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RENOVATE GRAND RAPIDS

dazzled

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a NEWVIEW publication

BY VIERSEN CONSTRUCTION

11/26/13

A STUNNING RENOVATION

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Be


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dazzled

Be

THIS MAJESTIC 1925 FOUR SQUARE BRICK HOME, on the

east side of Grand Rapids, was built to last. It graces a wide avenue lined with mature maple trees and dignified homes,

designed when attention to architectural beauty was a primary consideration. It still has the charm and curb appeal it had when it was new, but the interior was ready for a major renovation, and that is just what it got.

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The house was acquired with the intention to remodel for a look appropriate to its period, but with every modern amenity. The owner contacted a team of experienced local professionals who complement each other’s areas of expertise, and who have proven their ability to deliver spectacular results on previous collaborative projects: Jack Viersen from Viersen Construction Management, Interior Designer Jim Miller from Gorman’s Furniture, and Interior Artist Keith Schwanz. Viersen’s crew stripped most of the interior down to the studs and floor joists. They replaced the plumbing and fixtures, electrical systems and devices, HVAC system, windows, flooring, and drywall. It is essentially a brand new home with the very best modern mechanicals and technology, nestled within the original brick exterior, which was tuck pointed here and there as needed to ensure another century of service. From a distance, the front elevation of the house looks about the same as it did before the renovation. Up close, though, a careful review reveals new aluminum-wrapped double-hung windows in all the openings, along with all new doors, ordered to match the style and age of the home. Wrought-iron railings on the front porch steps gleam a new translucent bronze powder coat finish, which was applied after sandblasting the original railings. This same process and finish was used on all the internal radiant heating registers, giving some indication of how this grand home appeared when it was new. Variable width paving stones of muted tones constitute new walkways, steps, and front porch. The sturdy mahogany front door features a centered vertical panel of textured leaded glass. The door is flanked on the left and right by matching sidelights with the same type of glass panel, making a gracefully symmetrical entryway. The solid

The sturdy mahogany front door features a centered vertical panel of textured leaded glass and is flanked on both sides by matching sidelights, making a gracefully-symmetrical entryway. The solid quality feel of brushed nickel finish door hardware introduces a modern touch that is consistent throughout the home. Step inside and view an entry apron of black slate tile that yields to cherry finish manufactured wood flooring from Columbo’s Floors to Go which covers most of the expansive main level. Painted in Benjamin Moore Platinum Series “Metallic Plaster – Antique Lace,” the foyer serves as the traffic convergence point for the living room, dining room, and the stairway to the second story. The stairs, hand rail, newel posts, balusters, and landing all display the unobstructed beauty of wood, stained to a medium brown under a satin finish.

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of exuberant color and fashion: the aesthetics so artfully arranged ... it is simply delicious, and not overwhelming.

Series “Metallic Plaster – Antique Lace,” the foyer serves as the traffic convergence point for the living room, dining room, and the stairway to the second story. The stairs, hand rail, newel posts, balusters, and landing all display the unobstructed beauty of wood, stained to a medium brown under a satin finish.

The cool gray tones of the curtains and area rug bring a balancing contrast to the voguish living room walls, as do the neutral grays and modest design of the long, comfortable sofa, chaise lounge, and ottoman. The house is a visual festival of exuberant color and fashion: the aesthetics so artfully arranged by Schwanz and Miller that it is simply delicious, and not at all overwhelming.

The long and spacious living room offers elegant home furnishings from Gorman’s Furniture. The space is relaxed and warm, with a deep pinkish red paint color that’s been dubbed “Made-toBlush Pink.”

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The owner wished to retain the feeling and charm of the era in which the house was built, while updating everything to fit a modern lifestyle. Keith Schwanz is an expert with color, texture, paint, and design. He worked with the owner to identify key themes and color schemes that would fulfill her vision, which he describes as “a 1930s Hollywood regency, with a little bit of a 1980s retro flair.” Schwanz honed in on a palette of bold colors reminiscent of the period, with highlights of silver metallic throughout. “The silver added a sense of glamour while at the same time serving as a neutral to balance out all the bold colors.”

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The house is a visual festival

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To the left of the foyer is the long and spacious living room, with elegant seating and wall hangings from Gorman’s Furniture. Jim Miller presented the owner with options for every room’s furniture and upholstery according to the owner’s expressed intentions and preferences. The living room is relaxed and warm, with a deep pinkish red paint color that Schwanz calls “Made-to-Blush Pink.”

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quality feel of brushed nickel finish door hardware introduces a modern touch that is consistent throughout. Step through the front door and view an entry apron of black slate tile that yields to cherry finish manufactured wood flooring which covers most of the expansive main level. Painted in Benjamin Moore Platinum


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The owners’ bathroom gains a luxurious and fresh Mediterranean feel from the custom-cut wave shapes of glistening vertical turquoise tiles that contrast brilliantly with the white tile walls into which they are set. The arched entry to the walk-in shower is a modest touch of classical architecture.

The renovation team retained several attractive features that authenticate the age of the interior living area, including a built-in cabinet with leaded glass doors next to the living room fireplace, a recessed wall cubby with a telephone shelf in the foyer, and original picture frame moldings in the living room and dining room, which outline panels of original textured plaster. These framed sections were also carefully recreated on newer adjacent walls. The textured plaster, old and new, seems to have been made just for the uncommon and lively color patterns that animate them now. The far end of the living room passes into a stylish office painted in a soft olive tone, centered around a large modern desk made of Spanish walnut with a high gloss finish. The desk sets across the room from a cozy corner fireplace. Opposite the opening to the living room is a passageway to the rear entrance of the house and to the kitchen, so the floor plan can be circumnavigated. To the right of the home’s front entryway, across from the living room, is the dining room, with walls painted in Benjamin Moore “Bottle of Bordeaux,” a subtle shade of muted maroon. Miller said the owner wanted a dining room table that could comfortably seat a party of ten. He found the perfect table: an elongated oval with a regal geometric design of inlaid ebony and mahogany on the top. The chairs are upholstered in a heavy white fabric with a large scale classical leaf design in tones comparable to the walls.

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Beyond the dining room is the completely new kitchen, decorated in a color scheme that Schwanz calls “sunflower and chocolate,” with a September yellow for the walls, mocha tones on the ceiling and valances, and lighter browns carried through the custom-built quarter sawn white oak cabinets. Quarter sawn timbers expose a radial view of the wood’s grain, which brings out marvelously figured patterns in white oak. A cozy breakfast nook at the rear of the kitchen offers inviting built-in bench seating around stationary tabletop. The centerpieces of the kitchen are the resplendent granite counter tops. Deep base tones of black and brown enable a striking contrast for naturally occurring swirls of brilliant metallic-colored mineral flakes. The kitchen flooring also looks like stone, but is, in fact, high quality roll vinyl. The gleaming ceramic tile above the countertop and beneath the wall-mounted cabinets are of differing lengths and varying shades of reflective metallic gray, an ideal complement to the brushed stainless steel appliances.


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The new kitchen radiates with bright walls and mocha tones on the ceiling and valances. Warmer browns are carried through the custom-built quarter sawn white oak cabinets. A breakfast nook offers built-in bench seating around a stationary tabletop. Granite countertops, supplied by Rush Creek Surfaces and installed by Premier Granite, combine deep base tones of black and brownbwith metallic-colored mineral flakes. The flooring looks like stone, but is, in fact, high-quality roll vinyl. The ceramic tile backsplash consists of differing lengths and varying shades of reflective metallic gray, an ideal complement to the brushed stainless steel appliances.

Just a few steps from the breakfast nook, the back door of the house originally opened onto a three-season porch, which has been given new life now as a fully enclosed four-season sun room. The sun room is finished on the exterior with cedar shake siding, and on the interior with tongue and groove light blond pine with a clear satin finish. The roof over the sun room was rebuilt and resurfaced with rubber membrane, then decked to provide a walkout porch for the second floor, perimitered with a sturdy railing and equipped as a sitting area with chairs, table, and a delightful view of the backyard and patio area. Throughout the house is a collection of handsome and interesting ceilings. Most of the main level ceilings resemble fine brown leather, with subtle variations in tone and pattern, adding a calming balance to the shimmering walls. The ceilings in the breakfast nook and powder room are stamped aluminum tiles, reminiscent of century-old tin ceilings—both of a brown palette, with a rubbed look that yields lighter accents on the extruded contours—these are more subdued in the nook, and more golden in the powder room. The entryway ceiling sets the stage for glitz and glam: multi-faceted faux jewels affixed against a black background sparkle and refract light to every corner of the foyer, and cannot be ignored. The owner was actively involved in selecting colors, textures, and styles throughout the home. She picked out all the sophisticated lighting fixtures RENOVATE Grand Rapids | 13

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The renovation team retained several attractive features that authenticate the age of the interior living area, including a built-in cabinet with leaded glass doors next to the living room fireplace.

www.norbertsglassandmirror.com on the main level, which complement the generously distributed recessed can lights. Each fixture installation has its own differentiating style, but across the kitchen, dining room, and entryway, there is a recurring theme of pendant fixtures with chrome finishes and white glass diffusers. Not only smart looking, these fixtures have LED light sources, which provide stunningly crisp white light over the course of an amazing 25 year average life span, and they use only a fraction of the energy of incandescent and halogen lamps—even dramatically less than compact fluorescent lamps.

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Delivering the look and feel the owner desired, Schwanz went beyond just applying colors and treatments, he created works of original art, including a painting of a 1930s' pinup girl for the main level powder room. The blues and pinks of this period piece, outlined in a dark bronze frame, establish an equilibrium with the room’s magnificent cut glass mirror and faux gold leaf walls. He achieved a muted glow effect by applying several coats of raw umber tinted polyurethane over dyed aluminum leaf, which was painstakingly applied in individual five inch squares. A few whimsical hand-painted butterflies add the final touch in this one-of-a-kind powder room. Schwanz also enchanted the second floor’s master bedroom with an original mural of black and red weeping cherry branches reaching downward from a mysteriously unseen tree. It is a beautiful and unique design element.

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Spacious walk-in closets were not standard in homes of this era, so Viersen added one to the master bedroom by re-allocating a few feet of an adjacent bedroom, while still leaving enough space in the smaller room for a guest to be comfortably accommodated. There are two bedrooms on the second story, in addition to the master, and another bedroom in the lower level, made possible by a recently added egress window.

The owner wished to retain the feeling and charm of the era in which the house was built, while updating everything to fit a modern lifestyle. The tile work in the home is extraordinary. The colors and styles are thoughtfully coordinated with the paint colors and room themes, and the patterns are exquisite. The owners’ bathroom gains a luxurious and fresh Mediterranean feel from the custom-cut wave shapes of glistening vertical turquoise tiles that contrast brilliantly with the white tile walls into which they are set. The arched entry to the walk-in shower is a modest touch of classical architecture. The owners’ bath also has an extra large, porcelain-covered cast iron bath tub. To accommodate the substantial weight of the tub Viersen reinforced the floor with new engineered wood I-joists, and he added a low platform under the tub to distribute its weight over a broader area.

The far end of the living room passes into a stylish office painted in a soft olive tone, centered around a large modern desk made of Spanish walnut with a high gloss finish. The office has a corner fireplace from Hearthcrest Fireplace that adds to the space’s cozy appeal. Delivering the look and feel the owner desired, interior artist Keith Schwanz went beyond just applying colors and treatments, he created works of original art, including a painting of a 1930s' pinup girl for the main level powder room. The blues and pinks of this period piece, outlined in a dark bronze frame, establish an equilibrium with the room’s magnificent cut glass mirror and faux gold leaf walls. He achieved a muted glow effect by applying several coats of raw umber tinted polyurethane over dyed aluminum leaf, which was painstakingly applied in individual five inch squares.

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The guest bathroom is painted in broad horizontal stripes of light avocado and deep cranberry. An archway of four inch earthy brown tile surrounds the glass door to the walk-in shower, which is tiled in larger rectangles of variegated shades of sand and ivory. The lower level is nicely finished in brighter colors and clear finish maple flooring, which helps to compensate for less abundant natural light in below grade living space. At the bottom of the stairs there is a spacious workout room, an ultramodern laundry room, a welcoming bedroom, and an impressively organized utility room of the most efficient and technologically advanced household systems available. The renovation project also effectively provided long-term protection against basement water problems by sealing the outside surfaces of the basement walls and adding perforated drain tile around the exterior walls just above the foundation footer. Behind the house is an original 2-car garage. It received a new roof, a heating system, new concrete slab, and a water supply that enables washing of the car in the garage no matter what the season or weather. Privacy is ensured by a new six foot tall cedar panel fence that wraps the backyard, which now incorporates a two-tiered patio and sitting area, and a stainless steel grilling station of sufficient size to cook for a large group of guests. The property is tastefully landscaped, including an elevated planter along the back of the house that is literally bursting with color, texture, and life. This home is now happily occupied and just beginning to live the early days of a second life, one likely to last for generations. Structurally, mechanically, and electrically, it is top of the line. Aesthetically, it is a unique and successful collaboration of timelessly artful and cultivated sensibilities, as much at home in 2013 as it would have been in 1930, and as it surely will be still in 2030.b

RESOURCE INDEX BUILDER Viersen Construction INTERIOR DESIGN Jim Miller, Gorman’s

Privacy is ensured by a new six-foot-tall cedar-panel fence that wraps the backyard that now incorporates a two-tiered patio with sitting area, a custom firepit and a stainless steel grilling station all impeccably designed and installed by Signature Outdoor Concepts.

GLASS & MIRRORS Norberts INTERIOR ARTIST Keith Schwanz FIREPLACE Hearthcrest FURNISHINGS Gorman’s COUNTERTOP SUPPLIER Rush Creek COUNTERTOP INSTALLER Premier Granite FLOORCOVERINGS Columbo’s Floors to Go LANDSCAPE DESIGN Signature Outdoor Concepts WINDOWS Arichtectural Openings & Access

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Perfection

by definition, is unattainable

but by its very nature,

worth pursuing.

REHAB • COMMERCIAL

DESIGN/BUILD • REMODELING

With 21 years of experience as a licensed contractor for residential and commercial construction you can be assured that we know our way around the job site

“The Viersen team turned ideas into beautiful reality. Construction projects can be long and frustrating, but from beginning to end, I have never met a team more committed to satisfying the wants and needs of the customer. From the no pressure initial meeting to the final walk through, we knew we were being served with absolute fairness, prompt responses and with a deep caring for the final product.” — Homeowner www.viersenconstruction.com email: viersenconstruction@gmail.com 600 Broadway, Suite 618, Grand Rapids, MI 49505 616.299.6846

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2013 winter renovate magazine