Only a developer as seasoned as David Yost could pull this off
Living room of “the Perfect House,” 12209 Grand Cedar Lane. [BRYAN TERRY PHOTOS/THE OKLAHOMAN]
Developer David Yost and designer-real estate agent Joyce Brown worked together to build “the Perfect House” at 12209 Grand Cedar Lane in Yost’s Stonemill Manor neighborhood, a small enclave next to his larger Stonemill addition a quarter-mile west of Coltrane Road on the south side of NE 122.
Developer David Yost and designer-real estate agent Joyce Brown in “the Perfect House” at 12209 Grand Cedar Lane.
Kitchen at 12209 Grand Cedar Lane, which David Yost has dubbed “the Perfect House.”
A view of the multipurpose utility room at 12209 Grand Cedar Lane.
A view of the master bedroom at 12209 Grand Cedar Lane. [BRYAN TERRY PHOTOS/THE OKLAHOMAN]
A view of the master bathroom at 12209 Grand Cedar Lane.
Park and trails at Stonemill Manor, a quarter-mile west of Coltrane Road on the south side of NE 122.
Pergola in the park at Stonemill Manor, a small enclave next to the larger Stonemill neighborhood by developer David Yost.
A couple of years ago, seasoned developer David Yost hit upon an idea to stimulate interest in one of his neighborhoods: A show house, but more than a show house: “the Perfect House.”
It took a couple of years to build: 4,720 square feet, two bedrooms down and two bedrooms up, three baths, a half-bath, a study, formal dining room, casual dining area, big game room and a multipurpose utility room at 12209 Grand Cedar Lane in Stonemill Manor, a small enclave next to his larger Stonemill neighborhood a quarter-mile west of Coltrane Road on the south side of NE 122.
It took a village to put bricks and mortar and style and finish to the vision that Yost and Joyce Brown brainstormed. Brown is a real estate agent, designer and Yost’s sometimes business partner. Lots are available in Stonemill Manor. The idea was to literally set the standard for what is expected of custom builders.
“We came up with a novel — maybe crazy — idea: Why couldn’t a developer with 35-plus years’ experience working with luxury homebuilders, and a multiple winner of the Realtor Readers’ Choice Award, who is a gifted interior designer, who studied design in Paris, build a perfect home? A home that would showcase the quality that we demand in Stonemill Manor?” he wondered. “My close relationship with the best-ofthe-best subcontractors would assure excellent craftsmanship.
“There would be no financial or time constraints, Joyce would have the time and budget to give full expression to her superb interior design and staging talents, and I could obtain a retired builder/ subcontractor to oversee and manage all phases of construction. The idea, once germinated, became an obsession and we dived in. Well, 22 months later, we have finished the epic endeavor, and darned if it doesn’t seem, to us, like it is ‘Perfect.’
What makes it perfect? That takes some telling, as well as photography.
“The house is a perfect balance of form and function. The performance of the house makes you feel comfortable, and the beauty of the house makes you want to stay, to linger,” Brown said. “A home should be designed in such a way to make everyday living easier and more enjoyable. This house manifests those principles into tangible elements that embrace you and draw you in.
“We wanted the style of the home to stand the test of time. Our inspiration was an old-mansion look mixed with modern elements.”
How did they get to “perfection”?
“Caveats aside, I think we were able to build the house to the highest standards because we had no timetable for completion and no budget constraints,” Yost said. “We were convinced that if we treated each aspect of the building process as if it were the most important of all, and not accept the result until it was flawless, we could build the ‘perfect’ house. And from building the pad and footing, to hanging the mirrors, and final paint touch-up, that’s what we did.
“Of course the key to that being possible was to have the most talented and experienced subcontractors available and willing to work for us, and I believe we were able to do that.”
Drawing upon experience
A less seasoned developer wouldn’t dare, and probably couldn’t.
“For the past 45 years, I’ve been totally immersed in the world of land development, and have known the great builders from Henry Coffeen, Earl Austin, J.W. Mashburn and Mark Dale to name a few, through our present group of highquality, young builders,” Yost said. “I have worked with their architects and designers, their engineers and subcontractors and have developed friendships and working relationships with many of the best of them. I knew the subcontractors I wanted to actually build our house, and I had to be very patient when scheduling them.”
Yost is perhaps known best for his commitment to natural resource conservation, especially tree preservation. He has his own tree farm. A builder in one of his neighborhoods has to be willing to sculpt a lot from the woods, surrendering any trees only to the footprint of the house itself. Choosing the best lot for that, with big, mature trees, was the first step toward the “Perfect house.”
“I worked with Tim Johnson, my engineer, to establish a pad elevation that would take most runoff away from the house and to the street, which fits the overall neighborhood drainage plan. This involved a good amount of fill (dirt), which was carefully compacted to avoid settling,” Yost said. “Raising the pad elevation gave the facade of the house a more imposing look from the street and provided a superb view of the adjacent park with the waterfall and stream, and made them not only visible, but audible, as well.”
Then, a highly sought after foundation contractor was brought in to build an oversize footing and stem wall for extra support; a framing contractor recommended by Don Chesser used upgraded 2-by-6’s for outside walls, heavier-duty trusses at closer spacing than is typical, and erected one especially long clear span requiring a Glulam beam (glued laminated timber) specified by a structural engineer, who also double checked other loading.
The ‘Perfect house’ has Grand Manor roofing shingles by CertainTeed, more expensive but worth it, Yost said, open-cell spray foam insulation instead of typical blown-in insulation, for extra energy efficiency and quiet, and three Carrier heatand-air units.
Yost drew on decades of relationship and experience: A-list plumbing contractor, electrician, drywall installer, painter, a tile contractor “who turned out to be a true artiste” and did “stunning” work, heat-and-air contractor Don Hawkins, whose father installed the HVAC in Yost’s first rental project 45 years ago.
“Joyce and I couldn’t be happier with our Stonemill Manor show home,” Yost said. “As the developer of the neighborhood, I wanted it to represent my commitment to be the best upscale neighborhood in our market area.”
A virtual tour of the home is available at www.stonemillmanorshowhome.com.
Brown explained what makes the rooms and spaces “Perfect.”
“Is it possible to have a love affair with your kitchen? The allure of this kitchen attracts you to spend time in it, whether you’re cooking or not,” Brown said. “The reason you may feel a seductive attraction to the space is the perfect balance of form and function. The form is shaped by floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, sparkling lighting, quartz exterior countertops, designer backsplash and a skillfully crafted built-in china hutch,” Brown said.
“The function is attained by way of a carefully planned appliance layout, which makes everyday cooking & social gatherings a breeze.
“To help keep everything clutter-free, a working pantry provides space to stow the unsightly countertop appliances, while providing additional work space. Joining form and function together is a large 5-by-9-foot island, crowned with a gorgeous slab of granite to become the focal point of the space. The island is free from built-in appliances to create an unobstructed centerpiece, and provide uninhibited space for party layouts and work space.”
“The living room has a cathedral ceiling with wood beams and the cast-stone fireplace has a mirrored focal wall above. All the main living areas are open and flow one space to another — even out to a 600-square-foot outdoor living area. Three large sliding glass doors open from the indoor living to the outdoor living. Remote control Phantom screens enclose the tiled patio, with fireplace, making it useable year-round and doubling the entertaining space,” Brown said.
“The spacious formal dining area sparkles from the light of a crystal chandelier, against the backdrop of a hand-painted focal wall ... the ‘final touch,’ (using) the other areas and colors of the home as inspiration so the wall would feel like an organic part of the overall design. A traditional coffered ceiling, columns and chevron wood floor frame the space,” she said.
“Every woman dreams of this space,” Brown said. “To begin with, the room is beautiful, with vintage marble floors, glass pendant lighting, quartz counters and shiplap feature wall with open shelves. If you’re enjoying a game or HGTV in the outdoor living area and feel a little thirsty — no problem. The multipurpose utility space is conveniently located nearby, where a refrigerator space & wet bar/utility sink are tucked just inside its carefully planned layout.
“At the opposite end is a built-in floating desk with leathered granite top for your favorite project, and a walk-in storage closet to stow whatever your heart desires. The finishing touch is a swinging butler’s pantry door — just in case your hands are full.
“Traditional trims are combined with modern finishes to create a relaxing, elegant space,” Brown said. “From its generously sized sitting area, gorgeous park views can be enjoyed through the large picture window. A door adjoins the bedroom to the outdoor living area for a cozy snuggle by the fireplace. The tray ceiling with dental molding exhibits the attention to detail, as each of the 400 blocks of dental molding were individually cut and installed by hand.
Master bath, closet
“Floor-to-ceiling marble tile, herringbone marble tile floor, marble countertops, soaker tub, incredible walk-in shower completely encased in marble tile. The closet was designed like a boutique with pull-down hanging rods, designer lighting, and a floor-to-ceiling mirror with a hidden velvet-lined jewelry cabinet,” she said.
“The mix of traditional, warm, stained wainscoting and new-trend Sputnik lighting. It’s not at the front door entry, so you won’t have to apologize for a messy desk when an unexpected guest pops by for a visit. The gorgeous view to the park and lots of natural light.
“The views, the views the views. The house was designed to take advantage of the truly enchanted park that it adjoins. You can hear the sounds and see the beauty of the park stream and waterfalls, and take a quick stroll on the park trails to the putting green and picnic in the rock pavilion with a working water wheel. ... The outdoor grill is tucked away on a connected grilling enclosure. Accessibility to outdoor spaces was carefully planned, with four doors opening to the 600-square-foot outdoor living space. The window placement was designed to provide natural light to every part of the home, while every window also provides a gorgeous view.
For privacy, the guest suite is positioned at the opposite end of the home from the master. The only problem may be that your guests will never want to leave. Highfashion lighting, white oak cabinetry, leathered counter and vessel sink. Floating staircase with hand-made, custom-designed, wroughtiron railing.”
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