Renovated Craftsman-style home in Prospect features gourmet kitchen and dreamy outdoor space
Empty nesters Michael and Renee Major lived in County Oldham when they bought their cottage-style Prospect home in November 2019. With son Austin living in New York and daughter Jordan living in Newport Beach, Renee said: ” We thought we (needed) to downsize and buy something long term so we could retire there.
“(We wanted) a story,” added Michael. “(Something) with a little more ground, a little quieter and a little closer.”
They found the perfect Craftsman-style home built in the 1970s that just needed a little love.
A reason to renovate
“The kitchen was the reason…we chose to do a renovation,” Renee said, explaining that the room was originally smaller and more enclosed. The Majors called on Laura Popovich, founder and sole creator of Creative Interiors of Anchorage. “We cast her because she’s very down-to-earth and excels at redirection,” Renee told the Courier Journal.
Popovich was instrumental in the entire process, coming up with kitchen remodeling plans that neither Renee nor Michael had considered.
“(She) had a glimpse of repurposing cabinets, plumbing fixtures (and) mirrors,” Renee said. “(She also had) great ideas for extending the kitchen floor, revamping the fireplace…etc. She (also) insisted on skylights in the outdoor living area and transoms in the (main) bathroom. (There is now a) outdoor space large enough for dining and entertaining.
When planning the outdoor space, Renee says Popovich helped them figure out how big they needed based on everything they wanted to do there — and then scaled it up a bit.
The majors knew they wanted to use the space for late-night dinners and TV viewing; they also wanted to be able to sit outside even when the weather wasn’t ideal. Popovich made sure to include overhead propane heaters so the area could still be used in the colder months, and she also built a pergola over the grill to protect it from the elements.
“And she insisted on skylights,” Renee recalls. “She was like, you know, if you don’t do the skylights, it’s going to get dark in here – and I never would have thought of that.”
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Another unique feature of the backyard is not part of the house itself. It’s a life-size concrete horse sculpture that Renée and Michael acquired from a neighbor who was putting their house on the market. The Gallopalooza horse came to them painted bright yellow, pink and orange, but with the help of an artist named Ewa Perezthe equine artwork is now black and white, with a few other added accents that have personal meaning.
Around the horse’s neck are the crests of all the colleges Michael and Renee attended, and towards its back and tail is the American flag.
“Mike…retired from (the US Air Force),” Renee explained, “and he’s very patriotic. (Ewa) spent a lot of time on (the sculpture). … It’s been a labor of love.
Michael and Renee both enjoy the addition of the backyard, but Renee says her favorite space is the porch, which was also changed during the renovation.
“It was really small,” she said. “Everything was brick. It was nice, but it was too small and had stabilization issues.
The updated porch now includes ceiling fans, additional lighting and room for several chairs. On Sunday mornings – if it’s warm enough – that’s when Renee can be found.
“I love having coffee and reading the Sunday paper on the porch,” she said. “We have to go to a (later) church (service) so she can read the Courier Journal,” Michael added with a laugh.
There’s also plenty of space up front for the couple’s 8-year-old West Highland White Terrier, Cupcake, to roam around.
“(We) adopted (her when she was) seven years old, from Humane Societysaid Renee of the pup who joined their family in May 2020, shortly after the renovation was completed. “They were concerned that she had been thrown out of a lorry and… (she) still has anxiety issues. (Now) she goes everywhere with us and obviously runs the house.
nuts and bolts
The owners: Michel and Renée Major. Michael is a pilot with United Parcel Service and Renee is an administrative officer for the city of Anchorage. Also in the house is Cupcake, an 8-year-old West Highland White Terrier.
Homepage: This is a 4 bedroom, 5 bathroom, 3,917 square foot Craftsman style home in Prospect that was built in 1977.
Distinctive elements: Fully renovated kitchen and main bathroom; addition of front porch; added back porch with overhead propane heaters; wedding cake steps outside mud room added; glazed transom in the master bedroom; backyard water feature; Gallapalooza horse statue outdoors; original mirrored walls and doors, built-in bookshelves in bedroom, lowered family room and herringbone wood flooring.
Applause! Applause! General contractor and designer Laura Popovich of Creative Interiors of Anchorage; Architectural concrete for extensive design work on porches, patios, steps and walkways; landscape architect Gregg Bennett to redevelop the land; artist Ewa Perez for painting the Gallapolooza horse; and the neighbors for their support and understanding during the exterior renovation.
This article originally appeared in the Louisville Courier Journal: Renovated Craftsman Style Home in Prospect Kentucky