Today I am excited to share the most amazing renovated ranch home in our neighborhood. And even more inspiring than the transformation the house went through is the story of the people who live there. I’m honored to share the photos of the house and the story of this special couple who lives here.
A little backstory:
Lorraine and her husband David have been on quite the adventure the last few years. Prior to the recession, David worked as a residential home builder with Lorraine spearheading the interior selections and design. When the economy (and especially the housing market) came to a screeching halt about 10 years ago, the couple saw it as a chance to pivot. Instead of wallowing in the despair of the current economic situation, they jumped on an idea. The couple turned their lake home and property into an inn called “The Nest at Lake Weir”.
The Nest was their adventure project for 5 years. Clearly the duo had a passion around this dream because the buzz around the little lakeside resort grew. It was a success as a business. However, being innkeepers limited their freedom. Last year, someone bought the property from David and Lorraine and the time came to start a new chapter. One that would allow them to enjoy the freedom and flexibility they craved after the years of being business owners in the hospitality industry.
This new chapter in their journey currently has them in semi-retirement. They are back to building and designing houses. But just a couple a year. One of their first big projects to tackle was purchasing their own home in town. They were ready to enjoy the proximity to their kids and grandkids, and their newfound freedom to travel. The couple are now also proud owners of an Airstream trailer, which they’ve already taken on many adventures.
The house they bought turned out to be major renovation project of an older ranch that had only been owned by only one person prior. Which brings us to where we are today. Lorraine and David have only lived in their new house for 7 months and it already has been completely transformed. I have been begging Lorraine to let me shoot it for months. She kept putting me off because she felt it wasn’t ready. I’m so glad she said yes because you have to see this transformation.
Before we get to the official home tour, Lorraine provided me a few pictures of what it looked like when they bought it less than a year ago. You might find it hard to believe it is the same house. These pictures show you how visionary and talented this duo is when it comes to transforming and creating livable homes for modern life. You’ll probably want to scroll back up to these when you see the “afters” because of the drastic difference.
And now for the tour and an interview with Lorraine.
Renovated Ranch Home Tour:
Who lives in this home and how did you come to live here? How did you know it was the right choice for your family? Myself and my awesome husband of 43 years. We recently sold our Inn on Lake Weir it was a wonderful very demanding business that was hard work and offered us very little privacy. We have always enjoyed having friends and family over for dinner as well as our own special quiet time outside. This home is giving us back our privacy and the ability to entertain family and friends again in a simple, easy way. It’s enough living space and the outdoor area is perfect for us.
Tell us about the process of renovating this home. It had to be fast if we didn’t want to move twice. We were working with about a 7 week timeline. It’s was hard to prioritize our spending and make choices that would work in our budget and time frame. Walls were opened up, new kitchen, windows, roof and of course drywall, paint and flooring. The challenge of moving plumbing and electical wiring is so much harder in an existing home but that was a big part of the remodel.
Where do you find home inspiration and ideas? God has given me a gift to see design and decorating, but that can be hard to communicate to others who are helping you complete the project. Pictures are worth a 1,000 words! There are always great pictures on Houzz and an internet search of product availability is very helpful.
How would you describe your aesthetic/style? Hard question…I have been drawn towards mid- century modern in the last couple of years and I really liked the look, but when it came down to making purchases we didn’t want to give up comfort. Mid- Century furniture is not comfortable so maybe a ” cozy modern with a touch of cottage” is there such a thing? Ha ha!
How do you approach a new renovation project? Where do you start? Make a wish list first, prioritize according to budget and make sure you if you can’t do everything you wish for that you are not putting yourself in a position where you to have to undo your first phase to get to the next phase..not sure if that makes sense.
What advice do you have for someone thinking about renovating with their spouse? Pray up and snuggle up, haha. We have an advantage over some couples because of over 40 years of construction experience but even with that it can be a little stressful. Plan, plan, plan. And lots of discussion. Find a way to visualize. Everyone has different gifts and it’s hard for some people to create and visualize on their own…hire someone to help you.
What are some of your favorite places to find inspiration for your home? Traveling and seeing new artsy stores with new designs and old world imports ….and of course looking at magazines when waiting in line at Publix!
Which room in your home do you enjoy the most? Can I say kitchen, dining and outdoor space?….and I love my tub!
What do you splurge on in your home? Where do you like to save? We splurged on the things that you don’t get do overs on..like kitchen and bath. I try to save on anything that I might want to change in the future.
What are some of your favorite places to shop for your home and others’? I really like old things mixed with new, most of my purchases were made from Restoration Hardware, West Elm, Koontz Furniture in Ocala and from Victoria’s antique warehouse in Leesburg. I love to check out Renningers extravaganza event for fill in accessories. Some items like linens and throw pillows came from Home Goods, Pottery Barn and Anthropology.
Whose home or design aesthetic do you admire? Why? Another hard question! In our years of building we have been the ones designing our homes in our own original way. I can’t really think of a person but we do get inspired by previous decades, Frank Loyd Wright, Cracker or old Florida style houses, cottages, and Modern with lots of glass.
What do you think is one thing most people could do that would make a positive impact in their space? Decorating, but being careful not to clutter. Arranging furniture in balance with space and great accessories. Always save back enough budget to do those to things to make your house a home.
You have a large family and lots of grandkids. What are your “musts” around a family-friendly space? Room for everyone to sit comfortably for a meal. Our grandkids like a little space of their own to hang out with cousins so we made what they call “The Chill Room”. I love special pieces in my house but not more than people so I make sure anything I use to create our home is either durable or okay to get broken.
How do you want your children and grandchildren to remember their time at home with you? A fun, relaxing, intimate and a place where they built relationships together.
Seven months. Seven months and it looks like that already. Isn’t she amazing?! I absolutely love how her home is collected, inviting and warm – yet still modern and edgy. What about that outdoor space? Such an inspiration.
On a final note, Brian and I have decided we hope to be just like Lorraine and David when we grow up #lifegoals. They pretty much have our dream future life. I admire how clear they are on their values and the intentionality of what they choose to do (and not do) with their time.
Interested in seeing more home tours like this one? Check out the rest of my “Step Inside” series HERE.
Photography by Ale Cretul