Wide Open Spaces

After two tries one couple finally builds their dream home fit for their family of five.

FOR MARK AND KATHLEEN REYNOLDS, IT’S ALWAYS been about the space. The couple, who lived in Arizona full-time while Mark Reynolds was a first and third baseman for multiple MLB teams, had a seamless, open floorplan with ample outdoor living. “In Arizona, we had a one-story home with a huge outdoor living area on a little over one acre,” Kathleen Reynolds says. “We entertain a lot, so we loved having so much space outdoors, because in Arizona, you’re outside almost all year long.”

But when the couple moved to Charlotte in 2015, the lot they purchased in Longview wasn’t wide enough to accommodate a one-story home, and the land itself was a little over one acre. “We loved our home in Longview,” says Kathleen Reynolds of the custom home they built with Arcadia Homes. “We loved that it was very open and airy. But with three young boys and two large dogs, we needed more outdoor space than that home could afford us.” After four years in their Longview home, their contact with Arcadia showed them a ranch on a two-acre lot in South Charlotte that could bring their dream of an oversized outdoor living space, along with a sizable yard for their young boys to play, to fruition. After razing the existing home, the Reynoldses finally had the land they wanted for their new home.

The couple once again enlisted Arcadia to design their new home and tasked Lynn Blackwell to design the interiors. Having worked with the Reynoldses on their previous home, Blackwell knew the couple’s style. “Their first house was light, bright, and airy, and French Tudor–style in architecture,” the designer says. “But for this home, they wanted black and white with neutrals woven through. I tried to add in those neutrals to temper all of the white to make the home more family-friendly.”

Having Blackwell team up with Arcadia again proved to be a pairing the Reynoldses loved. “We’re not very good at seeing things spatially,” Mark Reynolds says. “Lynn would come in and really help us with the scale and overall flow.” Adds Kathleen Reynolds, “We would send Lynn something we liked, and she would tweak it for us. We knew what we wanted, but we just couldn’t put it down on paper. Lynn did all of that for us, and it was amazing.”

Blackwell knew how important it was for the homeowners to integrate the interior and exterior. Hence, she pulled together materials, textures, and a color palette that helped move the flow effortlessly from room to room. “I felt like the inside needed to suit the outside,” she says. “So we added doses of camel color and black iron and a lot of warm woods throughout the entire home to help with the flow.” Black French limestone in the foyer and hallways complement the pattern and peacock stone in the spacious outdoor living space and on the pool deck. Custom-stained hardwood floors extend throughout the main living areas and soften the more industrial accents that Blackwell added. “We told Lynn we wanted a modern house, but still homey,” Mark Reynolds says. “She brought in a lot of modern light fixtures and modern lines but made it comfortable and warm.”

Durability and livability were of utmost importance for the family with young children and pets. “We wanted it to be designed beautifully but not feel too precious,” Kathleen Reynolds says. “Lynn really nailed that for us. Everything is kid-friendly but still looks modern and rustic and industrial but comfortable. And we love that.”

With an oversized open floorplan, Blackwell and Arcadia seamlessly blended the interior with the outdoors, a priority for the Reynoldses from the outset of their dream-home build. The entire downstairs features a modern, open floorplan, which gives the home an innate airy feeling. It also lends itself to an effortless flow between the everyday living area indoors and the entertaining and casual lounging space just outside. Mark Reynolds knew he wanted a grand twenty-foot, two-story foyer, and so with that, the view from the entry extends straight through the living room to the spacious backyard. “It draws your eyes in and through the house,” Blackwell says.

The backyard is a mecca for entertaining and kid-oriented activities. “We wanted our home to be where all the kids wanted to be,” Mark Reynolds says. A large pool is bordered by plenty of deck space in a peacock paver to allow sunbathing and lounging. The loggia is a highlight as well, with an al fresco dining area and adjacent kitchen space, and a full living room for adults to unwind by the fire. “The whole backyard is really about our kids and entertaining,” explains Mark Reynolds of the Wiffle ball court, putting green, and wide-open green space to run and play. (A golf simulator and theater room inside are also big entertaining spaces for the family.)

The outdoor living space was complete with the installation of a landscape design by Garden Design by Tiz. While they loved their Arizona home and the first home they built here in North Carolina, the Reynoldses say they really got it right this time. “We took a lot of the mistakes we made in our first two homes and really fixed them in this house,” Kathleen Reynolds says. “It really is the perfect home for us now.”