A couple renovates a 70-year-old home to fit their contemporary tastes. Photography by Nathan Harmon.
When Mike and Sheri Engelbrecht bought this midtown Tulsa home, built in 1946, there had been only two previous owners.
“The original couple lived there almost 60 years,” says Mike Engelbrecht.
Then in 2005, the ranch home was taken back to the studs, and a new addition nearly doubled the space to 5,600 square feet.
When the Engelbrechts bought the home in 2011, they made changes of their own.
“Our goal was to keep the contemporary feel, but warm it up.”
“We moved a few walls, added all new woodwork, except for the kitchen, and renovated all the bathrooms,” says Engelbrecht.
The couple also did extensive landscaping and added a swimming pool and the outdoor fireplace.
“The house was very stark,” says Engelbrecht. “Our goal was to keep the contemporary feel, but warm it up.”
The couple repainted the bright white walls with softer tones. However, they had very few furnishings for the new space, so the couple worked with Lori Sparkman, owner of Fifteenth and Home, located on Tulsa’s Cherry Street.
“We basically gave her carte blanche to furnish the house,” says Engelbrecht.
“Because of the large windows, my inspiration was the outside,” says Sparkman. “I wanted to bring the palette and textures inside.”
The kitchen and dining room are on one level. Steps lead down into the living room, but the spaces are open to one another. The only existing pieces in the living room are the grand piano and the cocktail table made from reclaimed wood.
“I wanted to keep the table because it worked with my goal of bringing the outside in,” says Sparkman.
Sectional sofas by American Leather mirror each other in the large room. The retro furniture brand’s Cole chairs provide additional seating, and the arrangement is softened by a large area rug with tone-on-tone texture. A pair of contemporary Alyssa chairs, also by American Leather, rest on a cowhide rug and flank the fireplace.
The Engelbrechts had six existing dining chairs, so Sparkman used two in the formal entry area to accent a Phillips Collection console table. The other four chairs are in the dining room around a new Phillips Collection natural resin dining table.
“To keep the dining room from being blocked off from the kitchen, I used a pair of benches on the open side,” she says.
Sparkman relocated an existing ivory leather sectional sofa that she says looked lost in the expansive living room to the master bedroom. Also positioned on a Jaipur Rugs hand-knotted wool area rug is a unique cocktail table fabricated of dark wood with a sliding, tiered lacquer shelf. The Vanguard Furniture dresser is stained gray. A wooden sculptural piece from the Phillips Collection hangs over the bed.
In the office/study, the sitting area has a tailored, gray loveseat with subtle lighting from a pair of Pablo Lighting sculptural tower light fixtures. The area rug is from Calvin Klein. The accent chair is solid walnut covered in leather. On the opposite wall are sliding doors that conceal the couple’s computer workstations and office area.
“The house is very symmetrical, and Lori used the same concept when selecting the furnishings,” says Engelbrecht. “It’s just perfect.”