Flow and Function: A Modern Refresh of Silver Oaks Home
Updated: Oct 24, 2019
The months went by as Fort Collins homeowners Sharon Ohmann and husband Howie Dorscher searched for resources and design inspiration to do a major remodel in their 1996 Silver Oaks home. Finally, after several months of trying to do the remodel on their own and locate the right people to do the work with and for them, Sharon met Cheri and from there a professional relationship formed. Freestone Design-Build was hired to tackle the remodel and take it from inception through completion, which kicked off at the end of 2018. The project wrapped in the spring of 2019.
This project was one that featured common issues today’s homeowners face: dated design, compartmentalized spaces that are tight and confining, and lack of natural light allowed into the living space. Flow from space to space was blocked by excess walls and space planning that didn’t consider lifestyle such as entertaining or home office needs. These issues are what plagued Sharon and Howie as they tried to figure out ways to open up their main floor on their two story home, the house they raised their three boys in and that had been only updated minimally (paint, furniture, basic décor) during the course of 25 years. It was now time to assess their new lifestyle as empty nesters and bring their home into 2019.
Cheri first addressed the home’s main level design and came up with a plan to open the space up considerably by removing a non-load bearing wall in the middle of this level. She went through Sharon and Howie’s preferences from there, discovering that bringing in light was a major focal point and desire of the renovation. Brian at Freestone Design-Build supervised the project and, along with the Freestone crew, we got to work on taking out the wall and rebuilding the space.
This remodel included wall removal, a full kitchen redesign and remodel with extras such as a broom and utility closet that Sharon wanted for convenience, an updated bathroom, reconfiguration to the living and office spaces, selection and application of paint, and new furniture and accessories purchased from Cheri's Pine Studio. “This remodel was huge and much needed,” Sharon commented. “We hadn’t touched the house in terms of redesign in the years we’ve lived here and it was time to make it contemporary and fitting for our life as empty nesters and our love of entertaining, working on projects from home, and having a good amount of light streaming in through our windows.”
First on the list after the wall was removed was the kitchen, a high traffic area that, like in many houses, needed to be reconfigured to allow more ease of flow through the room and also offer unique storage spaces. The soffit was removed, existing floors were refinished, and the electrical system was reworked along with overall layout to become a perfect room for entertaining and everyday use
Sharon, a retiree, loves to work on projects from her home office. However, the office she had was cramped and separated from the main living area in a room off to the side of the entryway. With redesign, a 2 level island was installed in the kitchen that would separate the kitchen’s main features from the new office corner that Cheri designed. This new area allows Sharon’s printer, shredder, and office supplies to be hidden, while also positioning her workspace with windows and natural light.
Drawers and cabinets that are sleek and tucked into the desk area allow for tremendous storage and areas to put office items out of view in a tidy fashion.
One of the more dramatic shifts in design was soffit removal and relocation of the refrigerator. Previously, each time someone would open the fridge, if anyone else were walking through the kitchen, traffic flow was halted. It was an awkward and cramped area that needed to be opened up; by moving the fridge to the other side of the island, Cheri was able to design two new pantries, including Sharon’s cleaning closet, and create better flow for entertaining by keeping the beverage center on the opposite side of the cooking space.
The most used bathroom in the home is on the main level and it is a small space that was in need of a refresh. By updating the vanity, paint, accessories, and lighting, this quaint room became contemporary and a modern update that ties into the rest of this level of the home.
“We have been so happy with this remodel,” Sharon remarked. “Everything was handled professionally and in a top-notch manner. We really needed professional assistance in figuring out how to do this the best possible way and within budget. We are so happy to have worked with Freestone Design-Build.”
Today, Sharon and Howie enjoy a rejuvenated space that fits their current lifestyle. From the home office corner area to a fully-functional, modernized kitchen, to an open flow to the main level, the couple love to relax as well as entertain family and friends here. The entire main floor is open now, allowing sight of the whole level, and natural light streams through the windows each day. The space is fresh, traditional yet on trend. Silver Oaks shines as a design gem and remodel win for Freestone Design-Build and lends itself as an example for other 1990’s style homes to envision new possibilities for contemporary updates and unique designs.