American of Martinsville dining set
An American of Martinsville dining set and a bar cart designed by Niels Erik Glasdam Jensen are lit by a Rejuvenation Galaxy pendant.

Tony and Josette Schuur stumbled across their midcentury gem in part 1. With everything happening so fast, the couple got lost in the interior renovations. After realizing they had neglected the front yard, they made a plan—one that made neighbors’ heads turn. It was time to be the crazy house on the block.

Although the couple knew what materials they wanted to use, they still needed help in drafting the plans, so they hired an architect. “At the end of the day, we didn’t care for all his recommendations; we felt they weren’t modern enough for this house, so we redid the plans ourselves,” Josette says. “But we have to give him credit for pushing the boundaries and suggesting wrapping the fence around the front corner of the house. Although we knew we were breaking city code, he said to build first and ask for forgiveness later, so we did.”

The kitchen offered the most aesthetic challenges. While the original cabinetry—painted an appealing two-tone green—was still in place, the counters were green slate tile, the backsplash a busy tumbled marble, with travertine on the floors. Tony and Josette ultimately couldn’t abide the mix and decided to change the counters. “We considered stainless steel or concrete counters, but they seemed too industrial for the house. It needed to be something that would go with the existing backsplash because we thought it was wasteful to rip that out,” Tony comments. They settled on HI-MACS solid surface in a neutral color, and changed the floor to a grime-hiding, plainer travertine tile.

The Schuurs became the general contractors, hiring Daniel Baca of Baca Metal Works for the extensive metal fabrication, sourcing all of the materials and diving in full bore with the build. “Along with Daniel’s friend Dirk Wallace, we were known as the four crazy kids on the corner, building what to some at the time probably looked like a cross between the Berlin Wall and Thunderdome,” Tony jokes. “An elderly gentleman shuffling by one afternoon, looked up and muttered, ‘You just ruined a perfectly good house,’ and kept walking. Ugh; talk about a buzzkill!”

Fortunately not everyone felt that way. A neighbor they’d never met dropped off a midcentury vase and a nice note about how much she loved their design. “It was hard hiding some of the home’s architecture, especially the beautiful built-in planters, behind a wall,” Josette admits.

The plan included a 35′ exterior planter, steel and Plex fencing, a corner fireplace, a dedicated dining area and DIY outdoor kitchen, as well as the home’s original covered flagstone side porch. Bret Penselin of Oregon Outdoor Landscaping helped with the fireplace plumbing, landscape lighting, drip irrigation and a reflecting pool.

The Crazy House Renovation Gets Crazier

Look out for Part 3 to find out how the Tony and Josette’s new landscape landed them downtown dealing with city fines!