” Marsha said. “We had no complaints. We were so lucky to have such
a fun experience.”

Now a bird watcher

Two decks maximize the outdoor space, providing prime viewing of the vast wildlife frequenting the property including deer, turkeys and a variety of birds. “It is an extremely relaxing home,” Marsha said. “I will sit on the chaise by the windows and knit with a cup of tea. I was never one to bird watch but now I find myself looking in bird books to identify the types of birds we have.”

Timeless design

The Reas’ selection of finishes such as dark granite, stainless steel appliances and light maple flooring and cabinetry has enabled the home to age gracefully. “We were building at a time when granite was not popular, and I had to drive to the cities in order to look for samples,” Marsha recalled. “The same was true for the contemporary fixtures; I think we had three to choose from.” Those choices have served the couple well as their home shows no signs of being outdated. Quite the opposite, the home is on trend with the latest building practices
of vaulted paneled ceilings, light colored woods and open floor plans.

    Those wishing to view the Reas’ pond will have the opportunity on July 23, when the outdoor water features, designed by Mike Otte of Whitewater Gardens, will be featured on the Rochester Pond and Garden Tour.

Susanne Novak is a freelance writer who loves to sketch floor plans and tour new and existing properties.