Builder Bryan Gerrard and designer Amanda Swaringen gave this 82-year-old Queens Road West home a refresh on the exterior and totally transformed the interior — taking it from dated traditional to young transitional.
“They bought the house with the intention of overhauling it,” Bryan said. “In the beginning, it’s hard to know how much they’re willing to spend — do they have a $300,000 budget, or are they planning on spending $1.4 million. … It became clear they wanted something special, where the finished product was more important than cost involved.”
Here’s what it looked like before …
Homeowners’s wishlist: The homeowner, who wishes to remain anonymous for privacy reasons, told me it was important for them to keep the exterior of the home as true to the existing design as possible — being in the oldest neighborhood in Charlotte, they didn’t want to mess with the streetscape.
“My husband grew up here and has always been enamored with that street,” she said. “We saw the home and couldn’t have been more excited. … But we knew it needed some work because of the style we like.”
They wanted functional, updated traditional, young, clean, sharp design.
The finished product couldn’t be more beautiful. It’s so balanced, and I love how the punchy details are softened by more traditional elements.
Trusting the vision: Bryan and Amanda both told me this project was a fun one specifically because the homeowners were game for anything.
“If I suggested something that wasn’t within the scope of the original plans, like this would be worth $15,000, they’d do it,” Bryan said. “They were very open to suggestions, like the back patio.”
They doubled the size of the original patio and put in a fireplace and space heaters. It was a $180,000 project on its own.
“We never would have gotten there without their willingness to jump,” Bryan said.
And the homeowner said “When they started talking about weight-bearing beams and technical stuff, I just blacked out.” But she trusted Bryan and Amanda knew what would make her and her husband happy.
Form follows function: A huge part of the project was using the existing bones of the house to create a more modern layout that made sense, so they realigned doorways, dropped ceilings to cover steel beams and made other architectural changes to create a more cohesive aesthetic.
In terms of finishes, they used quartz for the kitchen countertops instead of marble because it’s more practical.
Character + contrast: Traditional character was built in through heavy moldings, trim work and ceiling treatments — and saved by leaving an original built-in bookshelf upstairs.
Then, you also have a black living room, black and white contrasting tiles for the kitchen’s backsplash, a purple rug in the dining room and funky light fixtures that provide some contrasting colors and design styles.
Ironically, the smallest space in the house was one of the hardest to pull together, and the most expensive per square foot.
The powder room walls are made of an onyx plaster with an LED-lit panel behind it. And they had to go with an in-wall toilet to fit the space.
“To move in and have it feel like home instantaneously, was amazing,” the homeowner told me. “It’s just really livable.”
Contributors: Carolina Design Associates (@carolinadesignassociates); Gerrard Builders(@gerrardbuilders); Level 5 Finish Group (@level5finishgroupllc); Bruce Clodfelter Landscape Architect (@bruceclodfelter); Fergusons; Instyle Charlotte (@instyle_charlotte); Distinctive Cabinets (@distinctivecabinets); Walker Zanger (@walkerzanger); Renaissance Tile; ITC Millwork(@itc_millwork); Southern Architectural Woodwork @southernarchitecturalwoodwork; Arborscapes; Quarry and Kiln (@quarry_and_kiln_llc); Tony Montognese (@tonymontognese); Bird Hardware (@birddecorativehardwareclt); and Lantern and Scroll (@lanternandscroll).
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