A Ranch House Reinvented


Raising the roofline and taking full advantage of the view, a Vestavia couple turns a house they already loved into the home of their dreams.

Written by Jane Reynolds

Photography by Chris Luker

Andy and Ashley Prewitt have loved this home, which overlooks the 14th hole of Vestavia Country Club, from the day they bought it from the original owner back in 2003. It was a traditional ranch home in line with the character of the neighborhood, and it suited them well. But at the same time, they always saw the potential down the road to open the flow, bring in more light and make maximum use of the spectacular view.

The Prewitts made some changes right away, updating the kitchen and bathrooms, replacing a fourth bedroom with a den and adding a fireplace. In 2014, they added a large screened-in porch across the back of the home, overlooking the patio area and the golf course beyond.

Then in 2016, the Prewitts decided they were ready to embark on the major renovation they’d been planning all along. Over the years they had kept notes and files and had an idea of what they wanted to gain from the renovation, including a master suite and master closet addition. “We also knew that adding some height to the house was a priority for us, as a traditional ranch-style home tends to have a lower roofline and design,” says Ashley. With input from Adams Gerndt Design Group and residential interior designer Mark Kennamer, they decided on a substantial increase in pitch and ceiling height.

The key, says Tom Adams, partner in Adams Gerndt, was to achieve these changes while keeping the home’s profile in line with the character of the area. “We didn’t want to do anything that was alien to the neighborhood,” he says. “What we were trying to preserve more than anything was just the integrity of the architecture, as opposed to doing something that looks like it belongs somewhere else.”

By changing the roofline, they were able to take full advantage of the views and fill the home with natural light. “The dining room has an amazing window that opens up to the front of the house and lets light filter throughout the entire space,” Kennamer says. “In the great room/kitchen, we have a 16’ tongue-and-groove ceiling that gives texture and style. We wanted the home to feel spacious and comfortable.”

Adams says opening the floorplan—knocking down walls and redesigning the layout, including moving the kitchen to the back of the home while moving the dining room up to the front—created new flow and continuity that better fits the way the Prewitts live. “Having the big and open dining/living/kitchen area, stretching out to the back porch—that became the center of the house and where all the energy is,” he says. The Prewitts add that new French doors in the master suite opening out to the back porch help bring everything together.

In the process, the Prewitts updated the home’s exterior as well, including landscape and hardscape updates by Peter Falkner of Falkner Gardens, who has been working with them on projects for the house for years. “There were also some tweaks after the fact that we didn’t realize we wanted before we started and then saw how well they worked as things started to come together,” Andy says. These include the limestone surround on the large front window, cedar shake roof and cedar accents around the parking area in front. Adams adds that the result evokes an English style that everyone involved in the project embraced. 

The Prewitts are delighted with the finished result, the way it opens the home to the beauty of the lot, and how it fits their lifestyle and enhances the space for entertaining. On top of that, they feel they accomplished another of their goals, which was to keep enough of the home’s original appeal to create a sense of timeless continuity. “It was important to us to keep a little bit of the original character of the home,” says Ashley, “because we’ve loved it so much and there have been so many memories in the house.” 

 

 

Behind the Scenes

Home Design:

Adams Gerndt Design Group

Interiors:

Mark Kennamer,

Mark Kennamer Design

Landscaping and Patio:

Peter Falkner, Falkner Gardens

 

One Response to “A Ranch House Reinvented”

  1. Amanda says:

    Love the kitchen light fixtures and those counter stools…. Can I get info on those?

    Thanks,
    Amanda

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