Removing an awkward wall and adding folding doors opened the living area.

Twelve is a dangerous age if you’re a house. Since you were built, a whole new, more contemporary look has taken over. This is a big problem in Sarasota, with its glut of over-embellished, vaguely Tuscan-style homes from the building boom that took place before the Great Recession. They’re big, comfortable, with great features and amenities—and nobody wants them.

The living room, pre-renovation.

Remodeling these homes is becoming a big business, and this one in the Lakewood Ranch Golf & Country Club is a stellar example. The owners, Tracy and Jason Cotterill, own a construction company (Cabex Construction) specializing in high-end renovation and for this, their own home, they have pulled out all the stops.

The exterior of the 12-year-old home.

Image: Courtesy Photo 

It was a builder’s model with a great view and a lot of possibilities. The Cotterills, with their insider knowledge of new products and trends, have created a home that has exactly what buyers want, including some items they didn’t know they wanted until they found out about them. We’re talking ultra-premium drawers, cabinets that open with a tap, a kitchen sink whose faucet you can turn on with your toe.

A brand-new pool expands the ground floor.

Image: Courtesy Photo 

This is a remodel that will bring hope to anyone with a 12-year-old house. And if you’re thinking of updating your own McMansion, here are some tips from Tracy and Jason:

Open up. The Cotterills removed the awkward wall between the kitchen and living room, creating an open concept plan. A pool and outdoor living area were added as extensions of the indoor rooms. Sliders were replaced with glass doors that fold back.

Lighten up. Color is crucial. Neutrals are the way to go. The living area is white, with some carefully chosen accent colors like blue and gold. Specialty lighting is everywhere.

Smarten up. Add “smart” features. Program it so you can operate the lighting and other functions with your phone.

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