Less ‘Motel’ More ‘Resort’: A Country Home Becomes a Showplace

I was fortunate enough to work on a recent project which seemed to be calling my name. Perhaps it is the outdoorsman in me, but this project will always be a memorable one. Remodeling and renovation jobs are typically more complicated than building a home from scratch, but the results can be particularly gratifying—especially when you can see ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures to illustrate the transformation.

The clients in this case had recently purchased a hunting lodge (2 hours from Houston) and wanted to make some improvements that better reflected how they intended to use the property.

When I first laid eyes on the space, I was struck by how ho-hum it was. Now I don’t want to liken it to a 1960’s kitchen begging for an update—in fact, the lodge was built by the previous owner in 2014—it simply lacked any trace of character.

Collaborating with the homeowner, we created a plan that would transform the space into a welcoming retreat where they would enjoy hosting holiday gatherings. As the wife aptly put it, “We are looking for a little less Ramada Inn, and a little more Four Seasons.”

Some of the key upgrades included:

  • Constructing a wood burning fireplace in the center of the home
  • Installing a cedar plank ceiling to cover the blown in brown insulation that sucked up all the light in the great room
  • Installing cedar crown moulding throughout the home (where there had been none)
  • Replacing the 3 inch white baseboards with 8 inch cedar
  • Building three new showers in the bathrooms that were spacious and ‘spa-like’ using natural river stone

Despite the remote location, this project was completed swiftly and smoothly. With sensible additions, we were able to give this space the character it desperately needed. With all of the animal mounts, the eyes were naturally drawn upward, but the ceiling was just awful and gave the place a sickly pallor. Of all the projects I have ever worked on, this one change may have had the single most impact. (Though this ‘one change’ required the transport of scaffolding down some dusty county roads in order to reach the 20 foot ceilings.) But upon completion, this once dark and dull home became a comfortable lodge which serves as the perfect retreat for a family of six.

I have since been invited to spend a weekend at the property and I am happy to report that no one would ever liken it to a motel! Did I mention I love my job?

Before and After Photos

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