"I love the simplicity and strength of modern architecture," says architect Gray Davis, who also made sure that his house in upstate New York felt "user-friendly and easy." A goatskin rug and shearling upholstery on a pair of chairs from Hudson Home add a soft touch to the living room. A vintage Saarinen table fills a corner.
Two Soho club chairs by Thomas O'Brien for Hickory Chair face a custom sofa covered in sky-blue linen. "You need some big, gutsy pieces to anchor a room, and then you can spin off that," says Davis. Midcentury-modern Paul McCobb stools contrast with more primitive pieces, like the chunky wood side table. Davis thought of the fireplace as a sculptural element and painted the brick in Benjamin Moore Regal Select in Midsummer Night. Walls and ceilings throughout the house in Benjamin Moore Regal Select in Revere Pewter.
An overhead view of the living room coffee table
The dining table is a rough contrast to the sleek island, made of Calacatta Gold marble. Easton faucet by Waterworks. Stools of reclaimed teak and iron from Home nature.
Drinks are served from the "barmoire."
The extra-large Akari lantern by Isamu Noguchi hovers like a full moon. "The paper shade casts a warm glow over the dining table and creates an intimacy within the larger space," Davis says. A 19th-century Dutch armoire, affectionately known as the "barmoire," was outfitted as a bar.
This space, with stairs leading down to the basement and up to the roof deck, connects the bedroom wing to the main room of the house. "The windows here are divided lights — a touch of tradition amid all the modernity," Davis says.
"The bigger, the better" could be Davis's motto, and it also applies to art. Large photos and paintings make the master bedroom feel more expansive. Bed linens by Thomas O'Brien for Aero Studios have a homespun quality, which seemed appropriate for the lakeside room. Vintage rug from Indian Dhurries.
The Ove tub by Wetstyle is set at an angle so the bather can face the lake. The tub fills from a spout in the ceiling, which creates a magical waterfall effect. "Kids love it," Davis says, "and it doesn't splash that much."
The vanity in the master bath is made of Calacatta Gold marble. "I wanted it to read like a chunk of stone," Davis says. Rotunda faucet from Signature Hardware. Oriel sconce by Waterworks.
Sliding glass doors in a guest room open onto the deck. The barley twist chair, reupholstered in natural linen, was found at Sutter Antiques. A telescope nearby "lets you check out what's happening on the lake," Davis says. Instead of hanging the art in a stiff grid, he scattered it. "Have some fun with it. It looks more spontaneous that way." Bed linens by Thomas O'Brien for Aero Studios.
The door to the roof deck frames a light fixture by Matt Larkin that looks like a line drawing in space.
An outdoor fireplace on the roof deck is a big attraction. "We've hosted many great parties up there," Davis says. Outdoor furniture by Restoration Hardware.
The ground-floor deck, clad in ipe, runs the length of the house and acts as another room. The huge glass doors that slide open and stack at either end were fabricated by Solar Innovations. Marais chairs from Design Within Reach surround an Opera table from Fermob. The custom ottoman, covered in Sunbrella fabric, also functions as a coffee table and a daybed.
Who needs air-conditioning? Sliding glass walls on both the front and the back of the house can be opened to the breeze in summer.
Large leafy plants make an eye-catching garden by the front door.
A traditional gas lantern adds interest to the stucco facade, where climbing vines are encouraged. The distinctive front door opens to a loftlike main room with a view across the lake.