Newlyweds Ilya and Arina Gurfinkel admit they were innocent when they began remodeling their 1975 home in Dallas. After buying the home in March a few years back, Ilya planned to have a Fourth of July party that same year to celebrate. “2 years later and that party still has not occurred,” states Arina.
The setback came from them picking to do all of the remodeling themselves. They learned to do demolition, install tile, paint and construct by watching online video tutorials and trying out the skills after getting home from their corporate day jobs. “It gave us the opportunity to incorporate our personal touches,” says Ilya. “We really looked forward to making the home our own.” The consequence of the patience and ambition is a stylish, comfortable house with a magical wine room and an upgraded kitchen. To put it differently, a wonderful spot for a party.
in a Glance
Who lives here: Ilya and Arina Gurfinkel and their son, Milan
Size: 3,200 square feet; 4 bedrooms, 21/2 bathrooms
Year built: 1975
For the first 10 months, the Gurfinkels worked on their house through the evenings before midnight. During those 10 months they lived 20 minutes away in Arlington, Texas. By winter of the first year, they were eventually able to move in the ground floor since they continued renovating .
They handled the walls and ceilings by redoing the framing and replacing wood rot before installing new flooring, to avoid damaging the timber. Along with some friends, they removed the existing ceramic tile and glued prefinished wood flooring directly to the concrete slab.
Two identical clocks flank the couch; one is set to Dallas time, the other shows the time in Russia, where Arina’s household lives.
Sofa: Kensington, Restoration Hardware; floor lamps: Rococo, Restoration Hardware; paint: Natural Linen, Glidden; flooring: Prestige (Chestnut Maple), Earthwerks; carpeting: Lash, Serena and Lily
The Gurfinkels worked with Jackie Maul from a regional Restoration Hardware to supply the living room space with pieces from this store.
All from Restoration Hardware. Chairs: French Upholstered Wing Chair, black; coffee table: 1940s Metal Cooling Rack; pillows: Classic French Grain-Sack
BEFORE: The Gurfinkels maintained the existing stone fireplace but removed the timber mantel and metal displays.
AFTER: To add a contemporary touch to the fireplace, the couple lined the interior with a cut sheet of stainless steel bent to match. To save money, the 4-inch pit was filled halfway with sand and cheap fire rocks. The homeowners then layered a expensive fire glass on top to give it a more reflective shimmer. The fireplace upgrade price about $550.
Daybed: 19th C. French Empire, Restoration Hardware
This small room was initially a wet bar with a window to the backyard along with a bar that extended into the living room. The Gurfinkels closed off the space using a sliding door and chose a wine room would match perfectly. Ilya installed reclaimed cut bricks, alternating between the trim side along with the final side for an aged look. He made the barn doorway using mirrored fence pickets by a local fencing company.
Ilya made the custom holders by drilling big holes into cedar 2-by-4 beams. Chalkboard signals indicate where every column of wine is derived from.
Among the couple’s best memories was having both of the families see. Ilya’s family visited by Oklahoma, and Arina’s from Russia. This dining table extends and allowed the whole family to float together.
All from Pottery Barn. Table, bench: Benchwright; seats: Grayson; paint: Olivewood, Glidden
The Gurfinkels purchased the light fixtures from a home store and disassembled them. After using steel wool to remove the rust, then they converted the electric plugs to a hard cable to use the pieces as ceiling fixtures.
Mirror: Grand Palais, Ballard Design
BEFORE: The moment they purchased the home, the couple removed a built-in console dividing the dining room and kitchen to open the room. To get a square room, the kitchen needed a great deal of empty room and was not being used to its maximum. Arina sketched a more practical floor plan that included a new floating island, a larger range and a customized hutch for storage.
AFTER: The couple worked with Kane DuPont of DuPont Industries to add custom concrete countertops. The stainless steel backsplash behind the range was a DIY job. They investigated what gauge was needed for fire resistance and had a sheet cut to size, glued to a wood backing and installed. To utilize the whole design of the kitchen, they also added additional custom cabinets and a floating staircase.
Faucet: Bridge Kitchen Faucet, Rohl; sink: Apron Front Stainless Steel Sink, Rugby
A hutch with glass-front cabinets and new hardware was inserted to give the kitchen a upgraded appearance. The couple says that one of the best investments was getting the chimney professionally painted, giving the old and new units a smooth end. The extra bare (paint-grade) cabinetry that was added price $2,500. Painting all of the cabinets price about $500 –“the best $500 we ever spent,” states Arina.
In the primary bedroom, floor-to-ceiling draperies along with a large floor mirror provide the illusion of high ceilings.
Mirror: Levico, natural, Restoration Hardware; paint: Revere Pewter (50% darker), Benjamin Moore
BEFORE: The closet to the proper had opened into the bathroom. The couple removed the doorway into the bedroom to close off the distance, which made the existing double doors to the main toilet a grander entry.
AFTER: Arina wanted to capture a sense more than a style; she wanted a room that was serene and sexy, yet still comfortable for her husband. She selected linen for the draperies and bedding, giving the room a soft, glistening glow.
BEFORE: The toilet originally had a huge tub that overpowered the space. The homeowners fully gutted the toilet, doing the majority of the labour themselves to splurge on new fixtures.
The focal point is now this contemporary variant of a claw-foot tub. To create a spa appearance, the couple chose fitting vessel sinks. Arina and Ilya sourced more reclaimed fence pickets to construct two large frames to the floor mirrors behind the tub and over the custom made vanity. The mirrors were then installed in the frames with a local glass and mirror shop. The price was less than $200 for all three.
Tub, sinks: Victoria + Albert Baths; dressing table: (similar) Classic Double Sink Console, Pottery Barn
For the pipes, electric and any work out of the comfort zones, the homeowners hired professionals. Jim Ruppert of Above All Plumbing installed the toilets and tubs. In addition, he removed the upstairs water heater and installed an energy-efficient tankless water heater in the attic.
The total toilet renovation cost for materials and labor was approximately $13,000.
BEFORE: It took six weeks to Arina to strip off the carpeting and sand the timber staircase. She removed the wood railing too.
AFTER: A new modern metal cable railing along with a striking chandelier upgraded the stair landing. “I like things that are not over the top but you can not overlook it,” states Arina. “This makes a statement but does not scream at you”
For the gallery wall, Arina laid out eyeglasses onto the floor and tracked the edges on a big sheet of paper. Her husband then took every sheet of paper and taped it on the wall to patiently pinpoint where to place the picture figurines.
Chandelier: Gyro Crystal Chandelier, Timothy Oulton; staircase railing: Amadeus Metalworks
The couple plans to have more children, so they created a gender-neutral nursery. The first piece that went in was a splurge: the wooden chandelier.
Crib: Martine Iron Canopy Crib, Restoration Hardware; paint: Grayish, Sherwin Williams
Arina along with her son, Milan, enjoy their favourite room in the house. “It’s very calm and gives me a fantastic feeling,” she states.
Seat: Ryder Rocker, West Elm
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