TOMBALL, TX — Cindy Aplanalp’s clients weren’t necessarily looking to renovate their Tomball, TX home, which served as a secondary residence for the couple and their three dogs. But a few events, including a water leak, set a plan into motion that ultimately led to a full house remodel crafted with beauty and function in mind.
“Rarely does a client’s budget meet their aesthetic wishes and appreciation of good design,” she says. “This home is the exception. Not one detail was overlooked. Every inch was crafted and intentional.”
LUXURIOUS MASTER SUITE
The couple’s primary residence was a high rise in nearby Houston, notes the Allied ASID designer and principal of Chairma Design Group, who indicates that the homeowners had been considering a different living situation given, in part, that they had to ‘dress’ to walk their dogs.
“When they discovered the leak in their country home, they entertained the idea of remodeling it and moving into it full time, instead of continuing to look for a new home in the city,” she says.
With a new course charted, Aplanalp worked with Sneller Custom Homes and Remodeling to renovate the house in two phases, with phase one including the creation of a master suite. Capturing some additional space from the former study and laundry room, she enlarged the master bedroom and remodeled the master bath while adding a dressing area, exercise room, coffee bar and master closet with washer and dryer that complements a second laundry room upstairs.
“Their dream bath was created to be restful and to give the homeowners the feel of the best hotel they’ve ever stayed in…on a daily basis!” says Aplanalp.
As such, the designer included hand-cut Sicis tile on the walls and a mix of light and dark Silverthorn limestone tile arranged in an elongated herringbone pattern on the floor. White, wood-look ceramic Thorntree tile serves as wainscot behind the freestanding tub and flows into the shower, where she added toiletry niches, a bench and Kallista polished nickel plumbing fixtures, including a rainhead, four body sprays and exposed pipe showerhead and hand-held shower that she calls “reminiscent of an old-fashioned hotel.”
She highlighted the cabinetry from Accent Cabinets with a custom fishtail design and topped them with Calacatta marble. Built-in Robern medicine cabinets, complete with outlets, charging stations and mirrors, offer a sleek look combined with functionality that clears clutter from the countertop. A custom Hudson Valley polished nickel/acrylic chandelier over the tub, wall sconces and a lighted cabinet tower combine with new, larger windows to fulfill lighting needs.
“There is a lot of detail in this space that can be easily missed if a person isn’t paying attention,” she says, noting the surround sound system that completes the master bath.
EARTHY GLAMOROUS KITCHEN
Phase two of the remodel included a total transformation of the kitchen and surrounding areas, as well as a 900-sq.-ft. addition. “We totally reorganized the way the kitchen worked,” she says. A wall between the family room and kitchen was removed to create an open floor plan with adjacent conversation room. A secondary staircase was also eliminated to make way for a new mudroom and dedicated pet space.
At the heart of the kitchen is a design that combines glossy glamour with an earthy, industrial edge that takes advantage of the inherent tension between the contrasting styles.
“They didn’t want the kitchen to be too glitzy,” says Aplanalp. “That would have felt too ‘high-brow’ for them, so we added some rustic, earthy elements to calm it down and bring some unexpected touches into the space.”
Earthy elements include honed Calacatta marble countertops as well as the prep island’s live-edge, walnut slab countertop and open walnut shelves that contrast with the custom stainless steel cabinetry. “The wood top will get better over time,” she says. “It’s an element that makes the room feel tactile, like someone actually lives in the space and it isn’t just a kitchen in a magazine.”
Custom hickory wood floor planks laid in a herringbone pattern complement the reclaimed Pecky Sinker Cypress wood ceiling accent that pays homage to the client’s Louisiana heritage. A salvaged, antique door leads to the mudroom, providing an authentic touch to the space.
At the opposite end of the design spectrum, glamorous elements capture attention and draw initial interest into the space, such as the custom cabinets that frame the stainless Sub-Zero refrigerator. Polished stainless steel frames and glass-door cabinets provide the perfect display area for special keepsakes brought back from the homeowners’ extensive travel adventures.
Stainless steel-framed display cabinets are repeated along the cooking wall, where they combine with white high-gloss cabinets from Accent Cabinets and a 48″ pro-style Thermador dual-fuel range with steam/convection oven and Thermador warming drawers. She accented this wall with an Oceanside glass, marble and silver leaf mosaic backsplash.
A handmade, one-of-a-kind chandelier crafted from three types of rock crystal and a mica shade hovers over the main island, which features Accent Cabinets’ base cabinetry, marble countertops and a large Kallista sink accented with a Kallista faucet.
FUNCTION–FIRST SUPER PANTRY
Because he does most of the cooking and she was concerned about his ‘neatness,’ Aplanalp added a ‘dirty’ kitchen – or super pantry – in the space that once housed the butler’s pantry. The designer added two entries, giving them easy access from the garage or the kitchen while making catered events a breeze.
“She wanted their kitchen to always look presentable in their new, open-concept design,” she says. “I wanted to give him a place to make a mess without having to worry about immediately cleaning it up.”
This addition also gave them more counter space, extra storage – for food as well as countertop appliances – and a second set of full-size appliances, which were repurposed from the original kitchen. “One of his favorite additions in the entire remodel is the inclusion of the built-in Thermador coffeemaker in this area,” she says.
Commercial vinyl sheaths the walls, providing a durable, easy-to-maintain surface. “It’s scrubbable, so this kitchen will look great forever,” she says. “This is the place where they do all of their ‘dirty’ work…the prepping, cooling of baked goods, etc. My clients love the concept of their formal, open-concept kitchen and this second, function-first kitchen, which has become a useful and appealing addition to this couple’s lifestyle.” ▪