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50 Shades of Contemporary Cool

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John and Michele Dozier
By Jennifer Olson

Water gives life, for, without it, nothing exists. For the farmer, it is the sweet life-blood on which we depend. To the adventurer, it is the ultimate challenge, without conscience. In its absence, lusters dull, outlooks dim. When plentiful, joy is abundant, and vigor renewed.

Like droplets of water attracting one another, John and Michele Dozier felt the draw of the shore. Lake Hamilton and Wilson’s Point had captured John’s heart years before. Michele was leaving a houseboat on Lake DeGray for a condo on Lake Hamilton. The two met in Hot Springs and ran into each other on multiple occasions. John eventually won Michele over, and the pair began dating. Drawn together by their love of the water and all things fun, the pair wed and John began planning his dream, a water’s edge home on a picturesque point.

John knew which local contractor he wanted to use for the project. After their initial meeting, John contacted a highly recommended architect to draft the plans that would bring Michele’s vision to life.

Michele, formerly a houseboat designer for 11 years, designed and decorated their home’s exquisite features. Her gift is evident in the extravagant use of form and color throughout. Her husband of nearly 2 years was hesitant to abandon his traditional farming roots and build such modern construction. However, Michele’s talents, a prime locale, and unexpected amenities converted John’s penchant for Southern charm into pure love for contemporary cool.

John and Michele DozierIn the Dozier home, there is no doubt that the couple residing there is fun and not afraid to take risks. Surprises abound from the ceilings to the floors throughout this masterpiece of mid-century modern. Taking advantage of a fabulous location on Lake Hamilton’s Wilson’s Point, windows align the north-facing walls, drinking in luscious main channel views.

The doors along the lakeside perimeter can be opened, allowing breezes to flow through the home via retractable screens. The upper and lower decks, running the entire length of the home, provide 1600 square feet of prime space for outdoor living. A tiled floor, tongue and groove pine ceiling, and recessed lighting allow the family to take full advantage of the weather and view as they spend time outside. A dry stack stone fireplace with gas insert and flat screen television keep the space inviting all year.

Once the eyes are distracted from the phenomenal scenery, it is clear that there is not an inch to be missed in this funky, fun home. In the main living area, the ceiling is adorned with a box made of bamboo flooring. An unusually large fan, picked out by John himself, dominates the space. Fiber optic LED lighting, hidden within the bamboo box, projects colors and patterns onto the ceiling, for a party vibe.

Also commanding attention in the room is an enviable fireplace. Glass tiles comprise most of the mantel construction, with a smooth, solid surface material in deep brown capping the hearth. Drama unfolds as the mantel extends and the texture changes. The sculptured wall, made of industrial parquet engineered from Brazilian pecan wood, projects a woven effect for a true conversation piece.

The floors throughout are striking as well. Hand-scraped hickory hardwoods anchor the entire first floor of the home, bursts of color, and its many shades of gray.

“The whole house is in shades of gray,” explains Michele. “As times change, I do not want to repaint, but I can always change furnishings. I think the paint is a classic neutral.”

Styled in retro-modern, the home’s furnishings are an eclectic mix of authentic and functional pieces covered in refreshing bursts of color. Vibrant shades of orange and turquoise pop against the neutral tones.

Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 4.58.18 PMAn accent wall in brilliant turquoise lends interest to the dining area and wet bar, an area where the Doziers are both skilled. While taking turns making mixtures for friends, they find conversation often turns toward the exquisite bar itself, rather than its contents. Amidst the futuristic technologies and design-forward elements, are three distinctly sentimental pieces, forged specifically for John. His family has deep farming roots in Moro, Arkansas. John, having farmed himself for over 30 years in Moro, still grows soybeans, corn, wheat, and cotton on the property. A large Cypress tree was taken from their land.

John and Michele Dozier“It was 150 years old,” says John. “We cut it into three pieces and hauled it to Mountain View where a craftsman made this bar and two coffee tables.”

Michele agrees the decision was a heartfelt. “We wanted something from off the farm in the house,” she says. “These are irreplaceable.”

The entertaining space flows into a kitchen sure to impress any metropolitan lover. Natural bamboo custom cabinetry anchors the area, with a seven-foot island providing both seating and food prep opportunities. The upper cabinets are done in sleek gray panels, seamlessly hiding away the refrigerator as well. Highly decorative drawer pulls bring in elegance.

“They’re like jewelry for your cabinets,” grins Michele.

Twin chandeliers in chrome and crystal add a touch of the unexpected, along with floating shelves installed with plumbing pipe, and a leathered quartzite countertop. A natural stone, the slab was processed to dull the shine and add a leathered texture.

John and Michele DozierPerhaps the most striking element of the kitchen is the tile on the walls. Resembling mercury glass with an iridescent sheen, the oblong aluminum-hued tile, lain vertically for movement, steals the show.

Also on the main floor, the master suite is a veritable sanctuary. The bedroom is awash with color, the bases being classic grays. Upon entering, a full view of Lake Hamilton’s main channel greets the eye, courtesy of floor to ceiling glass. Undressed sliding doors make for easy access to the upper deck and unobstructed views.

An eye-catching second focal point for the space, a sharp fireplace, is wrapped in oblong white glass tiles. Constructed at an elevated level, the gas-driven glow is easily viewed as the Doziers relax in their king size bed. Above, a flat screen tv entertains. Both devices operate via remote in this tech-forward home.

John and Michele DozierOpposite the fireplace wall, a recessed area anchors the king size bed. Silver and white pendant lights suspended overhead give direct lighting. A whimsical lighting fixture installed above the bed ties together the white features in the room.  The most dramatic element, however, is the headboard, created with 3D tile. Made with MDF, Michele selected a pattern of waves and sent the dimensions to the manufacturer, where the project was cut. Finally, it was installed and painted white for a truly spectacular backdrop. The piece is an incredible art form and one-of-a-kind furnishing.

John and Michele DozierThe master bath continues with surprising home elements. Turquoise and gray glass tiles and marble tops join forces to create an unusual curved vanity. Hammerite paint, mimicking a metallic shine, gives the vanity a distinctive, edgy look. Generous in size, the functional piece also has under-lighting that the Doziers can change from the current steady blue hue to an array of colors and patterns. The Doziers also enjoy uncluttered counters, thanks to charging outlets built inside the medicine cabinets.

Oblong, rectangular tiles adorn both the floors and walls of the bathroom. Unusual patterns and kinesthetic finishes make an eye look twice. Heated floors make bare feet comfortable no matter the outside temperature. The two-person, walk-in shower is lined with silver glass tiles and chrome fixtures. A rain shower and heated towel bar complete the luxurious experience. There is also a deep soaking tub, flat screen tv, and a coffee bar. The walk-through closet has ample storage space, and shoe shelves with back-lighting. The laundry room is off the master closet, making it efficient and user-friendly.

A tucked-away staircase with LED lighting leads safely down to the bottom floor. Never one to leave anything ordinary, Michele designed a surprise for her guests as they return to ascend back to the main floor.  Tiny mirrored tiles, only visible from below, line the back of a few of the hardwood steps.

Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 4.58.25 PMThe home’s bottom level continues the contemporary theme through the use of brightly colored furnishings and accessories. An orange accent wall and comfortable seating arrangement attracts guests in the second living area. Lucite tables and chairs add function and visible interest. Guest suites in shades of luscious tangerine and turquoise bring the lake living vibe to the Dozier’s visiting children. With the proximity of the water, the flooring on this level is a creamy colored tile, arranged in an interesting herringbone pattern.

As with any lake home, the true crowning glory is the water-side outdoor space. Serious planning went into the design of this Lake Hamilton paradise. Stacked stone and smooth Drivit in a steel gray marry for a cohesive look on the outside of the home. Those elements continue on to an outdoor kitchen, where the tongue and groove pine ceilings repeat from the upper deck.

John and Michele DozierStone pavers and concrete finishes complete the massive poolside surround, where sunbathers enjoy an elevated view of the main channel. A relaxing spa with retractable fountain feature connects with an onyx bottom salt water pool.  Underwater lighting with changing colors makes the swimming pool festive and resort-like.  A tiled infinity wall allows cascading pool water to create a gorgeous lakeside fall. The catch basin, also bedazzled in onyx tiles and stacked stone, is also outfitted with underwater colored lights that can be synced with the pool lights for cohesion. Generous landscaping and lighting ensure a beautiful property 24 hours a day. Nearby fire bowls create a tropical ambiance during playful evenings. The gas-powered gems can even be controlled by the Doziers’ cell phones.

The lakeside boardwalk and pier to the dock are crafted from synthetic wood, ideal for wet, humid locations, making maintenance virtually nil. The double-stalled boat dock has a copper-colored metal roof matching the one capping the home.

John and Michele DozierGeothermal units and foam insulation keep the 4800 square feet of heated and cooled space very comfortable all year round. The Doziers enjoy lower utility bills than one might expect in a home so large. The couple also received tax incentives for using such products in their home.

Contemporary design is very distinctive and innovative in nature. When care is taken to personalize through furnishings and décor, seemingly polar opposites can find cohesion in the beauty. Adding the dynamic of water draws us closer together. For John and Michele Dozier, water gives life. Without it, nothing exists.