They weren’t looking for any old in a contemporary Glenview home house, though; they had specific wants and needs: a “much more live- able house,” Karen says. “It was time for us to move on.” Her husband, David agrees, saying, “Every project you do on an older home multiplies into several other jobs.”
The couple sold their Cherokee Tri- angle home, moved into a rental, and deciding not to build, they went on the search for a home with character. In August 2019, they found a fixer-upper with high ceilings, a spacious lot of two acres and “great bones,” says the couple. It needed work, though, so the couple went to work with their design- er, Joan Waddell of J. Waddell Interiors and contractor John Waller, owner of Waller Design Group, for a complete renovation. The home went from a contemporary style to an open, transi- tional ranch home with 3-bedrooms, 4-full-and-2-and-a-half baths, a bil- liard room and a bourbon room. “The house had great bones and structure to it, but the layout was really bad,” John says. “The floorplan wasn’t functional...there was no flow to it at all; all the living spaces were very segregated. My big goal was to open the house up, make it feel warm and feel comfortable for guests and entertaining.” Work began in October 2019 as the team gutted the home down to the studs, creating a more pri- vate master bedroom and bath from a previous sunroom, open- ing up the space with both square footage and light. The once small kitchen was ripped out to create an eat-in area and 10-foot Quartz island with custom cabinets from John Waller. The tile behind the range was individually handmade to go with the two-toned hutch- style cabinets on both sides. The bathrooms were styled with natural stone and a waterfall tower in the master. “It had to be done perfectly,” John says.
The tile goes from light to dark blue. “I’ve been in the industry for 28 years, so for something to impress me is hard, but that really impressed me,” says John about the workmanship and detail. John had the idea for the bourbon room, and after the designer’s OK, he began work with David on a custom entertainment room. John and his team set out to Kelvin Cooperage and loaded trucks with bar- rels and staves with bungs intact. Then, he added floating sleeves on the wall with frosted glass and LED lights to highlight David’s extensive bourbon collection.
The flooring throughout was sanded and stained darker, and the floor in the foyer was replaced to create a custom chevron design. The couple made sure the home was accessible so they could “age in place,” Karen says. “We moved both parents into more accessible homes; we thought about this as we built the home...everything is adaptable.” This meant the staircase, once encased, is now open and all doorways were widened. The front door gives everyone some- thing to talk about, as it is a modern, custom-made steel commercial door weighing 1,400 pounds.
The front of the home was extensively changed with the addition of a covered porch, and new windows that mimicked the style of the front door with copper tops. “It completely changed the style of the house, and many neighbors have thanked us,” says Karen. The backyard was once a 10-by-10 concrete slab with a pool, but David took on the project with landscaper Jeff Skelton with Frank Otte Nursery to create a serene space. The couple says they live out on the covered back porch, enjoying the stone fireplace.
The couple and contractor agree that the collaboration between the team made the project easier. “We tried to do things ourselves and failed miserably,” David says. “The process was very easy. We got along so well.” John Waller won Best Full House Remodel from the Building Industry Association for his work on the home. “The aes- thetics of the house, the way it turned out, were awesome,” John says. “It was a transformation. I’m just really proud of it.”
You can contact Waller Design Group at (502) 639-6494 9 or [email protected]