When builder Bill Hughes and decorator Nancy Charbonneau joined forces to redevelop a 1980s house in The Woodlands into a stylish 21st century abode to go on the market, they never imagined that the project would develop into something of a love story with a charitable angle. No jumping ahead of the game: The love story was not between the builder and the decorator.
The Watertree Renovation Project, as it was billed, was a massive undertaking as one would imagine when updating a 40-year-old house. But Hughes, a custom builder, and Charbonneau, both with more than 20 years of experience in their respective fields, saw the potential and went to work to create a dwelling that would quickly attract an appreciative buyer.
Of course, the kitchen and the bathrooms had to be gutted as there is nothing quite as tiresome as the heavy design of the ’80s. In the kitchen, cabinetry, countertops, the island and the appliances were all replaced. All bathrooms were likewise updated with new plumbing fixtures, new tile and hardware.
Then there were the architectural changes. The back staircase was removed to open up the kitchen. A large covered porch was enclosed to expand both the family room and the the master bedroom, including adding a more suitable master closet. The dining room was converted into a pantry planning room with the addition of three sliding barn doors. A mudroom nook was added. The dark-stained wood throughout was painted white to spotlight the original millwork of the home.
Staging the home for sale was Charbonneau’s task and she furnished each room in the soft contemporary palette that dominates much of today’s interior design. Lighting fixtures throughout the home were chosen from Visual Comfort. All furniture is from the Charbonneau Studio Collection, the firm’s online home decor shop curated by the owner and her design team at Charbonneau Interiors.
Now comes the romance. The Woodlands abode had been owned by the seller’s parents.
“So he wanted to ensure the renovation and design was handled with care and reflected the qualities of ease and comfort that were associated with the original home,” Charbonneau says.
In the end, the house was bought by a woman who had recently lost her husband to ALS. Prior to his passing, he reconfirmed his longtime desire to buy her the house of her dreams and advised her not to let grief hold her back. And that is the love story. She found the Watertree home to be exactly what she wanted and made the happy purchase.
Since the buyer’s move-in, Charbonneau Interiors has placed the staging contents in auction with a portion of proceeds going to local charities including a nonprofit that is dedicated to ALS research and patient services. The bidding takes place online. All items must be picked up locally in The Woodlands. The auction will be open until Friday, August 21st.