Styling by Jessica Clement
Denise and Ronnie Alvarez have long lived in Vestavia and appreciated the vistas from Vestavia Country Club, so after decades in their Buckhead home, they decided to build their dream home with their favorite golf course view.
When they bought their property, it had a two-bedroom, one-level home on it with a pool in the back, but the best solution given its state was to take it down to its foundation and build up from there. It was Chris Rebeels of Christopher Architecture & Interiors whose design plans won them over, and soon they got to work on bringing their vision for the lot to life.
The Alvarezes are New Orleans natives, so they wanted to bring its feel into kitchen details and a courtyard in the front of their house. As to the exterior, Denise wanted a light brick that wasn’t the crisp white that is on so many houses built and renovated in recent years, and favored what she calls a “messy mortar” look between the bricks. Ronnie and Christopher came up with idea to pair that brick design with a set of stone at its base too along with Christopher’s signature shingled roof and English Tudor style look.
Inside the design is bright and open with lots of light from its tall windows and signature design elements like a pecky cypress ceiling in the master bedroom and on the staircase. Throughout you’ll find Denise’s preference for a clean palette without too much color, and her vision for a home that is as nice as it is comfortable for anyone who comes over. Once the architecture plans were set, Denise worked with interior designer Joanna Goodman, also with Chris’ firm, to select light fixtures, paint colors, rugs and other decorative elements for the home design. “Everyone who has come in has noticed something about the lights,” Denise says.
Today Denise can’t count the number of parties they have hosted in their new home, but the ones that will perhaps stand out the most were for her youngest daughter’s wedding. Day to day though, the couple’s favorite spot in the house is the back patio. With gas lights, a TV and a fireplace, there’s really no reason to leave—especially with the view that sold them on the lot in the first place. “It’s so peaceful,” Denise notes. And there’s no doubt that they will continue to, as they say in New Orleans, laissez les bon temps rouler (“let the good times roll”), in the home for years to come.
The copper vent hood and sink along with the light fixtures and brick walls in the kitchen design are all homages to the Alvarezes’ New Orleans roots. The kitchen also features a coffee nook and appliance panels that hides appliances, as well as a large island that acts as a breakfast table. It even has an ice maker that makes “Milo’s ice.”
Denise saw a bunk room design like this on Pinterest and knew she wanted one for her grandchildren when they came to visit. Each twin bed has its own light and switch, perfect for reading as they grow older.
The Alvarezes didn’t want their dining room to feel too formal. For just the right look, they commissioned a wooden table by made by Tyler Schnell, who graduated from Vestavia Hills High School with their children, and paired it with an elegant glass chandelier.
The Alvarezes already had their bedroom headboard from when their daughter worked at Three Sheets in Homewood and she helped them select both the bed and its bedding. Not pictured: a stunning view of the Vestavia Country Club golf course out of the windows to the left.
Denise knew she wanted a window seat in her office, where she works from home as a travel agent for Classic Travel by Denise, and Marcy Tolbert helped her with the design of the nail heads on its base that showcase the picture book window behind it.
Behind the Scenes
- Architecture: Chris Reebals, Christopher Architecture & Interiors
- Interior Design: Joanna Goodman, Christopher Architecture & Interiors
- Construction: Trey Goldstein, Cotton Construction
- Select Furnishings: Stock & Trade, Three Sheets
- Select Décor for Photo Styling: Trouve, Suite Dreams, Chickadee, Three Sheets