Luck of the draw results in stunning St. James Place home for the Wright family

You might say Darrell and Susan Wright won the lottery. It was the luck of the draw that “won” them their idyllic 1.5-acre lot in the exclusive St. James Place neighborhood in Lake Township.

When their number, literally, was pulled from a hat, they made the decision that, yes, they would build a new home one allotment over from where they lived at the time.

“It was like a scene off a Hallmark card or a postcard,” said Darrell, who described a perfect reflection of the skaters on the ice.

It was great practice for Cameron, who went on to play goalie for Akron Hoban High School’s club hockey team.

Warm and inviting

Thawing out the fingers and toes is an easy task once guests enter the stone and stucco, Old World-style home built by Alpha Homes. Spacious rooms and vaulted ceilings are made cozy by the several different warm fall colors that flow from room to room. Unusual green, gold and burgundy hues that might be difficult to imagine with just a sample card are striking and vivid on the walls.

The main level has a two-story great room with views of the backyard, along with comfortable furniture and a big-screen television.

The great room is connected to the kitchen by a two-way stone fireplace, designed and built by Jerry Bixler with Stark County stone. Otherwise, the main living space is completely open.

While the home is the couple’s third, it was their first custom-built, and they made choices based on things they liked about their other homes, those of their friends, and their lifestyle.

“It was fun, but crazy at times,” said Susan with a laugh. “I had to see a lot of samples.”

One decision was to forgo a formal dining room and living room in favor of a larger dine-in kitchen and great room.

“We struggled with the builder on that one,” she said, adding that it made sense for them, because whenever they entertained, “everyone ended up in the kitchen anyway.”

The kitchen is ideal for entertaining, with its long dining table for eight and a center island with seating and cooking space that allows Susan to cook and talk to those sitting around the island.

It also was a great place to supervise homework while preparing dinner when Cameron was living at home.

Off the kitchen is a sunroom with a vaulted ceiling that is both textured and glazed. The room offers more views of the backyard and pond.

The artistic details throughout the main floor add to its warmth and make it truly unique and exceptional. Painted scrolling and leaf designs by artist Mitzi Phillips are featured in archways and throughout the kitchen area.

The great room can be seen from the loft through a wrought iron balcony, created by Iron Orchid Forge of Navarre. The staircase railing features the same wrought-iron pattern and it is seen in other areas of the house as well.

The home features a first-floor master suite and a nearby office, which is used often by Susan, an event planner, and Darrell, a financial planner.

Upstairs is a loft area furnished for their son when he was a middle-school student. Its computer area, lived-in chairs, TV and game station make it the ideal hangout for kids. Now that Cameron is a sophomore at
Miami University, the school where his parents met, the space isn’t used quite as much.

Off the loft are two bedrooms and two bathrooms. (A third room over the garage was added for resale value and can be finished to become a bedroom should the couple ever sell the house.)

Their son’s room is like a second master suite, with its own bathroom.

“Some people accused us of being progressive,” said Darrell, explaining that it is a new trend for families to have a master suite upstairs for when the children are young and another downstairs for later in life. “We didn’t know we were going with a trend.”

Mountain retreat

The walkout lower level is an independent living space, complete with another bedroom, full bathroom, kitchen, workout room and living area with a fireplace. The decor is that of a mountain lodge with a faux-painted wall that makes it look amazingly like a cabin.

This space, Darrell said, is ideal for watching movies and football on the big screen.

It also is where Susan lets him display his motion-activated deer head that talks and sings “On the Road Again.”

“We replaced it with a painting for the tour,” he admitted with a laugh. “It looks pretty darn real, but the electric cord gives it away.”

About The Author

Lisa Reicosky