Design your family will enjoy.

From Ornate and Opulent to Warm and Inviting

Wednesday, February 12

Categories: Remodeling

When Tony and Cathy Moraco first saw the French-inspired, Chateaux-like house that would eventually be their home, they looked past the ornate design to see the potential within the walls.

Cathy remembers, “The original style of the home didn’t match our taste, but Tony instantly recognized the quality of the build and the floor plan so we thought about how we could make it work for us. We liked the layout and it quickly became easy for us to envision what it would take to turn it into our dream home.”

The house was originally built by Rufty Homes, so although the Moracos spoke with other vendors about their remodel, they ultimately chose the Rufty team to take on the renovation project. Cathy says, “As the builder, they had a unique insight about how to match our new ideas up with some of the original features. For example, they worked to make sure our new hardwood flooring would marry well with existing wood and tile in other parts of the home.”

Tony and Cathy were living out of state during some of the renovation process, but knowing the Rufty team was working on their home gave them peace of mind. “As soon as I met our Project Manager, Chris Bridgewater, I felt completely at ease that we were in good hands,” says Cathy. 

Chris agrees saying, “I met Cathy before construction began, but I didn’t get to meet Tony until we were about halfway through the project. We relied on open communication to ensure that they were always in the loop about what was happening and how things were moving along. We ended up developing a friendship and I still keep in touch with them today.”

While Chris helped keep the project on track and worked on the technical parts of the project – like turning a former exercise studio into a four-refrigerator wine room – the Moracos worked with Southern Studio Interior Design’s Founder, Vicky Serany, and Senior Designer, Elizabeth O’Neal, to develop a plan to transform the space to fit their aesthetic preferences. 

Vicky remembers, “The original home was beautiful, but it was much more ornate and formal than what Tony and Cathy wanted. We removed a painted mural in the dining room and replaced it with a soft, neutral paint color and we simplified the master bathroom by replacing the original columns and tub with a sleek, freestanding tub. And, since entertaining is important to them, we spent a lot of time focused on the kitchen, which is truly the heart of their home. We replaced the cabinets and took out the two kitchen islands so we could replace it with one large one instead that better fit their needs.”

Of course, almost no renovation project is complete without some unexpected twists and turns along the way. In the middle of the project, the cabinet supplier that was chosen for the kitchen cabinets suddenly went out of business.

Chris and his team got all hands on deck to find another supplier as quickly as possible that could make the same, high-quality cabinets the Moracos wanted to complete their kitchen. In all, the project was delayed for about two months, but Tony and Cathy are thrilled with the final result. 

In fact, the kitchen is one of their favorite places to spend time in their new home. Tony says, “The Rufty team worked hard on the little details in the kitchen, like developing a crown molding solution that matches up perfectly with the ceiling and cabinets. We love so much about this home, but the kitchen is probably my favorite room.”

While the Moracos plan to make this their forever home, if they ever decided to build or renovate again in the future, they wouldn’t hesitate to turn to Rufty Homes for their next project. Cathy says, “They were proactive and worked meticulously on every aspect of our home. Chris treated it almost as if he was working on his own home, which we really appreciated. But, best of all, they really listened to us throughout this journey. As a result, we now have the home of our dreams.”

See the full project photo gallery here