Design Bar extended

Taking on a home remodeling project isn’t for the faint of heart – and anyone who has ever remodeled an entire house knows how tense the process can get.

But Tara and Jeff Leicht avoided the anxiety by turning their renovation project into a positive experience through a total team effort.

The Leichts moved to Scottsdale from Amarillo, Texas where they lived in a 4,500-square foot home.  “When I wanted a late-night snack, it was a real hassle,” Jeff recalls.  “By the time I’d finally get to the kitchen, I had earned it.”

The couple were prime candidates for downsizing.

Tara and Jeff lived in various rental homes around the Old Town area as they looked for a permanent place to live.  Jeff liked Southwest Village, but Tara, an avid walker, wanted to live closer to Indian Bend Wash.  Searching near the greenbelt in the Laguna San Juan neighborhood, they found what would be their home the first day it went on the market.  The two-story home was the perfect size: 2,200-square feet.

Built in the early 1970’s, the 3-bedroom home had never been updated.  It still had its original 40-year-old carpeting.  Everything had to go.

The Leichts hired One Stop Construction Services for the demolition and construction work and Lisa Nicodemus of Visual Advantage to handle the interior design.  Working closely with Tara and Jeff, it took the construction and design team five very intense months to complete the project.

The most significant change the team made was converting the large upstairs master bedroom into what they call the “Man Cave” that both Tara and Jeff regularly use – particularly to watch football games.  The room, which includes a huge wrap-around sectional sofa, has a balcony that gives the Leichts a birds-eye view from Camelback Mountain to the McDowell Mountains.

Downstairs, the kitchen has been meticulously laid out to provide for Tara and Jeff’s day-to-day cooking needs and also features an area devoted to Tara’s passion for baking.

Jeff mentions that their home doesn’t just feel like it’s the “right size,” he says “it’s easy to live in.”

Transitioning from Texas where Tara and Jeff farmed 5,000 acres and raised cattle, their “Texas Motif” would have been out of place in their new modern home environment.  About the only thing they didn’t pitch was some art and area rugs they were attached to.

In many respects, the Leichts were starting over.  They both agree that Lisa, their interior designer, was a “blessing.”

“Tara and Jeff wanted to keep things ‘homey’ and also use neutral colors, like taupe,” Lisa says.  “But to stay consistent with their contemporary theme, we added pops of color.  They totally trusted me.”

That collaboration paid off.

Tara and Jeff’s home is one of the two houses in the Laguna San Juan neighborhood that will be on the November 12th Home Tour.

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