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Riverdance, a lodge-like stone ranch, looks like something you’d find nestled in the mountains of Colorado, Wyoming or Montana, with its balance of decorative Wild West elements and amenities of refined, gracious living.

The five-bedroom, four-bath secondary residence, completed in late 2019, is exactly what the owners envisioned building when they bought five wooded acres on the Black River: an easily accessible getaway from the weekday pressures of Cleveland city living where they could barbecue, garden and hike with their adult children and grandchildren. They enlisted Westlake-based builder Project Turnkey and Libby Palmieri of House of L in Solon and Westlake to make that 3,000-square-foot vision a reality.

“[One of] the owners is a huntsman — he fishes, he goes bird hunting and things like that,” Palmieri says. “So they wanted it to feel rustic, like it was part of the property. They wanted to bring the outside in.”

Red oak and flagstone, along with cream-colored walls, provided a backdrop for the decor — finishes that, along with other elements, impart a sense of continuity throughout an open floor plan with soaring ceilings.

Lighting was an integral part of the design. Palmieri suggested hanging a Circa Lighting faux deer antler chandelier in the foyer, a Ralph Lauren wrought-iron counterpart in the dining room and large Circa Lighting wrought-iron-and-mercury-glass lantern pendants over the kitchen island. Lantern sconces illuminate the great room.

“When you do light fixtures in the correct scale, really include the volume of the space, it really makes for a well-appointed room,” she says.

Palmieri tucked a small gray wool sofa in front of a cowhide rug and Bernhardt-brand table — actually a piece of fossilized tree trunk — in the foyer to create a seating area to welcome family and close friends. It doubles as another place to gather when the couple entertains.

“The beauty of this house now, during COVID, is that because you have a very open, beautiful plan, you can work with it to appropriately social distance while still having gatherings,” she says.

In the great room, a buttery chenille sectional and whiskey leather recliner sit around a wool rug woven in shades of rust, cream and bluish gray. The Lorts-brand charcoal-gray coffee table, with its “bumper” upholstered in off-white faux suede, doubles as a foot-resting ottoman.

“We wanted to make sure that we maximized how much seating would be available,” she says.
A maple game table flanked by espresso velvet chairs sits atop a Pottery Barn faux-shearling rug in front of floor-to-ceiling windows. The same Lorts-brand chairs, augmented by armchairs with cowhide-covered exteriors, surround a trestle-based oak table in the dining room. A pair of pheasants appear frozen in flight over the wet bar.

The rustic decor extends into the owners’ suite. The bedroom — a space that showcases views of the Black River framed by more floor-to-ceiling windows — is dominated by a wrought-iron bed stationed in front of a reclaimed barn-wood wall. Similarly, one wall of the bathroom is finished in flagstone and fronted by a red-oak vanity. The Kohler vessel sink “is meant to resemble an older sink you’d find in a home in the ’20s,” Palmieri says.

A flight of stairs in the foyer lead to a lower level with two bedrooms and a full bath finished with the couple’s grandchildren in mind. A flagstone patio, complete with fire pit, extends into the backyard — the perfect spot to relax after a day in the great outdoors. Palmieri notes that the house is a place people don’t want to leave.

“This house hugs you as soon as you walk in,” she says. “It is just wonderfully warm and cozy. There’s a sense of security when you’re there. It’s just this safe little haven.”

Meet The Designer: Libby Palmieri has been designing for commercial and residential projects since 1997. The House of L designer brings a sense of fun into each of her projects and considers the design process to be an artistic outlet. Her superpower is getting into her client’s head space which allows her to create the story they want to tell with their setting.
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