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A new waterfront home in the mountains of Virginia pays tribute to Smith Mountain Lake’s 50-year history, and to a growing family of four generations.
The shores of Virginia’s Smith Mountain Lake have long been a sought-after spot for fishing, water sports, residential development and generations of lake-loving residents and visitors. As the largest lake contained entirely within the state of Virginia, Smith Mountain Lake has seen steady growth and development since the mid-1960s when it was created, including unique restaurants and nearby wineries, marinas and public beaches. It is also home to some impressive lakefront residences, from upscale condominiums to expansive single-family homes.
Linda Strup’s family first visited in the 1970s after relocating to Virginia from Michigan. A search for the perfect spot for waterfront camping led them to Smith Mountain Lake. More than 30 years later, Linda and her husband, Tom, continue sharing their love of the lake with new generations of friends and family.
“This is where I learned to sail,” says Strup. “Our kids grew up here. They gave up playing summer sports so they could spend more time at the lake. We taught our friends and family how to water-ski here. One of our sons proposed to his now wife at the lake.”
In 2009, when both of their sons were engaged, the Strups began looking for a larger home to accommodate their growing family, which now includes three grandchildren and a fourth on the way. Though they initially did not want to build, they turned to builder and designer—and now friend—John Brock to help them create a comfortable, casual, family-friendly home at the lake.
“Our priorities were for the home to be comfortable and casual,” says Strup. “We wanted a lake house, not a showpiece. This is a house for living. We chose fabrics you can sit on with wet bathing suits.”
Natural materials and colors of the lake—blues, greens and taupes—enhance the casual, comfortable feel the couple was after. The main floor, built around a show-stopping stone fireplace, is open and flows from the living room to the dining room and into the kitchen. And no matter where you’re standing, you have a spectacular view of the lake thanks to tall windows and French doors along the rear of the house, allowing tons of natural light into the space.