Don Kavanaugh had been in his Clark County ranch home for nearly three decades before he finally decided it was time to renovate.
“The remodel was just brought on by the fact that I’d lived in the house for 25-plus years, and it needed an update, so I decided I was going to do it … (Barry Wooley Designs) ended up getting the job because they were highly recommended by everybody.”
Kavanaugh adds that what eventually wound up being a full home renovation started off with just one room.
“The master bath was just really outdated,” he said. “I didn’t like the shower, (and) it had a jetted tub that no one ever used — it was just a lot of wasted space. So, when we first began talking about an update, it was (only) about the master bath.”
Ready to remodel
Barry Wooley of Barry Wooley Designs happily updated Kavanaugh’s master bath, incorporating modern elements such as a steam shower and heated floors. But once that project was complete, he knew there was more to be done.
“One thing led to another thing,” Wooley said of the home. “I (took) him out into his bedroom and I said, ‘I just want you to know that when this bathroom is all remodeled and beautiful, this bedroom is going to look really tired.’”
The first change Wooley suggested in the bedroom was replacing the carpet with hardwood floors — which led to installing hardwood throughout the house.
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“Then we did the whole client profile,” Wooley said. “It’s all like a psychology profile. It asks you things like, what’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been? What’s your favorite color?”
Using the completed client profile and a piece of artwork that Kavanaugh particularly loves, Wooley redesigned the entire home.
“Every single thing in this house — other than a few of his objects that he’s had throughout his life — is all replacement,” Wooley said. “(It’s) all stuff that we picked out together and designed.”
Building a better basement
Kavanaugh moved out for nine months while Wooley and his team got to work. One of the major projects in the house was finishing the basement, which had been primarily used for storage.
“I totally finished out the whole basement with another kitchen (and) a guest suite,” Wooley said, adding that some of Kavanaugh’s preexisting artwork was incorporated into this space.
Wild animal posters that have been matted and framed hang on one wall, while a large Leroy Neiman piece of a baseball player sits on the opposite side of the room.
“This is the only new piece of art Don bought without me,” Wooley said. “He was on a cruise somewhere and he just loved the colors in it — and he’s a baseball fan.”
Wooley has since had it matted and put up in an ornate, gold-hued frame.
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“It’s pretty bougie,” he said with a laugh, “but I figured this lower level actually has no ‘boug’ in it, so that’s why I gave it some (with) the frame. I (thought), let’s make this look like it came from some great collection; that’ll throw the eye and make it look unique in comparison to everything else being … kind of rustic.”
The basement flooring is one of the plainer elements in the space, but it’s one of Wooley’s favorites. Made with recycled content, it adheres to the existing floor and is waterproof.
“This is a really cool floor,” Wooley exclaimed. “I love this; (it’s) commercial. Around these parts, when you do LVT — which is luxury vinyl tile — back in the day, that would be preconceived as a cheap route to do vinyl. Nowadays … when you watch ‘Million Dollar Listing’ in L.A. … (LVT) is like a luxury.”
A ravishing reveal
Wooley asked Kavanaugh to stay out of his house throughout the entire process; he stopped by only to collect his mail.
“He would come get his mail, and I (would have) paper (covering things),” Wooley recalled.
In addition to finishing the basement, Wooley replaced all the doors and windows, added a screened-in porch and lanai, and opened up several doorways. It was the living room, however, that blew Kavanaugh away during the reveal. Wooley had hung Kavanaugh’s favorite painting over the neutral-colored sofa, highlighting the hues of the artwork with accent pillows.
A Murano glass chandelier hangs above, and two red chairs bring pops of Kavanaugh’s favorite color into the space. The showstopper, however, is the corner fireplace, highlighted by its gold, glass surrounding.
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“I believe it was Christmas Eve when (Wooley) called and (asked me) to come over to the house and see it,” Kavanaugh said. “I believe it was (Wooley) that opened the door. (He was) standing on one side of me, (and his husband) Jude (Loew) on the other side … and (I was) staring at the fireplace … It took my breath away enough that I didn’t say anything at all. I just stood there and stared.”
Kavanaugh was so quiet that for a minute, Wooley and Loew were worried he didn’t like it. But once Kavanaugh sensed their concerns, he made it clear that it was quite the opposite.
“I looked at (them) and I said … It’s gorgeous. It just takes your breath away.”
Know a house that would make a great Home of the Week? Email writer Lennie Omalza at email@example.com or Lifestyle Editor Kathryn Gregory at firstname.lastname@example.org.
nuts & bolts
Owner: Don Kavanaugh, who is the vice president and business manager at BW Design Group.
Home: This is a 4-bed, 3-bath, 3,216-square-foot ranch-style home in Oak Park that was built in 1988 in Clark County, Indiana.
Distinctive elements: Custom fireplace; hardwood flooring on the main level; LVT flooring in the basement; quartz countertops; custom window treatments; custom rugs; custom upholstery; vintage rugs; Murano chandelier; specialty fixtures; new hardscape and driveway.
Applause! Applause! Jude Loew and Barry Wooley of Barry Wooley Designs; Peer Electric; Olde Towne Chimney; Lanham Hardwood; Signature Countertops; Emser Tile; Carpet Specialists; SURYA; Mike Payne Custom Upholstery; Tom Whitted; Global Views; Visual Comfort.