Updated: Nov 3
Jewel and Eric's Modern Remodel
In a substantial renovation, our stellar agent Jewel Maxfield and her husband Eric modernized and updated their cottage in Millcreek, and the result is a playful, sleek, and well-designed space that we love. Have a look for yourself and read a bit about the process and result below...
Homeworks: What's your very favorite feature of the home?
Jewel: My kid’s playroom is my absolute favorite. The home is an oversized, late-40s brick cottage, and nothing stood out as particularly unique when we initially toured the house aside from the converted garage space (the playroom). Between that and the previous owner’s meticulous upkeep of the property, we ended up falling in love. I think it helped us to see the potential and envision what the property could become. Said playroom was originally a single-car garage; in the mid-’70s, the homeowner converted it to a den: it was clad in robin-egg blue sculpted carpet, fuzzy plaid wallpaper, and loads of wood paneling. The pink glass partition was a textured amber glass...the kind that's reminiscent of those red Pizza Hut glasses (nostalgia!). It needed a complete gut. When we moved in 2016, we worked on the design for over a year, then moved out for four months during the renovations. We vaulted ceilings, finished the concrete floors and created the pop of pink window partition. We moved back in a month before our son was born, and that space is a big part of why we love this place so much—it’s a sizeable room with a modern feel in an otherwise traditional home.
Hw: Any favorite memories in the house? Or things you hope to do here that will become memories?
Jewel: We purchased the home when our daughter was just four months old, and settling in for her first Christmas here is a great memory: there was just so much wonder and possibility attached to that time in our lives. Just a year later, we found out we were having a baby boy, and that was pretty exciting too (even in the midst of a renovation). Raising our kids in a space we created has brought us a lot of joy—it feels like something of a haven for our family, and we hope to never grow out of it. There is still so much more we want to do! We have plans to replace the built-ins that were torn out due to structural changes, and we'd like to add solar panels and xeriscape the exterior. At some point, we're also hoping to rebuild the garage with an apartment above, so our kids always have a place to stay, if needed. It’s a work-in-progress always, and there is so much more to do. But we think that's precisely what makes our home great...it can evolve with us.
Hw: As a couple, what does your collaborative design process look like?
Jewel: We're relatively easy-going people, and we knew we wanted a comfortable and relaxed home—something that felt effortless, and a place where our kids could be themselves. We worked with a designer initially to pull materials for the kitchen and bathroom design, as we knew they would have access to finishes and materials that we wouldn't otherwise find, and we wanted some cool shit, ya know? Many of the furniture choices were just too expensive or impractical, so we opted to invest mechanical side of things, as well as in some higher-end finishes that would go the distance. We furnished each room as needed, and a lack of funds ultimately turned out to be a good thing—kids ruin furniture! They're always sticky, goopy, covered in glitter, and ready to get wild. Given enough time, they'll destroy your perfectly appointed dream home, even if it is unintentional and adorable to watch. For a while, it drove me nuts. I hated that we'd spent so much money only to have a home that never felt put-together. But time gave me perspective, and I realized that a well-designed home doesn't require a big budget or professional touch to make it great. If you're sharing that space with people you love, it will always feel like home.