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Coming Home
By Tracy Dickinson | Photography by Tim Abramowitz
FEATURED REMODEL August/September 2017
home :: home & garden :: featured remodels

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A Greenfield couple settles in to their hometown.

When Todd and Lisa Lamb moved to Greenfield in the early 2000s, they were starting a new life as business owners. But they were also coming home.

Both natives of Greenfield, the Lambs had married after each moving away for college and starting careers. When their first two children were born, they knew they wanted to be closer to family. “Todd’s family and mine are both still here,” says Lisa. “So we were hoping to find some place close by.”

Their timing was perfect. Todd, a funeral director, wanted to purchase his own funeral service rather than work for someone else. As the couple began looking into their options, the funeral home in Greenfield became available.

“We lived in the apartment above the funeral home for a while until we found this house,” Lisa says. The house, a newer home right in town, met a lot of the family’s needs, but it never felt like the ideal space. Lisa, who has a flair for design, had been collecting ideas and tossing around remodeling concepts for several years before they decided to take that leap.

“Our kids were in middle school and high school by then, and we considered just remodeling within the existing footprint,” she explains. “But we realized our house is more than just our house. It’s our retreat, and we want our kids to be able to come back here and eventually bring their families.”

Now owners of three funeral homes in the area, the Lambs don’t have the luxury of taking extended vacations. And as the parents of three teenagers who are active in multiple sports and other events, there’s little time for even short getaways.

So Todd and Lisa worked with Kaufman Construction to make their current house into the home where they could settle in and enjoy their life.

Devan Kaufman, owner of Kaufman Construction, says, “Sometimes we’re the leader in the design, and sometimes the homeowners have in mind exactly what they want. That’s one of the things we’re proud of—that our design process enables both approaches.”

To hear them tell it, each party believes the other led this design process.

“They were so wonderful to work with,” Lisa says. “Every idea I had, every request, they worked with me to make it happen. Their design team gave us detailed drawings so we could really see what the design would look like. They’d take all our questions and requests and rework the design until it was exactly what we wanted.”

Kaufman laughs, “That’s quite a compliment that they feel that way. When we first started the project, they approached us to help them with the design. But as things developed, it really became bringing Lisa’s vision to life. It was truly a collaborative effort from beginning to end.”

A new floor plan

The original home’s second-level landing offered no natural light, and the master bedroom was poorly insulated and had little closet space. In addition, the stairway cut off the front entry from the main living areas, and the fourth bedroom was very small.

The house also offered little in the way of common living space. The Kaufman plan resolved all those issues and opened up additional opportunities to incorporate some of the family’s wish list items, too.

“They redid the stairway, which opened up the entry,” explains Lisa. “And they reworked the upstairs layout to open up the landing and added skylights so there’s so much more light up there now.”

In reworking the existing space, Kaufman was able to expand the kitchen, opening it up as well.

New spaces

The finished plan included moving the master suite to the main level in a new wing that features a spacious family room and a three-season room.

“Lisa had some great ideas for the master suite,” Kaufman says. “Including access to the laundry room from the master closet and installing that frosted glass barn door between it and the laundry—those were both her suggestions, and they keep the laundry room from feeling dark and closed in.”

Another favorite feature of both Kaufman and Lisa is the new pantry. “The pantry design was another neat feature that was a result of Lisa’s suggestions,” Kaufman says. “I really like the way that turned out.”

Lisa agrees. “I know it’s just a pantry, but I love it. It’s one of my favorite features to show people.”

The addition of the family room and master suite provided an opportunity to expand the outdoor living space as well, which presented a bit of a challenge for Kaufman Construction.

“The property hadn’t been a walkout lot,” Kaufman explains. “But when we finished the lower level and added the family room there, the Lambs really wanted to have a patio space outside. That required some work and planning to adapt the lot for that, but it turned out beautifully.”

A new look

The remodel required some adapting from the Lambs and from Kaufman’s crew during the nearly year-long process.

“We moved back into that little apartment above the funeral home and stored most of our possessions in various houses and garages from here to Fontanelle,” laughs Lisa. “But we just looked at it as an adventure.”

“It was one of the largest projects we’ve ever done in scope and time,” Kaufman adds.

Numerous elements were involved in the addition and remodel. However, it’s the little details that reveal the craftsmanship and reflect the personality of the homeowners.

“I wanted all four seasons represented in some way,” Lisa says. So even though the neutrals and the blues tie everything together, she brought the seasons into the decor in subtle ways. Soft blues and sandy neutrals give a sense of summers at the lake, and richer earth tones in the family room hint of autumn around the fire.

Lisa also had some special requests that required creative thinking on the part of Kaufman’s design team. “Lisa had a lot of things she’d collected over the years that she wanted to be able to display,” Kaufman says. “So we found ways to incorporate displays in every room, but it seems natural and not cluttered.” Favorite pieces, like the Mickey Mouse cabinet, sports memorabilia, and Lisa’s extensive collection of Cat’s Meow houses, all have a place now.

“I also have a village set with lights that I put out at Christmas,” adds Lisa. “They put in special outlets over the beverage bar so I’d have a place for those, too.”

Kaufman says, “Every project we do, we approach it with the philosophy that form follows function. The point isn’t to add a lot of artificial flair. The flair is in making everyday function beautiful. Lisa was really in tune with that, and everything from the trim to the built-ins and the whole layout was designed for how they live and to look beautiful at the same time.”

The Lambs moved back home to be closer to family. When they partnered with Kaufman Construction, they created the perfect space to enjoy that life.

 

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