John and Cheryl Zeiger traded in their Powell home for one in a quaint 10-home cul-de-sac in Grandview.

After spending more than a decade in Powell and nearly 20 years before that in neighboring Worthington, John and Cheryl Zeiger were ready for a change.

The couple decided they wanted to be closer to Downtown, which would mean a much shorter commute for John, whose law practice is located on Capitol Square.

The Zeigers explored the city, looking for something that caught their attention, either an existing home or land to build on. They stumbled upon a quaint 10-home cul-de-sac in Grandview. The neighborhood is small and quiet, and just a short drive from John's work. When a home became available for purchase, the Zeigers put in a same-day offer due to the popularity of Grandview's housing market.

Then they enlisted the help of two trusted friends with decades of remodeling experience: architect John Behal of Behal Sampson Dietz and designer Sally McDonald, owner of Interiorworks by Sally McDonald. The Zeigers agree that working with both Behal and McDonald was an obvious choice. In fact, McDonald helped design several previous projects for the couple. “She tells me what she thinks, and I tell her what I think, too,” says Cheryl, adding that she trusts McDonald's judgment because they have worked together so much and she knows the couple's design preferences well.

Behal explains that at the beginning of the remodel, the Zeigers, Behal and his partners—including Dan Morgan, a principal architect at the firm—and McDonald were all part of several brainstorming sessions. They moved from there to conceptual sketches and drawings to see what dreams were possible given the home's existing framework.

A New View

The team agrees the kitchen remodel was one of the biggest challenges (and rewards) of the project. The original kitchen was much smaller, confined by a wall leading from the foyer. “The minute we took the kitchen wall out, this became a different project,” says Morgan. Cheryl also remembers realizing the enormity of the undertaking after seeing something from a conceptual sketch come to fruition. “When the kitchen wall came out, that was a point of no return,” she says, adding with a laugh. “It was a scary moment.”

One of the first things guests notice as they enter the room is a stunning skylight above the kitchen's granite-topped island. Before the renovation, there was a skylight located on the other side of the room, but Behal, McDonald and the owners agreed it should be moved to complement the island's location in the middle of the space.

Another interesting facet to the kitchen remodel is how the cabinetry seamlessly matches the wood paneling around the rest of the room and family living area. Some of the paneling is original wood, while other pieces had to be recreated. Michael Boudreault, of Artisan Rooms, is the artist who helped make this a reality. D.L. Atkinson built the cabinets.

Because the project team and the Zeigers loved the smooth transition between cabinets and paneling, they decided to conceal the pantry and a small bathroom. “We decided we didn't want doors spoiling the look, so the doors were worked in so they don't show except for a small handle,” says McDonald. The pantry is another interesting space in the kitchen. Instead of having exposed items on shelves, labeled baskets line the shelves for easy storage and organization.

This space works well for the Zeigers, who say they spend most of their time in the kitchen and the adjacent living room, which backs up to an enclosed sunroom the couple added as an extension of an existing porch off the back of the home. Being on the porch is like “being in the treetops,” says McDonald.

Personal Space

On the other side of the home through the foyer, the original floor plan featured two bedrooms joined by two bathrooms. One side is now the master bedroom and bath, while the other room was converted into an office for Cheryl. A laundry room was added in a former bathroom space. (The laundry area was originally in the kitchen.) The most noticeable feature of the new laundry room is the hand-painted floor tile the Zeigers and McDonald brought back from a trip to Europe several years ago.

Through the foyer is the formal living room. “I've come to really love this room. It has a great feel, especially when the painting lights are on,” says John Zeiger. Behal and Morgan recommended raising the ceiling height to create more space. McDonald completed the look with three chandeliers spaced evenly across the ceiling, and a unique color of paint to accent the space.

The Zeigers have eclectic tastes in art, ranging from paintings by the late Aminah Robinson, to artwork they have brought home from various travels throughout the world. They also owned a number of French antiques that McDonald was tasked with repurposing for the new home. “They were able to use a lot of their furniture from their old house, which I had also done, so we really tried to rework that furniture,” she explains.

Having personal touches throughout their home was important to the couple. “The real luxury is to have a personal house,” says John.

A space important to him was his office, which is located on the lower level of the home. Cherry wood panels surround the whole office, creating a warm setting. “Fruitwoods have so much depth and make a beautiful room,” says Behal, adding that the panels were built on-site by BSD. The owners agree this transformation was a departure from the outdated paneling and white laminated desk that was previously featured in this room.

According to the Zeigers, Behal, Morgan and McDonald were the perfect team for the project, which took nine months. “I can honestly say from the beginning to the end, we never had concerns or a lack of confidence with John [Behal] and his team. They earned that trust very quickly,” says John.

McDonald adds that it is always fun to work with Behal. “I have known John for years, and we argue in a lighthearted way in front of the clients like an old married couple,” she says, laughing. The Zeigers were so pleased with their home's renovation that they hosted a brunch for Behal, Morgan, McDonald, and various vendors and construction teams to show appreciation for a job well done.