The first thing to capture a visitor’s attention when entering Kathy and Greg Johnson’s home is the breathtaking view of Lake Sherwood through a massive wall of windows on the far side of the house. However, once you appreciate what nature has presented, the focus shifts to the home’s bright, welcoming décor. A pleasing mixture of traditional and modern design is the result of a complete first-floor remodel done by Thiessen Design and Construction.
What makes Thiessen different from other remodeling companies is their commitment to providing homeowners with the complete remodel package. Tammy Thiessen, who does the design work, and her brother, Daniel Carlson, the general contractor, handle what’s expected as far as construction, flooring, fixtures, and wall and window treatments. Thiessen and her staff also style the finished spaces so they are move-in ready.
“This whole thing is so calming,” says Kathy Johnson as she stands in her newly re-done kitchen and great room. “The lighter colors have a calming effect on me. And it’s hard to watch T.V. because I’m looking at every accessory. I would never pick that out! It’s awesome!”
Thiessen started out using her interior design degree on her own home’s first floor re-do project approximately six years ago. This led to her working with an area remodeling company before managing her own business for the past three years. A mother to four boys, she makes it a priority to reserve her evenings and weekends for her kids. She notes since her brother is part of the company, her sons and their cousins are all well aware of the family business.
What Thiessen discovered during her time in this industry is, for homeowners, the remodeling experience tends to feel fragmented.
“So, you’re trying to communicate to the cabinet shop, the contractor, the countertop people, the tile store,” Thiessen explains. “You as the homeowner are doing all of that and it feels really fragmented. What we’re providing for the homeowners is to design the whole project with them, like the tile, plumbing fixtures, all of that. But we’re also going to be thinking about what type of furniture is going in the space. What’s the aesthetic? What art are we buying for the home? We do one hundred-percent of the styling for the project. So, you start with us and you end with us. When the homeowner moves into their home after we’ve remodeled it, they don’t have to think about anything, like a piece of art for over the fireplace mantel. It’s done. One hundred percent done, and they can just enjoy it.”
Thiessen engages in an extensive pre-design process with homeowners at the beginning of the project. She shows them many different types of inspirational photos to narrow down their design style.
“We do a lot to establish what’s their personal esthetic. And as a company we have an esthetic. So, we give them that blend of what’s our esthetic in their personal style. It’s a huge priority for us for the homeowners to feel like their personality and viewpoint are coming through in the design,” Thiessen says.
In the case of the Johnson house, the clean lines of midcentury modern and Scandinavian style blend with more traditional touches such as crown molding and antique furniture pieces. Johnson loves the color blue, so Thiessen showcased it in furnishings, rugs, and fabrics throughout the project, including the kitchen island. Mixtures of metallic and wood fixtures give each room’s style more dimension. The flooring is sanded and stained hardwood lightened with a bleach treatment, which is a perfect look for a lake-front home.
Thiessen notes, “What I love is we’re fully integrated. I’m designing something, and Daniel, who is in charge of our construction side, is on the same team. We’re collaborating. We’re figuring it all out. It’s a seamless process for the homeowner. I can design it and then we can execute it all and it’s executed exactly how we want it.”
Johnson says their home of 13 years was very much a 1990s style. They had waited a long time to give it a refresh and update, but decided if they planned to live there another 10 to 15 years, it was time to enjoy it instead of always thinking about what they would change. This project incorporated the entire first floor of the home, including the master bedroom and bath, living room, dining room, entryway, guest bathroom, and kitchen with adjacent great room.
“People would come over and ask if I was surprised with the way it looks, but I knew what was going on,” she says. “It’s not like on HGTV when you walk in after being gone for a month and they’ve redone everything. I had the choice. They would give me choices and let me pick what I love the best. I totally trusted Tammy. We are just over the moon with the finished look. Everything in here, even every little decoration, I love it. I love it! It’s just crazy how good she is!”
Thiessen adds, “I feel there are a lot of ways to get a great end product. But, it’s really hard to get a great experience and a great end product. It’s our top priority to make the experience good for the homeowners. Enjoyable and easy for them.”