By Abby Jeffers / Photography by The Pearl Creative Agency
Set in a peaceful wooded area that backs up to a tributary of Sycamore Creek, the Jones Studio’s aptly named “Woodland Modern” property seamlessly blends interior design with outdoor beauty through oversized windows, indigenous wood, and spacious porches and patios.
“The beautiful natural setting of the home was such a key factor, as were the existing historical elements,” said designer Courtney Jones. “At every level we wanted to respect those influences, but bring a contemporary edge.”
The line between designed and natural blurs throughout the property: a waterfall follows the outdoor path from entry to lower level, and cascading stones are placed artfully throughout the path, spilling into the living space to create a wall on one side of the lower patio. Two spacious upper porches provide plenty of space to lounge in the fresh woodland air, covering nearly two thirds of the outside of the home.
The shape of the home itself was inspired by Ohio architecture and regional vernacular like classic shed or agricultural forms. On arrival, the pavilion porch at the front door echoes those forms, showcasing a rich environment of rhododendrons, oaks, and hickory all around.
From the inside, the house offers a nearly 360-degree view of the trees outside, and the wooded setting means plenty of privacy despite monumental glass windows. Those expansive windows provide both a spacious feel and plenty of natural light, and the view plays nicely with the sleek, rustic-modern design inside.
The open-concept living space on the first floor feels airy and luxurious. Smooth white walls, huge windows, and natural wood paneling on the ceiling contrast nicely with industrial beams and a dark stone fireplace, which perfectly divides the living room and kitchen from an additional seating area, providing organization and privacy without claustrophobia.
The kitchen itself is an entire production: a spacious island is perfect for quick meals or chatting while cooking, with stools on one side and a range hood, oven, and microwave on the other. The opposite counter seems to go on forever, interrupted only by a large sink, with windows looking out into the trees, and cabinets line the adjacent wall for plenty of tucked-away storage. Yet off to the side, an additional cooking space provides a second sink, an additional oven, and more storage and counter space –– the perfect way to use the practical nook and reduce clutter in the open space.
Each of the four bedrooms utilizes impressive windows for light and a view, but the primary bedroom employs these grand windows best: a serene seating area faces a wall made almost entirely of glass, with the adjacent wall boasting windows that occupy over three-quarters of the wall. In the en-suite bathroom, floor-to-ceiling windows are partially frosted for privacy while using the above-ground bathtub, the massive open shower, or the double vanity.
The office, too, utilizes glass well. Set on a corner, the room features massive windows balanced by dark wood shelving along one wall, and an interior glass wall and door separates the office from the rest of the home, adding a touch of privacy without closing the room off entirely.
On the lower level, a mudroom with stone tile flooring and beautiful wooden lockers is great for keeping debris and dirt from outdoor romps confined, and the washer-dryer combination allows for a quick wash when clothes get dirty outside, while the island’s countertop makes for easy sorting and folding.
The rest of the basement feels cozy and rustic, built for recreation with three bedrooms surrounding an open-concept living area. A grand wooden staircase accompanied by a cascading glass railing leads down to the space, where several seating areas include a set of high-top tables and, nestled behind the couch and chairs that face the television, a wooden island perfect for sitting and eating dinner while watching a movie or the game. Across the room, a ping-pong table helps transition the space into the outdoor area, with a lower patio separated from the indoor space by several sliding glass doors. A bar area is perfect for hosting, with lit floating shelves, a gorgeous natural wood bar, and black marble countertops.
In light of the beauty of the main home, the guest suite is a gorgeous surprise. Repurposed from a historic artist’s studio that existed on the property, the structure remains in its original setting with a clean, modern update. The design echoes that of the main house: sliding doors lead guests from a covered patio and the outdoor fire pit to the open, rustic modern kitchen-living room combination, complete with white marble and light natural wood. Upstairs, a loft makes the coziest sleeping nook, with a half-wall overlooking the lower level to prevent feeling boxed in. Every inch of the space is utilized brilliantly, from the under-stairs nook with a bench and hooks to the washing machine and dryer in the kitchen.
The other historic structure on the property, formerly an old barn, is now perfect for gardening and houses a few egg-laying chickens. Both the guest suite and the gardening space sit along the driveway, easing visitors into the feeling of the property before arriving at the main house.
The clients and their adult children played a key role in designing the home, spending months on the property clearing brush, cutting trees, and getting a feel for the land. They even used an old 1954 Ford 8n tractor, belonging to the husband’s father, to get around.
Designer Brian Kent Jones remarked that “working with the clients, with Kevin [Knight], and with Courtney [Jones] truly felt like a union of like-minded, yet powerfully independent contributors,” stating that “the house and its family represent some of the best stuff we get to work on and with.”
In fact, Kent Jones shared that after the home was completed, the son and his wife were married on the south-facing porch, with an altar capping the end of the porch and rows of white chairs beneath the wood and steel vault.
“I’ve always wanted to build a chapel,” builder Kevin Knight has said. “I think this is the closest I’ve gotten to doing so.”