Durable Class - Southern Delaware


A local custom builder decided to build his personal home a few years ago so that he could add his own carpentry skills. He wanted to make his home step beyond the other local builders in the industry. He chose the floor plan (a custom Keith McVey, the owner’s mentor and beloved friend), and his wife confirmed the location: southern Delaware, on the west edge of the Scioto River.

When we drove out to meet with the owners on this beautiful fall day, the selection seemed to make all the sense in the world—the majesty of the water, the crisp fall air, the changing colors abound glittering in the sunlight.

As we toured the home, you couldn’t help but notice the quality that blanketed its every area—no painstaking detail missed. Workmanship is what this home is all about, and what better a theme on which to build a family. The open expanse of the first floor accentuates the high ceilings with custom moldings, “bullet glass” transoms and stained glass windows. The huge kitchen’s side-by-side fridge and freezer, dark granite tops and accents (mostly stainless and wood) offer air of durable class. Custom light fixtures flow into the great room, where you’ll find one of a dozen built-in TV’s throughout most of the rooms in the house.

They chose this open floor plan so that when they had a family gathering, they could all be close to one another without being in the same room. They learned from their previous house. Their previous house had a kitchen that was closed off to the dining and family area. They found that they spent most of their time in the kitchen and could not interact with the family during activities.

The owners went with two-tone woodwork. One is a dark poplar and the other is a honey-stained Ash, because in the past, that was the way the older homes were designed. They wanted to have the feeling of richness with the darker woodwork, but a feeling of warmth with the lighter woodwork. They also decided to go with Ash doors with bullet glass transoms to give it an old-world feel. To extend the feeling of openness, they matched the doors and hardwood floors.

In the great room, a warm golden gate was chosen to add even more warmth to the house. We wanted to have a feeling of being outside so we added a painted sky to the ceiling with rope lighting built into the Coffered ceiling that could be dimmed when it started to get dark to show the feeling from daylight to nighttime. In the center of the room, we added a tapered fireplace with double-tier mantle to accent the plasma TV. Each side of the fireplace sports build-ins that are used for old photographs of each side of the family. We added honey-stained columns with an arch to separate the foyer from the great room.

The dining area has a large stained window with yellow, red and bullet glass to add more light and color to the dinning area. The space also has three dark poplar columns to separate the dining area from the foyer. As for the master, it’s totally tricked out with fireplace, huge space for full seating, incredible master spa bathroom and, of course, two more built-in TV’s. The daughter’s suite is just that. It’s got a walk-in closet and a desk with build-ins. It also boasts a Jack-and-Jill full bath that walks into the guest room.

The lower level is really the reason we came here to visit. In our Sports issue, we were looking for the ultimate Buckeye basement. One of the owners’ main focuses when creating this home was to build the best Family/Buckeye lower level they’d ever seen. A place where many can gather, enjoy a Buckeye victory along with friends and family and forget the stress of everyday life was a must.

The color scheme for the whole basement is a deep scarlet and a pub grey, and it flows nicely with the brushed concrete floor. A private theater room first greets you with two levels surrounded by old movie poster art. Just outside this room is an arched custom stone wet bar with build-ins and a 60-inch TV built into the center. To polish out the upscale vibe, the owners integrated granite counter tops; a second full kitchen for cooking and gathering; a full bath; two more bedrooms; a bar-themed billiards area with arched seating; a gaming area; and another full sectional seating arrangement with coffered ceiling.

Rounding out the lower level is a full hidden room that is just beneath the porch because they didn’t want to waste any space. A bookcase hides the room and no one even knows it is there. If this weren’t enough, the spacious backyard overlooking the beautiful ravine is accessed by way of a walkout lower level that boasts a real putting green and fire pit, classic halftime entertainment.

This basement was designed for entertaining and for Ohio State memorabilia. In fact, most of the memorabilia on walls is from a close friend, Rick Koontz, who died before building the house. The good karma of that lost friend is still there, and you can see it in the eyes of the owners when they talk about him. This is a place where magic happens, and it does every time they fill it with laughter and cheer.