Tall Order

Carmichael home checks all the right boxes for young family

By Cathryn Rakich
February 2020

At 6 feet 8 inches tall, Dr. Dennis Meredith wanted a new home where he could stroll from room to room without bonking his head on a doorframe.

A five-bedroom, five-bath house off a country road in Carmichael fit the bill with an impressive 20-foot-high entryway and 10-foot-tall ceilings throughout the two-story abode built in 2004.

“This was the first house he could walk in and not duck in between doorways,” says his wife, Corona.

Dennis, an orthopedic surgeon at Woodland Memorial Hospital, also had a distance limitation from home to hospital. “Carmichael was the farthest we could be when he is on call,” Corona explains.

Then there was the 1,000-square-foot game room over the garage—a perfect play space for their two growing boys, Henry, 6, and William, 3. “This is where the kids go crazy,” Corona says. “I think honestly, this is why we bought the house. We could picture the kids here. We hang out here all the time.”

With the 4,527-square-foot home sitting on a full acre, Corona’s wish for a big backyard for their two dogs was also met. “At the top of my list was a ‘fetching yard’—where I could be in my pajamas and throw the ball for the dogs off the porch,” she notes. “If I have 10 or 15 minutes in between the kids, I can exercise the dogs in the yard.”

Despite the things that were great about the home, there were also elements that needed to change. “We were not in love with the finishes and style,” Corona says. “It was very dark. But we saw potential in the layout.”

Among the rooms that needed an update were the kitchen and master bathroom. “The kitchen was probably the biggest change. It was very closed off.”

While researching design and remodeling firms, Corona came across Nar Bustamante of Nar Design Group in East Sacramento. “Nar had a vision,” she says. “Now the kitchen works great for entertaining. We don’t feel like we bump into each other.”

Two separate islands allow for plenty of prep space. One is topped with black soapstone. The other is wrapped in slabs of marble that the couple purchased prior to the remodel. “I am kind of an impulse person. We picked up material before Nar had the design. But he made it work.”

The marble island, which houses a small drink fridge—“so the kids don’t have to constantly open the big fridge,” Corona says—is connected to a wooden tabletop. The kitchen backsplash is classic white subway tile with beveled edges set in a herringbone pattern.

The range hood was custom-created by a craftsman in Illinois whom Dennis found on the internet. “Denny sent him a picture of what we were envisioning,” Corona says.

A complete redo of the master bathroom resulted in two sinks at different levels—the higher one to accommodate the surgeon’s tall stature. Quartz countertops are made to resemble concrete, and quartz tiles on the wall mimic veined marble. The light fixtures, mirrors, cubed storage and black metal towel racks are ultramodern. A freestanding tub by the window showcases an industrial faucet emerging from the floor.

In the family room, the couple used reclaimed barnwood they found in Auburn to create a mantle over the fireplace, which is surrounded in tiny white tiles. The same barnwood was repurposed for shelving on both sides of the fireplace with cabinets underneath that match those in the kitchen.

The homeowners lightened their space by painting the walls white and replacing the dark floors with wide-planked white oak. “With kids and dogs, it was just too dirty,” Corona says. “So we picked lighter floors.”

All the lights were replaced with modern fixtures and ceiling fans to complement the updated interior, but the couple kept the rich cherrywood window and door moldings. Daphne Elsberry with Exclusive Paint Designs in Rancho Cordova custom stained the new double front doors and garage doors.

On the exterior, the couple added stonework to the original stucco and redid the landscape with colorful plantings. “We wanted to soften everything,” Corona says. Five chickens enjoy a backyard coop that provides protection from the wild turkeys, deer, owls and other abundant wildlife in the semi-rural setting. “We love the proximity to Ancil Hoffman Park,” she adds.

“This house checked all the boxes,” Corona says. “A spot for the boys to have a play area. The dogs have a yard. The property has mature redwoods, so we feel the privacy. It’s a perfect mix.”

To recommend a home or garden for Open House, contact Cathryn Rakich at crakich@surewest.net. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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