17 amaz­ing OUT­DOOR SPA­CES

water­front re­treats all-sea­son porches pool­side pa­tios


When a cus­tom-home build comes to a close, it’s of­ten hard for the folks in­volved to pin­point their fa­vorite thing about the fin­ished prod­uct. Not so in the case of Ron Marhofer and his Ohio tim­ber frame.

“My first vi­sion for the house was an im­pres­sive tim­ber-framed great room,” he re­calls. “From there, ev­ery­thing else was just built off of that.”

In­deed, the show stop­ping white oak frame paired with the equally stun­ning view of the north­ern Ohio land­scape cre­ates a beau­ti­ful cen­tral hub for the house that Ron’s son, daugh­ter-in-law and grand­chil­dren now call home. “It’s a true hy­brid de­sign, with a struc­tural frame in the main liv­ing space that’s car­ried out to the home’s ex­te­rior,” ex­plains Johnny Miller, co­founder of OakBridge Tim­ber Fram­ing in Loudonville, Ohio. “That large frame with the king post and strut truss sys­tem cre­ates a grand feel­ing that’s re­ally some­thing to see.”

The rest of the 4,400-square-foot house is con­ven­tion­ally framed, with wings off both sides of the great room hous­ing a first-floor master suite and clas­sic white kitchen. Three more bed­rooms, a garage with a sec­ond-story bonus space and a spa­cious walk-out lower level fin­ish off the home.

While Ron was the gen­eral con­trac­tor on the project (a “hobby” he says he’s picked up over the years), he did work closely with an ar­chi­tect and his daugh­ter-in-law to come up with the light and airy feel­ing that works so well in the home. “All of the cab­i­netry, wood­work and trim is a flat, shaker style, which gives the house that Crafts­man look,” says Ron. “The white fin­ishes make the house feel even lighter and brighter.”

The fin­ishes cho­sen for the out­side of the home, in­clud­ing a blend of gray and brown Cul­tured Stone, white boar­dand-bat­ten vinyl sid­ing and gray shake sid­ing, re­flect the in­te­rior’s clas­sic feel. A spa­cious deck that’s been par­tially screened to shield the space from the el­e­ments is one of the fam­ily’s fa­vorite spa­ces. “I know they love to sit out on the deck, es­pe­cially dur­ing the cooler months and en­joy the view of the pond.”

For Miller, it all comes back to that great room. “That space is the top for me,” he says. “The unique con­trast of the frame with the wa­ter right out back — you can sit there and just take it all in.”

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