There’s a tremendous leap of faith in turning your house over to strangers and giving them carte blanche to renovate it. That leap and the results kept America tuned into a Waco, Texas, couple for five years.
But how much bigger is the leap when your home isn’t a fixer-upper but one you built in 1975?
That was the leap Alan Emery took. Emery, who built his home with his late wife, loved the location and his neighbors. He didn’t want to move. He wanted to update.
What began as “Let’s take down the wall between the kitchen and the living room” became a complete renovation. The removal of a load-bearing wall resulted in an open floor plan. “It’s my favorite room,” Emery says. “This room proves an older house can be successfully updated.”
Emery turned to Arlene Ladegaard of Design Connection, Inc. for all design decisions — everything from tile and paint to fixtures and furniture.
“The client told us, ‘Just do it; I trust you,’” Ladegaard says. “That makes such a difference in the result. My team and I were able to implement everything from the biggest decision to the smallest detail, from the initial plan to the last accessory in place.”
The wall between the kitchen and living room was replaced by a 17-foot beam. A brick fireplace was covered with clean, crisp tile, and the dated kitchen was transformed with quartz counter tops, white cabinetry and a glass tile backsplash. The tile picks up colors used throughout the home and ties the space together. The result is a space filled with light.
The new living room has plenty of side tables and comfortable furniture, as well as a custom-made leather ottoman on casters. The artwork reflects the texture of the sectional and lends the space contemporary flair. “I put everything in Arlene’s hands,” Emery says. “She picked all the art. There’s not a single piece I would have picked on my own, but I love them all.”
The warm grays used in the room play a starring role in the master bath. White cabinets, silver wallpaper, new fixtures, a free-standing tub, a zero-clearance entry shower and heated 12-by-24-inch tile installed on the horizontal create a luxurious room.
The master bedroom is also a study in gray, from the sheen of the plush carpet on the floor to the serene shade on the walls. The bed was custom-upholstered in gray linen and accented with polished nickel nailheads. Because space was limited, Ladegaard selected two narrow side chests. Their dark finish is offset by crystal lamps.
The project took nine months, but Emery is quick to praise Ladegaard and her team. “If my wife were here, she’d love it,” he says. “If I had to do it over again, I would."