As a Realtor, I am in and out of a lot of homes so we had quite a few opinions about what we wanted,” Dunnigan recalls of the couple’s home search that ended with the purchase of their 5,400-square-foot, Tuscan-style villa perched on City Park Road at 360 and 2222. “We wanted something more modern. When I saw the view, I knew if I showed it to my husband, we would be buying it. I actually thought about not showing it to him, but the view was too good to pass up.”

“You can’t make the view, but you can change the house,” is a phrase Dunnigan has spoken to her own clients on numerous occasions. This time, she heeded her own advice and signed the contract –– only after designer Sharon Radovich of Panache Interiors assured her a “Tuscan Detox” was attainable.

When the two first met to walk through the home, Dunnigan was understandably “rattled” –– she had just discovered a rattlesnake curled up in the kitchen of the vacant, unfurnished house. Once the snake was ushered out of the house and her nerves subsided, she and Radovich walked through the house to discuss design ideas that could dramatically change the home’s look without having to tear down and replace everything.

While there were several qualities the couple liked about the home, including its open floorplan, downstairs master suite and separate office and dining areas, other design features had to go –– and quickly. With the youngest child, Savannah, in her last semester of high school, the project was put on fast-track so she could spend a couple of months before leaving for college enjoying her new bedroom (complete with a fun purple ceiling) and relaxing with her family by the pool.

“You have to be really careful because when you get too far from the true essence of a house, a remodel can look out of place,” says Dunnigan. “Sharon did a great job transitioning the house’s look.”

To detox the Tuscan, prominent arches and interior stucco were removed and squared-off, the color-washed walls were painted white to contrast with the wood floors and trim, countertops were replaced and modern, eye-catching light fixtures were installed.

“I kept saying I wanted to cool everything down, making it not so yellow, and that was one of the things Sharon did really well,” recalls Dunnigan. “There are a lot of big windows in the house and she did a great job at pulling the outdoor elements in so when you are looking out of the windows, it really is like being outside. Sometimes the sky outside is the same exact slate blue color that she chose for my husband’s office which also plays off the pool.” 

In the main living space, built-in bookshelves were flipped into adjacent rooms while the arches above were eliminated. Now, crisp white paint contrasts flawlessly with the wood floors and beams, and gray, soothing textures and colors create a more relaxing, inviting space. Modern elements spanning the silver-leafed cocktail table that sits atop a plush, silken rug and the pair of framed herons flanking the limestone fireplace that add an exotic pop of color create a more timeless look and feel.

Like most families, the Dunnigan’s and their guests seem to constantly migrate to the kitchen, a space that was once dominated by a rounded, adobe vent hood that looked like an outdoor pizza oven. Flat Creek Cabinets created a sleeker look that blends well with the rest of the modern edits by removing island ornamentation and deconstructing and reframing the vent hood to match the cabinets which were painted and given new hardware.

“We had the breakfast area’s built-in buffet removed and designed a hidden work station and the bench seating,” says Radovich.

“Since parties tend to happen in the kitchen, I wanted ample places for her guests to perch. Erin says the bench is always in use when friends and family gather.”

Stain-proof Dekton® counters were installed to alleviate worry about wine stains and a gray-toned back splash complements the Carrera look of the counters. Both the lighter brick glass tile backsplash and the wood ceilings repainted white help to brighten the kitchen while champagne-colored light fixtures balance the gold-toned floor.

Unique custom touches play nicely throughout the house ranging from the modern, 500-plus bottle floating wine cellar, installed by Grandeur Cellars, in the dining room to the clever way Radovich displayed the couple’s collection of shot glasses.

“I am an advocate of showcasing collections and Bill has a lot of shot glasses,” says Radovich. “Each shot glass has a story from someplace they have traveled, and I enjoyed Bill’s enthusiasm as he shared a few. I contracted Flat Creek Cabinets to construct the display shelves in a prominent location so that visitors could enjoy hearing Erin and Bill reminisce over their favorites.”

Meshing modern finishes, furnishings and artwork with the existing architecture results in a home that exudes casual elegance from every room. With its blend of classic accents and transitional furnishings, the house is up to date and worthy of its timeless view.

“It is totally different from what it started with in both look and feel –– I am very happy inside this space and the finishes are fabulous,” says Dunnigan. “I think we were successful in turning this into a home we really wanted.” 


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