What started as a basic remodel in one of Oklahoma City’s most historic neighborhoods soon transformed into rebuilding from the ground up. “The condition of the property was fine, and my clients had lived in the home for years prior,” designer Hanieh Pace of Ivy House Interiors laughs. “However, get a designer involved and the next thing you know, the whole house is torn down.” For this project, Hanieh wanted to give her style-focused clients a modern home in a more traditional neighborhood and relied on wood beams and white oak (for organic elements) alongside bold tones and features. Suddenly, Oklahoma City was feeling decidedly West Coast. Hanieh tells us more. 

Tell us about this home. Where is it located? Did the neighborhood influence the design?
The home is located in Nichols Hills, Oklahoma, a neighborhood in Oklahoma City. The area is surrounded by exclusive historical homes that date back to the 1920s. When I first met with my clients about their home, the intention was to remodel the current home, however, between myself and the architect we felt that it would really do the lot justice to tear down the current home and start from scratch. So, we did. This was the first time I have torn down a home and my focus was to not make this a modern white box home and take away from the historical elements of the community, but to help marry both elements with the exterior of the home.  

What can you tell us about your clients? Did they have any big ideas at the start of the project?
The clients who live at this residence is a young couple with two at the time, now three small children.  They are both accomplished professionals with a busy lifestyle, as one would have with three small kiddos. I have known them for years, and the wife and I have similar design aesthetics. Hers leans more towards masculine design, as mine leans more to a fresh West Coast design. The result is a home that is open and inviting, while encompassing warm wood tones and bold colors throughout the home. There were a few wants, such as the bar area and the reclaimed wood beams that run across the living room. There is a gorgeous, arched steel front door and large steel back doors, that were an absolute necessity in this home.  

What was the deciding factor in moving from a remodel to a new construction?
Weighing in decisions like this is never easy. However, given the age of the home and the fact that not much would have been left after the remodel of the original home, it made more sense to tear down.  There would not be the surprises that eat away budgets in a remodel and ultimately the clients could get everything they wanted if they were ground up.

Okay, let’s chat the design of the home. We’d love to know a bit about your design process and decisions!
The first space we did start with, which I do in every project, is the kitchen.  As we all know, it’s the heart of the home and whatever I do in there I know will help formulate the design for the rest of the home. Trying to think outside of the box, when white kitchens were all the rage at this point in planning, I really was inspired by doing a white oak kitchen. I felt the wood would breathe life into a home and would bring in that natural organic feel that I knew the clients would love. I am a night owl, so the thought and plans of these drawings were late at night as my thoughts went to paper. Given the two windows next to the oven, I figured for large appliance cabinets anchoring each end. We pulled earthy tones – such as the black granite on the island with the leather finish, to the tumble white bronze hardware.  

The first floor has a mostly open floor plan – combining the dining room, living room and kitchen. We decided to dip down the kitchen ceiling to 10’ to help make its own space. The gorgeous bar area centers the dining room table, and the living room has inset bookshelves that carry the space.

The main floor also houses an expansive laundry room – one of the largest I have ever done, a first-floor playroom for the kiddos, the primary bedroom and office.  The primary bath retreat was designed around the “masculine” approach – with a deep gray cabinet and the black marble in the master shower. We designed the marble floor layout that really adds another layer of earthy tones, consistent throughout the house.

Timeline-wise, how long did the project take?
The project moved fairly quickly, as it should in new construction.  The overall construction timeline was right at a year.  The plans took a few months to get done. 

See more in the slideshow.