Finding space for change in this two story home
The lifestyle communities of Long Island have flourished over the past two decades. A popular upscale “over 55” community in Western Suffolk County is The Greens where varied housing choices consist of apartments, villas, and single and separate one story and two story homes. Located on 400 acres, it includes a large club house, golf course and restaurant as well as other amenities. Many dwellers inhabit full time residences there while others travel south for the winter.
Our firm has designed every model, but the largest two story is the most challenging because of its high ceilinged great room. These particular clients, husband and wife, had a special request. They wanted to have a full bath on the main floor instead of a powder room, as well as closet space and sleeping accommodations, should they be unable to climb the stairs to the second floor master bedroom in the future.
After reviewing several new floor plan options, we were able to carve space for a full size shower behind the existing powder room, and with the use of built-ins for appropriate storage , turn a library/den into sleeping quarters with the use of a sofa bed whose mattress was designed for full time sleeping. At the same time, we added an additional closet in the main floor entry and closed off an unnecessary second opening to the dining room, thereby enlarging the kitchen.
Living with renovation in every part of the house is not easy, but our super nice and competent contractor, ALP Construction, and our super nice and trusting clients made the transformation without incident and with great results. The new kitchen and family room cabinetry helped “cozy up” a carnivorous space and the “what to do with” area between these two became another destination for seating as well as for grandchildren to play when visiting. The large window with a great view of the golf course and fountains was the perfect backdrop for this new, warm and inviting space.
Why, one might wonder, would such clients engage in a major renovation? For one, they were smart enough to know that life isn’t over in an active “over 55” community; it’s just beginning, and living with dated furniture from the 80’s and less than ideal kitchen and bathroom space isn’t the best way to feel young and healthy. They also realized that the time to renovate is just before you decorate and certainly before you’re ready to move. (It’s surprising how many people wait until they choose to sell to make changes they should have done to improve their own quality of life). They wanted a timeless, elegant and classic home that would work for them now and in the future and they were willing to endure a little inconvenience to get it.
Happily, their home now reflects their new lifestyle. With the husband recently retired, there are many places in this large and spacious residence to be together as well as apart, and many opportunities for socialization. Here is what they had to say about life in their new home in an over 55 community:
“Natalie guided us through a transition from contemporary to traditional to create a home environment that is an extension of our personality and will meet our needs for years to come. Natalie’s knack for design, color coordination, furniture and rug selection as well as the high quality workmanship of her contractors has all come together to make a warm inviting home in which we are proud to entertain our friends and family alike. Most important to us was that Natalie respected our opinions, listened to our needs and even incorporated our important “keepsakes” into the design. Natalie is no longer our decorator, she is now our friend.”