Birmingham HOME & GARDEN

With a relaxed tone attuned to the setting, this vacation home overlooking Lake Martin strikes the perfect balance between casual reassurance and gracious refinement. A place at the lake should be a departure from one’s house in town. On vacation, it’s all about good times with family and friends. Interior designer Paige Schnell and architect Jeff Dungan joined forces to create just such a getaway for a Birmingham family.

Located on a prominent point, the home offers commanding views out to big water. With such a setting comes an inherent mandate to defer to nature. Accordingly, the architecture is extremely site specific and animated as it follows the gently sloping landscape and rambles along the shoreline, allowing nearly every room in the house to enjoy views of the lake. “There is an energy and power in the contours of certain natural places,” says Jeff. “If you listen closely, these forces will help guide  you.”

Everything about a second home is typically more casual. Although this house nods to the familiar forms and romantic notions of the lake’s historic Russell cabins, its refined proportions and handcrafted materials establish a commanding stature and sense of  permanence. Read more