As promised, here’s a first peak inside the SpringHouse Restaurant we’ve just completed. The SpringHouse is a collaboration between Russell Lands and renowned southern chef Chris Hastings. It’s located in a new town center development that Russell Lands is creating near Lake Martin in southeastern Alabama, near Alexander City.
Jeff Dungan, of our sister company Dungan Nequette Architects, designed the SpringHouse to look like a collection of old stone farm buildings. The main portion of the building, shown here, houses the Dining Room. The huge lawn you see in the foreground is designed for outdoor events — we’re co-hosting something here later this summer and think it’s going to be the perfect place for a early evening lawn party!
The Waiting Hall is the first thing guests see upon entering the building. Displayed throughout the room are images we collected from Russell Lands’ photo archives. We love to display collections in big groups like this and with nearly every person entering the building stopping to check the photographs out, so far it’s proved to be a very popular feature of the design! Built-in benches and comfy leather chairs create a cozy spot to have a drink and wait for a table during the busiest times of day. The hostess stand you see here is actually an antique English church pulpit we found at Robert Hill Antiques in Birmingham.
We worked with our friends at The Loretta Goodwin Gallery in Birmingham to select artwork that is all created by Alabama or Georgia based artists. In the Waiting Hall is a beautiful piece by Alabama artist Janet Lucas. The stone walls, which continue from the exterior, were built with materials quarried locally.
Each corner of the main dining room features an L-shaped banquette, creating intimate areas within the larger space. We selected oversized burlap shades to hang over each banquette area to make these little corners feel even more special and distinct. The small, rural-themed painting here is by Millie Goesch. The wall sconces which are placed throughout the main dining room are all antique. Village Firefly in Mountain Brook Village helped us locate fifteen distinct pairs — we thought mixing up the fixtures would be more fun than just using the same one thirty times. We selected the cream leather chairs to bring some lightness into what could have been a very brown space. We think their sleek silhouette is a sophisticated contrast to some of the more rustic elements in the space.
A view of the Dining Room from the Balcony area. A huge stone fireplace defines the space — and the SpringHouse chefs prepare a specialty dish inside the fireplace each day. The smell of woodsmoke and wonderful food cooking on the fire really adds to the experience of dining here!
A view of the Balcony dining area and Upstairs Bar. There is an identical bar on the first floor as well. The feeling up here is great because you really feel tucked up in the timber framing of the building. During the winter season, the Balcony will serve as the main dining area.
The views from the double stacked porches on the back of the building are amazing!–you can see for miles across beautiful rolling hills. Russell Lands is in the process of adding a stable and riding trails and by the end of the summer, horses will graze in pastures just beyond the edge of the porch. On the Downstairs Porch there are two corner fireplaces, one featuring a grouping of teak furniture that’s the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail on a summer evening.
One of our favorite things to do in a great restaurant is to check out the restrooms!–and we kept that in mind when we designed the ones at The SpringHouse.
We chose this great glass tile from Kenny & Company because its tones reminded us of the lake. A huge concrete trough sink features motion activated bronze spouts — no handles! The driftwood twig mirror (from our shop) is another fun reference to the woods and lake. We’re still on the hunt for a vintage taxidermy fish for the mens room!
Hidden in the lower level of The SpringHouse is an underground tunnel that features private wine storage for guests. At the end of the tunnel is a round, brick-walled private dining room. We aren’t completely finished outfitting it yet, but we are sure it’s going to a favorite spot for special dinners when it’s complete!
And yes, we havebeen lucky enough to try the food and it’s AMAZING. We are so excited and pleased with the way this project has turned out, and we hope that you’ll have a chance to visit the lake soon and check out Russell Crossroads and The SpringHouse soon.