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, wtbaker.com.
Interior design: Suzanne Kasler, Suzanne Kasler Interiors, 425 Peachtree Hills Ave., Suite 21B, Atlanta, GA 30305; 404/355-1035, suzannekasler.com.
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, landplusassociates.com.
Photography: Tria Giovan
Produced by Betsy Harris