“Our idea of lake living is relaxed, not formal,” states Greg Rooker. “So the house had to have an open, airy feel to it along with lots of windows to take advantage of the 3 1/2-mile view of the lake and mountains.” Rooker shared his dream of building a house on this point on Claytor Lake with his wife, Fran, when they were dating back in the late 1970s. Growing up, he spent a lot time enjoying Claytor Lake with his family. His newspaper career took him to other states to live and work, but the lake and the New River Valley tugged on his heartstrings.
“I decided I wanted to return to southwest Virginia and particularly Claytor Lake,” he recalls. Location was important, especially easy access to the water and to I-81 for heading to work or going anywhere in the NRV. Soon after getting married, the couple purchased the three lots which span an arc of property with approximately 300 feet of waterfront. Then they started planning with their good friend and architect, Luther Cain.
“We decided on a passive solar, modern design,” Fran relates. “And we chose cypress siding and steel-shingled roofing for lower maintenance.” The great room is Fran’s favorite space for its lake views and open flow to the kitchen. The room evokes an incredible warmth with its floor to ceiling stone fireplace, pine cathedral ceiling with fir beams and large windows with wood trim. An angled breakfast bar looks into a modern kitchen with a prep island and stainless steel appliances. There are two bedrooms and bath also on the main floor.
The 2nd floor master suite is a haven of privacy and space with a large bedroom, private sitting room, luxurious full bath and an attached office/den all off a walkway which overlooks the great room below. The lower level features another floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, bedroom and full bath. The house was completed in 1981 and was ahead of its time for contemporary style and passive solar system.
It is the outdoor lifestyle here that captures the spirit of lake living. Make that relaxed lake living. From the picnic tables, garden, fire pit and hammock to the lakeside decks, docks, boat house, lift and guest house, the property is stunning. “Sitting on a deck is my favorite spot,” says Greg. “There’s something soothing and restorative about pondering the water, and the sunsets can be spectacular.”
The waterfront guest house is an adorable A-frame structure with its own full deck on two sides. Sleeping quarters on the main floor and in the loft offer versatile space, and a full bath and small kitchen render it completely functional. “Many boaters passing by have said they could live comfortably in our little guest house,” Fran adds. There’s also a guest boat dock and swimming dock. Back up next to the house is a 3-car garage with workshop space and windows that capture the view.
The Rookers would not change anything about their 3,864-square foot, 4 BR, 4 BA lake house even if they could. “We have upgraded the house through the years, including a total renovation of the A-frame guest house, boat house, docks and boat lift. But we totally enjoy our floor plan, design and style,” Greg declares. “And the views. And the water. And sunsets.” This is relaxed lake living at its finest.

Text by Joanne M. Anderson  |  Photos by Sean Shannon, courtesy of Nest Realty


This one-owner property is offered for sale by Rachel Hogan and information can be found at: