Sayl Away

Story by Sara Giza

Photos by Tim Valentino

When it comes to putting down roots, some fall in love with a particular house. For others, like Emily Saylor and her family, the ideal home was all about location.

Having enjoyed their neighborhood for eight years, they had no intention of leaving. Yet with three children and a fourth on the way, they found themselves growing out of their space. When lots opened in the back of the neighborhood, they promptly inquired about the details. This led the family to their builder, David Landis of Landis Homes.

Just over two years old, the Saylor house features seven bedrooms and five-and-a-half baths. The design is reminiscent of a French country home. The windows along the back of the house overlook the woods, which offer plentiful sightings of deer up close.

“Building our home was the perfect choice for us because it was still close to our neighbors and we were able to customize the home to our needs,” says Emily Saylor. The end result included many unique features. “Our finished basement contains an under-stair secret playhouse for our girls. Our son’s room has a built in ‘book nook’ that doubles as a library and sleeping area,” Saylor describes, noting the custom mudroom with floor-to-ceiling shelves as another great nuance.

With five children, the family loves that the kids have their own spaces and room to move around. “If I had to pick a favorite room of the house, I would say the kitchen and hearth area,” says Saylor, adding “It is the place where we spend most of our time, whether it is doing homework, eating dinner together or entertaining.” They love the open concept and the hearth’s quaint coziness just off the kitchen.

When it came to the kitchen itself, Saylor knew exactly what she wanted. “I had our kitchen planned out before we ever decided to build. I had been planning it for years,” she explains. Part of her vision included the inclusion of circular seating for dinner, a kitchen island for breakfast and lunch, marble countertops and an ILVE stove from Italy. “The Waterstone faucet is a focal point, towering over the farmhouse sink. I also love the black and gold Hicks pendants hanging above the kitchen island,” she says.

Always intrigued and interested in design, Saylor decorated the home herself. Her husband’s aunt is a seamstress and they’ve been able to collaborate for all of the window treatments and pillows, including a custom canopy that hangs over their daughter’s bed.

“My vision was to create a home that would feel comfortable yet also show my love for design. It had to be totally functional but fun as well. I absolutely love bold patterns and fabrics, as well as bright colors,” Saylor says, noting that she appreciates a neutral wall to balance things out, as well as wallpaper.

The family enjoys entertaining with both relatives and neighbors. Whether it’s formal or an impromptu get-together, the Saylor residence is a great place to gather. VT