Modern Home Design Plans One Floor >See the ultra-modern transformation of one traditional home Updated April 17, 2018 at 12:32 PM; Posted April 17, 2018 at 12:30 PM Modern home makeover 13 Gallery: Modern home makeover By Birmingham magazine When Laura and Norm Winston purchased their home in the Cherokee Bend neighborhood of Mountain Brook, they knew it would need some updates. When it came time to improve their home, they decided a pool house would be the perfect addition. The pool was a favorite spot of the then family of five, but the walk to and from the house was tedious due to steep winding stairs that the family went up and down just to enjoy their pool. A pool house was the ideal solution to that problem. They brought in architect Adam Gerndt of Adams-Gerndt Design Group to design the new pool space. The more they saw of his plans, the more they liked it, which got them thinking about updating more than just their pool space. "When we were looking at the drawings for the pool house, everything just started coming together," Laura recalls. "We had gotten to the point where we knew we wanted something more modern and contemporary for our house, but we also wanted to make it mesh with the neighborhood." In addition to the pool house, the Winstons had Gerndt take on a full house renovation with the goal of giving them the modern interior living space they desired, while respecting the historic neighborhood in which the house is located. One of Laura's main goals for the renovation was to make more space, especially as they welcomed a new baby into the family. The best way to do that, Gerndt determined, was to build up. Adding another level also gave the home--which sits at the bottom of a steep hill--an impressive street presence. The dated reddish brick was painted a sophisticated white, transforming the modest ranch into an elegant colonial-style house. "The goal, especially with the front of the house, was to maintain the context of the neighborhood," Gerndt says. "In the back, we opened it up a little and made it more modern." In the backyard, Gerndt replaced the rickety winding stairs with one grand staircase that leads directly from the basement to the pool. Laura says utilizing the backyard also was a priority during the renovation. The couple now has four children ranging in age from 18 months to 19 years old, and the backyard is still one of their most-used areas. "We wanted to encourage family time," Laura says. "We wanted a backyard that would be inviting to all ages." A pool, tennis court, and basketball area provide all the variety for fun the family needs, and the pool house makes those spaces even more inviting, Laura adds. In the main house, Gerndt brought the outdoors inside. A wall of windows in the back of the house starts with the glass doors on the basement level and extends to the second story, allowing the pool to be the main focus in the family room. The massive windows also served a dual purpose in letting lots of natural light into the home. While the outside of the home is traditional, Norm and Laura agreed that they wanted a modern aesthetic inside. "Inside is where we could really focus on our personal styles and preferences," Laura says. "We really like clean lines and neutral colors--contemporary but with a minimalist approach." Inside, the floor plan is open, with the living-room ceiling extending to the second level. An open staircase leads to the additional bedrooms upstairs, with the master on the main level of the home. Aside from the wall of windows in the two-story living room, the focal point in the living room is the steel firebox. The custom-made piece adds to the modern feel of the space, as does an acrylic accent chair and the bubble-glass chandelier. The living room opens to the kitchen, which also has a clean, contemporary design. The waterfall island and countertops are white, vein-cut marble and the backsplash is glass tile. The floor-to-ceiling cabinets match the clean lines of the veining in the countertops and island. To add a little dimension to the kitchen, the trim around the windows is deeper than usual. "They have a little bit of a deeper profile, which gives them some depth, so it's not all flat," Gerndt says. In addition to the kitchen, the family can share their meals outside on the adjoining deck or in the formal dining room. Other updated rooms include a parlor off the kitchen that's perfect for pre-dinner drinks or gatherings, and the main-level powder room that features a floating marble sink and dark porcelain tiles that add contrast to the small space. "It gives it a bit of richness," Gerndt says. The hallway leading to the master bedroom is lined with classic guitars in shadow boxes, an idea Gerndt had after seeing the family's impressive instrument collection. "Norm's got an amazing collection," Gerndt says. "He's got one signed by Kiss, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan...I got the idea to put them in shadow boxes in the hallway. It gives it more of a gallery feel." That gallery of guitars leads to the master, which has a tranquil feel. The white bedding is contrasted with a dark grey headboard, and a sofa in the same color sits at the foot of the bed. Since it's located in the back of the house where privacy isn't an issue, large windows were added to one wall giving yet more views of the pool. The master bath has a spa-like feel with white, marble walls and flooring contrasted against dark quartzite countertops. The master bedroom is the only space in the home that slightly changed the footprint of the existing house. Gerndt says they kept the foundation and bumped it out to make room for the master. In the end, the family ended up with everything they were looking for: a traditional exterior with a modern interior, plus a great pool house for family and friends. Resources Architecture: Adam Gerndt and Tom Adams of Adams-Gerndt Design Group Design: Hadley Dobson of Adams-Gerndt Design Group Furnishings: Janet Clifton of Defining Home Contractor: Twin Construction Landscape: Garner Landscape Custom Steel Firebox: Welded Wood --By Laura McAlister | Photos by Tommy Daspit This story appears in Birmingham magazine's April 2018 issue as part of the Beautiful Birmingham Homes & Gardens section. Subscribe today!