By Karin Glendenning
Community News Writer
Dava and Glenn Crouse and their twin 17-year-old daughters, Amber and Katie, have lived in Emerald Bay in Soddy-Daisy for the last five years in a wonderful brick home. Mrs. Crouse said they built the house from a plan, but changed it to suit their busy lifestyle that includes lots of entertaining.
Throughout the house are many interesting architectural details that Mr. Crouse designed. The keystones over the transom-topped doors, windows and the fireplaces; light fixtures; columns and a functional pot rack over the kitchen’s cook top were all built by Mr. Crouse. He even crafted handsome wooden floor vents, inlaid with walnut from his grandfather’s Chickamauga, Ga., hardware store. Several leaded glass windows that Mrs. Crouse found at auctions were reframed and installed on both interior and exterior walls.
On the home’s main floor are an office, a formal dining room, a kitchen and breakfast area, a keeping room, family room and sun porch. In the dining room, painted a grayish green, is an Oriental rug and an unusual crystal and pewter chandelier, topped by a crystal pineapple. A larger, matching fixture hangs from a tray ceiling in the home’s two-story foyer. All the floors, except the ones on the sun porch, are gleaming hardwood.
The kitchen is sleek and spacious with cherry cabinets, granite counters and stainless appliances. Pewter-toned wrought iron stools on three sides of the large island provide space for casual dining, and two leaded glass windows, set above the counter and below the top cabinets, bring light into what would have been a dark corner.
A butler’s pantry with a barrel-vaulted ceiling separates the kitchen from the dining room. Here more leaded glass was used to make the doors on the cabinets above the bar sink.
In a powder room off the foyer, Mrs. Crouse has hung numerous circa-1930s and ‘40s dressing table mirrors, which she has collected over the years. She said she used Velcro to fasten them to the wall. A white porcelain sink is mounted on top of a chest, built by Mr. Crouse.
The keeping room, which is open to the kitchen, is separated from the family room beyond by a two-sided fireplace. Two over-sized upholstered chairs are pulled up to the hearth in this area for a cozy arrangement. The adjacent family room is where the Crouses gather to watch TV and is furnished with more comfortable pieces.
A back staircase leads to the second floor from the family room. Since the ceiling is high, there is a large expanse of wall beside the stairs, and Mrs. Crouse uses this space to display a collection of all shapes and sizes of clocks.
The sunroom, which opens off the keeping room, is furnished with black wicker with khaki cushions. Lots of plants, a fountain and Palladian-style windows with plantation shutters make this room light and airy.
The sunroom opens to a deck overlooking the backyard pool and patio area. In the middle of the deck Mrs. Crouse has erected a green canvas tent, framed with wrought iron pillars, that offers a shady retreat in this otherwise sunny spot. A free-standing gas fireplace makes it useable even in colder months.
The second floor of the house is devoted to bedrooms. Twins Amber and Katie each have their own rooms and baths, and there is a guest room and the master suite. The parents’ suite contains a large bath with a garden tub and walk-in shower, a master bedroom and a sitting area with a fireplace.
Katie’s room is distinguished by a loft area, reached by a ladder, which has built-in bookcases and a hammock. Amber’s room has a vaulted ceiling and a deep ledge around its top where she displays her collection of Eiffel Tower models and photos of Paris, a place she said she can’t wait to visit.
In the ground floor the Crouses have a fantastic home theater, one of Mr. Crouse’s passions, his wife said. Furnished with red leather recliners, decorated with posters and floored with a carpet patterned with film reels and popcorn boxes, it’s a movie lover’s retreat and very popular with her girls and their friends.
From the basement, a door leads to a covered porch overlooking the pool and hot tub. The Crouses are currently having an outdoor kitchen installed. When we visited, Rod Zink was laying pavers for the new area where they will have a fire pit, sink, refrigerator, two grills and a bar counter.
This busy family, which enjoys traveling and scuba diving, has the perfect house for hosting large parties. “We all like to cook,” Mrs. Crouse said, and with the new outdoor kitchen, they will have yet another place for entertaining family and friends.
E-mail Karin Glendenning at email@example.com