Christopher Architecture & Interiors 2019 Showhouse: “There’s Like, a Lot of Kids in Here”

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Words by Emma Harchanko
Photo provided by
Leslee Mitchell

Driving up to the newest Christopher Architecture & Interiors (A&I) showhouse, the large, gray sign gives away the origin of the home’s recent redesign. The lush, green yard is scattered with disc golf baskets, bicycles, and scooters. The driveway answers the yard with an assortment of other outdoor activities: skateboard ramps and hockey nets, a spare elbow pad here or there. One thing is clear– a lot of kiddos live here. The doormat confirms that for visitors with a witty word of warning, “There’s like, a lot of kids in here.”

Showhouses can become museum-like with cold features and a subtle understanding that nothing inside should be touched. But, walking into the Chestnut Road home, you are immediately greeted with a feeling of warmth and welcome. Even in the midst of gorgeous accent pieces, a formal living room, and grandiose light fixtures, Christopher A&I was still able to create a functional family home. Every project has an inspiration, and for this client project, the team knew that the main focus would be family.

On its “off-days,” the home is very loved and lived in. Personal art projects and family photos can be found hung on the walls, illuminated by rays of sunshine traversing their way through the glass paneling and numerous windows. Bible verses written on sticky notes grace the highly trafficked areas.

The family that gets to call this house a home? Enter, the Waltchacks. For Derek and Rushton Waltchack and their six children, family means everything. Derek and Rushton have three biological and three adopted children, ranging from six to 15 years old. The Waltchacks needed a home to make memories in, entertain, and grow as a family. Christopher A&I was overjoyed to make that happen.

In preparation for the showing this weekend, the interior design team starts to shuttle pairs of glittery jelly shoes, crowns, action figurines, art projects, and school backpacks back to their home base. Even in the midst of showroom-day perfection, it’s still easy to feel the handprint of the family on the home.

Every design feature in the home had the family in mind, starting with the large front patio shaded by a sloping overhang sandwiched between to traditional gable roofs. The custom wooden pillars add a gorgeous shape and color to the front of the home. Stepping inside, the first place you might want to look is up– at the foyer’s barrel-vaulted ceiling. To the left, a formal sitting room with inset bookshelves and reading area, herringbone-backsplash fireplace, and a baby grand piano.

Further into the home is the kitchen, complete with themes of white, turquoise, and gold. The turquoise cabinets offer a surprising amount of storage space, and some even sit within a marble island large enough to fit six kids with a barstool for each. A handcrafted, wooden table that fits all eight family members acts as a natural divide between the family room and the kitchen.

The family room has become a family favorite thanks to its plethora of seating. Natural light is invited in through its expansive wall of windows, and the stone fireplace and handcrafted mantle bring even more warmth to the space. To top off the space, the wooded ceiling vaults in a stunning, trapezoidal-prism shape, offering even more depth to the room.

“We wanted the home to feel ‘just right,’ and we accomplished this in part by using natural materials that will elegantly age over time. We used wood roofing and copper accents that will change as they mature, and we tested many different stone techniques to achieve the perfect antique look,” says Madeline Hoisington, lead architect.

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The home’s functional spaces, like the laundry room and mud room are just as impressive as the formal spaces, especially to those with children of their own. The mud room, a nook spot separated from the entryway by an elegant staircase, has cubbies for each kid to drop their things after school. The laundry room is expansive enough to fit two sets of washer and dryers with plenty of folding space still available as well as a spot for an office desk and chair. Plus, the laundry room has a custom designed barn door that you can close when entertaining. If you visit the showhouse this weekend, you’ll understand why we can’t get enough of it!

Upstairs, the kid’s playroom is a dream. Inset bookshelves are perfect for hosting a vast selection of children’s books and toys. Off of the playroom, the girls’ bedroom is now lovingly known as the “cloud room” because of the choice of the plush, white rug. Plus, there is a secret Narnia-style doorway that is just the right size for kids to explore through that leads to the girls’ closet and then back into the playroom. But, the boys’ space is just as cool with a hidden loft and central play area. Complete with navy accents, bean bags, and plenty of space for toys, it’s an ideal spot for the youngsters to grow and play.

The intentionality to create a space that is both elegant and practical, contemporary and timeless, takes a skilled team who has taken the opportunity to truly get to know their client. Chris Reebals, president of Christopher A&I, is proud of this project as a larger reflection of the values of the organization.

“We all have a shared vision to create a product that will not only enhance the life of the clients, but also all who will view and experience the design. We seek to create timeless structures which enhance individuals, families, and communities,” says Chris.

The Christopher A&I showhouse will be open for ticketed visitors October 10-13. This year, the team has organized several food trucks to stop by as well as a market to take place. On Sunday October 13th at 2 p.m., you can meet the team. See the full line up of events here.

And, it is all for a wonderful cause. The 2019 Christopher A&I showhouse will highlight local, regional, and national vendors and suppliers. Additionally, proceeds will benefit Lifeline Children's Services. Christopher A&I’s goal is to raise awareness and funds to further Lifeline's mission to support families, orphans, and vulnerable children through international and domestic adoption, foster and orphan care, counseling, and education.

Purchase your ticket to tour the 2019 Christopher Showhouse here