In the second installment of a series in The Union Newspaper that was written by Erin Miller, Len Stevens Construction was the General Contractor for a home remodel in Penn Valley.

Modern Makeover
Perfect location reimagined to suit homeowners
By Erin Miller, Special to The Union

Published: November 26, 2012 in The Union

If the real estate industry is correct — that location, location, location should be the primary consideration for a home — it is my belief that all homeowners who appreciate where they live should stay put and make their home support their lifestyle and preferences. Change your home, not your location!

With this in mind, I recently helped a couple re-imagine a home so that it suits their hobbies, fulfills their needs and satisfies their aesthetic preferences. It has all the bells and whistles they want. In fact, these owners went a step further than most people do because they really knew that this location was exactly what they wanted, and they could not find a better property. So they went for the gold to create their dream living environment and they didn’t hold back on any of the details.

When we first met to discuss their remodel wishes and needs, one of the primary changes they asked me for was to make the lake a central presence to their living. They wanted the “WOW” of the lake from the moment you enter the home.

From the front entry courtyard to the rear lake-view wall, a tall gable roof replaced a lower roof that obstructed views. Eight-foot-tall glass entry doors flood the living room with light. The glass is textured like bamboo stalks, which obscures views to the interior but still allows you to view distorted images of the lake at the back of the property. The entry is definitely the “WOW” that the owners desired.

On the inside, every room was made over to suit modern tastes. I generated computer models of the structure, all floorplan changes, the built-ins, cabinets and color schemes so that we could see how various things would work together. I did research on products, materials and finishes, emailing tons of “eye candy” ideas and images to the owners while they lived in the Bay Area. We fed each other inspiration and discussed pros and cons of choices.

In the end, this is their home with features and details that are loved and were selected by the owners — which is exactly as it should be. Their investment in their home is an investment in themselves and their lives. They will enjoy it immensely.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here are photos showing just a sampling of the amazing changes and details. General contractor was Len Stevens Construction of Penn Valley.

(Next time, more on the magnificent exteriors and the landscape designed by Dana Ettlin of Penn Valley).

Erin Miller is the owner of Erin Miller Designs in Grass Valley CA.  They offer complete design and plan drafting services for remodels, additions, kitchens, baths and custom homes, as well as interior design and décor. Erin can be reached at (530) 477-1401, or at