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Ten years after they moved into their Troutville home, Jenice and Pete Pearl decided it was time for the much-needed renovations. With five children, including two with developmental disabilities, Jenice knew they would have a few requirements to best suit the entire family.
The Pearl family moved from Atlanta to Troutville in 2005, wanting a more rural setting for their kids. The ideal location provided gorgeous mountain views, as well as close proximity to Pete’s office, where he works as an attorney at Spilman, Thomas and Battle. The interior, however, would need some work to be the perfect space Jenice wanted for her family.
“The house was not desirable in my mind because of the layout,” Jenice says. “At the time, there were lots of walls and it felt very chopped up. The only thing I liked about it was the ceiling trim, but we decided to buy the setting and renovate later.”
The renovations were pushed back once or twice, as Jenice homeschooled her children and decided not to add to the chaos. She and Pete also adopted a child from Hong Kong, putting everything on hold to transition him into their family.
In the summer of 2015, however, it was finally the right time to move forward on renovating. Jenice worked closely with John and Theresa Dorlini of Circle Design Studios for her ideal renovations, completing the project within about nine months.
“I knew I wanted to work with Circle Design Studios because I’m a hands-on person. Everything had to be functional and family-friendly, because we’d lived in such dysfunction for so long. I knew exactly what I needed. The Dorlinis worked hard to get what was in my head out into the design, and elevated it beyond my expectations.”
After 10 years in the house, Jenice knew exactly where and how she wanted everything to be. She wanted to move the refrigerators, build a larger deck and reconfigure the exit. No matter how the redesign went, Jenice knew she had to accommodate seven people in every room, a true feat for a smaller space.
The Pearl children, who range from 12 to 18 years old, were the main motivation behind the renovations. Jenice says they have a “conspicuous” family, with a blend of two biological and three internationally adopted kids. Bakh, Abby, Sam, Henry and Charlotte certainly keep their parents busy with events and activities, which meant Jenice wanted a calm space at home. Because Sam and Henry have developmental disabilities, she also wanted a safe, functional environment where the kids were all comfortable.
The induction stove was a purposeful decision. Not only is it easy to clean and out of the line of sight, but it’s functional and safer than gas. It heats up quickly, but the minute you take the pot off, you can put your hand on it without any problem.
Jenice and Circle Design Studios discussed putting in something to drop down over the island, but Jenice decided against it to prevent a cluttered look; now she has a clear line of sight from the living room all the way into the dining room. The kids have their own little section of the kitchen as well, with space for their own silverware and glasses.
While the ultimate goal was a functional, organized space, Jenice also wanted some beauty for herself. She selected the kitchen’s backsplash, which runs all the way to the eight foot ceiling to create an illusion of height.