According to Tammy Stringer and Rick Viola, parts of their home were dark, dated, and impractical for the way they lived. However, it was a house and neighborhood they loved and didn’t want to leave, so they called in Caren Bistany of Bistany Design to redesign the kitchen and master bathroom, blending a transitional style with existing traditional architecture. “The result feels softer, brighter, and more functional for how we use it,” Stringer says. By taking out features they never used such as a large garden tub and space-hogging columns in the master bath, Bistany, along with custom builder and renovation contractor Alair Homes Charlotte, transformed both dated spaces into modern rooms the homeowners love.
With the team chosen early in the process, Bistany’s detailed design work completed prior to construction, and Alair’s online system providing daily project updates, the homeowners say the project was completed on time and on budget. “It is always better to find solutions prior to beginning construction,” Duane Johns of Alair Homes says. “Allowances during construction are where projects can go sideways and off-budget. Our process, along with Bistany Design’s preconstruction attention, enabled us to eliminate issues prior to construction.” “Roger [Ketchum of Alair Homes] and Caren were finishing each other’s sentences during the bidding process,” Viola says. “Tammy and I could tell they already worked well together, which was key to our decision.”
The renovated kitchen blended ideas from each team member, including the homeowners. Viola, for example, came up with the solution of a false glass front on the slide-out pantry to the left of the refrigerator. It created symmetry for the glass front wine tower to the right of the refrigerator. Bistany, who specializes in designing custom cabinetry, suggested a custom French grey stain that reads slightly blue on the alder cabinets complemented by honed Azzure natural quartzite countertops. She also suggested a unique plaster finish on the vent hood, which Alair implemented successfully. Together, they found space to incorporate the homeowners’ art collection in the kitchen. Alair Homes removed dated half-columns and an unused bathtub, reworked door openings, and addressed structural and framing issues to implement Bistany’s design of a new upstairs master bathroom. His-and-hers vanities in a unique cross-room configuration, along with modification of his-and-hers closets and a triple-faucet shower system add functionality to a room with heated Blue Antoinette honed marble floors laid in a herringbone pattern. Custom patterned marble continues on the shower floor. Special touches include hotel-style lighted vanity mirrors and a custom Shakuff chandelier. “It’s so nice to work with a team where all members treat the project with the same level of care,” Bistany says. “The stress level for all parties goes down. It’s all about good communication.”
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