Enter Bill and Lindie Yardleys' circa-1926 English manor home in the Derby community of Highland on the Lake and feel transported to a different era.
Theirs is part of the original Kellogg estate when that family owned land from Route 5 to Lake Erie. Two Kellogg daughters occupied the Yardleys' home and a similar one next door. "What one daughter did, the other one had to do," Mrs. Yardley says, laughing.
"It is Gatsby-ish," says Bill Yardley, the general manager of Buffalo Material Handling. "It was built during Prohibition and there were wild parties here."
With help from decorator Barbara Breidenstein of Breidenstein Interiors, the Yardleys have created a cozy refuge that maximizes the couple's enjoyment of the outdoors, even in winter, when they cross-country ski and hunt on their acreage.
"It's really an all-seasons house," gushes Yardley. "And it's beautiful in the autumn, just fantastic."
Preserving the home's original features wherever possible makes its rich history come alive; the property is always interesting and comforting, even during sometimes frightful winter weather.
"This is the winter room," says Mrs. Yardley, as she enters the stucco and beamed gunroom, as specifically named in the 1926 architectural plans. Canadian fireplace stone of unusual purple and pink tones tops a marble hearth, one of five working fireplaces in the house.
A cozy bay window seat of earth-toned plaid wool is piled with toss pillows of suede, velvet and animal prints. Hunting and fishing gear, decorative and functional, is everywhere. Arts and crafts style furnishings echo the period and match the room's warm, masculine flavor.
Nearby is the sun room, nearly all windows, which the Yardleys say is their year-round "withdrawing room." From here, they have a vast view of their land, including the heart-shaped pond and orchard beyond.
Looking for the consummate winter touch in the sun room? Try the Yardleys' Canadian fireplace on a thermostat, which clicks on automatically when the temperature dips.
White lacquered wood, bamboo furniture and cushions of mauve, taupe and sea green prints lend a summery, fresh feeling -- a welcome relief in the winter.
"We don't feel closed-in at all," Yardley says. "It's beautiful. We're into the birds and wildlife."
Mrs. Yardley agrees.
"When you've got snow up to here, you have a clear view; you feel like you're sitting in the snow. It's the best of both worlds, inside and out."