“This house was so sad, ” says architect Cherri Pitts. “People would drive by it and not even notice it. A lot of prospective buyers looked at it but were scared off because it needed so much work. To have the opportunity to breathe life into it made it a wonderful project.”
Cherri was introduced to the homeowner by interior decorator Richard Tubb. “Richard called Cherri and it was love at first sight, ” says the homeowner who had worked with Richard on previous projects. “Cherri understood everything Richard and I wanted and we understood her, ” she adds.
Thrilled to be a part of the team, Cherri says, “When I get involved in a project, it’s a long term relationship. “Life is too short not to enjoy it. You want it to be good for everyone—and Richard and I really wanted to please the owner.”
Taking the mess of a house back to its intended glamour while updating it for modern living posed all kinds of challenges. The owner asked for a place of serenity for herself, but room for grandchildren and family when they visit. “It was a complete redo, ” Cherri says. “The owner saved it in the nick of time. It had almost gotten past the point of repair.”
Cherri worked with Harris Coggin Building Company to expand the back of the home and rework and restore the existing spaces. “The new space is so sophisticated and spacious. It feels like the design was always there, ” says Cherri. “Then you have Richard who knows the homeowner so well and that added even more wow to it.”
Pushing the back of the house out to accommodate extra square footage on the main level and an expanded basement below, the design team used the additional space to harbor a larger kitchen, adjacent sitting room, and a downstairs guest suite. A new bank of windows across the back and side of the house brings much needed sunlight into the typically dark Tudor style.
The new floorplan was designed to bring people together. “The owner asked for an unpretentious plan where people would feel at home, ” Cherri says. “It’s not just pretty rooms for the sake of pretty rooms.” Add in the owner’s meaningful items and it is truly an individual space. “I like the personal items, ” says Richard. “I don’t want anybody’s home to look like a showroom. I want them to feel like it is their home—a reflection of them at their best.”
PROBLEM / SOLUTION
When Cherri took on the project, it was almost past the point of repair. Extensive renovations were needed to update systems and the new owner needed more room for hosting family. Below is the main-level floorplan. Cherri opened up the family room, adding a bank of windows for much-needed sunlight. Removing the ill-placed fireplace allowed for a staircase to the renovated basement—now used as a guest suite.
architect: Cherri Pitts, AIA / Studio C Architecture and Interiors 2229 First Avenue South, Suite 100, Birmingham, AL, 35233 · 205.322.2315 or 205.492.0377 • www.studiocarch.com • firstname.lastname@example.org • interiors and art selection: Richard Tubb Interiors 2829 2nd. Ave. South, Birmingham, AL 35223 • 205.324.7613 • landscape: David Fuqua builder: Harris Coggin Building landscape lighting: Dan Carter • slate roof: Emack Slate Company, Inc 205.879-3424 • custom steel vanity in powder room: Darrell Hardman • limestone countertops: Masonry Arts, Inc. 205.428.0780 • www.masonryarts.com • audiovisual: Joe Corona, Home Systems Inc. appliances: Allsouth Appliance Group, Inc. www.allsouthappliance.net • 866.942.0408 • new windows: Weather Shield from Holcombe Doors and Windows, Inc. 205-991-DOOR • www.holcombedoorandwindow.com
Cathy Still Johnson