A Sense of Place
A chic makeover rekindles a couple’s love for their longtime family abode.
By Marilyn Hawkes | Photography by David B. Moore and Jill Richards
The doors to Beverly and Brian Burch’s comfortable Santa Barbara-style home, tucked away in a quiet Biltmore neighborhood, are always open to guests. Although the couple are now empty nesters, the house in which they raised their six children regularly hosts visits from numerous grandchildren as well as a wide circle of friends. “We have a huge family and do a lot of entertaining,” says Bev with a smile.
Like the Burch’s growing brood, the dwelling has matured and changed with time. When Bev first spotted the single-story property more than two decades ago while driving through the community, it was unoccupied and overgrown. But both she and Brian, who was attracted to the large lot and central location as well as the extensive landscaping and tennis court, could see its potential. After moving in, they sandblasted through 15 coats of white paint to reveal the ceiling and beams made of wood that had been reclaimed from the old Adams Hotel in downtown Phoenix, which was demolished in 1973 and replaced by what is now the Renaissance Hotel. Flecks of color still cling to the rustic joists, resulting in a rugged and weathered look.
A few years ago, the couple contemplated downsizing and began looking for a new residence. During that time, several real estate agents advised Bev to upgrade the home’s 20-year-old bathrooms and the master bedroom in preparation for putting it on the market. Once the couple started making small changes, “everything began to snowball,” Bev recalls, and instead of moving, they decided to stay put and refurbish. “Bev and I worked together on the plans, with her spending time on the design details and me collaborating with the contractor on the structural and construction matters,” Brian says.
The renovation included a new master bathroom and bedroom as well as a pool room, wine cellar and outdoor kitchen. The chestnut floors throughout the house were sanded and re-stained with a matte finish that lends an organic farmhouse vibe.
Bev, who owns a local home decor business, filled the rooms with antiques and treasures that she procured on buying trips with her friend, business partner and interior designer, Susan Rose. The two women, who say they’re more like sisters than work associates, transformed the home from shabby chic into what Rose calls “collected and curated with very clean lines.”
The master bedroom is cloaked in calming shades of white, from the linens and wall color to the Roman shades and is offset by the rich brown floors. A plush sofa, which Bev says is great for power naps, faces a limestone fireplace imported from France. The grouping provides an intimate conversation area and place to unwind. “It’s a very soothing space,” she notes.
The homeowners worked with interior designer Teresa Pavelonis on transforming the master bath into a study of timeless black-and-white elegance. Sleek underlit his-and-hers vanities, adorned with brass hardware and faucets, appear to float above polished stone flooring. The glass-enclosed shower and adjacent French doors and windows that overlook the leafy garden are framed in black steel, a design feature that’s repeated throughout the house. “It’s such a great, clean look,” Rose points out.
“We have a huge family and do a lot of entertaining.”
—Bev Burch, homeowner
Because the Burches frequently host large get-togethers, the kitchen and pool room are the focal points of the home. “Everybody hangs out in the kitchen,” Bev says. The large Carrara marble-topped island is a popular gathering spot, while the gas range, which features an oversized stainless steel hood, is flanked by open marble shelves that display dishes and wood cutting boards, a look that’s reminiscent of a busy restaurant kitchen. Easy-care exposed brick flooring adds a vintage charm to the amenity-filled room as do the antique French dining table and chairs in the kitchen nook.
In the mornings, Bev and Brian enjoy their coffee while relaxing in a pair of white linen armchairs in front of the nearby fireplace. Most of their seating is white or light-colored, which might seem perilous in a house that’s often filled with active children and pets, but Bev disagrees. “Everything is slip-covered,” she says. “If a dog gets up there or the kids spill something, you can just unzip the cover and throw it in the wash.”
In addition to the kitchen and outdoor areas, the pool room is a popular place for guests to congregate, according to Rose. The bright, airy space originally encompassed three dark bedrooms. Brian notes that opening up the room and adding large windows that overlook the pool were some of the best aspects of the remodel and make the room more usable for entertaining.
A comfortable couch and coffee table facing a TV fills one side of the room. On the opposite end, Bev and Brian added a well-stocked wine cellar. Its exposed brick walls were discovered beneath the home’s drywall. A petite bistro set welcome guests for impromptu wine tastings.
Now that their home has a fresh, updated look, the Burches have once again fallen in love with everything that if offers. Notes Bev, “It’s a great family house, and we live in all of it.”
Interior Designers: Beverly Burch and Susan Rose, Willows Fine Goods and Design Landscape Architect: Russell Greey, Greey Pickett
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