On the Market profiles homes for sale in the Philadelphia region.
When John and Melissa Potter set out to custom-build their home in Chester Springs in 2001, their goal was to incorporate nature as much as possible.
"We've been horticulturalists our whole lives," John Potter said. "We wanted to be connected to the outdoors."
The Potters, who were recent empty nesters, were moving from Malvern when they found a 40-acre parcel of land in Chester County. Situated in the middle of conserved land, the property also provided them with the privacy they wanted.
The process was not a quick one. It took a few years to find the land, and another long period until construction was completed.
"After we purchased the land we spent quite a bit of time on the land, just trying to get a feel for the best location where the house could be, and take advantage of the abundant natural features," Potter said.
The couple, who had never custom-built a home before, knew what to do from working in the industry. Potter had been a landscape designer with his own business for many years, and his wife worked with him.
"The design process evolved over decades of visiting my clients in different homes," Potter said. "I've been fortunate to meet with clients in magnificent homes, and I would just pay attention to what I was looking at."
They said the end result – a 5,500-square-foot home with views of the outdoors from every room – was worth it.
The Potters worked with local architect Dave Rowland to design the home so that it would get maximum sunlight in the winter, and still be well-shaded in the summer. They designed the entire west end of the home all glass, which overlooks the rolling hills.
The nature features don't stop there. Inside, they added many trees and other plants inside to use as room dividers.
"It's a wide open floor plan," Potter said. "It's very expansive and free-flowing."
The couple also put in a large indoor pond by the front door with cascading waterfalls, which Potter said provides a calming sound.
The home, with four bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths, also has radiant heat throughout and smart home technology.
Outside, there's a wrap-around deck, two ponds, and outdoor seating areas.
Now, after more than a decade of living in their home, the Potters are retired and are looking to downsize. They have put their home on the market for $1.997 million.
"It's a very peaceful place to be; it's calming," Potter said. "I think that's the best feature about it."