Endless Summer

A new Lake Martin retreat designed for family and friends is already helping create memories to last a lifetime.

Rooms in the open, vaulted living space are separated by a delineation in ceiling heights. An open hall above brings light (and views) to upstairs spaces. Photography by: Jean Allsopp.

“If you can dream it, we can build it.”

This motto, shared by Legacy New Homes owners, David Chancellor and Corbin Bartgis, is just one of the reasons Leah and Jason Ayers signed the builders to create their rustic, casual dwelling on the shores of Lake Martin. 

Choosing a house plan from residential designer Larry Furlong and a lot in The Willows, a Russell Lands On Lake Martin community, the couple imagined an idyllic getaway for themselves, three children (a junior in high school, an Auburn University student, and a recent Auburn-grad), other family, and friends. “We wanted something close enough to Auburn University and not far from our home in Vestavia Hills, with enough privacy where family and friends could gather for making memories on and off the water,” says Leah.  

- Sponsors -

To make their vision a reality, the Ayers worked closely with Legacy superintendent Chris Cooley and in-house designer Ashley Chancellor.

The family-friendly plan features water views from every room and an open design connecting living, kitchen, and dining spaces. “The main item on Leah’s design wish-list was the 25-foot vaulted ceiling and wood beams in the living room.”

The living room centers on a stacked stone fireplace. Here, a cozy sectional sofa stands ready for warming up by the fire, conversation, or just taking in the view. The kitchen, with its built-in bar and adjacent task areas (think generous pantry and laundry with extra refrigerator), as well as dining area, offers plentiful room and appointments for entertaining a crowd.

For outdoor living, a 700-square foot porch with various seating areas and a hanging swing bed overlooks the sloping lawn with fire pit and flagstone path leading to the dock. A master on the main and bunk room and guest rooms upstairs offers everyone a place to retreat at day’s end. 

The main bedroom.

“I didn’t realize how much we would enjoy our home even outside of the summer months,” says Leah. “It’s the perfect place for everyone to relax and connect and play even when we’re not in the water.” Leah adds that no one enjoys time at the lake more than the newest member of the Ayers family, a Boykin Spaniel—who they lovingly named Willow. 

The ensuite bath of the main bedroom.
A bunk room accommodates plenty of guests. A TV nook to the right of the bunks offers a spot for late-night movies.

Get the best of Birmingham delivered to your inbox

Stunning local homes, inspiring before & after projects, southern-style recipes, entertaining ideas and more!