Upstairs is original curly pine flooring, all carefully restored and protected. The master bathroom has handmade cement wall tiles sourced from Mexico. “We were able to design the style and add the fleur-de-lis, which Alvord had originally placed on the fireplaces, molding and chimney,” the homeowner says. “We also had a large double shower with nautical-styled temperature controls made of solid brass installed.”
“This home now shines as a beacon of Harbor Oaks,” the homeowner says. “Even passersby, out of excitement, come and push the doorbell to let us know what amazing love we have put into the home.”
Dan spent a lot of time camping with his family growing-up. While Dan and Angela enjoyed the maintenance-free warmth of their gas fire pit right off their deck, the family missed the rustic-feel of a natural fire. “We do love sitting by a wood-burning fire,” Angela says of their decision to create a natural fire pit farther back in the yard surrounded by trees. “It’s so cozy in the fall.”
“This fire pit not only gives them the camping-feel, it gives them a place to burn the brush they collect off all their trees,” Bayer adds.
The couple had a tree fall, so Bayer and his team cut it up and used the stumps as the bases of the benches. The seats are constructed of repurposed barn beams, and the fire pit is a Chilton Flagstone, which gives it a unique color. Bayer hollowed out parts of the tree to create one-of-a-kind path lighting leading guests to the cozy spot.
“We have a nursery that works with us to maintain our clients’ planters year-round,” Bayer explains. “We come out and get the containers at Thanksgiving, and empty them for winter storage at the nursery. Around February the planters are filled with plugs, which means they are bloomed and ready for delivery around Mother’s Day. It’s a nice Mother’s Day gift.”
This is the first year the Dunaways have taken advantage of the service. “I cannot wait until Mother’s Day when they bring them back,” Angela says.
Angela has an outdoor kitchen area right off the deck where she can prep for outdoor meals. She then simply walks down the steps, across the expanded fire pit patio and through the gate, constructed by Hess Fencing, into the pool surround where her dining area is located. The pergola is showered with color from hanging baskets and massive annual containers.
The Site Group partnered with Buckeye Pools to build the family a pool complete with a sun shelf, LED lighting, and fire and water features. “The Dunaways are very active and athletic, so we made sure this was a sport-friendly pool with anchors for basketball hoops and a volleyball net,” Bayer says.
The entire outdoor renovation started in August and was completed before Thanksgiving. “That year was so warm that after the pool was complete, they swam while we were working on the rest of the project,” Bayer remembers.
“I love to walk. But there are not a lot of areas to walk close to our house, so Ben built a walking trail for me. Three times around is a mile. The dogs and I love it,” Angela says of her frequent walks with her two golden retrievers.
Angela adds that The Site Group comes and refurbishes the gravel on her path as part of their maintenance program offered to clients. “We call it the Site Gardener,” Bayer describes. “We visit the property once a month to weed, prune, and check the walkway.”
And she’s right. A trip to Italy can be tasted when Angela prepares pasta for her large family dinners around their repurposed, barn-wood table. Children’s voices telling ghost stories on family camping trips can be heard floating up from the smoke of the wood-burning fire pit. And the Famous Oysters ‘Turtlefeller’ from The Turtle Club in Naples, Florida can be smelled as you walk by the fire torches surrounding the pool.
Angela and Dan Dunaway love to travel. And with the help of Ben Bayer, a partner with The Site Group, they’ve brought a piece of their travels home with them to their back yard.
“Years ago, I used to pick up ornaments when I traveled. Now I seem to pick up landscaping ideas,” Angela Dunaway admits with a laugh when discussing her newly renovated back yard. “But I love having different design influences. It makes me feel like I’m on vacation all the time.”
“I am not an interior designer, but I have done lot of houses for myself,” she adds. “My recommendation for people is go with what you like. If you like it, it will be great. This is a wonderful spot to call home!”
Another carryover from their previous home was the artwork over the front door, created by artist Edward Casagrande. “If you have something you love from your old house, take it with you,” says Amy.
Switching things up
As for the aforementioned flipping of the home? The kitchen was previously on the opposite end of the house from the pool. Flipping it to the other side of the house now offers an easy flow to the pool and outdoor seating.
Amy had the brainchild of using a cement form tube with attached cross bracing for the island seating area. She then painted the tube to match the slate appliances. Five modern-style bar stools serve for seating, as well as the adjacent dining table and chairs. Everyone agrees this space nicely accommodates a good-sized crowd within a small house.
The delicate tableware – Old Luxenburg by Villeroy and Bach – is perfectly illuminated by the soft light of the room’s fixtures, including a rustic silver orb chandelier over the dining table.
The honed countertops also mesh but at the same time provide just the right amount of contrast. “I wanted something a little different for the island,” says Amy. “I love this granite with all its movement and striking pattern.”
When asked to pick her favorite room in the home, Davis has a hard time selecting just one. “First of all, the front elevation of the home is striking,” she says. But inside she thinks it’s hard to beat the circular great room with its wall of windows looking out toward the fields.
Accent on “modern”
When it came to furnishing the home, Jennifer says, “I wanted the space to be an updated take on Mid-Century rather than strictly Mid-Century Modern.”
To help work with these styles cohesively, the couple called upon the talents of interior designer, Andrea Davis. “We tried to walk that delicate line of respecting the heritage of the house with Jen’s more modern vibe,” Davis says.
Helping John out with the remodeling efforts was his 22-year-old son Alex, who represents the fourth generation in this family of homebuilders. His primary focus was the interior trim work and setting the kitchen cabinetry, but he was heavily involved in all aspects of the reconstruction efforts including ripping out and replacing the entire mechanical system.