Ev­ery­thing is Il­lu­mi­nated

One New York cou­ple sets out to build their sec­ond tim­ber-frame home, and cre­ates a mod­ern, light-filled mas­ter­piece.

Timber Home Living - - Contents - PHO­TOS BY ROGER WADE | STYLING BY DE­BRA GRAHL

One New York cou­ple sets out to build their sec­ond tim­ber-frame home, and cre­ates a mod­ern, light­filled mas­ter­piece.

When the in­spi­ra­tion for a home de­sign comes from a Ja­panese Bento box, you know you have some­thing spe­cial on your hands.

“There are no walls to the ceil­ings ex­cept for in the mas­ter bed­room and pow­der room, for pri­vacy pur­poses,” says David Youst of his tim­ber re­treat that he shares with his wife Faye in the Fin­ger Lakes Re­gion of New York. “The whole house is open and light — more clean. That was the mis­sion.”

A mis­sion that was years in the mak­ing, as David and his wife Faye had

al­ready lived in a tim­ber-frame home be­fore de­cid­ing to build this one. In fact, they de­signed and built their new home with the same com­pany that they first worked with back in the early 90s — Woodhouse of Mans­field, Penn­syl­va­nia.

“I met with the Yousts on their site, just a cou­ple miles away from their orig­i­nal house, on the same side of Seneca Lake,” says Pat Sea­man, pres­i­dent and owner at Woodhouse. “We went back and forth, work­ing closely with our in­house ar­chi­tect, and de­signed a re­ally cool con­tem­po­rary home. They didn’t want any­thing rus­tic; they wanted some­thing bright and light.”

The cou­ple’s de­sire to bring light into the space was quite lit­eral, adds Sea­man. “The way the sun moves over the prop­erty and how the light was cap­tured was very im­por­tant to them. They’re both artists, and they’ll show you how the light and shad­ows move and change as they work their way across the ceil­ing of the house and through the tim­ber beams.”

To cre­ate this in­te­rior ef­fect, the Yousts found in­spi­ra­tion in an un­likely place — a trailer that had sat on their

pre­vi­ous prop­erty for years. “It ac­tu­ally worked per­fectly,” says Faye with a laugh. “The long, stretched-out struc­ture al­lowed you to see through the trailer all the way to the lake and take in the amaz­ing views from ev­ery spot.”

That sim­ple struc­ture led to the Yousts two-story, wide-open hor­i­zon­tal plan with a walk-out lower level — all with views of Seneca Lake. Although the 3,320-square-foot house only has two be­d­rooms, it fea­tures a main-level mas­ter suite and a down­stairs mu­sic room that dou­bles as a guest space when vis­i­tors come to stay.

The home’s lightly pick­led tongue­and-groove ceil­ings, tile floors and pine tim­bers keep the space airy and bright — just like the Yousts hoped for. “Over the 25 years in our first house, the wood tended to get darker and darker,” says David. “When we first started work­ing with our ar­chi­tect on this de­sign, we thought ‘Does it have to look like a lodge? Can we build with­out all that dark wood and braces for a more mod­ern, con­tem­po­rary feel?’ Turns out, we ab­so­lutely could — and we did.”

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