Few things are more inspiring than a dramatic before-and-after design story. But in the case of Ron and Leslie Newcomb’s home transformation, the story is not the usual renovation. Rather, it’s a tale of new construction but also new interiors.
“It’s difficult to take your old stuff and put it into a new footprint,” Ron explains. “It’s like buying a new car and putting your old seats in there. We’ve been blessed that we were able to create a completely brand-new, fresh look.”
When the empty nesters decided to move closer to their children and grandchildren, they were looking to downsize, preferably in a planned community. They chose a Drees single-story patio home with a lower walkout, one that is characterized by an open floor plan that flows from room to room, boasts 10-foot ceilings and nine-foot archways, and has a simplistic yet modern design.
The couple was fortunate enough to incorporate new items throughout, from what hangs on the walls, to what fills the cabinets, to what rests upon the floors. Then they applied their own skills. Leslie has been an interior decorator for 30 years and Ron can do everything from stonework and millwork, to board and batten, and building decks. These talents and good old-fashioned elbow grease turned what could have been a typical suburban dwelling into a custom show home.
“Friends say Ron and I are a dynamic duo,” Leslie says. “What one of us can’t do, the other can. There’s no stone left unturned.”
Leslie’s touch is evident throughout, as is Ron’s. After 38 years of marriage in eight different homes, four of which were new builds, the couple knows what they prefer.
“This isn’t our first rodeo,” says Ron, who installed all of the home’s light fixtures, as well as the fans and faucets, swapping the builder standard for custom options.
The couple also repainted over most everything, choosing a pleasing four-color palette of light gray, yellow, navy blue and white. One of the chairs in the great room has a pattern with these four hues, and Leslie fell in love with the color scheme. The chair pattern served as the jumping off point for the overall palette, along with the patterns within the various wallpapers, which all complement one another.
Patterns and picks
Upon entry, the home exudes warmth and a welcoming vibe. The entryway is covered in Saltire Lattice Wallpaper from Geometric, while the hallway gallery is swathed in the elegant Gauntlet Gray by Sherwin-Williams, which juxtaposes nicely with the well-balanced console table by Hooker. An exquisite Crystorama light fixture showcases it all.
Moving into the great room, a Precedent sofa, comfy Sam Moore chairs and navy ottoman by Bradington-Young create the perfect seating arrangement. Eye-catching Kravet draperies and a Jaipur hand-knotted rug are just some of the room’s other delicious details. Ron himself can take credit for the fireplace wall and its elaborate stonework, which is rivaled by the flair of the backsplash tile in the adjacent kitchen. The Tempesta Neve Wheaton marble tiles are illuminated by under-cabinet, in-cabinet and above-cabinetry lighting, all installed courtesy of Ron. The exquisite white cabinetry is offset by pops of color from the cabinet accessories and the room’s custom painted doors. The spacious island, with its quartz countertops and comfortable bar stools, encourages the homeowners and their guests alike to sit and stay awhile.
The dining room is equally inviting, with its warm gray walls, forward-thinking Surya area rug, a console topped by dramatic sconces, and artwork. Natural light pours through the windows and illuminates the open space. “We love all the openness,” says Leslie. “The dining room, kitchen and great room are all wide open, which is great for entertaining.”
In the soothing sanctuary that is the master bedroom, custom window treatments, bedding and pillows create a sophisticated look. The Porter Bed, with its clean lines and modern design, takes center stage. But there are also unique accent stools by Universal, a versatile nightstand and dresser by Hooker, and a Bernhardt chair in the corner; all come together to create a comfortable setting with a touch of glamour. Patterned carpeting anchors the space. Both the Dorian Gray paint and the chic Thibaut wallpaper within the bedroom are carried over to the refined master bath.
The lower level was far from an afterthought, with a theater area, another gathering spot for entertaining, a guest room and a lower level bath. Ron’s imprint is all over this level as well; he installed the shiplap, the recessed cabinetry, the lighting, a shelving unit, and a beautiful built-in wine rack in the corner. A white sliding barn door was an inspired addition; it adds visual interest and keeps grandkids’ toys out of sight. In the lower level bath, the Brewster wallpaper makes a colorful impression, and in the guest room, more custom bedding adorns the bed.
Sunlight fills the space and creates a cozy atmosphere, but the Newcombs were savvy enough to tint their windows at the outset of their move. “People fail to realize the amount of sun that comes into a home,” says Leslie. “By tinting the windows, you don’t bleach out your furniture, flooring, bedding or drapes.”
This is a practical consideration in a home that represents the ultimate in home transformations. Let this up-to-date approach inspire the creative dreamer in you!
RESOURCES Homebuilder Drees Homes; Kitchen cabinetry Maple Shale, Merillat; Furniture Tami Webb, ID Cincinnati; Window tinting Film Solutions, Jason Jones, Springboro; Stone for TV/fireplace wall and kitchen backsplash Jacob Anneken, The Tile Shop, Sharonville; Pattern carpet in den and master bedroom Dawn-Marie, Simply Floors, West Chester; Custom window treatments, bedding and pillows Sue Jones, Donna’s Drapery Workroom, Beavercreek; Master bedroom carpeting Tuftex, Simply Floors
Article by Lee Rhodes/Photos by Daniel Feldkamp
Article originally appeared in Housetrends Cincinnati – October/November 2019