Modern Makeover

A cookie-cutter production home in Gotha gets a custom, contemporary look.
Kim and Scott Dorsett had a problem: They loved their Gotha community and the privacy of their waterfront lot, but not their 16-year-old production home that was stuck in a 1990s-style time warp.

So, what to do? The Dorsetts could live with what they had, move or renovate. They chose the last option, a whole-house makeover that took their home from bland and dated to fresh and modern.

The couple enlisted Ted Maines of Ted Maines Interiors in Winter Park to achieve their goal of a stylish, 21st-century home. “The house was in pristine condition, but they wanted to upgrade their home to create a more up-to-date residence with custom home finishes,” says Maines. “Our primary goal was to eliminate all of the elements that put a time stamp on it as having been built in 1998. Kim and Scott wanted the house to look new, but with a modern, timeless appearance, as this was going to be a major overhaul, but something they did not want to repeat.”

Among the dated elements that had to go were the home’s curved walls, niches and arches. Maines also widened some openings, increased door heights and installed new windows, creating an overall lighter, brighter space with contemporary angles.

“Our entire home is new on the inside—kitchen and baths and new sliding glass doors, interior doors, hardware, baseboard, appliances. Nothing stayed from the original,” says Kim Dorsett.

But Maines didn’t stop with gutting rooms and tearing down walls. He also tossed out the home’s original vanilla color scheme in favor of a more dynamic palette of silvery grays, rich  dark woods and cool whites.

Center-Stage Changes

The real drama took place in the kitchen and bathrooms, which were stripped to the studs. In the kitchen, pale cabinets, a beige tile backsplash and floor, and bland solid-surface countertops were replaced with sleek flat-paneled cabinetry and thick slabs of beveled-edge Cambria quartz for the counters and an extended backsplash of the same material. An oversized but low-function kitchen island was replaced with an elongated island that comfortably seats three, and Maines reconfigured the space to create better traffic flow between the breakfast and living areas.

A breakfast bar that essentially cut the room in half was removed, and a sophisticated bar area with a mirrored back, glass shelving for glassware and liquor, a wine chiller and refrigerated drawers was added on the wall opposite the kitchen, opening the entire area as a dynamic entertaining space.

“The kitchen is so much fun to cook in,” says Dorsett. “Everything is where it should be; I never realized what a difference a well-thought-out kitchen could make.”

The master bath makeover started with the removal of even more beige tile, a garden tub, white cabinetry and polished brass fixtures. Arguably, the biggest aesthetic offender in the bathroom was the brass-framed shower surround. Maines replaced the tub/shower combo with an oversized walk-in shower clad in gray-veined white porcelain tile from Italy, and used the same tile for the flooring to create a unified look in the bath.

Contemporary cabinetry, countertops and chrome fixtures were installed, and a glass-block window was concealed by an elegant Roman shade.

The pool and guest baths were also transformed, their one-piece molded sink-counter combos, basic tubs and standard-issue cabinets replaced with chic contemporary materials and finishes.

Surface Treatments

The variegated grain of the new acacia wood floors throughout the public areas of the home lend visual interest, and in the living area, Maines filled in drywall recesses designed for electronics and papered them over with “Chain Mail,” a lustrous textured wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries.

The mood set by the metallic wallpaper is echoed in the contemporary ceiling fans and light fixtures, as well as the new metal-accented furnishings and accessories.

Looking to the Future

In moving their home out of the past, the Dorsetts wanted to do more than just update: They wanted to ensure safe, comfortable accommodations for Kim’s 90-year-old father, who lives with them. “We made the pool bath a walk-in shower with no lip and put in ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] standard wide doors,” says Dorsett. “We’re looking toward the future.” Should her father ever need a wheelchair, the wider doors and no-barrier shower will make life easier.

It’s a wise investment that more home-owners are making, says Maines. “We have seen a trend in recent home renovation projects to provide space for multi-generational families, to suit both current and future needs.”

By the Numbers

All told, the renovation, which was overseen by general contractor Mark Zaremskas of RB Marks Construction in Longwood, took four months. Because it required gutting the house, the Dorsetts had to move out for the duration. Fortunately, they had another place to stay, but homeowners who don’t have that option must factor in the cost of a rental during an extensive renovation. And then there’s the expense of moving your belongings in and out of the home, and possibly temporary storage. All of these elements should be considered when budgeting for a renovation, as well as the cost of possible delays. So crunch the numbers, and add some cushion for those variables when putting together your budget.

The cost of the Dorsett renovation was about $100 per square foot for their 2,400-square-foot house, and it was worth every penny to the couple. “Every time I come home, I love what I see,” says Kim Dorsett. “I love the clean lines of the home.”   

Categories: Makeovers