Tiffany Haynes knew it was time for a refresh for her and her husband Jeffrey Busby’s four bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom Cahaba Heights home. After seven years in the house, she was looking for an updated kitchen and flooring that would bring a fresh feel to the space, but she didn’t want to move from her cul-de-sac where she can walk to Mudtown, Blackwell’s, FoodBar and Murphree’s and get to The Summit or Whole Foods with such a short drive. “I love where I live and love Cahaba Heights and the community,” she says. “Instead of selling this house and getting a large house in Liberty Park, I wanted to stay here.”
Tiffany started by dreaming big and sketching out everything she wanted updated in the house, which was built around 20 years ago, and then worked with Elliott Pike of ELM Construction to pare her list down to the most important pieces of her wants and needs that would be within her budget. (She’d looked at several contractors but liked that ELM was located so close by in Cahaba Heights and that Elliott’s kids go to the same schools as hers.) From there she got to select the details to bring the vision to life, many of them high-end because she plans to be in the house for a long time. “I spent a lot of time on Houzz and got ideas from shows,” Tiffany says. “I wanted to have a new, clean look but not cold one.”
ELM’s goal was to update the space while also making it more user friendly for Tiffany, Jeffrey, her three teenage children and their four dogs, so the process started with color renderings for Tiffany to preview and approve. Before the house didn’t have a formal laundry room, the machines were just housed in a closet off the kitchen. To give them a much-needed space of their own, they reworked the original dining room space, which the family rarely used, to create a laundry room and mudroom and make room for a larger kitchen, and then moved the dining space near the kitchen. The old kitchen had a lot of wasted space among its pine cabinets and red painted walls, but with the renovations it’s both more functional and beams with its clean, white aesthetic makeover.
With Tiffany’s guidance, the ELM team also renovated details throughout the main floor, with new wide-plank hardwoods replacing old tile to soften the overall look of the space. The stairs leading to the second floor got an updated contemporary railing, and the fireplace got a whitewash makeover to shine in the living room. They also added windows to brighten up Tiffany’s second floor office where she works from home for Johnson & Johnson. To round out the refresh, Daniel Hill painted the brick exterior of the home white.
The project wrapped up just in time for Christmas last year—a gift the Haynes family is still enjoying today and plans to continue to do so for years to come. “To me this is a classic example of people designing for higher quality not necessarily more quantity,” Elliott says. “They made it into something that was theirs and that they would use.”
The original fireplace had outdated black marble tile with a TV cabinet above it, and Tiffany envisioned clean yet rustic look to replace it. A stained pine mantle with rough-cut circular saw marks anchors the white brick base beneath a shiplap finish up top. The finished project provided the perfect spot to show off a painting by Patterson Barnes called “Over” that Tiffany had purchased years ago. “I love the texture, I love the expression and I love the emotion it draws out,” Tiffany says. “You aren’t exactly sure what she’s thinking.”
Tiffany “absolutely loves” everything about this space, with custom details from the silver glazed porcelain mosaic backsplash to the white farmhouse sink, and from the quartz on the large island to the pot filler on her range. The white cabinets were finished off with a pewter glaze, and the island cabinets are painted flint with black glaze—all with stainless drawer and cabinet pulls. They also added barn doors to open the pantry.
One of Tiffany’s favorite parts of the renovation was selecting the fixtures from Mayer Lighting downtown. These polished nickel pendant lights from Feiss make a statement over the large quartz kitchen island.
Both Elliott and Tiffany think the new floor turned out exceptionally well—especially as an upgrade from the original plain ivory tile in the kitchen and light colored hardwoods with a shiny finish in living spaces. “I wanted a wider plank, something somewhat rustic but not so rough I couldn’t have a clean finish in my kitchen,” Tiffany says. They landed on a Buckingham Oak model from Shaw in Drawbridge (color).
Guests get a foretaste of the renovations they’ll find inside as walk up to the painted white brick exterior and open this fir front door from Rogue Valley. In addition to aesthetic upgrades, they also changed the direction it opened to make better use of space.
Small details can make a big impact like with these iron handrails with spindles and newel posts painted black. “Updating this dated wood spindle to wrought iron brought it up to a more chic look,” Elliott says.
Behind the Scenes
- Contractor: Elliott Pike, ELM Construction
- Light Fixtures: Mayer Lighting
- Plumbing Fixtures: Southern Bath & Kitchen
- Tile Backsplash: Emser Tile
- Exterior Paint: Daniel Hill