The real estate boom of the mid-2000s changed the character of our community. In many new neighborhoods, you could easily imagine you were driving on the outskirts of Florence. It was a case of supply and demand. Med-Rev architecture was in vogue, and the Tuscan variation was especially popular. Thousands of Italianate homes popped up to meet that demand. Although the real estate bubble burst in 2008, the legacy of the boom endures. Especially in the homes of Lakewood Ranch.
In April 2017, one of those Tuscan-style homes was for sale in the Lakewood Ranch Golf & Country Club. The homeowners’ first impression? The old house was showing its age. Its style was out-of-style; its appliances were far past their warranty dates. Aside from its old-fashioned appearance, the house also needed a lot of work. That’s the reason they quickly bought the place. Why?
TIP #1: Decide what you want. The design and permitting process can last up to three months before construction begins. Don’t rush it. Be clear on what you want. Don’t settle for a plan you merely like. Think it through until you come up with a plan you love.
Because the homeowners saw beyond appearances. And they liked what they saw. The house had good bones and a lot of potential. They wanted to unleash that potential and bring it up to contemporary standards. That’s easy to say. But hard to do. The homeowners’ ambitions transcended mere remodeling. Nothing less than total reinvention was what they had in mind. It was a job for the experts. Fortunately, they knew exactly whom to call: Cabex Construction and Cabinets Extraordinaire.
After buying the structure, the homeowners wasted no time. First, they completely gutted it. After taking the house apart, they started putting it back together. Upstairs, the homeowners merged two bedrooms into one and added a walk-in wardrobe. Once their new master bedroom was complete, they moved in and quickly got to work on the rest of the structure.
TIP #2: Create an inside-outside layout. The boxy look is old news. Contemporary homeowners want a bright, clean, uncluttered space. Avoid low ceilings and claustrophobic dark zones.
Downstairs, they started from the ground up. They put down new flooring: white oak hardwood in a seafoam shade. After that, the kitchen got extra loving care. They created a practical island layout and installed state-of-the-art cabinets. An arsenal of stainless steel, Miehle appliances introduced the latest 21st century technology. Future chefs would be pleased.
Form followed function throughout the reinvention, but some changes were for looks alone. The homeowners installed bi-fold front doors at the entry and added more sliding doors at the perimeter of the great room. That space had originally been closed off. Stepping inside the house, your first impression was a wall. They got rid of it. Instead, you now see a view of the lake and the golf course beyond it.
TIP#3: Technology is your friend. High-tech features take your home to the next level. These range from convenience and security to networked media systems. This tech is cutting-edge now, but it’s quickly becoming the standard.
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TIP #4: You get what you pay for. Unless you are a home-renovation expert, find one. Do your research, and choose a firm with a high reputation for its quality, workmanship and products. Choose a designer who listens to your ideas and requirements.
A dramatic glimpse of the outside world is good, and it’s even better when there’s something to do outside. The homeowners installed a pool and a tricked-out outdoor kitchen and transformed wasted exterior space into more living space. Many changes were pleasing to the eye, but others were nearly invisible. Take that seemingly ordinary faucet in the kitchen. You activate it with touchless sensors. The cabinets ? These open with a delicate tap, thanks to hidden servomotors.
All these changes added up. After 21 months, their old house had a new style, new layout and new technology. The homeowners had radically transformed an out-of-date living space — without making radical structural changes.
The moral of the story? You don’t have to settle for a house that fits you like a bad suit. Change is possible. With the right team, anything is possible.
Article originally found in The Observer.