Couple’s Home Showcases Their Iowan Roots with Comfortable Elegance
When Johnisue and Bob Wilken built their Flower Mound home in 1997 after moving from Iowa, little did they know it would undergo a complete transformation nearly two decades later.
With the help of friend and contractor/designer Lucie Hasek, owner of Creative Elements in Flower Mound, the Wilkens now live in their dream home, with a chef’s kitchen and a bathtub that doubles as an art installation.
Despite its high-end finishes and elegant attention to detail, the Wilkens’ home retains an unpretentious coziness and pays homage to their Iowa roots.
“It’s very homey,” Lucie says. “As soon as you walk in, you feel right at home. It’s warm, inviting and definitely has that Iowa/Midwestern charm.”
“For all of the changes we made, it looks like this was the way it was designed to be from the beginning,” Johnisue says.
Lucie says that’s because, as a designer, she makes sure to get to know her clients and their likes and interests so she can seamlessly remodel a home to look the way it always was meant to look.
“It is their home, and it most definitely has to have their own stamp on it,” she says.
Lucie and Johnisue were friends before the remodel, so Lucie had an idea of Johnisue’s taste and preferences.
“It was a process, and it took a long time. But here it is, and we’re still friends,” Lucie says with a laugh.
The two successfully weathered the years-long renovation, which included nearly “every inch” of Johnisue’s home.
The Wilkens’ kitchen underwent perhaps the greatest transformation. By closing off a staircase, moving walls and lowering some ceilings, Lucie was able to achieve a fluid transformation. She brightened the kitchen by adding River White granite countertops and bright white painted oak cabinets by Metroplex Cabinets. A light gray porcelain backsplash adds dimension. Johnisue strategically placed colorful dishes and canisters throughout the kitchen to add character and a bit of whimsy.
Touches of wood add warmth and charm throughout the home and kitchen. The couple installed dark walnut flooring throughout the house and walnut shelving in the kitchen to tie in the floors. A custom-made barn door leads from the kitchen into the remodeled laundry room.
The Wilkens opted for top-of-the-line appliances and plumbing fixtures from Ferguson Plumbing Gallery.
Lucie always recommends spending money wisely on remodeling projects.
“Certain elements are key in the remodel, and they will be a factor for years to come. Some, however, are just seasonal and replaceable. Those don’t need to cost a lot of money, but they add the finishing touches and style,” she says.
Lucie also recommends going with granite instead of the trendier marble countertops for practical purposes and to save money.
“Right now, marble is so overpriced because it’s what everyone wants,” she says.
She almost always suggests choosing countertops first as a jumping-off point to establish the color scheme. In the Wilkens’ kitchen, the River White granite with its subtle gray marbling lent itself well to the white cabinetry, light gray backsplash and the walls, bathed in “Anew Gray” paint by Sherwin-Williams.
To the left of the kitchen, a wall of stacked silver travertine surrounds a two-sided fireplace, which leads into the study, Bob’s favorite room.
The use of travertine was inspired by the couple’s grand master bathroom, which was the first room Lucie designed for them.
“When we moved from Iowa, we weren’t used to a big master bathroom,” Johnisue says, “so our house didn’t have one.”
The couple decided to expand their master bathroom to better suit their needs.
Johnisue fell in love with a bathtub carved entirely out of travertine stone, which ultimately became the inspiration and focal point of the entire room—and the most difficult element in the entire house to install.
Lucie says one of the back exterior walls of the home had to be removed in order to get the bathtub inside. Once inside, the 2,000-pound bathtub had to be rolled slowly, inch-by-inch, on wooden dowels into place.
The bathtub has proven well worth the effort. It sits surrounded by stacked travertine walls. Strategic overhead lighting makes it seem more like a piece of art than a bathroom fixture. And Johnisue says it is as functional as it is beautiful.
“I absolutely love it,” she says. “It’s the perfect size—perfect for soaking.”
“The Wilkens’ home, which sits in a park-like setting, boasts of functionality, elegance and simplicity,” Lucie says. “It’s where life happens. It’s where family matters, and it’s where friends are always welcome.”
For more information about Creative Elements and to view Lucie’s gallery of projects, visit CreativeElementsByLucie.com.