Bringing the outdoors in

Nies remodel

Written by VAL PEARE

Bill and Pam Jones enjoy reading the paper and their morning cup of coffee just as much as anyone, however, after a nine-month remodel that coffee tastes a little bit better. After several unsuccessful attempts to purchase a home in Scottsdale, Arizona went awry, the Northeast Wichita couple decided to bring sunny Arizona to Wichita. We made 2 offers on homes in Scottsdale that didn't work out so we decided to remodel our home here and bring Scottsdale, Colorado and California to us, said Bill. Now I drink my coffee in the morning with a great view every day. It doesn't feel like I'm in Kansas at all.

So what started out as some chicken scratches with ideas of simply replacing existing walls with patio doors and lots of glass evolved into an amazing, 1475 square foot structural marvel that even Frank Lloyd Wright would appreciate.

Greg Rupp, Nies project manager, explained this project was definitely a challenge and required us to think outside the box, but Bill and I decided to design it to meet their goals and find a way to build it later. Not an easy task considering the enormous size of the addition and lack of additional interior support. We met a lot of resistance from peers because we were also incorporating sliding glass panels. The weight of the glass is entirely supported by the roof, said Rupp.

Both the dining room and living room areas are installed with thermal insulated sliding glass walls that run on a track system above, creating a seamless transition from inside to the covered lanai. We actually worked with the manufacturer of the doors to invent a system to turn corners (needed for the dining room). The process was fairly complicated and required the factory to create a simulation before the doors were shipped, said Rupp.

Pam Jones, a local interior designer, said the movable glass walls are definitely her favorite feature. I love the view of the koi pond from the eating area of our kitchen. We can have the outside open to the entire house, allowing us to enjoy the stars at night as well as letting in all the beautiful sunshine, said Pam.

Besides enjoying the space for their personal use, the Jones love hosting small parties. Beautifully designed gathering areas, fit for Architectural Digest, create the perfect venue for entertaining. Jones describes the home's style as an eclectic mix of soft contemporary.

While the remodel was very stressful at times, in the end it is all worth it. It is a lifetime to be able to enjoy it, said Pam. We chose Nies because of their impeccable reputation and knew it would be done the right way not the cheap way, but built to last.

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