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Zinn-like living
By Kathleen Ostrander

Phil and Katie Zinn of Sherman wanted to put some of the best things Phil Zinn learned as a builder to work in their own home. Katie Zinn got the pot-filler in the kitchen and what she considers the perfect setup for the children's rooms and the utility room.

Phil Zinn got his disappearing TV and his home theater. They both wanted the three-season porch.

All of those things make 1323 Hawthorne Chase a really nice house.

All of the things in-between also make it a really nice home.

Visitors know there is something special about the home as they get to the front entrance.

Chateau Stone makes up the front of the house, and the red brick on the back and sides is used as a framing accent around the front window. The entrance looks like a perfect picture postcard.

Inside, the distressed maple floors are warm and inviting, and their "look" can withstand the play of the couples' two children, Sophia, 4 and Will, 1½. The decorative, shaded crown molding adds depth and expanse to the ceiling, and the molding in the entryway as well as the master bedroom has recessed lighting.

The lighting runs along the inside of the molding so it seems to radiate from the molding itself.

"I really like that in the entryway," Katie Zinn said. "It's more welcoming to people when they come in and really useful to light up the area, too."

The white woodwork ties the rooms together, and the stairways have white handrails with black balusters.

The inviting living room has a lovely fireplace accented by built-in white bookcases. Above the fireplace is a mirror, which hides a flat-screen TV.

"This is really in now. The TVs are getting thinner and thinner so you can do a lot more things with them to make them part of the décor," Phil Zinn explained.

Travertine tile is utilized throughout the house. A newer type of flooring, it comes in a variety of rich colors. It has a natural beauty but is low maintenance and made for high traffic.

The Zinn kitchen features ceiling-to-floor maple cabinets, which are complimented by the soft colors of the flooring and the wall tiles and backsplash. Dark granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and a black-cherry island round out the room.

Katie Zinn's pot-filler acts as a contemporary accent above the stove. A routine addition to most restaurants, Katie Zinn said it is invaluable in the kitchen and used frequently. The faucet above the stove means no more lugging of pots filled with water from the sink. The family has the option of eating in the formal dining room, around the island in the center of the kitchen or in a cozy breakfast nook.

The children's rooms occupy one side of the house. Each has its own toilet and sink area, but they share a shower. It is possible with this floor plan to walk through all five rooms when the doors are open.

The master suite is on the other side of the house. There also is a mudroom and utility room.

"I had to have a mudroom," said Katie Zinn with a laugh.

The mudroom conveniently opens into the utility room, and the utility room is between the mud room and walk-in master suite closet.    

Off the back of the living room and kitchen is a three-season porch, which is enclosed and heated. The Zinns said it is perfect for an early morning cup of coffee or late afternoon break with the children.

Because Phil Zinn is a builder, the outside is a work in progress. The front of the house is nicely landscaped, and Phil Zinn still is working on the back, which is the walk-out area from his downstairs home office.

The downstairs is perfect for entertaining.

The built-in bookcases mirror the living rooms, and there also is an imposing fireplace topped by a flat-screen TV as well as a spacious bar area. Phil Zinn's home office has windowed French doors so he can watch the family while he works.

And if he needs a break, he can go next door to his very own home theater.

Guests and family can relax in their individual leather recliners and watch either sports or the newest version of "High School Musical" on the 120-inch projection TV.

The only problem with the theatre, explained Katie Zinn, is the parade of people who come through because they want to do the same thing in the house that Phil Zinn is building for them.

Story published Friday, November 7, 2008 ( Volume 3, Number 6 )

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