Halfway to Heaven
Story and Photos
By John Thomas
You have to figure you’re on your way to a big place when you turn onto the driveway and it stretches out before you without a glimpse of the house. The driveway continues past a large pond with its own gazebo and dock. The view to the right looks over the pristine valley and on to the hills in the distance. Finally, the driveway rounds a corner and the house looms into view. Its central peak looks almost like a ships prow as it stands guard over the valley. A huge deck extends all along the windowed exterior. The brown stain of the siding and stone work on the pillars speck to the generous use of natural materials on the outside and inside.
Inside all the doors and windows are trimmed in beautiful stained oak. On the ground level is the family room. Massive wood beams support the ceiling and are matched by the oak wainscot. At the far end of the room is a built in entertainment center. Down the hall are two bedrooms and a full bath. Like the effect from the driveway, the full impact of this house is not apparent until you go a bit further; which, in this case, is upstairs.
On the second floor landing the main level opens up and you see the huge two story bank of windows that dominate one end of the living room. Along a far wall is a huge stone hearth and fireplace. The firebox and mantle are both trimmed in the same beautiful oak. Likewise, so is the cathedral ceiling arching high overhead; it’s like getting a glimpse of the wall paneling in heaven. The woodwork continues over into the dining room with its big oak dining table and Tiffany style chandelier. There is a sliding glass door that leads out to the deck; more about that later. The kitchen is probably the most uniquely decorated one you’ll find anywhere. Perhaps the Wizard of Oz is more like it, for it’s tempting to call it the emerald kitchen. The cabinets and counters are a gorgeous shade of emerald green; trimmed with more oak and with an oak back splash, it’s a kitchen your guest will rave about long after they leave. Black appliances lend a contemporary touch. Here also the ceiling has the same beautiful wood that compliments the tile floor. At the end of the kitchen is the breakfast bar, sitting just below a pop out greenhouse window.
Off of the living room and down the hallway is the master bedroom. Its high ceiling makes the room feel bigger. There is a sliding glass door that leads out to the end of the deck with the hot tub. The master bath is entirely lined with -guess what? Right, you got it -wood. The effect is warm and comfortable. Upstairs in the loft is a pool table and a full bar. It’s the perfect spot for entertaining. There is even a small deck outside. Back down on the main floor is the huge deck; just off the dining room with an outdoor wood burning fireplace. Here the deck is large enough that you could set up a full outdoor living room and gather around the fire for conversation under the stars. Down at the far end of the deck is the hot tub just off the master bedroom.
The view from the deck is pristine woods and fields with barely a building in sight. In the foreground, the yard goes down the hill and to the right over to the aforementioned pond. I am told it’s stocked with fish. Looking across to the green hills in the panoramic view, it’s tempting to think “I am Lord of all I survey.” Not.
You might think with all the beautiful woodwork, the home would seem like a cabin, but its size and design give it a crisp contemporary feel. It’s large and impressive, but still feels like a comfortable place for entertaining family and friends. Only a few miles from Ellicottville’s shops, restaurants, skiing and golf, if this isn’t heaven, it’s about half way there. For more information about this home contact Tina Dillon at ERA Team VP Real Estate (716)474-5646.