Design Portfolio: Willow Brook Remodel


At the end of the day, it was all for the family.

The house was purchased because of the property its foundation rested on. The pool where the kids could spend their summer days. The sprawling land and natural privacy of the trees that would give the family a sense of security and respite from their busy days.

A house that this family would call home. But it needed some attention.

An overhaul from the beginning, the Willow Brook remodel project started in October 2018. Needing design help and guidance in furnishing a large home, the homeowners wanted a drastic departure from what their previous home had looked like.

They wanted the inclusion of cozy spaces for their family of five to enjoy along with the incorporation of color—a major change that would set this home apart from the last.

When the homeowners sat down with August Haven designer, Brandon Sorge, in Green Bay, they started with a discussion of the colors they wanted to incorporate, eventually deciding on blues, greens and oranges.

They also had quite a few existing August Haven pieces, which was a nice jumping off point in setting the tone for the furnishings aspect of the project and made it easier to mix in new things. The house up until that point was a mix-match of different remodels the previous owners had done over a decade, so Brandon prioritized the need to make the house look and feel consistent.

In addition to furnishing and laying out each space, the house ended up with all new doors, renovated bathrooms, new staircase, new lighting and wallpaper removed with the help of other local businesses, like HJ Martin, where necessary.

Once the house was on a path to consistency, Brandon and the homeowners focused on the furnishings, accessories and lighting—replacing almost all of the lighting in the house, from the bathrooms to the kitchen, living room and more.

And while the homeowners had brought existing August Haven furniture with them, much of the furnishings in the home were a combination of new, in-stock furniture and custom orders.

The first major furniture piece chosen specifically for this home ended up being the custom bed for the master bedroom. The homeowners specifically wanted to incorporate color here because the room is large with a lot of windows. As a result, the bed was custom ordered in a beautiful dusty blue color. The rest of the master suite was designed with a mix of rustic elements—like a beam being added to the ceiling, the nightstands, the console—and cleaner elements, such as the bed and 72″ round mirror that mimics the round window in the room and imparts drama.

Once the master bedroom was complete, Brandon and the homeowners focused their attention on the formal living area. The challenge that this room presented was its extra-long, narrow length. The upside was the room’s ideal symmetry, which centers about the fireplace.

In furnishing the room, it was a rich shade of emerald green in the custom velvet upholstered cocktail ottoman that was the starting point. From there, Brandon capitalized on the room’s symmetry and flanked two custom order sofas in a beautiful neutral performance fabric (making it a great choice for the kids and dog) on each side of the fireplace and accessorized with blue and green pillows and area rug to bring the space together.

Behind one of the sofas are two matching wing chairs with a marble table. And on either side of the fireplace is custom art that pulls the blues, greens and golds together and unifies the room.

Next, they addressed the formal dining room and kitchen island area. Unlike some of the other rooms in the home, the kitchen is not being remodeled at this time and the countertops lean orange with a busy pattern. Brandon needed to ensure the stools that were chosen would work both now and in the future after a remodel is complete.

Deliberating about the barstools over the span of a couple weeks, they ended up going with custom order wood-framed stools upholstered in performance fabric and accented with oversized nailheads.

In the formal dining room, they went with custom hostess chairs in a fun print with wide top stitch to add detail. They then chose a coordinating neutral performance fabric for the side chairs. The challenge with the dining room was that after nine months of having a dining table on order, the company canceled, leading Brandon and the homeowners to have to start from scratch. After pursuing a couple of options that ended up not working, they ended up finding the perfect table for the space that went beautifully with the custom dining chairs.

From there, the family room upstairs and finished basement were where much of the existing August Haven pieces ended up, but a few new pieces were brought in to fill in any gaps. In the family room, they incorporated fun new pillows and a new coffee table that unified the space to the open attached kitchen.

In the basement, black and white herringbone chairs and an ottoman were added to freshen up the leather sectional the homeowners already had.

Other small updates were made throughout the home to make each space come alive with the help of a new console, art pieces, accessories and rugs.

Despite much being done to the home, Brandon is most proud of the lighting updates throughout. In his words, the lighting is art in itself and really makes each room come alive. In addition, he loves how the casual eating area turned out where an antiqued, mirrored backsplash was recommended and installed on the bar, along with the formal living room where the colors and symmetry bring joy to the space. And, of course, the lighting is just perfect.

But what stays with Brandon is what he considers the most fun part of the project—working with clients who have really fun ideas and excellent taste. Using the pieces they already had along with the addition of new pieces during the design project, the house now looks and feels like a home that captures the spirit of this family.

And with the project done for now but still more work to be done, it’s the perfect blend of accomplishment and opportunity that has designer and client optimistic about what is yet to come.

view the full design portfolio here.

Our designers are always here to help you with any design project you may have. Visit our Green Bay or Appleton locations today to learn more about our Home Design Services or to schedule your in-home design consultation.