A Home that Works!

Photograph by Home Works Remodeling

Due to a shortage of available properties, homeowners are electing to stay in their homes and invest in updates to meet their needs as they age instead of automatically thinking about moving. They’re getting creative about how to adapt their existing residence and investing more in interior cosmetic updates that will make their home feel like new for years to come.

A freestanding, ranch-style condo in Middleton is a perfect example of this trend. The owners not only wanted to make the existing space work better for their evolving lifestyle, but also to accommodate the challenge of bringing in an elderly parent on a permanent basis. This adds to their list of needed improvements as their empty nest becomes an evolving nest.

It was important for the owners to find a remodeler who would work on and completely refinish one level of the 1980s walk-out basement while the owners continued to live in the space as the rest of the home was worked on. The interior definitely was still living in the 80s: very monochromatic and lacking contrast or interesting texture and detail. Color contrast, texture, and small details became important for creating a big impact in smaller spaces. Pulling the color scheme and textures throughout both levels of the home creates consistency and a feeling that the home is larger than it actually is.

The entire color scheme was built around the clients' love of the Cambria quartz chosen for the countertops. This is a great way to build a color plan: start with one feature that you love and build off of those colors. Creative touches, like staggering the cabinet depths, creates a more three-dimensional feel. The beveled subway tile echoes this theme. The addition of the snack bar extending from the main counters creates a comfortable space for the family’s new addition to sit and be involved in meal preparation, allowing her to truly be an active part of the household.

One aspect of this space that needed to be highlighted was the vaulted ceilings. The recessed can lights really showcase this feature and add to the illusion of more space. Long-lasting and energy-efficient LED lights were used to reduce the frequency of changing since they are high up and difficult to reach.

Great Room/Living Room
With the addition of stone, the fireplace becomes a focal point, as well as a way to continue the color scheme while adding some serious texture to a room that was previously devoid of contrast. Replacing the outdated mix of flooring materials with new wood floor throughout highlights the flow of the open floor plan and gives a unified appearance while minimizing tripping hazards. Following a popular design trend of placing a television over the fireplace creates a clean look but does not always create the best viewing angle. An easy-to-use and lightweight mount can be pulled down to place the television in the best line of sight while watching.

Since the stairway of a two-level-style home is a well-frequented space, it should be visually interesting and not just functional. The grey tones in the new railing tie it in with the greys of the kitchen cabinets and the stones in the fireplace facing. Making an art alcove utilizing the same stonework as the fireplace creates yet another focal point in an unexpected place and adds even more texture. Again, the contrast between the warm wood tones and the cooler grey of the railing adds unexpected interest in a space that is often not given enough attention.

Master Bath
Incorporating interesting tile accents in the shower and vanity backsplash creates a theme that flows through both areas of the master bath. A genius touch was installing the wood-look ceramic tile flooring on a slant to create visual interest and movement through the space. Using the same cabinets as in the kitchen continues the cohesive style of the home.

Powder Room
Again, small details like the shape of the custom-made counter that houses the vessel sink creates visual interest and texture, and makes this small space truly unique. The powder room is a small area where you can really show off your personality with some special design touches.

This project was very satisfying to work on because we were able to achieve all of the homeowners’ goals without completely disrupting their lives. A combination of small design changes; updating basics, such as the flooring materials and the kitchen cabinets; and incorporating statement areas, like the stairway alcove, made the home feel like a new one for a new phase in this family’s life.

Wendy Jensen works at Home Works Remodeling and Megan Fields is owner of Rivendell DesignWorks LLC.

Photographs provided by Home Works Remodeling.

View additional photographs at homeelementsandconcepts.com .

Home Works Remodeling
8820 N. Greenview Drive
Middleton, WI 53562

Rivendell DesignWorks LLC
5610 Medical Circle
Madison, WI 53719