Beams, Trim & Molding

Designing for casual living led to a largely open plan with hallways relegated to the house's landlocked side. Each leg of the Y is one room deep, ensuring that all main living areas look out onto the water. "It's like you're in a boat sailing out onto the lake," says Haverson of the vista out the living room windows.

Yet for every great outdoor view there's an equally engaging show going on inside. One scene-stealer: cedar-wrapped beams, some of them arched, all of them naturally finished to show off the wood's tight, straight grain and medium-brown hue. They visually raise the ceilings, which already range from 10 to 12 feet high,"and the arched beams create a sense that the ceiling itself is curved," says Haverson. They also echo painted wall arches like the one that spans the opening between the kitchen and family room to informally connect the two spaces.

The red cedar dressing up the beams also covers the three fireplace mantels. At first glance, those mantels might look the same, but to avoid an off-the-shelf appearance, chief finish carpenter Al Syr incorporated subtle variations in their details, like the size and shape of the support brackets or the profile of a molded edge. "We did that to give each room a slightly different flavor," says Syr, who with his two sons and additional crew installed thousands of feet of molding.

Slimmer and less prominent than the beams and mantels, the moldings are no less distinctive, as much because of what they don't contain as what they do. Haverson's window and door casings, crowns, chair rails, and baseboard moldings stick to a consistently geometric theme of wide, flat planes bounded by crisply stepped and sharply beveled edges. Absent are the familiar rolls and curves that typically soften a molding's profile. "We deliberately created a palette of moldings that reinforced the interior architecture, which is a series of angles and planes coming together,"?says Haverson. "We also wanted to give the rooms fresh appeal by showing people moldings they hadn't seen before."

Wainscoting clads many of the walls in Haverson's design, formed by a grid of flat stiles and rails fastened over flat, recessed panels. They're made either of poplar, painted white, or natural, clear-coated cherry. To keep the seams tight and flat for decades, says Syr, it's best to join stile to rail with biscuit splines and glue. Haverson varied the height from 3 to 5 feet, specifying the higher version for the living room and hallways and keeping the other rooms to the lower. "That's a typical Shingle-style treatment," he says. "Paneling like this traditionally protects walls from wear and tear, but with the house's complicated geo­metry it also has a simplifying effect by creating continuity."

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