After falling in love with the views from the back yard of a four-bedroom two-story Galleria, Carri and Tom Johnson purchased a SaddleBrooke house in 2019 that they essentially disliked. “We love to entertain, and the Galleria’s layout was not conducive to our needs, so we set out to eliminate all the formal living areas and redirect the flow of the floor plan,” Carri Johnson explained. “The living room, dining area, great room and kitchen were a total gut.”
Working with a remodeling company, the Minnesota transplants set out to create an open floor plan of the home’s first floor living spaces by first removing the walk-in pantry dividing the kitchen and formal dining room along with the Galleria’s signature entry arches, and demolishing the dated, built-in entertainment center in the family room.
Sightlines from the front door were further enhanced by the removal of the home’s southern exterior wall with its glass slider and fireplace with flanking windows. In its place, four 4-foot by 8-foot glass panels create a 16-foot glass wall with an 8-foot glass slider framing a view of glorious golf course greenery and magnificent Catalina mountain panorama. To further reduce obstructions, three of the existing patio pillars were removed and replaced with a 52-foot glulam beam to support the new interior opening of the patio cover.
Curing the home of its plague of mismatched flooring—that included several varieties of tile and carpet, linoleum, and engineered wood—all existing flooring was demoed and 24-inch by 48-inch porcelain tiles were installed throughout. The stone-look tile in Andover White with a matte finish is grouted with Fusion pro stain-proof, color-perfect grout for durability and ease of cleaning. The cohesive flooring elevates the home’s look and unifies its spaces.
With contractor assistance, Carri fine-tuned her original ideas for her entirely new “Chef’s Delight” kitchen layout with an additional beverage center. New floor-to-ceiling cabinets are topped off with LED-lit glass uppers and highlighted with lower toe-kick lighting. A full suite of Café appliances was added including a gas range top and double convention ovens featuring an on-trend French-door upper unit. Providing balance to the beautiful new kitchen surround, the massive new 15-foot by 5-foot island extends to the former formal dining/living room area where a separate pass-through bar was added, consisting of a dual-zoned beverage center and separate ice maker for the ultimate in beverage entertaining.
The main level guest full bathroom, located near the hallway, was gracefully opened to one larger room with a walk-in shower and pocket door access to overcome the clumsy dueling doorways of the formerly divided space. The den/optional second bedroom was also opened by removing the closet and creating twin-openings at the front entrance and the back hallway and furnished with floor-to-ceiling cabinetry to meet the owners’ current office needs.
In the owners’ suite, two odd dividing partitions were removed, and carpet was replaced. With the exception of the water closet, the owners’ bathroom was gutted for a new layout. In place of the extra-large double vanity, a spa tub was added a large single trough vanity and an extra-large walk-in shower with large bench. The old shower made way for new makeup vanity with additional storage. Clever pocket door access to the back hallway was added, creating a beeline from the owners’ suite to the front door via the passthrough den.
Cosmetic improvements included the updating of the home’s double entry doors with new glass inserts. The laundry room was given a lift by re-facing the existing cabinetry and adding additional cabinetry and large bench. Extensive home system improvements were also undertaken including the replacement of the roof underlayment, and the addition of a whole-house Kinetico water system, as well as 24 solar panels.
Reflecting upon all they’ve accomplished in their beautiful and uniquely remodeled Galleria, Carri mused on the encouragement husband Tom had given her from the beginning, “Honey, we can change the house, but we can’t change the view!” Ironically, their remodel resulted in not only a stunning home transformation, it also improved the views from the home’s interior!