Scruggs Lumber and Bernskoetter Construction mix modern and traditional styles in their latest home project.
When building a forever home, families can feel the nervous shakes as they navigate decisions that could impact the rest of their lives. For this custom home, the homeowners’ goal was to have durability while remaining stylish for years to come. Brice Bernskoetter, of Bernskoetter Construction, and Scruggs Lumber interior designer Michele Higgins merged the needs and wants of the homeowners to create a strikingly modern traditional home to last forever.
Building with Forever in Mind
Situated on a sprawling country field, visitors drive up to the ranch style home on a dramatic circular driveway.
“The house impacts you as your approach it,” says Michele.
The house’s white brick, inspired by a trip to St. Louis, is accented with a deep brown, almost black, front door and front facing garage. Brice noted the growing popularity of white painted brick in the Jefferson City area, so they embraced the trend while adding new features — for instance, the front of the home has a copper rain chain, a type of water feature that channels water from gutters through a series of chains and cups, instead of a traditional downspout. It was the first rain chain to be installed in Jefferson City by Bernskoetter Construction.
Heart of the Home
“When you walk into the house, you’re drawn in by the clean lines and the softness of the home,” says Michele.
The home calls out for a traditional eclectic feeling, mixing modern and traditional styles from multiple decades. This allowed the homeowners to define a personal feel while remaining in their neutral color palette. Much of the house’s interior color comes from illustrations made by the homeowner’s daughter, Rachel Roe, which hang around the home. The art’s bright colors and delicate strokes liven up the modern lines.
There was a lot of trust in collaborating with Michele on the home, especially on paint color. The home was painted before the floors or anything else was installed.
“With homeowners, if they can visualize it, that makes it a lot easier,” says Michele. “But if they can’t visualize, it makes things a lot more difficult.” Luckily, these homeowners were visual people.
“One paint color will act like a backdrop,” say Michele. “It becomes a canvas for everything you’re going to decorate.”
“A lot of homeowners think they need one color here and one color there, but you don’t. Trust the one paint in what it can do,” says Michele. “Spaces flow effortlessly together with one paint color, especially in open floor plans, which have continued to become more and more popular. It will change and flex throughout the house. A bunch of colors will chop up the space.”The ceiling is deprived of detail, giving the space an effortless flow from room to room.
Trust in the Details
The lifestyle of the homeowner affects everything in a home, from the floors to the cabinets — even the wall colors feed off of one another. Floors like hickory are great for families with kids and pets. High on the Janka scale, a way to rate hardness, these floors can handle a little roughhousing. The homeowners have moved from raising their own kids to raising their grandkids; they ended up with a dark hickory floor.
“I feel like the kitchen, dining, and living rooms are a big focal point for the entire house,” says Michele, “because it’s all open. It’s their gathering space.”
The kitchen, like in any home, has a special place in the homeowners’ hearts. The kitchen’s focal point is the ceramic backsplash behind the stove. The tile has a tin-like appearance without any treatments. The homeowners were initially looking for a gray backsplash to play off the white cabinets, but when they saw the dark tile, they were captivated.
The singular change made to the original home plan was enlarging the craftsman kitchen window. The homeowners wanted as many unobstructed country views as possible. Brice says that the homeowners were almost more invested in their screened-in porch than any other room in the house. The concrete floor decking was perfected both structurally and aesthetically. The back porch has vertical cable railing with large panel screens for minimal view disruptions. The porch ceiling is a medium-grade western cedar. A perfect view. The homeowners have many sunrises and sunsets in their future.
Contractor/Builder: Bernskoetter Construction
Interior Designer: Michele Higgins, Scruggs Lumber
Brick/rock: Midwest Block and Brick
Countertops/Granite: Central Missouri Countertops
Cabinets: Phil Thoenen & Sons Cabinet Inc
Lights: Menards, Lowes, and online
Exterior Brick/Rock: Midwest Block & Brick
Entertainment Center: Best Buy
Plumbing: Don Bernskoetter Plumbing Inc
Appliances: Riback Supply Co. Inc
Electrical: Nathan VanLoo Electric
Drywall: Sam Braun Drywall
Plumbing Supply: Jefferson City Winsupply
Wood Floors: Boardwalk Hardwood Floor
Master Closets: LB Classic Closets & More
Woodwork (Trim and Doors): Boone County Millwork
Gas Fireplace: Best Fire Inc
Garage Doors: Capital Installers Inc
Concrete: Farmers Concrete Company
Central Vacuum: Frank Schrimpf Plumbing and Heating Company
Outdoor Deck Railing: American Sun Control
Security System: Tech Electronics of Columbia