lakefront luxury

An ambitious remodel ensures this home is worthy of its breathtaking
waterfront location

Story by Amy Newman • Photos by DMD Real Estate Photography

  • DMD Real Estate Photography DMD Real Estate Photography
  • DMD Real Estate Photography DMD Real Estate Photography
  • DMD Real Estate Photography DMD Real Estate Photography
  • DMD Real Estate Photography DMD Real Estate Photography
  • DMD Real Estate Photography DMD Real Estate Photography

Renee Robertson relocated to Anchorage in 2013 to join a dental practice started by friends from her Portland dental school. Even though the transition up north wasn’t entirely a solo venture, it still wasn’t an easy transition.

General Contractor:
Trailboss Solutions, LLC
Interior Designer:
Jana Seda, Trailboss Solutions, LLC
Hearth & Home Technologies
Alpine, Timberline
Windows & Doors
Kitchen Countertops:
Pental Surfaces
KitchenAid, Allen & Petersen
Pental Surfaces
Handmade custom by
William Hester
Kohler Farm Sink /
Miseno Faucet

“There was this part of me that’s, ‘Oh, man, I’m living in Alaska. I want to be home,’ ” Renee recalls.

But a lakefront home she purchased two years later helped ease that homesick feeling, giving her a bright, open space to gather with friends and, more importantly, to call home.

From dark (and downright scary)
to bright and airy

Situated on an 11,000-square foot lot, complete with a private dock and a second parking pad to accommodate a plane, the two-story home’s Campbell Lake location was an instant attraction.

“I fell in love just with the location,” Renee says. “It’s on the lake, and I’ve always wanted to be on the water.”

The home’s interior, however, didn’t evoke the same rapturous feelings. The space was dark, dated and, despite high vaulted ceilings, felt claustrophobic, Renee recalls. Toss in a few DIY projects that the previous owner should have left to the professionals, and Renee found herself with a home in need of several large doses of TLC.

“Luckily she had a vision for it, because honestly it was a mess,” says Jana Seda, kitchen and bathroom designer with Trailboss Solutions, LLC in Anchorage who helped Renee with the remodel.

A load-bearing wall removed during a prior kitchen remodel caused the house to sink on one side, Jana says, while a range hood installed above the kitchen island vented directly into the garage. Both the ceiling and stairwell were wood paneled, and the downstairs space had three different types of flooring, including carpet that was permanently installed smack dab in the middle of the living room’s hardwood floors.

“There were so many strange things that the homeowner did, you couldn’t even wrap your mind around what he was doing,” Renee says.

Her vision was to create an open concept design in the downstairs space that would eliminate the claustrophobic feel, brighten up the space and maximize the lakefront views that had drawn her to the home in the first place. But before any of that could happen, they had to deal with the home’s structural issues.

“The structural reconditioning that we had to do was big,” Jana says. A steel beam was added underneath the second-story landing, which overlooks the living space, to compensate for the load-bearing wall that had been removed. The range hood was moved from the middle of the kitchen to the back wall, eliminating the unsafe venting issues.

The existing staircase was also torn down and replaced with a custom-built open staircase, with the entrance flip-flopped to create a better flow from the front entrance. William Hester, Trailboss’ inhouse carpenter, built each piece of the staircase in the shop and assembled it at the house. Cable railings were added to give it the open look Renee wanted.

With the structural issues taken care of, Renee and Jana worked to brighten the space. The wall separating the kitchen and dining room was removed to achieve the open concept design. To help maximize the beautiful lakefront views and allow more sunlight to stream in, oblong windows were installed above the living room’s two existing picture windows and on the wall of the newly designed stairwell. The dark wood paneling from the ceiling was removed, and the walls received fresh coats of paint in varied shades of grey, moving from darker in the living room to lighter in the kitchen.

An indoor/outdoor see-through fireplace serves as the living room’s focal point. Surrounded by a shadow stone façade in arctic white and topped with a quartz hearth, it is unique on two fronts – it overlooks the lake and it was the first of its kind installed in Alaska, Jana says.

A space for entertaining

The kitchen, which Jana describes as “kind of dinky” and small for the space, also needed to be brightened, Jana says.

Renee chose Waypoint Living Spaces cabinetry in pacific linen – “I like white, just that very clean look,” she says – a white Pental quartz countertop, and Pental porcelain tile for the backsplash. A Kohler white single-basin sink completes the lightened look.

With the cooktop and range hood relocated to the kitchen’s back wall, Jana convinced Renee to go big with a new island.

“In the drawings I was like, ‘I don’t know Jana, I think it’s going to be too big,’ ” Renee says with a laugh. “She talked me into it, which I’m so thankful for because it’s massive. We have a lot of people over, and it’s the center point. Everybody congregates in the kitchen; it’s like the new dining room table.”
The island cabinetry is a maple espresso stain, which contrasts with the kitchen’s white elements and acts as a smooth segue to the acacia flooring, which was installed throughout the entire downstairs space.

The redesign, which took roughly six months to complete, ranks as one of Jana’s favorites.

“It makes me giddy when I see the pictures because it turned out really, really well,” she says.
Renee couldn’t agree more.

“It’s very comfortable, and it’s nice knowing that I was a part of it,” she says. “It turned out beautiful.”