Marcie and Derek Van Mol bought a house last October that had sat empty for two years. There was major electrical and plumbing work required to bring the house up to code, as well as a myriad of cosmetic needs. Unbelievably, their family was moved in by Christmas! Today, we walk through this beautiful Nashville renovation, which the Van Mols transformed into an inviting home in less than eight weeks.
Derek had renovated many spaces, but this was his largest project, and it became a life-changing project as well. When complete, he had found his calling. He left his job and secured a general contractor’s license and started Van Mol Restoration, believing that when you find what you love to do, you should spend your time doing it.
For this house, the timetable was possible because the couple focused on the space they had to work with, instead of moving walls and adding additional space. Attention was given to the wiring and plumbing, but an overall facelift was achieved through paint, changing out fixtures and lighting, and imagining new ways to use each square foot of the house.
All images courtesy of Shannon Fontaine.
For this Nashville family of four who loves to entertain, a primary focus was on creating multiple gathering spots throughout the house, which is what we look at today. For example, there is ample seating in the kitchen, study, living room and porch, as well as the ability to seat 24 for dinner, thanks to the formal dining room, a less formal one used more as a breakfast room and a dining table on the large porch. The space is inviting, but as Derek laughs, everyone always ends up in the kitchen.
With a background in audio/visual work, Derek is an expert on how modern technology can enhance one’s enjoyment of a home. For example, the entire house is wired for music, with the capability for different music in each room … or all the same. Speakers are expertly hidden in spots, such as behind crown molding. Marcie, with her background in creating large events, is passionate about mood lighting, so every light has a dimmer. And, of note, the living room has no overhead lighting and is lit entirely by lamplight.
When asked what anyone contemplating a renovation should consider, Derek says it’s important to work with someone who sees the potential of your own home. He points out that Pinterest and HOUZZ are inspirational, but not always applicable to your own needs. You need to work with someone who has vision and who respects your budget. The easiest ways to go over budget, in his opinion, are the finishes: hardware, fixtures, knobs, pulls and lighting. So that is where you need to be extra cautious of costs.
Contractor: Van Mol Restoration
Benjamin Moore paint colors: living room (sea froth), breakfast room and kitchen (cloudy grey), kitchen cabinets (white dove)
Photography: Shannon Fontaine