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See what this dated home looks like after a storybook makeover

by Becky Harris / / Source: TODAY

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These homeowners thought having a larger home meant they would have to leave their beautiful neighborhood in Mountain Brook, Alabama. But when they hired Scott Carlisle to help them figure out what to do, he came up with a plan that allowed them to stay right where they were.


BEFORE: The original 1940s home was one floor, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms in 2,400 square feet. A driveway and parking court took up much of the front landscape. The homeowners loved their neighborhood, which is full of charming homes, but thought they’d have to move to have enough room for their growing family.

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AFTER: Carlisle gained most of the new 1,200 square feet by adding a second story. A composition of Tudor-style gables and dormers keeps the house at a pleasing scale that complements the neighborhood. “The original house had no oomph or sense of entry; we wanted to make it more inviting,” Carlisle says. “We wanted some drama out front and gave it a kick with these tiered steps.”


Cedar accentuates the outside; the headers over the windows on the left are the same cedar used on the structure of the large swoop. The roof is composed of cedar shingles. The resulting look seems out of a storybook, full of eclectic details.

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BEFORE: This is the kitchen as seen from the family room before the expansion.


AFTER: “We opened up the exterior wall of the breakfast room with floor-to-ceiling glass; it gets lots of morning light and makes for a cozy space,” Carlisle says. He bumped out the wall a bit within the setback to accommodate the large custom table that Bryars designed and had made locally. With a beautiful breakfast room like this, they don’t need a dining room.


BEFORE: The kitchen was dark and felt closed in.


AFTER: As you can see, the new cedar detail continues from the outside to the inside in the form of large beams. “We talked about whitewashing the beams at first but decided to keep the cedar natural,” Carlisle says. “They add warmth to the space.” He also notes that they won’t silver the way the exterior cedar will.

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BEFORE: This was the back of the house before the remodel.


AFTER: “A screened-in porch was very important to these clients, as we have a lot of mosquitoes here in Alabama,” Carlisle says. The porch also has a new fireplace and connects with a patio for grilling. The metal-roofed building to the left of the porch is a garden shed.


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