Whole House $300,000-$700,000

by Kyle Clapham


Royal Oaks Design
Lake Elmo, Minn.


Photos: Lecy Bros.

Designer: Kieran Liebl
Project location: Wayzata, Minn.
Square footage before: 5,102
Square footage after: 5,200
Project cost: $680,000

The clients desired an open floor plan to take advantage of the lake views, and they also wanted to establish more of a lake-home feeling by incorporating brighter colors and creating improved accessibility on the lake side of the house. Some of the challenges included the existing setback, their limited budget and a tight project deadline.

Royal Oaks Design opened up both the interior and exterior of the home for enhanced views of the lake and also removed a separation wall between the existing kitchen and living areas. The company carved out more outdoor living space by adding a patio and updated the exterior look of the residence as well.


BLB Custom Building
Amesbury, Mass.


Photos: Freebird Photography

Project location: Newburyport, Mass.
Square footage before: 4,705
Square footage after: 4,955
Project cost: $748,000

This full-home remodel transformed an underutilized space and updated interior features. The space felt congested and cramped compared to the rest of the historic Victorian home, with shortened ceiling heights due to previous renovations and dark rooms. The homeowners wanted to keep the many period-pieces highlighted throughout the space, while creating a better solution to dealing with functionality and flow of the downstairs, especially in the kitchen.

In the expanded design of the kitchen, there were restrictions on how wide the team could build into the home because of a basement staircase that lived in the adjacent front entryway. By building a false-cabinet over the staircase, the kitchen gained an extra 3 feet and prevented the relocation of the stairs.

The family room addition, while only adding 206 square feet, created a separate space for entertaining and expanded the kitchen with an optimized layout. Other work performed on this full-home remodel included a custom entry mudroom, home office and four redesigned bathrooms and bedrooms, including a fully remodeled luxury master bedroom suite and master bath.


Krieger + Associates Architects
Philadelphia, Pa.


Photos: Jeffrey Totaro

Builder: Dennis F. Meyer, Inc.
Project location: Philadelphia, Pa.
Square footage: 1,380
Project cost: $466,451

The designers completely renovated this two-bedroom, downtown condo to emphasize its park views and natural light. White finishes, mirrors, a widened hallway and glass interior doors help bring the daylight in.

The kitchen and baths were completely renovated with new fixtures, white cabinetry, marble counters and tile. To create ample, organized storage, designers added sleek white custom cabinetry everywhere—under window seats, along the kitchen/living room wall and in the bedrooms. In the kitchen and hallway, the designers dropped the ceiling level to emphasize the ceiling heights in the rest of the unit—this also allowed creation of a faux skylight in the kitchen.

New lighting was used strategically in all rooms, and new hardwood flooring was installed in the bedrooms. The team moved interior partitions to widen the dark hallway, anticipating aging-in-place and helping to bring daylight deeper into the unit.


Walls/trim: Farrow and Ball ‘blackened’ UNO
Trim/cabinetry (including bathrooms): Farrow and Ball blackened UNO
Glass shelf supports: Doug Mockett
Threshold at entry door: beveled wood; Pemko door bottom sweeps
Recessed light fixtures: Halo 4” aperture
Cabinet hardware: Addison Weeks
Niche paint color: Farrow and Ball pavilion grey
Kitchen cabinetry: Poggenpohl
Kitchen counter: absolute black granite
Cove lighting; Contech LED indoor tapelight
Perlick 15” wide panel-ready under counter wine refrigerator
Paint color at accent wall: Farrow and Ball cinder rose
Light fixture: Tech Lighting Kable Lite system
Bath cabinetry handles: Emtek
Toilet: Seagram one-piece elongated toilet
Sink: Webster undermount sink
Faucet: Grohe, stainless steel
Mirror lights: Artemide
TruStile interior wood door
Cabinetry hardware: Emtek
Office light fixture: Tech Lighting Monorail system
TruStile interior wood pocket door


Daniel Contelmo Architects
Poughkeepsie, N.Y.


Photos: Daniel Contelmo Jr.

Project location: Oakdale, N.Y.
Square footage before: 3,905
Square footage after: 3,912
Project cost: $650,000

The house sits on a half-acre island, part of an original Rockefeller estate. Recent renovations included exterior extensions in the 1970s and an interior upgrade in 2016. The clients had several objectives with this project: up-to-date landscaping, a more prominent exterior, and to take advantage of water views and renovated interior spaces created by the additional height added to the structure.

All of this had to be completed without adding to the footprint of the building. The client desired to have traditional materials used in a way that was unique to their design but also complemented the waterside vernacular of the surrounding area. The existing home was two stories but had low ceilings on the second floor with a shallow roof pitch. It did not take full advantage of the views afforded by the location. The clients requested vaulted ceilings where possible, roof decks, larger windows and French doors, as well as a more distinct entry.

To balance the height and scale of the tower, a large gambrel-roof structure was set midway on the east (entry) side. This was sided with a diamond pattern of PVC sheets and battens. The team created a two-story game room on the east end of the home above the garage. A stair and balcony within that room leads to an intermediate roof deck, which houses a hot tub. Open balustrades allow for ornamentation and the occasional lower view, but solid half walls were designed as wind breaks.


Flooring: Brazilian Teak
Roofing: Maybeck
Siding: Sheet PVC with PVC Battens, Certigrade Perfection red cedar shingle
Brick/stone/stucco: RStone, Co
Doors: Custom
Windows: Anderson
Paint/stain: Benjamin Moore
Decking: Eco-Arbor
Railing: ViewRail

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