The Stanford family gives an old house with “good bones” new life.
By Rebecca Rochat
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Scott and Cindy Stanford were ready to break ground – literally – on a new home in North Chattanooga, when they came across a home for sale nearby. “When we first saw it, we weren’t exactly struck by its ‘curb appeal,’” says Cindy, smiling. “But we decided to go ahead and have a look anyway.” To the Stanford’s surprise, the home was exactly what they were looking for; in fact, they loved it so much that they immediately dropped their building plans. “It was the floor plan that really sold us,” Cindy says. “We have two daughters, Parker and Olivia, and we felt like it would be great for them as well as Scott and me – far better than the house plan we had drawn up.”
The Stanfords say the remodeling project took about two years. With interior design support from Sean Thompson and contracting work by Lamar Howard of F&H Construction, the couple refinished and re-stained all of the oak flooring, removed dark wallpaper, updated the bathrooms, and gutted the kitchen, dining room, and sunroom. The result was a more open floor plan, a lighter color scheme, and an abundance of natural light. “When we set about working on the house, we really knew what we wanted,” Cindy says.
The exterior received a facelift too. The existing pink brick was painted a light gray, a new double front door was installed, and dark gray board-and-batten shutters were added. The couple added a pergola framing two left windows and had serpentine brick walls with iron railing installed on either side of a central iron gate. At the rear of the house, where there was an existing deck with a steep, sloping grade beyond, two retaining walls were constructed to support a breathtaking pool and pool house sitting high above the river.
Inside the family home, one of the most comfortable and livable rooms is the family room. “It’s where everybody likes to hang out,” Cindy says. The room is bathed in light that streams in through a wall of tall vertical windows looking out to the pool and river beyond. During the remodeling process, a dark blue wallpaper was removed and replaced with a light sand paint color – a shade that now gracefully compliments the living room furniture’s neutral-colored upholstery.
The Stanfords also replaced a little fireplace with white built-in shelving and cabinets, and installed a large flat screen TV in the corner of the room that can be turned to face the main seating area.
The décor in the dining room uses a mix of neutral hues, rough textures, and bold accents for a relaxed, yet elegant feel. Brown walls provide a warm backdrop for a blond Elmwood trestle table surrounded by contemporary side chairs and Louis XIV-style armchairs upholstered in beige linen.
A French Provincial-style corner china cabinet, also in a blond-colored wood, complements the more masculine look of the dining table and chairs. Underneath the table, a coarsely textured diamond-patterned sisal rug ties the entire space together for a cohesive design.
The kitchen, designed by Happy Baker and cabinets supplied by Scarlett’s, underwent the most extensive renovation of the home. During the remodel, a good portion of the “gutting” was done in order to form a larger, more open kitchen with an adjoining breakfast room, Cindy explains.
Now, the breakfast room windows offer a grand view of the pool area and the river beyond, while the kitchen is outfitted with modern stainless steel appliances and a center island housing a warming drawer and freezer drawers. The couple decided to juxtapose different patterns and textures in the kitchen—cream-colored granite countertops with black veining are mixed with a rough-hewn tile backsplash and distressed Caesarstone on the island and bar counters. Behind a wainscoted wall is a hidden walk-in pantry created from an unused space underneath the foyer stairs.
A notable feature of the kitchen is a wall with three separate functional sections. The first section has a bar/prep area with an ice maker, a bar sink, and a dishwasher with glass-fronted cabinets above. The second has a desk/work space with shelving, and the third has a black-paneled cabinet displaying a collection of colorful dishes and bowls.
The master bedroom evokes calm and serenity with its color scheme of pale blue, gray, and white. The room is a serene retreat with its pewter walls and turquoise and cream-colored bed linens. For a fun detail, the gray linen headboard is edged with metal studs. Two matching end tables, one on either side of the bed, have concave fronts with ribbed drawers. A flat screen TV hangs over a contemporary chest of drawers opposite the bed, while in the center of the room, a gray chaise lounge is positioned to take in views of the pool.
In the master bath, a faux finished tile floor of wooden planks complements light gray Alderwood cabinetry from Scarlett’s with white marble countertops. The space is furnished with two vanity/sink sections, in-between which is a center dressing cabinet.
It comes as no surprise that the Stanfords’ large pool and deck area is everyone’s favorite place to be when the weather gets warm. During the summer months, friends and family can enjoy swimming in the large oval pool (complete with stacked stone fountain) or sunbathing on one of many of its surrounding chaise lounges. But the area is outfitted for cold weather too – on chilly nights, the family can make use of their hot tub or lava fire pit.
A pool house adjacent to the area includes a full kitchen, a laundry room, and an additional guest room. The family frequently enjoys poolside dining, made possible by the nearby kitchen outfitted with knotty alder cabinetry and Revelle countertops. Cindy says they designed the space largely for practical purposes. “The kids can play and swim without having to go into the house,” she says. “And with the laundry room right there, it’s really easy for me to wash all the towels on the spot.”
The Stanfords say they feel proud of the end result. “We wanted a relaxing environment – a place that was serene and simple with lots of open spaces where we could entertain our friends,” Cindy says. “It’s been a lot of work, but we truly love our home now! It’s where we want to be.”