ARCADIA — Down a landscaped slope from the patio that wraps around their rural home east of Edmond, Tom and Lisa Price have surrounded their swimming pool with an eclectic collection of objects, including a teak daybed, a decorative gong and a teeter totter.
The teeter totter is a few yards from the fire pit where Tom Price said cigars have been smoked and the issues of the world have been addressed. It’s a favorite metaphor used by the former Chesapeake Energy Corp. executive when he talks about finding the “I win/you win” in any situation.
“If somebody’s a jerk and leaves you stuck up high” on the teeter totter, “you’ll figure out a way to climb down, but it’s no fun,” Price said. “But if you both balance in the middle, and work together, you help each other.”
The Prices are using that “I win/you win” philosophy to market the more than 7,600-square-foot house in the Sugar Hill addition, which they built in 2007.
As an incentive for any referral that leads to a buyer, the couple is offering a $25,000 contribution to the charity of “the party that the buyer identifies as the one who referred him to us,” Tom Price said.
Since leaving his post at Chesapeake Energy last year, Price’s focus has been on “making Oklahoma better.” To that end, he and Lisa have “worked with community leaders” to discover how to connect resources with needs. They also are living in Colorado to be near grandchildren, but are in Oklahoma City often tending to business interests.
Lisa Price said their secluded house, “surrounded by nature” and ideal for entertaining in its harmonious flow from indoor to outdoor comfort and livability, had been an inviting stage for gatherings that “we hope have facilitated those connections.”
The home is so surrounded by nature that it can’t be seen from the street. That’s one reason the Prices took the still unusual step of using a drone to capture video of the place. The drone company contractor was Gary Sleeper Productions, a videographer that worked extensively with Chesapeake on projects in the Barnett Shale in Fort Worth, Texas, for many years — and a personal friend of Tom Price for nearly 50 years.
“We used a drone to give a potential buyer a sense for how the house looks from above and from angles they could not see the house and adjacent property on foot,” Price said. “We shot the footage during the winter when the spring foliage had not yet developed the canopy, which protects the house and our privacy for most of the year.”
He added, “Many people want to show off their homes by putting them right on the street. We wanted something different: a nice, quiet, tranquil place where we could share the beautiful ambience of east Edmond with our closest friends and for private charitable fund-raisers and celebrations of parties for community improvement efforts.”
The Prices, who had never built a home before, chose architect Bruce Bockus, of Bockus-Payne Associates Architects. and Mark Dale, of Carriage Homes, to design and build the home. Lark Dale, Mark’s wife and an associate with Paradigm AdvantEdge Real Estate, now has the listing.
Lisa Price said the couple worked with Bockus to incorporate some of the most memorable elements of international architecture they had collected during years of travel.
Nestled on an undulating, wooded, 10-acre lot, the house itself is hidden from view, appearing only as visitors approach across a quarried low-water bridge on the driveway.
The foyer is a serene, light and spacious transition from the lushly landscaped exterior to the great room, framed through the tranquil filter of a floor-to-ceiling glass panel water-art installation.
The house flows immediately into the master study, a paneled library-office overlooking the treetops that connects to what the Prices both chose as “our favorite room” in the house: the screened-in terrace where comfortable furniture, heating and ceiling fans create a sanctuary from which to watch and listen to wildlife, or to enjoy nature’s spectacle as storms pass.
A windowed wall opens up the master bedroom to light and foliage. The connected master bath is reminiscent of spas in leading hotels: calm, light and spacious. Couples’ walk-in closets are connected via a staircase — hers upstairs, his downstairs.
A completely detailed gourmet kitchen, pantry and bar flow together at the heart of the house. Lisa designed a whimsical Travertine kitchen backsplash that integrates actual plant and animal fossils into the tiles.
“It’s to remind us” about the origins of the business that Tom built, the industry “that has been the foundation of Oklahoma’s economy,” she said.
Indeed natural gas — the byproduct of all those fossils — is seen around the house, with fire features punctuating the main entry, the great room and the house’s outdoor entertaining spaces.
The house has four bedrooms, one as an attached apartment with a private entry, and 4 1/2 bathrooms, complemented by an exercise room, a darkroom, a safe room and a wine cellar.
Even in a hot metro-area real estate market, the listing price of $3,275,000 will limit the pool of qualified buyers, so in addition to marketing the house with the $25,000 gift incentive, the Prices adopted the another unusual advertising tool — videography by drone aircraft.
Shot over eight hours of flybys last fall and edited into a sweeping overview of the house and its 50 acres of property, Lisa Price said the video was “an exciting way to show the seclusion” of the property.
“The drone perspective allows people like Lisa and me, who don't want to make a brash statement about our home to everyone by having it near the street, still be able to share its beauty and charm with those who value intimacy, privacy and want a very spiritual feeling in their home,” Tom Price said.
Real Estate Editor Richard Mize contributed to this story.