A New Lease on Life | Season 2 Episode 1
I know, I know…I say it all the time but, y’all, the Ward’s home may be my all-time favorite! I have always dreamt of living in a cedar shake cottage at the water’s edge and, if I can’t live here, there is no other family I’d rather hand the keys back over to than the Wards. They are just as kind and gracious in real life as you saw on the show last night.
In case you missed their backstory, Troy and Melode Ward sold their suburban home and bought a lake-front property after Troy survived his battle with a malignant brain tumor. This home represents a new lease on life and an opportunity for the Ward family to embrace a season of respite after a scary season of fighting for Troy’s life. When they purchased it, the early 90’s home was in need of an overhaul but the calming lake view and the atmosphere of tranquility were exactly what Troy and Melode were seeking. They started to renovate the home themselves and quickly realized they were in over their heads – which is when Dave and I were invited into their family’s story. We were honored to take on this special project of creating a beautiful home for this amazing family.
Because this renovation was so extensive, I’m going to break this recap into two separate posts. Today, I’ll take you through the main level transformation. Stay tuned for the basement because there are several spaces that you didn’t get to see in the show! To help wrap our heads around the footprint change, here is an overhead view of the main floor:
A few notes before we jump into the details and pretty pictures: there were a few spaces on this floor that you didn’t see in the episode last night. First off, don’t worry, we didn’t take away their laundry room! We actually moved it from the kitchen in order to expand that footprint and then bumped out the wall where the front door used to be in order to create a laundry and mudroom right off the garage. We also created a walk-in closet off Troy and Melode’s bathroom by stealing space from the existing guest bath. Instead of a full bath for guests, we gave them a cute powder bath in the new entry area. I hope that clears up some confusion!
Now that’s out of the way, join me for a tour of the Ward’s lakefront home…
BEFORE: A lackluster home with an incredible view of the lake.
We transformed the exterior of the Ward’s home by first removing the brick veneer and dated siding and then we re-sided the entire home with a natural cedar shake. By creating an entryway inside where the former office had been, we were able to move and center the front door which gave the home a much more inviting entrance. The creamy white trim and extended front porch completed the quintessential lake home look the Wards had hoped for. I love how quaint and charming the home is now!
AFTER: A charming, quintessential lake home.
Lighting | Kichler
Landscaping | John Zito Landscaping LLC
Exterior Trim Paint Color | Benjamin Moore White Dove
Kitchen & Dining
BEFORE: A small space in need of a makeover.
After we relocated the laundry room to the newly built space where the front door used to be, we had just enough additional square footage to push out the kitchen and fully transform the room. The new U-shaped kitchen keeps the floor plan open to the dining and living areas while giving ample cabinetry and storage. Keeping with the lake house aesthetic, I chose a cool light blue paint for the cabinetry and crisp white countertops with a mix of black hardware and natural woven fixtures to complete the space. We also replaced the bay window with french doors to help the space flow better and allow for a defined dining area. These new doors lead out onto an outdoor dining deck – an essential for lake life!
AFTER: A bright and airy lake house kitchen.
Kitchen Sconces |Home Depot
Dining Table Pendant | Amazon
Cabinetry & Range Hood | Premier Wood Concepts
Sink | Signature Hardware
Faucet | Signature Hardware
Dining Table | Howse
Floral and Plants | Shop All Things Kindred
Cabinet Paint Color | Farrow & Ball Light Blue No. 22
Living Room and Entry
BEFORE: A typical 90’s home with several closed off spaces.
This home is all about the lake and my biggest goal was to maximize the views while making the space feel more open and airy. In order to do so, we first created a new entry with vaulted ceilings, and then, we opened the walls from the existing living room to sunroom. Next, and most importantly, we replaced all of the windows with larger ones.
In order to combine the living and sunroom spaces into one, we had to remove the oversized wood stove in the corner and build a new and sleek fireplace wall that can be enjoyed from the entirety of the open floor plan. The new metal handrail on the staircase ties in with the metal handrail on the back deck and keeps the space feeling open.
I always want a house to feel like a home and to reflect the story of the family that lives there. The Ward’s story is powerful and this home reflects their outlook on life to never take a single day for granted. Troy told me that his motto after remission and when purchasing this house was to “seize the day” so I had Chase create a custom “Carpe Diem” floor in-lay at the entrance of the home. It makes a statement right when you walk in and reminds everyone who enters that this home and this family are special. Chase has his own “Carpe Diem” testimony so he was the perfect guy for this job. I also had the guys build a custom white oak cabinet to display Melode’s beloved collection of her grandmother’s china because I know how important these family heirlooms are to her.
AFTER: A beautiful, open space with plenty of natural light and gorgeous lake views.
Furnishings | Howse
Custom Coffee Table | Dave Marrs
Foyer Light | Hudson Valley
Sunroom Pendant Lighting | Serena & Lily
Art | Melissa Griffith
Plants | Shop All Things Kindred
Wall Paint Color | Benjamin Moore White Dove OC-17
Main Bedroom and Bathroom
BEFORE: An uninteresting bedroom with little closet space and a wall of doors.
Once again, the focus in the main bedroom was to optimize the views of the lake and add more natural light into the room. By replacing the existing window with a set of french doors, we created a perfect space for a private balcony for Troy and Melode right off of their bedroom. We also took out the closet entrance from the bedroom and were able to steal some space from the existing full bathroom in the front of the house (because we made it into a smaller powder bath for guests) in order to give the Wards a large main bathroom and walk-in closet.
Dave created the perfect finishing touches in the room by building a custom bed and nightstands. I love the light, natural wood in this space.
AFTER: A calming, restorative retreat with a new spacious bathroom and walk-in closet.
Chandelier | Lulu & Georgia
Bed and Nightstands | Dave Marrs
Bathroom Floor Tile | Riad Tile
Bathroom Vanities | Pottery Barn
Vanity Mirrors | Amazon
Shower Faucet | Signature Hardware
Bathtub | Signature Hardware
Vanity Sink Faucet | Signature Hardware
Wall and Ceiling Paint Color | Benjamin Moore White Dove OC-17
I hope you enjoyed the tour of the main floor of the Ward’s home! Click HERE for all of the details from the basement and boat house…which are two of my favorite spaces of the season!
I can’t say it enough — THANK YOU to everyone who has supported and cheered on our family on this crazy TV adventure. We are blown away, grateful and humbled by the outpouring of love and encouragement. We hope you love this new season – I promise we poured our whole hearts into these projects and we can’t wait to share them with you all!