Shorewood Gem Restored and Returned to Market
Originally designed by Cliff Bender and built in the late 1970’s, the home at 904 Valencia Drive, has recently undergone a major transformation. Situated in the River Oaks neighborhood of Shorewood, on the hilly northwest bank of the DuPage River, 904 Valencia is in a sought after area of the Village because of its mature trees, modern amenities, and close proximity to river access and West Shore Park.
Although located on a beautiful well-kept street, the home had fallen into major disrepair over the last decade. In late 2013, the architecture and construction team of Liv Companies had the opportunity to purchase and renovate the home. Russell Head, Shorewood resident and Principal of Liv Companies said, “For years I drove by thinking, that house could be really cool. When the opportunity arose to buy it and make it special, we just had to do it.”
Mr. Head and Liv Companies’ other Principal, David Pollard, jumped to action, purchased the home, and planned a major renovation of the entire house. “It was a great house, on a fantastic site, and we knew it could be made beautiful again with the right approach. We knew this house was not a quick fix, and that we had to do it the right way, or not at all.” says Mr. Head. The renovation includes a complete gut rehab, with new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, new insulation, drywall, and finishes, and a completely new exterior. Modern green building methods bring the home’s energy efficiency up to today’s standards. The Liv Companies’ team essentially built a new house, but kept the unique character of the original home nestled into the hillside in the woods.
Given the house was originally designed over 30 years ago, some floorplan changes were made as well. Mr. Pollard, an AIA licensed architect, describes the original plan as “Thoughtful and open, but slightly outdated”. The team’s main focus on the interior was to reposition the kitchen as the center of the main floor, redesign the floating stair down to the great room, and expand the master bath to include a soaking tub and large walk-in shower. “The original spaces were designed to be bright and airy, and we certainly wanted to keep that feeling and the focus on the river.” Says Mr. Pollard. “But, some of the rooms, such as the kitchen and bathrooms, needed to be rethought for how families live now in 2014.”
This thoughtful approach worked, and the result is a beautiful modern-day home, perfectly situated on a hill overlooking the DuPage River and forest beyond. As soon as you walk in to the home, your senses turn to the great room and its windows looking out towards the water. Each of the three bedrooms faces the river, and the large main floor master suite features a balcony on the river side. Every space in this home is special, from the dining room lofted over the great room, to the hidden media room stepping up from the great room.
With over 2900 square feet of living space, the home is spacious and open, but also features some seemingly quieter separate spaces to get away. With two large decks and a balcony, there are plenty of spaces to entertain a large group or just enjoy the outdoors by yourself. Liv Companies also insisted on adding a few of their personal touches, such as the wood wall alongside the new stair, and the ‘secret’ walk-up attic access. Truly unique and rarely available, Liv Companies has brought this home back to life with quality and personality.