St. John Bay Remodel Brings 40-Year-Old Home Solidly into the 21st Century
When longtime Ono Island resident, Larry Sloan, purchased his St. John Bay home nearly forty years ago, he could hardly have envisioned it as it is today. A recent full remodel of the 8,000 square foot, five-bedroom, five and a half bath waterfront home brings it solidly into the 21st century with a whole new look.
Lori Lumsden, Design Manager with Direct Design Group, LLC of Foley, worked with Sloan 18 years ago on this home, with a remodel that included new flooring and cabinets. When he was ready for another renovation. This time, Lumsden and her team went much further with the St. John Bay remodel – gutting the entire main floor, installing an elevator, and refacing the façade, making the house look is if it was new construction. The stucco, stone and cedar front are set off by the custom-designed glass front door and the matching garage doors. Removal of a partial wall improved access to the front door, and landscapers worked magic by clearing out overgrown foliage and installing decorative flower beds.
The open kitchen is the heart and soul of the main floor and it connects both visually and functionally with the den, the dining room, and the living areas. A lighted onyx bar top backed with the Sloan family business logo fabricated into a halo backlit crest replaced the bar in the den while the removal of a step up into the dining room further enhanced the traffic flow throughout the home.
Lumsden used designer Kim Heaton of French’s Cabinet Gallery out of Franklin TN to design striking new contemporary cabinets for the kitchen and paired them with high-end appliances to give Sloan the state-of-the-art kitchen he wanted. “The homeowner loves what we were able to accomplish with the kitchen since he spends a great deal of time in there,” says Lumsden. “We closed up two windows to provide room for more cabinets, but then we knocked out an interior wall to open up the space. That allows the entire area to feel larger, lighter, and more open, and flow seamlessly into the living areas, making it easier and more natural for socializing and entertaining.”
New ceramic tile with subtly variegated colors mimicking the look of wood replaced all of the Mexican tile flooring on the main level with a modern tin ceiling installed in the den over the pool table. New siding with a clean, white tone-on-tone color palette replaced the dated siding on the St. John Bay remodel, with a wall of newly installed mirrors minimizing the reflection of the water throughout the main floor. The effect of the changes is a far greater connectivity with the outdoors and with the water. “The view becomes a part of the house, and part of its ambiance,” says Lumsden. Unique remote control shades designed for the entire rear of the house give the owner the ability to raise, lower, and otherwise adjust all the shades at once.
The outdoor space ties the home to the water, with a large deck, dock, boathouse, and Sloan’s 76-foot motor yacht from Lazzara Yacht Company – aptly christened At Ease – providing the focal point. He spends as much time as possible cruising on At Ease whenever weather permits.
The St. John’s Bay Remodel took a full year to complete. During this time, Lumsden was living in Tennessee and was able to keep tabs on the project by flying down once a month. “Not being on-site and available to answer questions and make decisions on the spot was a real challenge,” she says. “But we were able to make it work.” A side effect of Lumsden’s travel to and from Ono Island is that she fell in love with the area. She relocated with her 14-year-old son Jonathan, and along with her two business partners, opened up their interior design studio located inside Home Design Center on the Foley Beach Express. Lumsden, who always dreamed of living at the beach, insists, “I’ve found my happy place!”