|Photos by Robin May|
It is rare to hear modern and farmhouse together in the description of a home’s aesthetic. And for the novice, it’s something that’s difficult to envision — that is, unless, you’re touring the home of Tanya and Gil Zaunbrecher.
“This evolved,” says Gil, who designed the home with wife Tanya. “The first set of plans were more traditional, and one day, riding through the neighborhood, we decided ‘Let’s do something more farmhouse. But, then kick it up a notch.’”
What resulted was a 2,200-square-foot, four bedroom, three bath home with extraordinary design from the stunning 28-foot cathedral ceiling in the living space that opens to a courtyard and pool to the dual bathroom serving the couple. (That’s right. Two bathrooms. One space. Just the order for a duo who work together and get ready at the same time.)
The couple bought property in the Saint Streets more than two years ago and began plans for the home. Todd Zimmerman of Design by Todd was on board from the inception.
“The juxtaposition of nature and the cleanliness of the contemporary design” are elements that spoke clearly to Todd as he worked with the couple to achieve their vision. And the end product is a home that is nothing short of stunning.
“It’s a very functional space,” Gil says, noting how very much their 2.5-year-old daughter influenced that direction.
“After she was born it changed. We decided we wanted not just a showpiece house, but somewhere she could call home. It changed our minds on what we wanted our daughter to grow up in,” Gil says.
While the design is based on the traditions of an old farmhouse, the interiors have a kind of artistic-centric quality that lends itself to collectors like the Zaunbrechers.
“We are art collectors, and it’s a great canvas for it,” Gil says. “We have an entire gallery wall in the dining room/kitchen area, and we’re always changing it out. We made it to be like a gallery wall.”
It is but one element of a house thoroughly thought out and properly executed. Something that was helped, no doubt, with the use of software that allowed the Zaunbrechers to see every decision in 3D.
“Every time a new color, tile, fixture, floor plan change, etc., was made, we explored the exact option three dimensionally in the computer. No decision was made until we could see it on a computer screen in real time,” says Gil.
It was something particularly useful when planning with interior design and other consultants giving them a chance to envision the shades of grey and white throughout the home as well as the pops of giddily pleasant color peeking through details like that vivid door.
“They wanted an orange door,” Zimmerman says of the bold color on the home’s exterior. And inside, orange found its way into the kitchen by way of orange glass tile.
Chairs of a rich lime green are one of the other colors on display. But the most electric collection of colors comes in the way of the eclectic group of pieces the Zaunbrechers have gathered over the years for their library area.
“Not only books, but we wanted that space to be a place to display everything we collect. Books, everything from where we travel. It’s 15 feet tall,” Gil says, noting plans to add a library ladder.
When two designers work and live and design together, there are always additions in the works.
“It came out great. But, it’s still evolving. Our house is always a project. It’s never complete,” Gil says.