When Josef and Danielle Spalenka purchased their American Foursquare Craftsman home in Old Louisville, the 2,400-square-foot space accommodated their needs perfectly. But when the pair began growing their little family, it became clear that changes would need to be made, so they enlisted the help of friend and interior designer Bethany Adams of Bethany Adams Interiors.
“It is a lovely little house,” Adams told The Courier Journal, “but once they started having kids, they realized it didn’t really work for them.”
Adams explained that the historic home had been recently remodeled and was in great shape, but several of the rooms were designed without doors — a feature not conducive to children. The Spalenkas considered moving but ultimately decided they loved their backyard and would rather renovate to make their current house work for their family.
“By the time I entered the picture,” Adams said, “they had two kids, so they just needed a little more separation as a family. … They asked if I could design an addition that incorporated a dining room … (as well as) a bedroom and closet for them.”
When all was said and done — doors added, walls built, and new rooms constructed — the project created two new bedrooms, plus a family room and dining room.
Space to dine
The addition brought the Spalenka’s square footage from 2,400 to 2,900 and included a bright new dining space that opens to the back deck and has a pass-through window to the kitchen.
The room features heated Montauk Blue slate floors, with an indoor/outdoor rug under the CB2 dining table. Adams put apple green slipcovers over the Crate & Barrel chairs for easy cleanup and incorporated cordless Hunter Douglass shades over the windows for safety.
With windows along two walls, the revamped dining room serves as a sunroom as well, with a cozy nook at one end, perfect for sipping a morning coffee or curling up with a good book.
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“They really wanted a sunroom because is beautiful back there,” Adams said. “There are three sets of doors, but only the center doors actually operate. The others are fixed, but it gives you that gorgeous, sunroom feel. … They love it there in the winter.”
Upgraded primary bedroom
Part of the addition included a new primary bedroom for Josef and Danielle, which features a walk-in closet — something the Spalenkas didn’t have previously.
“They didn’t have (any) closet before,” Adams said. “(It’s) a major improvement in functionality, and they leave that door open all the time because there’s so much beautiful light and the same carpeting running through the whole space.”
The Galbraith & Paul window coverings in the bedroom are hand painted and set the color scheme for the space, which boasts a Pottery Barn bed and a cane-seated bench. A vintage oil painting adorns the wall, while Serena and Lily nightstands flank both sides of the bed.
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Revamped family room
Because the renovation included a new second-floor bedroom for Josef and Danielle, their former bedroom was transformed into a family room. Adams outfitted the space with a dark green Pottery Barn slipcovered sofa, an area rug from CB2, an ottoman covered in Moore & Giles leather, and vintage Italian reclining chairs. The room also features the same Hunter Douglas matchstick shade lighting fixtures that are used throughout the home.
“(Danielle) is a good friend of mine, so it was lovely to work with a good friend and solve … problems that I knew she’d been struggling with as a mom of young kids,” Adams said.
“We both have kids the same age. It’s very gratifying when you can help people … and it’s also fun because I get to go visit the space a lot. You don’t always get to do that, but they’re friends and neighbors. It’s nice to go back and see them actually living in the space, and using it, and enjoying it.”
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Know a house that would make a great Home of the Week? Email writer Lennie Omalza at [email protected] or Lifestyle Editor Kathryn Gregory at [email protected].
nuts & bolts
Owners: Josef and Danielle Spalenka. Josef is the director of data science at LineVision, Inc., and Danielle is a digital preservation librarian at Indiana University. Also in the home is Graham, 7, Lyra, 5, and the family cat, Chloe.
Home: This is a 4-bed, 2-and-a-half bath, 2,900-square-foot, American Foursquare Craftsman home in the Old Louisville Historic District that was built in 1903.
Distinctive elements: Heated Montauk Blue slate floors in the dining room/ sunroom, CB2 dining table, herringbone wool carpet in the bedroom, natural woven window shades throughout.
Applause! Applause! Designer Builders (contractor), Spindletop Draperies (window shades), Meyers & Co. (landscaping).