A Second Homecoming

By Katie Faulkner | Photography by Creative Revolver

For Cleve and Brenda Waters, this stunning, tranquil European house is their second take on a dream home.  Married for almost 40 years, they’ve lived on a large property in a spacious home with lots of acreage for half that time. With horses, barns, fields, and a creek, the Waters were accustomed to wide open spaces and lots of hard work. But once all three of their children had moved out, the pair began toying with the idea of living a different lifestyle.

After years of consideration, they finally decided to enjoy the flipped side of life and move to a more urban setting. With the help of their son, Brandon Waters, of Waters-Holland Residential Builders, they designed and built a new version of their dream home. Located in Cambridge Square, a new neighborhood development complete with restaurants, shops, and neighbors, they found the urban setting they sought. And, since they were completely changing up their daily routine already, they decided they might as well completely change up their home’s style too.

Cleve and Brenda Waters

Stepping inside, the architectural details create a striking first impression. Two stories of custom wall paneling continue up the stairwell to the left. Meanwhile, straight ahead after entering the home is a charming arched doorway that leads to the kitchen.



To the right after entering the front door is the living room, washed in soothing shades of white. “This style is a complete 180-degree turn from our very colorful previous house,” Brenda shares. “We just wanted something relaxing and peaceful, so we went with light and airy colors.” Stained ceiling beams and transom windows lend a luxurious feel, while linen slipcovered sofas face each other, creating an intimate conversation area. The streamlined fireplace surround was something Brenda designed with this fresh new style in mind. “I just wanted something simple. At our old house, we had large antique mantles, and they were beautiful, but I really wanted this clean look.” The white marble surround and slender mantle framing create an understated elegance in conjunction with the room’s other unique features.

Further into the home is the kitchen – the heart of the home and one of Brenda and Cleve’s favorite places to be. “I absolutely love our kitchen,” Brenda gushes. “The big windows and morning light are beautiful and make it such a happy room.” Cleve adds, “This is also where our grandkids love to be. They pull a stool up to the island counter and hang out while we cook or eat.” With most company naturally gravitating to the kitchen, the Waters are very pleased with the flowing layout. Stunning white cabinetry retains a crisp yet traditional appearance, while gold hardware, lighting, and other accents elevate this space to a stylish sophistication. A beveled edge white subway tile ascends the wall behind the cooktop and behind the sink, adding visual interest and a polished finish to the room’s ambiance. The soothing white color palette is continued throughout this space as well, enforcing the Waters’ new tranquil décor choices.

Adjacent to the kitchen is a cozy dining area, currently occupied by a round glass-top table. Off-white, linen slipcovered parsons chairs sit opposite each other and are complemented by cross-back farmhouse chairs for an eclectic and welcoming seating arrangement. “We downsized a lot of our belongings to move here, but I kept several of our favorite antique or heirloom pieces, especially some of our French pieces. I was so pleased to be able to work them into the design,” Brenda shares.

Also on the main level is the master suite. This area features the same soft whites with additional soothing shades. Grays, tans, creams, and golds blend together to create a dreamy escape. A tufted headboard and plush layered bed linens add to the cozy ambiance. White-washed wooden furniture adds a rustic textured look, while custom wall paneling balances it with a more polished textural element.

Walking through to the master bathroom, gray tile extends from the floor to the camel-back backsplash of the soaking bathtub. Dual vanities with warm granite countertops lean into the wall color, which also has a warm undertone. Above the bathtub, a stylish glass light fixture creates a focal point in the center of the room.

This home also features a few extra gathering places. Upstairs, the Waters repurposed some of the Adirondack-style décor from their previous home. “I just loved this style, and it’s not like the rest of the house, but we used this space upstairs to showcase it,” Brenda explains. Cow hide, an antler chandelier, darker furniture, and more stained wood accents create a cozy place for the family to hang out. “We like to come up here to watch movies, and the grandkids like to come up here and hang out,” Cleve says.

Back on the main level, their side porch is another well-loved gathering place. With the white painted brick as a backdrop and a herringbone brick floor, this outdoor space carries a European undertone. Comfy white furniture provides ample seating, and the Waters both say they love to sit here and enjoy the fresh air. “We’re both outdoorsy people, and having this private side porch and our front porch has been essential. We enjoy and use them both almost every day,” Cleve says.

White brick and steel-colored accents are played across the curved angles of this European-style home. Lanterns, standing seam metal, and scalloped brick archways elevate this home with impressive details.

“We love the ease of just stepping outside and walking to dinner at one of the many restaurants,” Brenda says. Cleve adds, “Or also, sitting on our front porch and just waving ‘hey’ to the neighbors. This neighborhood is really trying to bring back a sense of community, and that’s something we were definitely looking for.”

Besides the idyllic setting, the Waters have enjoyed having their eight grandchildren come to visit and are even installing a bunk room upstairs. They love seeing their children as often as they can and are looking forward to hosting pop-in holiday get-togethers for friends and neighbors too. “It took a little while to adjust to the change, but we absolutely love it here!” Brenda says. CS

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