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Young at Heart

Shading in stone inspired the palette of this family-friendly compound

Written by Sarah Egge
  • Tria Giovan

    Working with an Atlanta-based design team of architectural designer William T. Baker, landscape architect Alec Michaelides, and interior designer Suzanne Kasler, Tom and Leah Crowley spent two years planning how to turn their vision of a family-friendly compound outside Indianapolis into a reality. Restoring the landscape—it had been the site of a sand and gravel quarry—was of utmost importance, and the challenge lay in designing a house to complement the property's features.

    "This was not for the meek-hearted, let me tell you," Tom says. "But I wanted a place where our kids could just be kids." There's a lake full of bass, several centuries-old oaks and maples to climb, a pool, sledding hills, a vegetable garden, and soon, an orchard. That's not even mentioning the amenities of the expansive stone house, including a bunk room for sleepovers and a porch with a fireplace where the family gathers to roast marshmallows and talk about the day. "We are home a lot. We spend a lot of time with each other," Leah says. And that was the point. Tom, who grew up roaming the central Illinois countryside, saw an opportunity to give his children the free-range environment and solid home base he had enjoyed as a child.

    Residential design: William T. Baker, William T. Baker & Assoc. Ltd., 78 West Wesley Rd. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30305; 404/261-0446,
    Interior design: Suzanne Kasler, Suzanne Kasler Interiors, 425 Peachtree Hills Ave., Suite 21B, Atlanta, GA 30305; 404/355-1035,
    Builder: Leonard Watson, Artisan Homes Inc., 7445 E. County Rd. 400 N., Brownsburg, IN 46112; 317/852-7310.
    Landscape architect: Alec Michaelides, Land Plus Assoc. Ltd., 416 E. Paces Ferry Rd., Atlanta, GA 30305; 404/238-9595,

    Photography: Tria Giovan
    Produced by Betsy Harris

    Furniture: Brown Jordan, 800/743-4252,

  • Tria Giovan

    At the start of the 20-month construction phase, Tom Crowley selected a Tennessee fieldstone to clad the exterior of the house. An uncommon material because of the variety of tones and hues in every batch, it turned out to be an inspired choice.

    So impressed by the shadings in the stone, interior designer Kasler mined its silvery gray, buff, cream, and dusky russet hues to ply inside the house as well. In the living room, she made use of the smoky-blues, accented with bone and golden tan. “I love to use color so that its presence is felt but not dramatic,” Kasler says.

    Grass cloth wall coverings tinted the color of the lake on a clear day sets an elegant mood in the dining room, and Kasler colored the ceiling shimmery gold to create a heightened aura during dinner parties.

    Table: New Classics, 303/373-9536,
    French chairs; black side chairs: Artistic Frame, 212/289-2100.
    Chair fabric: Cortina, 800/338-6229, trade only.
    Seat fabric on black chairs ("Nigel'' "LFY24026F): Ralph Lauren Home, 888/475-7674,
    Sideboard: Jane Marsden Antiques, 404/355-1288.
    Mirror: Mrs. Howard, 404/816-3830.
    Chandelier: Grizzel & Mann, 404/261-5932,
    Sconces: Edgar-Reeves, 404/237-1137.
    Rug: Suzanne Kasler Interiors, 404/355-1035.
    Wall covering: Phillip Jeffries Ltd., 800/576-5455, trade only. Trim paint ("Acadia White'' #AC-41): Benjamin Moore & Co., 888/236-6667,
    Ceiling paint ("Great Hall Cream'' #RM29): Ralph Lauren Paint, 800/379-7656,
    Drapery ("Fern Tree'' #2643880 by Kelly Wearstler): Decorators Walk, 212/415-3955.

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    Designer Kasler chose the gauzy blue of a winter sky on walls and chairs in the living room, then warmed up the area with a pale camel rug, table skirt, and sofa. A limestone mantel and carved moldings replicate elements of an English manor house.

    Mantel: Chesney's, 404/948-1111,
    Mirror: Parc Monceau Ltd., 404/467-8107.
    Sconces; cocktail table: Lord & Lockridge, through Ainsworth-Noah, 404/231-8787, trade only.
    Stools: Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair, 800/349-4579,
    Round table fabric ("Bellagio'' #1759-02): Summer Hill Ltd., 415/355-1300, trade only. Slipper chair ("Cate'' #VH1302): Victoria Hagan Home, 212/888-3241,
    Chair fabric ("Smarties''): Old World Weavers, 212/355-7186, trade only.
    Rug: Moattar, 404/237-5100, trade only.
    Wall paint ("Woodlawn Blue'' #HC-147); ceiling paint ("Lancaster White''): Benjamin Moore & Co., 888/236-6667.

  • Tria Giovan

    Expanses of glass allow light to pour into the room.

    Side chairs: Rose Tarlow-Melrose House, 323/651-2202, trade only.
    Chair fabric ("Relaxed Linen'' #7900-14): Donghia Furniture/Textiles Ltd., 914/662-2377, trade only.
    Round table fabric ("Bellagio'' #1759-02): Summer Hill Ltd., 415/355-1300, trade only. Secretary: The Stalls, 404/352-4430.
    Drapery ("Indian Flower'' #JP 1003): Jasper Fabrics by Michael S Smith Inc., 310/315-3018,
    Sofa: Nancy Corzine, 212/223-8340, trade only.
    Sofa fabric: Rose Tarlow-Melrose House, 323/651-2202, trade only.
    Stools: Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair, 800/349-4579,
    Rug: Moattar, 404/237-5100, trade only.
    Wall paint ("Woodlawn Blue'' #HC-147); ceiling paint ("Lancaster White''): Benjamin Moore & Co., 888/236-6667.

  • Tria Giovan

    Paneled walls and antique wood beams mark the casual family room. Armchairs and sofas upholstered in coral- and chocolate-hued chenille fabrics are made for barefoot lounging.

    Sofas ("Chappell Sofa"); lounge chairs (similar to "Oxford Club Chair'' #CH159-TPR): Edward Ferrell, 336/841-3028, trade only.
    Sofa fabric ("Prairie Buffalo''/Gray #860001-05): Rogers & Goffigon, 203/532-8068, trade only.
    Coffee table: Charles Pollack, 323/962-0440.
    Lounge-chair fabric ("Mineral''/Russet #DUC83001): Zoffany, 800/395-8760,, trade only.
    Drapery ("Giovanni Paisley Print''): Lee Jofa, 800/453-3563, trade only.
    Rug (custom): Suzanne Kasler Interiors, 404/355-1035.
    Chandelier: Ainsworth-Noah, 404/231-8787, trade only.
    Sconces ("Hurricane Sconce'' in Old Iron #1083): Paul Ferrante Inc., 323/653-4142, trade only.
    Prints: Fred Reed Picture Framing, 404/875-4372.
    Mirror: Parc Monceau Ltd, 404/467-8107.
    Wall paint ("Acadia White'' #AC-41): Benjamin Moore & Co., 888/236-6667.
    Ceiling paint ("Sisal'' #NA10): Ralph Lauren Paint, 800/379-7656.

  • Tria Giovan

    Next to the kitchen is a family dining area. The twig chandelier, ordered from a catalog, connects the room with the outdoors.

    Table and chairs: owner's collection.
    Chair-back fabric ("Mineral'' #DUC 83020): Zoffany, 800/395-8760, trade only.
    Chair-seat fabric: Edelman Leather, 800/886-8339, trade only.
    Chandelier (discontinued): Horchow, 877/944-9888.
    Rug: Moattar, 404/237-5100, trade only.
    Drapery ("Silk Canvas''/Verde Gris #NC0105-137): Nancy Corzine, 212/223-8340, trade only.
    Wall paint ("Elephant Tusk'' #OC-8): Benjamin Moore & Co., 888/236-6667.

  • Tria Giovan

    In the kitchen, granite countertops, dual dishwashers, and a commercial-grade sink faucet help Leah serve up snacks and meals for dozens of kids-her own plus visiting friends. A pair of islands hold hors d'oeuvres when adults crowd the kitchen and adjoining family room. "There is truly not a room in this house that we don't use," Leah says. A range with a mosaic tile backsplash and mantel-style hood is the kitchen's focal point.

    Range: Viking Range Corp., 888/845-4641.
    Sink faucet: KWC Faucets Inc., 888/592-3287.
    Bar stools (Milling Road Collection): Baker, 800/592-2537.
    Wall paint ("Stoney Mountain'' #NA15): Ralph Lauren Paint, 800/379-7656,

  • Tria Giovan

    Hushed by layers of luxurious fabrics, the master bedroom is an adult retreat. French doors, softened by wool paisley curtains, open to a balcony overlooking the lake.

    Bed; chandelier: owner's collection.
    Bedside chest ("Silver Screen Night Stand''): Barbara Barry Realized by Henredon,
    Lamp: Mrs. Howard, 404/816-3830.
    Bench: Nancy Corzine, 212/223-8340, trade only.
    Bench fabric ("Spots''/Jute on Jute #0226-001); headboard fabric ("Silk Tapas''/Flax #0180 001): J. Robert Scott, 800/651-4354,
    Bedding: Parkside Linen, 317/844-6320.
    Drapery ("Ranier''/Putty #404212, discontinued): Travers, 212/888-7900, trade only. Upholstered chair; round table by chair: owner's collection.
    Carpet ("Manhattan''/Gris Linen): through Bright Lines, 770/499-1830, trade only.
    Paint ("Acadia White'' #AC-41): Benjamin Moore & Co., 888/236-6667.

  • Tria Giovan

    Shining over the master bath, the ceiling is covered in torn pieces of wallpaper flecked with silver leaf. "I wanted the tub to be the bath's central feature," says Leah.

    Dressing table ("Lady's Desk''/Ivory); vanity chair ("Oval Side Chair''): Barbara Barry Realized by Henredon,, trade only.
    Tub; faucet: Kohler, 800/456-4537,
    Wall covering (custom, "Ripped Silver Paper''): Walter Knabe Studio, 317/767-9508,
    Trim paint ("Acadia White'' #AC-41): Benjamin Moore & Co., 888/236-6667.
    Hanging lantern ("Georgian Lantern'' #PH203): Thomas Pheasant for Baker, 800/592-2537.

  • Tria Giovan

    All of the Crowley youngsters use the bunk room as a play space, and it's the hub of activity for sleepovers with friends and cousins. The built-ins were wired to allow for reading lights above each bed.

    Drapery ("Tokelau #NCF3360/01, Manihiki Prints by Nina Campbell);
    pillow fabrics ("Qing'' #NCF3402/06, Zembia Prints by Nina Campbell): Osborne & Little, 212/751-3333, trade only.
    Blankets: Parkside Linen, 317/844-6320.
    Sconces: Circa Lighting, 404/233-4131.
    Carpet ("Washington Square''/Sagebrush Green): Helios, 800/843-5138.
    Wall paint ("Basic Beige'' #1866): Glidden, 800/454-3336,
    Chair; accessories: owner's collection.

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    Jumbo painted diamonds decorate the space outside the children's bedrooms.

    Ottoman (custom); chandelier (custom): Suzanne Kasler, 404/355-1035.
    Ottoman fabric ("Lanzarac''#FW029/02, Brancusi Collection by William Yeoward); chandelier fabric ("Fenice''/Paprika #FW032/02, Brancusi Collection by William Yeoward): Osborne & Little, 212/751-3333, trade only. Rug ("Madagascar''/Tupelo): Merida Meridian Inc., 800/345-2200.
    Blue paint ("Martinique Isle'' #1166; discontinued but can be mixed): Glidden, 800/454-3336.
    Salmon paint; yellow paint: custom.

  • Tria Giovan

    Tom and Leah Crowley have six children, with (from left) Kendall, Gabrielle, Gressa, and Michael living at home full-time.