Ken’s story of the house
I bought the house as a fixer-upper in 1994 and it really needed it. The element that attracted me the most was the location. It has a beautiful eastern view of the lake. It was kind of rough the first couple of years but I grew accustomed to living in a construction zone. I took out walls, opened up and connected living spaces. I learned how to hang drywall. Much of the early work was to make it more energy efficient and comfortable. I am a strong believer in conservation of our natural resources and protecting our environment. So I insulated everything and replaced old windows and opened up the view.
Adding the deck was like adding a new room. It has an outdoor bathtub plumbed with hot and cold water. It’s a real treat to draw a hot tub on a cool night and watch the evening sky.
Eventually I enclosed the carport to create the living room. This really is the best room in the house. I wanted to maximize the natural features and create an “experience of place”. I didn’t hold back. The room has skylights, a free-standing fireplace and a killer view of the lake. In the winter when all the leaves have fallen, the view of the lake is greatly expanded.
At a certain time of the morning, when the sun is at a particular angle, the light reflects off the water and into the house creating a rippled “water dance” on the walls. It’s really cool.
I guess I need projects to work on. When the house on the hill above me was offered for sale, I was immediately interested. It was in better shape than the lake house when I first got it, but still needed attention. I decided to buy the hill top house, move in and begin updating again. Because the lake house is so attractive, people just love it there, I decided to offer it as a vacation instead of monthly rental so more people could enjoy it. Thus Harris Brake Retreats was born.
I decided to pluralize “Retreats” because I might add another house in a couple of years. Who knows?