By Cheryl Rade

Every home renovation starts with an enthusiastic challenge to improve one’s living area by creating more valuable space for family and friends. Home, after all, is our comfort zone, our gathering spot and, more significantly, our sanctuary—a place to kick off our shoes, let our hair down, and simply relax.

Just ask Terry and Cyndy Cummings, who recently completed an exciting home remodeling project that transformed their Eugene two-story abode into a stunning showplace. The couple, with the help of design consultant Matt White from Neil Kelly, worked to create a bigger space that’s elegant, efficient, and ideal for the Cummings’ large, blended family.

“It’s a place for everybody and it’s comfortable, so no one feels squished in,” says Cyndy, who originally purchased the home back in 1984. The project impacted almost every room in the house and expanded their home to about 2,600 square feet. “I had never been through anything like this before, but we knew what we wanted and just did it,” she explains.

The kitchen was totally transformed, complete with new cabinets, granite-topped counters, a user-friendly kitchen island, a new window, and a durable hardwood floor. “One thing that was important to me was to get lots of sunlight into the kitchen,” Cyndy says, stressing that she wanted a special place where her family, especially her grandchildren, could gather around the kitchen table for celebratory events. She recalled her young granddaughter Aspen’s birthday party last spring that took place in the upgraded kitchen and the joy that it brought her and Terry. “This was what I had always wanted,” she says, her voice quivering. “Everybody around the kitchen table.”

Cyndy says some of her grandkids were so eager to participate in the renovation that she went out and purchased hard hats and safety goggles for them. “They just went at it,” she says. “They helped with tearing out walls, pulling up carpet, and taking bricks off the fireplace.”

Major work also occurred in the living room, the master bedroom, and the outdoor patio and garden areas. Four bedrooms were reduced to three, although that change brought a massive walk-in closet and a much bigger bathroom in the master bedroom. As for the outdoors, the concrete patio was extended (and equipped with drop-down shades on hot days) and the Cummings’ lush garden became a focal point of the backyard, yielding numerous fruits, vegetables, and decorative plants.

The renovation process also included “new siding, new roofs, new gutters, and new concrete” for the patio, notes Terry, a former builder. “There were lots of different projects going on, but it was fine and everything turned out great.” He says that the decision to remodel was made shortly after he and Cyndy attended one of Neil Kelly’s seminars on home remodeling and met designer Matt White. “We went to the seminar and Cyndy said, ‘Let’s go,’ and that was it,” he says with a laugh.

White says joining forces with Cyndy and Terry, both of whom are in the real estate industry, was a successful collaboration due largely to the Cummings’ extensive knowledge and vision. “They were very involved in the process,” White says, pointing to Terry’s building expertise and Cyndy’s aesthetic eye for color as definite assets.

The Cummings in turn say that working with White, along with the crew from Neil Kelly’s firm, was an amazing (and simplified) experience because everything was kept basically under one roof. “They understood what we wanted and took on the challenge,” Cyndy says. “Those guys were one step ahead of us all the time . . . and if I would throw an idea out there, they were very receptive.”

Nodding in agreement, Terry says he and Cyndy are absolutely thrilled with their newly renovated home. “We’re really happy with it; it couldn’t be better,” he says.

“The best part of any project,” White says, “is coming back at the end of it and having happy clients.”

Resources:

Stone Works International, Inc., 590 Seneca Rd., 541/343-7522, stoneworksintl.com

Comfort Flow Heating, 1951 Don St., Springfield, 541/726-0100, comfortflow.com

Riverside Window & Door, Inc., 439 SW 2nd St., Corvallis, 541/752-1070, riversidewindows.com

Ferguson Bath, Kitchen, and Lighting Gallery, 3282 W 1st Ave., 541/485-8611, ferguson.com

Imperial Flooring America, 355 Lincoln St., 541/636-2446, imperialfloorseugene.com