When a young couple purchased this formal Colonial-style home in Cherokee Park in March 2020, they knew the home didn’t quite match their personal style. Over a period of two years, Natalie Officer and Julie Metzinger of Natalie O Design worked collaboratively to develop the interior design, space layout and renovation details to transform the old traditional space into a more transitional.
“Our job was to deconstruct it in a clever way that spoke to a much younger, less traditional family structure,” Officer told the Courier Journal. “It was not an accessible house for people who travel the world and have this world reference. We wanted it to be comfortable. »
She adds that the owners appreciated the original architecture, but didn’t want to feel confined by it. Together, she and Metzinger created a more open and personalized space while honoring the traditional bones of the house.
“We playfully danced with the timeless architecture while [incorporating] current details,” she said.
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“The transition isn’t easy, no matter who makes it or why,” Metzinger added. “Our work has extended the duration of the pandemic, making both hard work and patience for the process imperative.”
Focused on food
“The owners are very specific when it comes to food,” Officer said, explaining that they wanted the kitchen to open up to the indoor dining area as well as the outdoor spaces of the house, including the screened porch that has was added during the renovation. This allows for al fresco dining on both sides of the house, creating entertaining options on three sides of the kitchen.
“The original dining room had a nice set of built-in bookcases (which were) removed for the construction of a more open concept,” Metzinger added. “Local furniture maker and master carpenter David Searfoss created and improved upon the original design in conjunction with the [Natalie O Design] equips and builds custom rattan-fronted cabinets.
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These cabinets now store heirloom pieces and other family keepsakes. Brass fixtures have been matched to echo the original design, while the closed-door lower storage provides hidden spaces for games and small craft supplies.
Unique works of art are spread throughout the house. Sometimes rooms are complemented with bold wallpaper; other times, the wallpaper serves as the art itself. The walls of the first floor powder room, for example, feature bright kumquats.
“We wanted to (use) a fruit, but we didn’t want it to be on the nose, like oranges or lemons,” Officer said. “Kumquats are a conversation (starter).”
In the dining room, a painting of Frida Kahlo by Louisville artist J. Cletus Wilcox was an early selection made for the house. Husband and wife loved the life it brought to the space, especially with the bold wallpaper.
“Every piece of art in the house has a story and the reason for its use in the space,” Metzinger said. “The vibrant and modern composition [above the living room sofa] was inherited and became a centerpiece of the color palette for the duration of the design. … It reflects the modernity of the redesigned fireplace.
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Open to the outside
Although the interior of the house has undergone a major renovation, Officer points out that everything in the house was designed to be open to the weather and the outdoors.
“The Dining Room,” Metzinger said, “opens with all the grace of an old movie onto the tall columns that punctuate the expansive verandah at the front of the house, overlooking the park district and treetops. trees.”
The officer adds that the living room opens both to the front terrace as well as to the gardens and patio at the back of the hill; the dining room is accessible from the front terrace and the kitchen, with a lounge area and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the rear gardens; and the kitchen opens to the back garden and pool, as well as the addition of the three season bedroom.
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The home also features French doors in every room, creating 360 degree exterior access and an abundance of natural light.
“The house itself is amazing,” the officer said, “[but] the outdoor experience is outstanding.”
nuts and bolts
Owners: World travelers, business owners, and health and wellness enthusiasts live in this home with their young son and Labradoodle.
Residence: This is a classic 4 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath, 4,100 square foot Colonial home in Cherokee Park that was built in 1922.
Distinctive elements: Royal front columns with a vast veranda; a three-season addition integrated into the original architecture; a clever two-part renovation revised the entrance, fireplaces, master suite, kitchen and dining areas; winding garden and stone staircase top climbing to the top of the terraced space; the stunning swimming pool offers play space for children while rivaling the elegant entertainment areas of the interior; the art in the entrance is made up of hundreds of small leaves in a circular formation.
Applause! Applause! Wilkinson Builders for the renovation of the dining room and kitchen – which was a complete demolition and renovation of the space – as well as the recent addition of the three-season screened porch; David Searfoss for his craftsmanship of the bespoke furniture elements, the superb renovation of the fireplace, the floating shelves and the walnut gallery framing of the kitchen windows; Dax Shepard for the white oak wall application and curved segway in the hallway; The Siosi Design team of Bloomington, Indiana, for the entrance handrail; Waterworks plumbing fixtures provided by Willis Klein, who walked through and supported the project through to completion despite supply chain issues and communication difficulties; and the installation team at Natalie O Design for putting the house back together with a renovation at the start of the pandemic.