“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.
Also, there were treasures found inside the home—behind the walls and beneath the floors. Most are toys the Testerman boys may have played with, but in a serendipitous turn, there happened to be a recipe torn from a newspaper that was dated March 7, 1973. The Cowans purchased this home exactly 44 years later on March 7, 2017.
“Fortunately, the Testerman heirs made this renovation much easier through their generosity in sharing these cherished home plans,” John says. “Without these prints I would have never found out what was behind these walls without digging,” For example, there are steel beams between the windows in the great room, and the prints make clear how the ventilation system works, where crawl spaces are located and much more. The prints also show that part of the great room was tagged to be a library, but apparently that vision was never realized. John intends to honor this concept by building the elevated seating area with curved bookcases out of cherry as originally planned.
The blueprints were drawn by architect Benjamin Dombar, who worked as an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright. The home was built for Dr. Woodford C. Testerman in 1953. Testerman spent his days working as a dentist but spent his evenings and weekends tending to a dairy farm on his property.
Labor of love
“Most people would think I was crazy,” John says. “But I’ve always loved architecture, and having the ability to save a piece of modern history was a challenge I needed to accept.”
It was important to John that he stay true to the integrity of the original structure. A bit of a history buff, he began to research the lineage of the home. He managed to get his hands on an incredibly detailed set of blueprints after tracking down information on the original owner and then contacting his sons.
Resources: Contractor and kitchen designer Albrecht Wood Interiors; Countertops Modlich Stoneworks; Backsplash and flooring Bob Madden Carpet & Tile; Appliances Ferguson; Hardware Amerock; Painting Sherwin-Williams; Painter Koogler Painting; Window treatments Blind Works; Faux finish Linda Krukenberg, Bel Finito
Remodeling dream in Centerville
While most home renovations develop out of necessity, sometimes an unforeseen circumstance leads to the unexpected. The owners of this Centerville home were forced to remodel after a water pipe broke, flooding their kitchen. Rather than keeping the original floor plan, the homeowners took the opportunity to expand their cooking and eating area. They hired Remodeling Designs to help reconfigure the entire space. The renovation included removing a wall between the old kitchen and sunroom, making way for one large and open space.
Q. How did you get a show on HGTV?
A. Leanne: HGTV had been following our work for a while. A friend introduced us to someone on their team and we connected. After a couple of years of back and forth the time was right. Success always seems so sudden when you see it from the outside, but it takes TIME.
Q. Of the homes you’ve renovated, what is their common element, if any?
A. Leanne: They are all dated and unique and in need of some modernization. We respect the history of these homes and we try our best to keep the unique features that drew the client to buy the home in the first place. Just because we are redoing and modernizing a home doesn’t mean we need to lose all the quirk and character. That’s the fun stuff!
Steve: Basement toilets … otherwise known as the “Pittsburgh Potty.” Honestly, we try to look for varying differences in these homes, but I think that Leanne and I are both a bit drawn to mid-century modern.
Q. You have a great camaraderie on camera…but you’re real-life siblings. What is your relationship like off camera?
A. Leanne: Ha! Our relationship is the exact same on and off camera. Sometimes we are on the same page, sometimes we are in different books, in different libraries, on different planets. We love and respect each other and we get along great … MOST of the time! They captured us perfectly.
Steve: What you see really is what you get. Camera on or off, that’s us.
A happy space
Jill is thrilled with the results of the renovation. “It brings our family together and makes it easier and more enjoyable for us to communicate, to entertain and hang out with friends. Sometimes I just stand in the kitchen and look around; I’m so happy.”
Today’s kitchen is essentially a multi-purpose room, where friends gather, where children do homework, and where meals and memories are made.
But when the volume of family and friends that tend to congregate in the kitchen exceeds the space allotted, it is time for an upgrade. That exact situation prompted Paul and Jill Bohaboy to renovate the existing kitchen in their Oakwood home to make it more usable, while increasing the square footage. F “The original kitchen was a smaller, tighter space. Since everyone always gathers in the kitchen, it became really unworkable,” says Jill, adding that there was often only enough space for one person to prepare meals.