In May of 2021, Alisa Lankenau, owner of the full-service interior design firm All Design Co. in Lantana, was awarded an interior remodel that has evolved into one of the most gratifying, yet challenging, projects of Alisa’s career to date.
Alisa creates spectacular interiors. She beautifully aligns spaces with the client’s tastes, needs, and interests. The finished rooms ultimately reflect the look and feel that the client had envisioned for their space, yet elevated with the skill and expertise that 18 years of interior design experience can provide. “Interior design is my passion,” Alisa confessed. “And I’m also passionate about making sure each client isn’t just satisfied, but absolutely thrilled.”
The project? A 5,500 square-foot-house sitting on a one-acre lot in Denton. In 2021, it was purchased by a couple with grown children, grandchildren, and three newfoundland dogs. Not satisfied with the house “as is,” they began interviewing interior designers while closing on the property.
“Built in 2000, the house was formerly known as the log cabin,” Alisa explained. “Through this renovation, we wanted to maintain the charm the house offered in its original form, while updating, brightening, and softening the space. The house was to have a more sophisticated, relaxed traditional style, and a touch of rustic industrial modern within some spaces. In its final, elegant form, the house will be closer to a cottage than a log cabin.”
The new owners initially planned to redo the kitchen and master bathroom, and replace that lodge-like ambiance with something more sophisticated, while retaining its original appeal.
Alisa takes a custom approach to each client’s needs and desires, resulting in the perfect blend of style and functionality. This project was no exception, so every aspect of the couple’s lifestyle was carefully considered, to ensure that all elements of Alisa’s design work were in harmony with them, and with the physical space itself.
She first met with the couple at the residence they were selling, and again at their newly-purchased Denton house. “I wanted to get a feel for their present environment, to best understand their lifestyle, future needs, goals, and how I could tailor the new home to enhance their lives within the home,” Alisa said.
It didn’t take long for the owners to place the house in Alisa’s capable hands. Her proposed design plan was full scale, from removing walls and relocating spaces, down to the smallest detail of fabrics and fixtures throughout the entire house. He appreciates a modern rustic industrial aesthetic, while his wife loves the comfort of warm colors, beautiful floral patterns, and timeless design.
Alisa’s creativity merged the two, and appealed to both their preferences. The complete design package resonated with them, and illustrated how in tune she was to their needs and desires.
Now they shared Alisa’s enthusiasm, and the scope of work was expanded. “I have done complete home interior design work for clients, and I have taken rooms down to the studs, but I have never taken an entire house down to the studs. This interior rebuild was almost like building a new house, and I was anxious to get started,” Alisa pointed out.
To create an open, airy concept, Alisa and her contractor, Rob McNair, came up with a plan to demolish walls, thereby opening up the living room and giving easy access to the kitchen and family room. Tongue and groove remain on the living and family room ceilings.
Paneling was removed to allow light into the space, and 24 paint colors were used throughout the house. New windows, originally intended for the rear of the house, multiplied into matching windows for the entire house, along with 30 new identical doors. Exquisite light fixtures and cabinet pulls in an assortment of aesthetic finishes were chosen, as well as dozens of tiles, and 50-plus different fabric selections and decorative trims. Alisa’s work didn’t conclude once the spaces were designed. From day one, she’s been a hands-on, turnkey project manager. “The other day, I was in their garage sorting tile boxes,” laughed Alisa.
Once the project was underway, the owners felt confident that Alisa would give them a beautiful space. “They put their complete trust in me to choose everything – top to bottom – from doorknobs to the copper vent hood in the kitchen. I think I first realized how aligned I was to their design tastes when I discovered what I just knew was the perfect tile for the kitchen backsplash, and they loved it as much as I did,” Alisa expressed with pride. “I feel very confident making design and material selections for them.”
To her clients’ advantage and cost savings, Alisa is affiliated with the franchise organization Decorating Den, which gives her full access to purchasing directly from luxury American manufacturers and specialized imports. In addition, All Design Co. is supported by the area’s leading contractors, painters, electricians, and other professionals.
“The home was designed with an eclectic feel,” Alisa concluded. “I didn’t want it to appear that the owners filled the house with newly-purchased items. It’s a warm and welcoming livable space, with a look that reflects objects and accessories collected over time, just like memories.”
It is said that timing is everything, and that can ring true for design projects, too. “We’ve had numerous delays since the project began last year. It comes down to the timing of when this project began…during the pandemic,” Alisa reflected. “Every day brings a new but workable challenge.” The house is nearly completed, and will be move-in ready by October.
Alisa develops relationships with her clients throughout her projects, but these homeowners have exceeded her expectations. “They are the most down-to earth-couple, and so easy to work with,” the designer acknowledged. “I feel so blessed to have had this assignment, and it’s been an honor to have been entrusted with bringing this couple’s dream home to life.”
Check out the final reveal on their website!