Great Rooms Wins Gold for Pfund Home Renovation

November 17, 2010

Chicagoland Real Estate Forum congratulates Great Rooms Designers & Builders for winning a Gold Key Award in the category of “Excellence in Remodeling Whole House Under $200,000” for the Pfund residence’s renovation.

The client is an empty-nester couple who purchased their high-end, first-floor master spec house when it was built in 1999, but needed to live in it for a while in order to understand what they would want changed.

The client never liked their voluminous, two-story great room with wall of windows facing the backyard. Issues with this detail included leaky windows, loss of heat, fading of rugs and furniture and overall lack of intimacy in this room. Another complaint with the old design included a lack of consistency or context in the architectural detailing throughout the house with trim profiles varying in style from traditional to very formal fluted to casual and on and on.

The split staircase, which terminated in both the foyer and breakfast room, resulted in visual obstruction and a huge loss of floor space in the foyer and, again, the details of the stair (spindles, railing and newel posts) were something that might be found in a much less expensive house.

The master suite featured a very odd combination tray and beamed ceiling detail as well as a fireplace that was not centered on the wall. The layout of the master bathroom/dressing room resulted in a lot of wasted space, and the finishes throughout were sub-standard.

Great Rooms designed a bonus room that was subsequently built above the great room, thereby reducing the ceiling height in that space. New windows were installed in both the great room and bonus room as well as custom, cherry built-ins flanking a new, natural stone/slate fireplace, hearth and surround.

The staircase was redesigned to terminate in the breakfast room only, and all the stair parts were replaced with iron and dark stained wood. The trim throughout the first floor was replaced with consistent profiles that reflect the formal, elegant style of this French Country home. The tray ceiling in the master bedroom was redesigned and outfitted with custom cabinetry and built-ins, stained glass windows, Waterford light fixtures, natural stone and glass mosaic tiles. All of the hardwood throughout the first floor was replaced and the walls, ceiling and trim painted.

The main design challenge involved the support of the second floor and roof loads.

This elegant and sophisticated renovation looks as though it was always a part of the house.

The Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago Key Awards were created in 1972 to recognize excellence in housing design, architecture, interior merchandising, remodeling and landscaping. It has since evolved into one of the premier housing programs in the country.

For more information on the Key Awards, visit

Categories: Awards

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