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Home transformation

Written by Jane Trabert Schmitt
Imagery by Sandra Kicman

The natural beauty and serenity of the large, wooded lot on which their house was built decades ago led a Western New York couple to launch a major re-design, with unique twists and turns along the way that ultimately took their residence from ordinary to extraordinary!
    Demanding careers keep them busy, but when work is done for the day, they come home now to a place that artfully blends their love of the outdoors with a modern desire for form and function.
    Elements of the natural world are everywhere, from gleaming hardwood to one-of-a-kind stonework and organic textures. Skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows, meanwhile, offer year-round views of towering Austrian pine trees that dominate the
landscape. This is a high-end home that bespeaksluxury while warmly inviting all who enter to come in, relax and enjoy themselves.
    “This was a complete transformation,” explained Tom Zulawski of ZDesign Inc., whose Buffalo firm was hired to handle every aspect, from schematic design of a magnificent 9,000-square-foot addition to every architectural detail of the carefully planned project, as well as specifying and procuring the furnishings. “Design is such a personal thing … creating something for the homeowners. You get to know them and the things that are important to them, and then you must make sure that you incorporate those elements into the home.”

”Design is such a personal thing…”

     The sprawling, ranch-style structure was set on five acres and had undergone many changes over the years, including additions.
     Though it had “good bones,” Zulawski says, something important was lacking: a strong identity.
    “Nothing stood out in it,” he says. “It lacked continuity.” Not anymore.
    The new layout boasts an open, continuing flow that is equally conducive to the couple’s daily life or when they want to entertain, which is often, according to their designer. Zulawski said that from the onset of the renovation project, his vision was a strikingly beautiful, high-function home that catered to their every need. The overarching concept of bringing the outside in was rooted in the owners’ passion for enjoying the splendor of nature, no matter the season. “The homeowners knew what they wanted, and they wanted something special in this house,” Zulawski says. “And that’s what we ultimately achieved for them.”

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