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Modernistic Marvel

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The kitchen opens into the dining room so the homeowner can cook and mingle with guests at the same time. Michael Hynansky’s quest for the perfect bachelor pad led him to a house that wasn’t his style—but sited on land that won his heart.

“I purchased the house for the property,” he says. “I love that it is secluded and backs up to trees.”

It’s a lovely setting—3.7 verdant acres in Greenville. Hynansky, president of Winner Automotive Group, appreciated that the site offered the rare combination of privacy and accessibility—with an easy commute to work.

The land couldn’t be duplicated. But he realized he could transform the contemporary stone house into the classic modernist home he envisioned as both a personal retreat and a place to entertain.

The fully equipped kitchen includes climate-controlled wine storage for up to 150 bottles. More than a year in the making, the project focused on opening up the house with large expanses of glass. Two original stone walls, now part of the foyer, and a stone fireplace were retained, along with the swimming pool.

Everything else was built from the ground up. The result is a striking three-level residence with such artistic features as a family room defined by glass walls. That feat was accomplished by bringing in windows manufactured for skyscrapers, setting the panels in an aluminum grid.

“Our goal was to open everything up,” Hynansky says. “When you walk through the front doors, you can see the sky.”

There was plenty of room for the homeowner and his guests in the original design by his New York architect. But there wasn’t a designated space for the pool table, a circa 1901 Arts & Crafts style piece with massive legs of carved oak made by Clark Herd Mfg. Co. of Philadelphia.

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The family room is defined by glass walls that were designed for skyscrapers. “I saw it in the back of a shop and had to buy it,” Hynansky says. “We wound up adding an extension to the house just so I’d have a place for it.”

That turned out to be a fortuitous choice. The wing, sheathed in glass, stone and mahogany, adds a sweeping horizontal vista to the exterior and also frames the pool outdoors. A bath, sectioned into shower and water closet areas by a tall mirror behind a central sink, is readily accessible to swimmers.

The billiards room, outfitted with a small, built-in bar, is open to a casual sitting room, which is separated by a hip fireplace and dramatic chimney that descends from the ceiling to hover above the hearth. The walls are covered in grasscloth, which adds a subtle natural texture.

“It was very important to me that the house feel warm and inviting,” Hynansky says. “Every finish was chosen keeping that in mind.”

The circa 1902 Arts & Crafts-style pool table stands on legs of carved oak. That warmth is physical, as well as visual. All the floors in the house are heated.

Oak floors and 8-foot-high flat-panel doors are stained the rich brown of coffee. Sofas and chairs are upholstered in pale tones of cream and sugar. “We wanted to keep the palette neutral and relaxed so it would complement the views rather than compete with them,” he says.

The master suite is reminiscent of a fine hotel, with plush carpeting and sumptuous linens. Luxurious floor-to-ceiling drapes frame a view of the woods outdoors. Furnishings are sleek and zen-like: a bed with a tall, upholstered headboard; a leather bench at the foot of the bed; a pair of clean-lined night stands with drawers and cubbies for books; and a tailored chair, ottoman and reading lamp, Hynansky’s favorite place to read.

There’s no fuss, no muss, no clutter in this serene sanctuary.

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The master suite features a large bed with a tall, upholstered headboard and a leather bench at its foot. The homeowner wanted to give the space a spa-like feel.“I wanted a spa-like room,” he says. “This is simple and peaceful, a place to rest away from the world.”

That sense of tranquility extends to the master bath, where a long, yacht-like vanity is topped with a counter of Jerusalem limestone. Trim, contemporary faucets are mounted on the backsplash above rectangular sinks set under the counter. There’s a large, walk-in shower so spacious, there’s no need for a door to prevent water from splashing into the room.

The lower level is ideal for guests, with two bedrooms and baths and a cozy sitting room and fireplace.

A fully equipped, professional-grade gym gets a regular workout. “I really use this,” Hynansky says. “This isn’t one of those gyms where dust gathers on the equipment.”

The casual sitting room features a modern fireplace with a chimney that hangs over the hearth. The kitchen is a hub of activity. The grain on the oak cabinetry is defined with a pale wash, then polished. It’s an updated twist on a traditional material. The space is open to the dining room, allowing Hynansky to easily interact with his guests. “I love to cook,” he says. “I love to entertain.”

His culinary feats include cooking a traditional 12-course Ukrainian seafood dinner for 35 guests. He is equally passionate about preparing a simple weekday supper for his fiancée and family.

To that end, he equipped his kitchen with professional-grade appliances, including an eight-burner Wolf cooktop, a warming drawer and a Sub-Zero refrigerator. (The matching stainless-steel handles on the pull-out pantry shelves next to the fridge are Sub-Zero hardware.) Climate-controlled wine storage can accommodate 150 bottles.

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The glass wing frames the pool area. Have a yen for tempura and steamed veggies? A deep fryer and steamer are built into the countertop. Still, a guy can never have too many small appliances. Hynansky’s most recent addition is a Japanese rice cooker that delivers perfect grains every time.

“It is probably the least expensive item in the kitchen—and the one I use the most,” he says.

Hynansky was deeply involved in designing and furnishing the house, from the massive mahogany front doors to the ivory upholstered vintage modernist chairs in the sitting room.

The reproduction of a French Empire tall-case clock in the dining room, a gift from his father, tells a story as well as the time. It’s the impressive piece filmed in the foyer of Eddie Murphy’s uptown Philadelphia manse in the movie “Trading Places.”

Because most of the 7,500-square-foot space is new, the construction phase was the optimal time for outfitting the house with the latest technology. There’s a Crestron system that allows the homeowner to control lighting, electronics and seven-zone heating and cooling. Blinds and draperies open and close with the touch of a button.

The long vanity in the master bath is topped with Jerusalem limestone.Ceiling heights range from 9 feet to 16 feet, dropping to define intimate settings and soaring in grand, loft-like spaces. That attention to detail extends to the three-car garage, which is outfitted with a single, streamlined door.

“It’s designed for an airplane hangar,” he says. “The whole thing comes up at once.”

By the pool, there’s a large grill and auxiliary kitchen. Hynansky grows herbs, tomatoes and vegetables for his kitchen in an expansive home garden, which is fenced to keep deer from turning the plot into their personal produce market.

Inside and out, it’s a great house for entertaining, a sophisticated and welcome place for guests.

But these days, Hynansky is intent on family life.

“I have truly enjoyed this house,” he says. “I know the people who live here next will enjoy it just as much.”


GET THE LOOK

  • Maximize the views. Michael Hynansky brought beautiful vistas of his wooded property indoors with large expanses of glass.
     
  • Chill out in warm spaces. Balance a cool, contemporary design with tactile materials: rich woods, earthy stones and touchable fabrics.
     
  • Go commercial. Looking for a single door for a three-car garage? Call a supplier for an airplane hangar. Need a pane of glass large enough to create an entire wall? Panels manufactured for skyscrapers fit the bill.
     
  • Find a place for things you love. Hynansky expanded the design of his home to accommodate a vintage pool table, a decision that upped the drama quotient inside and out.
     
  • Visualize your home 24-7. Skillful lighting gives the house nighttime dazzle, providing instant glow for poolside entertaining. 

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