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See this modern home redesign in an historic neighborhood

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The home's flat, one-story design was transformed into a beautiful two-story home with a sloping roof and plenty of interesting angles to add curb appeal.
The home's flat, one-story design was transformed into a beautiful two-story home with a sloping roof and plenty of interesting angles to add curb appeal. (Luker Photography)

Sifting through before and after photos of a Christopher Architecture & Interiors Mountain Brook renovation project, it's hard to believe that the original one-story home wasn't a complete tear down--but Chris Reebals has proof.

"See that bush right there," he says pointing at a picture of the front of the new house. "That was there before."

So was the foundation, and even some of the framing and brick, he adds, but based on the after photos, you'd never guess.

The sloping roofline and floor-to-ceiling windows give the home curb appeal, while keeping with the historic feel of the Mountain Brook neighborhood. The mix of both is exactly what was wanted by the family of four that lives there now.

The couple who purchased the house had moved to the area about a decade ago, so a few years ago when they began their search for a new home, they knew they wanted to be in Mountain Brook. They also wanted a place where they could lay roots and raise their two daughters.

When they purchased their 1940s Mountain Brook house, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home wasn't right for the family of four. They needed more space, but they also wanted to make the most of the existing structure. Having worked with Reebals, president of Christopher Architecture, on other projects, they brought him in to do the job.

before_cmyk.jpg>The home before renovations 

In the beginning, there was talk of tearing down the old house and starting from scratch. However, strict zoning laws and setbacks, as well as the size of the lot--84-feet wide and 160-feet deep--caused Reebals to determine that the best option was to work with what they had.

The decision appealed to the California couple who wanted to be good stewards to the neighborhood and the environment by preserving everything they could, from the structure of the house to the landscaping.

While the family knew what they wanted in their home, they also knew Reebals was the expert, so they left the details to him.

"I've done a couple projects for this couple, and they're fun to work with," he says. "She's a doctor and would say, 'I can fix your heart; you can fix my house.'''

That's exactly what Reebals and his team did. The family of four has now been in the house for about a year. What was once a deteriorating one-story home is now a beautiful, functional two-story home with five bedrooms and five and a half baths.

Reebals' inspiration for this historic home was his college idol, architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. "I always thought his work was interesting," Reebals says.

The early 20th century architect was known for his artistic approach to design, and the same could be said of Reebals, who still draws out each of his designs by hand.

This Mountain Brook renovation is reminiscent of one of Mackintosh's most iconic homes--Hill House in Scotland--yet it's also true to its own style.

For instance, the two-story window in the front of the house is dramatically different than the Mackintosh design, and purposefully so.

canterbury_residence_005_cmyk.jpg>The renovation was inspired by a home designed by famous architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh.Luker Photography

The original house was one story, and Reebals added a second. He says the floor-to-ceiling window on the front facade of the home unifies the home's two levels. 

"I like doing two-story glass," he says. "It breaks the stories up, but it also makes them feel like one."

Another wall of windows extends from the front facade of the house, creating the symbiotic relationship Reebals desired.

The exterior of the home is Texas limestone mixed with Indiana limestone, a juxtaposition of smooth and rough stone. A fire pit of those same materials is a gathering spot outdoors.

Inside, Reebals says the family wanted a more modern approach.

"They wanted a little bit more modern interiors, and really, we do too," he says. "They wanted more modern, clean lines."

The couple kept all the walls white and the decor simple with a neutral color palette. The modern, open feel is most apparent in the kitchen, where Reebals opted to nix the upper cabinets, giving more room to let in light from two of the kitchen's three walls that are lined with windows. He made up for the lack of storage with a wall of cabinets, which covers the appliances and also hides a large walk-in pantry.

canterbury_residence_011_cmyk.jpg>The kitchen has no upper cabinets, but instead features a wall of cabinets that serves a dual purpose in covering the appliances and a large walk-in pantry. Luker Photography 

The kitchen countertops are carrera marble, and the ceilings are pecking cypress, which provides an interesting mix of cool stone with earthy wood.

Everywhere throughout the house, Reebals worked with the existing structure. The bay window in the family room and the garage are original to the 1940s home.

"They really liked the idea of using what was there," Reebals says. "We did too; we want to be good stewards. If we found something of quality or value there, we used it. We reused the brick and some of the framing."

Resources

Architecture & Design: Christopher Architecture & Interiors

--By Laura McAlister | Photos by Luker Photography

This story appears in Birmingham magazine's April 2018 issue as part of the Beautiful Birmingham Homes & Gardens section. Subscribe today!

Source : http://www.al.com/bhammag/index.ssf/2018/04/see_this_modern_home_redesign.html

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