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Couple builds their dream house
By Kathleen Ostrander

Jim and Kathy Comrie, but especially Jim, went to a lot of open houses looking at every detail of those homes before they had their house on Old Bachelor Trail built.

Then, with the help of Phil Zinn and Zinn Construction, they had their dream home - with all the bells and whistles - ready about a year ago.

The color palette for the home's interior is earth tones, including sage and milk chocolate, with pops of accent colors to liven things up. The front foyer features crown molding with inset lighting to create a diffused glow to greet guests.

There is crown molding throughout the house to tie all the rooms together, and using it as a white frame in many of the rooms creates a crisp, clean look. Hardwood floors throughout the house promote a cohesive design, and area rugs in the living room, dining room and the master bedroom, as well as in other areas, anchor certain spaces.

To the left of the front entrance is the formal dining room, and straight ahead is the impressive family room with a textured stone fireplace made even more striking by the artwork hung above it. The red in the artwork helps pull the red out of the area rug in front of the fireplace. An oversized couch with an area for reclining invites comfortable conversation in front of the fireplace.

Kathy Comrie said they had talked briefly about putting a flat-screen TV above the fireplace but then decided to utilize some of the built-in shelf space for a TV.  There is an all-seasons room off the back of the living room, which offers a spectacular view of the wooded back of their lot.

A cozy dining area just off the kitchen is also at the back of the house, and the kitchen is done in dark browns with warm brown tile, dark cabinets and black granite countertops. The light walls and lighter-tiled backsplash make the kitchen stand out and seem like a luxurious and opulent space.

Kathy Comrie said she really wanted the pot filler faucet at the back of the stove, but she also clearly recalls the first time she started filling a pot, turned around and the pot and then the stovetop filled with water.

She got a pantry, which she was excited about; a central vacuum system, which she was mildly enthused about; and lots of rooms to use one of her favorite decorating accents in.

"I just love mirrors, so I got to get interesting and exciting mirrors to go in the powder rooms and around the house," she said.

Jim Comrie loves an architectural feature in the home that few visitors notice until it is brought to their attention. The tops of the doorways are curved.

She said the couple wanted a large master suite, and they got it.

"We had this big furniture that seemed to overpower the room before. We wanted a master suite that would accommodate that."

A bank of windows at the side of the bedroom overlooking the backyard also opens up the space.

While Kathy Comrie wanted rooms of a certain size, Jim Comrie wanted his eight surround-sound zones, including one in the screened porch, and he wanted environmentally friendly geothermal heat.

Both of them love the special feature in the master bathroom - a radiant heat mat between the floor and the tile that is controlled by a wall thermostat.

They also have a special spa tub with a feature that automatically forces air out of the water jets, drying them and the tub shortly after the bath water drains out. Jim Comrie said he is also a fan of the rainwater showerhead in the shower.

There is a guest suite upstairs and guest rooms in the lower level.

The bar in the lower level is off another family room with comfortable furniture for sharing conversation and a glass of wine.

Jim Comrie's office is downstairs, and there is also an exercise area. Off of the exercise area is a small computer room for the grandchildren.

"They wanted their own little area, and when they outgrow it, we will just use it for storage," Jim Comrie said.

The media room downstairs is one of Jim Comrie's favorite spaces, although his wife said it was awesome watching the Olympics on a theater-sized TV screen with surround sound.

The Comries had rows of recliners put in for guests. The leather recliners with lighted cup holders are actually Lane Theatre Chairs. There is also a second laundry room.

Story published Friday, September 3, 2010 ( Volume 5, Number 5 )

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