Chai Style Home: City Family Adds Idyllic Lake House
After finding designer Stephanie Jacobs on a Jewish Mom’s Facebook group, Amy and Michael Hayes selected her to design their fabulous lake house.
After 35 years with the Atlanta newspapers, Marcia currently serves as Retail VP for the Buckhead Business Association, where she delivers news and trends (laced with a little gossip).
Amy and Michael Hayes used their Morningside home as a think tank to envision a luxurious and streamlined family lake house with the help of designer Stephanie Jacobs. The sensible duo let their imaginations flourish with soaring blue hues that spark joy and reflect the adjacent Jackson Lake water, only an hour away.
Amy Hayes, industrial and organizational psychologist, works with boards and CEOs on succession planning and executive development, as a partner at Russell Reynolds Associates. Michael Hayes is vice president, head of engineering at ESE Carbon Company, a manufacturer of carbon fiber composite wheels for automobiles and trucks. Amy grew up near Princeton, N.J. Michael hails from Knoxville, Tenn. The two met in graduate school at Virginia Tech, before moving to Atlanta. Now, with two kids and a pandemic puppy, they combined their analytical minds to construct a family lake house from an old fishing shack.
Enter Jacobs. “I found Stephanie on the Jewish Moms of Atlanta Facebook page. We conveyed that we wanted to take some risks, combining mid-century modern style with kid-friendly and lake compatibility. She started with a clean slate and designed all the interior furnishings and finishes. She even specified the paint colors. Stephanie made an overwhelming pandemic project possible,” said Amy Hayes.
Come visit both Hayes’ dream sites.
Marcia: Describe your city home.
Michael: We’ve lived in our Morningside home for 10 years. The contemporary finishes blend with the exterior Southern columned style, which incorporates window grills and heavy crown molding and more traditional trims and doors. The art is a mix of paintings and sculptures from our travels. One special touch are the Vistosi Giogali (Treviso, Italy) chandeliers in the dining room and study.
Marcia: Whose idea was it to build a lake house?
Amy: Michael dreamed of having close-in lake property. We spent a week at a friends’ house on Jackson Lake and loved the only one-hour drive. Michael kept a watch on real estate listings. Although we were looking for “move-in ready,” we toyed with building. A listing popped up that was an old fishing shack on an amazing “point” lot with over 400 feet of lake frontage and 180 degrees of water view.
We got it under contract with the thought of renovating. It was proclaimed a “tear down.” With the vision of having a gathering place for family and friends, we went for it! From purchase to “taking the keys” was 20 months using Wade Homes Builders and Rawlings Design Architect for the custom design.
Marcia: What are some special lake house touches?
Amy: The large floor-to-ceiling windows are the most dramatic feature. The lake side of the house faces north, so we wanted to maximize diffuse light bringing in the sky and large pine tree tops at water’s edge.
We incorporated sliders off the great room onto the deck, between the great room and screened porch, and between the screened porch and main hallway to bring the outside in during cooler weather. We’re very pleased with the cypress ceilings, stacked stone fireplace and accent walls which bring the outdoors “in,” for a cozy feel. The stone color is a nod to the traditional “Hokie Stone” that adorns campus buildings at our alma mater, Virginia Tech. One fun feature is the loft space over our daughter’s bedroom as a reading nook and bunk space.
Marcia: What are the kitchen features?
Amy: We’re not big cooks, so we tried to control the kitchen budget while still making it functional. We opted for exposed shelves on the cooktop wall and mid-range appliances. For simplification, the house is all-electric with an induction cooktop. So far, it has proven to be a great solution.
Marcia: Is the lake house “artsy?”
Amy: We purchased two beautiful pieces by Charlotte Morgan for the great room. We love their splashes of bright colors. We have incorporated nostalgic and sentimental pieces with playful pieces that reflect our favorite things, like ice cream pops in the kitchen!
Marcia: What lake activities excite the kids?
Michael: Before the house was completed, we built a large dock for a boat, water toys and seating on the swim platform and under the roof. We purchased a comfortable Tritoon boat with plenty of seating and an upgraded motor with enough power to pull tubers, skiers, and wake boarders.
We also have a fire pit, a hit for S’Mores gatherings. We’re considering installing stonework and Adirondack chairs. We’ve identified some great trees for swings and hammocks. Kids can spend hours on the floating foam lily pad.
Marcia: Stephanie, weigh in on your role.
Stephanie: The Hayes’ wanted a mid-century modern design with a “lake house feel.” Other than the existing walls, I was given a blank canvas. It was very exciting to be able to use my creativity to design this gorgeous space, while Amy asked for hidden design surprises, which contributed the house’s character.
We used Sherwin Williams paint “Snowbound” throughout as a backdrop for beautiful views and to show off the pops of color. Mid-century modern elements were established with furniture, art in the rec room and wallpapered ceiling. To create a lake house sensation, we used flat front modern kitchen cabinets with exposed wood grain. We brought a large “canoe light” over the pool table, hand printed canoe paddles on the kids’ bedroom wall, and used the historic mid-century photography (by Slim Aaron printed on wood). Our goal was to create a lake house vibe, without the usual lake house “chotchkies” everywhere.”
- Chai Style
- Marcia Caller Jaffe
- Amy and Michael Hayes
- Stephanie Jacobs
- Russell Reynolds & Associates
- ESE Carbon Company
- Virginia Tech
- Jewish Moms of Atlanta
- Vistosi Giogali
- Jackson Lake
- Wade Homes Builders
- Rawlings Design Architect
- Charlotte Morgan
- Sherwin Williams
- Slim Aaron
- lake house