Home & Design August 30, 2010
Astonishing Remodels
Turn your dream home into a reality

Keeping up with the latest trends is hard. Whether it’s the newest hi-tech gadget or the fall fashion lineup, the best we can hope for is a new smart phone or a mohair sweater.

But what about our homes? According to a 2008 survey, at least 73 percent of Americans engage in some form of daily household activity. Are we doing enough to keep our homes, like our phones and shoes, current?

The task of updating even a single room can be daunting. But with a focused plan and some professional guidance, interior designer Jennifer Hoey said remodels can be an approachable way to improve a home.

“With remodels, hiring a professional is the starting point because they can walk you through what needs to be done,” Hoey said. “If you have someone professional leading you through the process, you’re going to save money in the end.”

Hoey suggested a task list that focuses in on specifics to keep from getting sidetracked with other projects along the way. Architect Jeff Williams said without a clear objective, remodels can quickly become significantly more expensive than planned.

“One of the biggest problems we encounter in remodels is we start tearing down the drywall and finding all kinds of things no one knew about,” Williams said. “It’s always a discovery process.”

Although certain discoveries will necessitate extra work and money, Williams said aspiring remodelers often get carried away into improving everything instead of the few items that were initially problematic. A remodel is only sensible if the end costs are less than tearing down the entire house and starting fresh, he said. For a remodel to be the right choice, Williams said the homeowners need to appreciate the basic bones of the house and the way it functions; otherwise, they are likely to let costs spiral out of control by trying to change too much.

If a remodel is the appropriate choice, Hoey said there are many small touches that can easily transform a room.

“I think paint is such a huge way to change the look of a space,” Hoey said. “And it’s cheap too.”

She also recommended changing the hardware on cabinets and doors or altering the lighting of a room to create a new vibe.

Williams suggested adding decorative mirrors as a way to generate more light while adding a personalized element or redoing the stonework on a fireplace to change the mood of a living room.

We sought out the best examples of local homeowners who took on large projects and ended with stunning results. Whether the home needed an update in style or a complete reconfiguration, each took on specific goals and ended with success. Check out these before-and-after photos to see how remodeling can truly transform a space.

-Hailey Tucker

 

 Owners B. J. and Nancy Blair convert the garage into a media/rec room. 
BEFORE                                                                              AFTER

Owners B. J. and Nancy Blair transform the existing kitchen.
BEFORE                                                                              AFTER


THE VALLEY CLUB
The Challenge

Owners B. J. and Nancy Blair had used the home as a vacation getaway and were contemplating building a new full-time residence. In the end, they determined that the house could be modified and expanded to fit their needs year-round. Their primary focus was to transform the existing kitchen and convert the garage into a media/rec room. The challenge was in keeping the features the Blairs liked in the original house while reworking the rest.

Additional Changes

They added on: a new three-car garage, mud room, powder room, office, master closet; made modifications to the master bedroom; added a new outside fireplace, barbecue and terrace areas; and did a general reworking of the exposed woodwork of the interior and the exterior finishes. It was a fairly complete remodel of the home.

The Result

A terrific juxtaposition of contemporary and rustic, using the strong points of the existing design, then updating and expanding the home to personalize and modernize the feel.

Special Touches

In the kitchen: Italian-made custom cabinetry, bronze tile backsplash, marble island counter and a custom range hood. In the rec room, the six-foot-wide gas fireplace feature was covered with pre-cast concrete and backed with a recessed plasma television. Other custom items included a six-foot-wide-by-eight-foot-tall pivot front door and custom designed wood wall screen containing electronic photo frames for family pictures.
 


THE TEAM
Contractor: Hayward Construction
Architect: Williams | Partners Architects
 
IN THE HOME
The new rec room was an especially imaginative way to recycle space in this remodel. Where the owners once parked their cars, they can now enjoy a game of pool! The rec room lighting was done by Pink Electric, the fireplace by Ketchum Heating and the wet bar by European Marble & Granite. The new kitchen features Italian-made custom cabinetry by Poliform, a bronze tile back-splash by Hailey-based Rocky Mountain Hardware, a new Ventahood from Fisher Appliance, re-cast concrete by Cliffhangers and a wood counter top/bar by Cimarron Lofting.

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The space was transformed into a clean and modern functional space by mixing elements of old and new.
BEFORE                                                                              AFTER

WEYYAKIN
The Challenge

Modernizing and personalizing.

Additional Changes

The remodel consisted of a new kitchen and laundry room, new lighting throughout, new vanity mirrors and sconces, smooth walls replacing the existing orange peel, new doors and hardware, new carpet, all new furnishings and window treatments.

The Result

The space was transformed into a clean and modern functional space by mixing elements of old and new.

Special Touches

Custom rift-sawn oak cabinetry with specially developed finish coordinates with the existing river rock. Slab quartzite, zinc and black honed granite countertops mix together to set the new interior palette. Blackened steel details at the kitchen sink apron and spice shelf added a contemporary edge. Erin Adams’ handmade glass tiles blended the neutrals and added texture. The furnishings consist of a few of the original pieces with new items to create a modern, organic feel.


THE TEAM
Contractor: Conrad Brothers, Inc.
Interior Designer: Jennifer Hoey Interior Design
 
IN THE HOME
Countertops of honed absolute black granite and grey quartizite were accented on the wall by Erin Adams, handmade tiles through Ann Sacks Tile. Five Star Kitchens provided custom rift-sawn oak cabinetry and the island was a find from the Sundance Catalog of reclaimed wood with a zinc top that was a perfect fit.

 

Click here for more photos of this great remodel.

 

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Improving space planning and traffic flow
BEFORE                                                                              AFTER

Improving space planning and traffic flow
BEFORE                                                                              AFTER
 

WEST KETCHUM
The Challenge

To improve space planning and traffic flow. The entire second level was to be reconfigured with all new interior partitions and windows. “Ceiling beams were raised to help open up the space,” said Mike Gilman of Lee Gilman Builders, “which helped to create opportunities to add windows for better Baldy views.”

Additional Changes

The first floor was updated with all new finishes to coordinate with the extensive upstairs remodel. The open carport was redesigned into an office/shop with a shared bath and separate entrance to accommodate additional space needs and working from home.

The Result

An awkward floor plan was updated to modern living standards to accommodate this growing family’s needs. All new cabinetry, plumbing, appliances and interior finishes updated the home and improved the future resale value. Raising interior beams and working with the interior designer to reconfigure the interior walls helped create an open floor plan with great views and better flow.

Special Touches

A clean cottage look updated the style, and a palette of neutral finishes brightened the home. A whimsical feel is achieved by the choice of bold colored draperies and accents in other areas.


THE TEAM
Contractor: Lee Gilman Builders, Incorporated
Interior Designer: Jennifer Hoey Interior Design
Architect: Andrew K. Bick, Inc., AIA

IN THE HOME
European Marble and Granite provided the Carurra Marble for the baking station and gray quartzite for the countertops, while custom cabinetry by Ben Gilman and AKDO clear glass tile complete the fresh clean look. Island stools from Sundance and Hudson Valley pendant lights add unique touches. The home office is organized and simple, modernized with Flor carpet tiles and a custom cabinet configuration designed to complement work styles and provide copious storage.

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Marcus and Megan Lengyel along with their architect, Gretchen Wagner, choose to adopt “a reductive and restorative approach.”
BEFORE                                                                              AFTER

Marcus and Megan Lengyel along with their architect, Gretchen Wagner, choose to adopt “a reductive and restorative approach.”
BEFORE                                                                              AFTER
 

DEER CREEK
The Challenge

To work with the existing structure and restore what they could using the original materials, rather than simply covering it all up with new walls or drywall. Marcus and Megan Lengyel along with their architect, Gretchen Wagner, choose to adopt “a reductive and restorative approach.”

Additional Changes

There are always surprises in remodels, and decisions had to be made about structural and mechanical options that would affect future energy savings and home quality. The Lengyels choose to rectify things that were not right with the house. As a cost savings measure, they researched and bought cabinets from IKEA for the kitchen and worked with their builder and finish carpenter, Dave Yasenek, to customize them for American appliances (rather than European specifications) and to fit and fasten the Ikea-built box to the home’s unique existing framing scheme. The result was a tremendous savings and a distinctive look.

The Result

“It might have been easier to tear it down and start from scratch,” said Victor Vandenberg of Kearns, McGinnis & Vandenberg, Inc. “But the Lenygels chose to take the house back down to the original materials.” The process was thoughtful and methodical, but not without surprises. It involved ripping up old carpeting to find hardwood floors, leaving areas of brick walls exposed to add character, and sandblasting old exposed beams to remove years of dark stain before painting them in a more contemporary, cooler palette to update the look—one that leaves room for the Lenygels to live comfortably now before embarking upon the next step in their remodel—Phase II, the exterior.

Special Touches

The customization of “off-the-shelf” IKEA cabinets in the kitchen and the master bathroom. Plus, fixture upgrades, with a beautiful soaking tub, grand tiled shower and gorgeous views.


THE TEAM
Contractor: Kearns McGinnis & Vandenberg, Inc., Building Contractors
Architect: Scape Design Studio; Gretchen Wagner, AIA
Designers: Megan Lenygel & Gretchen Wagner AIA
 
IN THE HOME
Floors by Stromberg Moore Hardwoods. Not just any black, it had to be just right—not too black but not too grey. Cabinets from IKEA Cabinets. Tile design by Megan with Gretchen Wagner’s help, and installed by SPG Tile. Lighting fixtures installed by Silver Creek Electric. Painting by Accent Painting. This was very important—the owner had to have the tones just right. The Victoria & Albert IOS tub was a find at Ferguson Enterprises.

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The owners wanted to give the house a serious facelift and to bring it up to their standards of a luxury, rather than a cabin experience.
BEFORE                                                                              AFTER
 

DELLA VIEW
The Challenge

The biggest challenge was what the remodel was trying to accomplish. The owners bought the house on the Big Wood River as a “cabin experience” for their family. But after spending time in Hailey and Sun Valley, they fell in love with the location and wanted to give the house a serious facelift and to bring it up to their standards of a luxury, rather than a cabin experience.

Additional Changes

The deck was replaced with Timber Tech, a product similar to Trex, but more visually appealing. The entire house was enlarged by 200 square feet by adding a second master bedroom, bath and sitting room where an office had been. The existing wood flooring was separating and was replaced with hand-stained hickory. Also, gas-fired radiant heat was installed downstairs and every bedroom received new carpeting. In the kitchen, the bar was enlarged, the appliances were upgraded (including a new wine refrigerator). Solid granite was installed throughout. Accent lighting provided a custom look both outside and in for lighting art work throughout the interior.

The Result

Once this project was complete, the owners decided that they needed a bigger house. They purchased their next “before and after project” closer to Ketchum. And because they enjoyed the process and had such a great relationship with the contractor, Preston Ziegler along with his team of sub contractors, they are excited to begin the next make over project. Meanwhile, the Big Wood River house in Hailey is for sale. Some lucky person will reap the benefits of all that hard work.


THE TEAM
Contractor: Sawtooth Construction
Architect: Tobin Architects; Tobin Dougherty, AIA
Designer: Katherine Schlotfeldt
 
IN THE HOME
Dutchman’s Fine Cabinetry & Furniture created the custom alder enclosures for all of the electronics specified by Soundwave. Street Masonry refaced the river rock hearth using Autumn-Rose Ledgestone, while Fireplaces, Etc. replaced the wood burning fireplace with a gas burning insert, with a log kit which contributes to heating the room. Prefinished handscraped hickory was installed by Brennan’s Carpet over the radiant heat system by Sawtooth Plumbing.

 

Click here for more photos of the Della View remodel

 

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 Finding a way to update the home from an early 90's "Spanish Tuscan" to a 21st century contemporary interior, which was both streamlined and functional.
BEFORE                                                                              AFTER

Finding a way to update the home from an early 90's "Spanish Tuscan" to a 21st century contemporary interior, which was both streamlined and functional.
BEFORE                                                                              AFTER
 

WEB EXTRA
ZINC SPUR
The Challenge

Finding a way to update the home from an early 90's "Spanish Tuscan" (with whitewashed cabinetry and Saltillo tile floors throughout) to a 21st century contemporary interior, which was both streamlined and functional. The kitchen cabinetry was updated with new flat door fronts and magnet switch hardware in order to hide any exposed cabinet hardware and create a clean, modern look. The stairway wall was redesigned with a simple railing as a way to open up the room, create space, and add additional storage with the installation of a custom-built china cabinet below the staircase. A new gas-burning fireplace from Fireplaces Etc. replaced the wood burning fireplace as a way to create an alternate heat source and new cabinetry was designed and built to enclose the television, which allows it to be closed off when not in use. Existing materials were recycled when possible and the old log storage was reused as built-in toy storage for the kids.

Additional Changes

All the walls and ceilings were re-texturized from rough drywall to a smooth finish to continue the more contemporary feeling throughout. Instead of hardwood flooring, Janet Ziegler of JL2 Originals Interior Design choose natural cork flooring to give the space a softer feel and help with noise absorption. Sapele mahogany cabinets added richness to the clean, contemporary design and opaque white glass in the uppers lightened the overall effect. Improved energy efficiency was also a factor and the furnace was upgraded to a high efficiency carrier model with improved filtration and was relocated from the crawlspace to a closet on the main level. And all ductwork was cleaned and fully insulated.

The Result

A kid-friendly home with a modern, clean feel. The additional storage has created more usable living space without actually adding any square footage. And the addition of built-ins for the entertainment center and storage allows the Zieglers to use the living room for more than a TV room.

Special Touches

Time was spent sourcing unique materials that are healthier for the home, such as cork flooring, low VOC paint and an eco-friendly carpet and pad from Sun Valley Rug and Tile. Improved filtration on the HVAC system helped to improve air quality and provide a cleaner, healthier and more user-friendly home for the whole family.


THE TEAM
Contractor: Sawtooth Construction
Designer: Janet Ziegler of JL2 Originals Interior Design
IN THE HOME
To accent the sepele mahogany cabinets created by Dutchmans Fine Cabinetry and the Copper Canyon granite countertops installed by Sun Valley Rug and Tile in the kitchen, interior designer Janet Ziegler of JL2 Originals Interior Design, chose a cork floor manufactured by Seville in a marble butternut color. Lighting fixtures were provided by Advanced Data and the gas burning fireplace was installed by Fireplaces Etc. Stainless steel appliances were purchased from Fisher Appliance. In the master bath, Janet updated the entire look using basalt stone tiles accented by Carrera marble from Roemer Tile, fixtures by Danze and a contemporary tub by Posch Designs.

 

 

This article appears in the Fall 2010 Issue of Sun Valley Magazine.