The home’s dining room and entry area is separated from the kitchen by a custom-designed wall that houses the fridge and pantry storage on the kitchen side, and it has been nicknamed “the lunchbox” by the Dakes. A curved stainless-steel rail lines the stairs to the basement and is located where there was once a curved wall.
When it comes to creating well-designed commercial spaces, Brandon Dake’s career as an architect has given him lots of practice. But he hadn’t tackled a full residential remodel. That changed when he and his wife bought their Southern Hills home.
The Dake family moved from St. Louis to Nixa in 1997, and they moved to a home in Springfield’s Southern Hills neighborhood in 2004. In 2009, Brandon, Casie and their family moved again, this time into the house directly across the street. “We knew the lady who used to live there,” says Casie. “She used to watch the girls outside of her window. In fact, the girls used to ride their bikes in her driveway all the time,” Casie says of her daughters, 6-year-old Darcy and 11-year-old Addison.
In 2008, the woman passed away. “Her family said that she would want nothing more than for us to raise our girls here,” Brandon says. The move was appealing to Brandon and Casie, because the home was actually twice the size of their former house. But it wasn’t at all the same style. Covered in old carpeting and with wallpaper on top of wallpaper, the home was outdated.
But Brandon, who is a partner at Dake Wells Architecture, drew up plans to completely remodel the house. The renovation included things like moving walls, replacing floors, moving door openings and expanding closets. “We wanted to make the home cleaner and more efficient,” he says.
“When we moved in, we actually moved into the basement, then rented a dumpster and just started clearing stuff out,” says Brandon. After getting home from their day jobs, he and Casie put on their toolbelts and plugged away. While living in the basement, they worked on the remodel in steps, first completing the kitchen, then moving onto the living room area, bedrooms and eventually the entire upper level. They still have plans to finish the basement and remodel the home’s exterior, but for now, the home is a perfect spot for Brandon and Casie to live and raise their girls.
Brandon and Casie chose to replace the home’s old cabinetry with bamboo cabinetry, and since they are both on the shorter side, they primarily installed base cabinets and eliminated upper cabinets. To attain their goal of a clean, modern look, they chose Italian porcelain subway tile for the floors. They often eat dinner at the room’s large island.
“We wanted to have the computer in a central location, so we put it in here,” says Brandon. It’s the perfect spot for Brandon and Casie to catch up on emails, and it’s easy for them to monitor Darcy (pictured) and Addison’s computer usage. Sleek white cabinetry hides wiring and provides storage along the room’s wall. Flor carpet tiles act as an area rug in the space.
The white Italian porcelain subway tile extends into the living room, which is open to the kitchen. “I wanted that, so if the girls are in there playing or watching TV, I can watch them while I’m cooking,” Casie says. The home’s living room actually used to be the dining room (and vice versa). Brandon designed the room’s custom entertainment center with Ikea furniture pieces that are simple and modern but hide wiring and electronics. He and Casie also chose furniture with storage space, again keeping with the home’s clean and modern look. “Everything has a spot,” Casie says.
Master Bedroom and Bathroom
While remodeling the upstairs bedrooms, the Dakes found original hardwood floors under the carpeting. They kept the floors, and they added cabinetry with abundant storage space in the master bedroom. The home’s master bathroom received a complete remodel with great attention to detail, including Brandon making sure that the tile lines on the floor lined up with lines in the cabinetry and in the shower.