By Meda Kessler
Photos by Chad Davis, AIA
A clever remodel of a 1924 Arlington Heights Craftsman lands it a spot on this year’s AIA Fort Worth Tour of Homes
The 1924 Arlington Heights Craftsman had gone through some unusual remodels in its past. But Jennifer Moody Ogden saw its potential and loved the earthiness of the neighborhood and the people who lived there. When she married Jim Ogden in 2018, they both wanted to stay but realized they needed to create a home suited to their lifestyle.
The couple love to cook and wanted a kitchen with all the bells and whistles plus an attached media/reading room. And they didn’t want to knock down every wall. Storage was a must, too, for everything from their extensive cookbook collection to their gadgets. They both love big dogs, especially Great Pyrenees, and are involved in rescue. They wanted to create a space for them, too. Jennifer also dreamed of a spalike bathroom with a jetted tub and a walk-in closet. Musts included keeping the 2,200-square-foot house at one story and figuring out a way they could live on the premises during the remodel.
This lengthy laundry list was the main reason the Ogdens turned to architect/interior designer Marta Rozanich, owner and principal of konstrukcio studio in Fort Worth. While Rozanich leans toward modern and midcentury projects, she’s known for her attentiveness to historic design. She’s also not averse to taking on a “small” home or renovation, which can be challenging in its own right.
Jennifer says the main question they had was: “Can you make this a modern Craftsman by keeping the spirit of the house but giving it a fresh and contemporary feel?” They also collaborated with Rozanich on design details and furnishings, appreciating the fact that she would include family heirlooms and a high-low mix of elements. Jim’s only nonnegotiable request was the use of butcher block for some of the kitchen counters.
Rozanich started with possibly the trickiest ask: on-site housing. What she came up with is a detached casita, replacing a small and dilapidated two-car garage in the backyard, that resembles the main house on the exterior. It gave the Ogdens a comfortable place to live — including a small kitchen and even a front porch. Now they have the perfect guesthouse.
When it came to the main house, Rozanich’s biggest challenge was the age of the house and what had been done to it already. “This type of remodel means dealing with old additions and renovations that we have to try to make sense of and work with. The way people have occupied the home — with electric and plumbing systems and general spatial quality — is always a challenge.”
She loved the fact that the Ogdens didn’t want an open-concept home. “That would have destroyed its charm and intimacy,” she says.
Instead, she was able to concentrate on the big things, especially the kitchen/sitting room. With the addition of large sliding glass doors on the back wall leading to a covered patio, it feels both intimate and spacious. Jennifer and Jim have space to prep and cook without stumbling over each other.
In the sitting area, a deep Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams sofa allows them to hunker down, read cookbooks — a favorite hobby for both — and watch TV. A new addition includes a large beverage station on the wall opposite what used to be the galley kitchen, which is now a walk-in pantry.
Rozanich added a small entryway off the kitchen that leads to the Ogdens’ new bedroom. (The original bedrooms have been turned into home offices.) A couple of steps — part of an earlier remodel and too pricey to eliminate — lead up to an open space that’s used for two very large dog crates but could easily become an office. Beyond the dog room is the spacious master bath with floating spa tub, large glass-walled shower and his-and-hers vanities. The walk-in closet completes the new space.
The bathroom is one of the home’s biggest surprises, with its contemporary chandelier, glittery grout on the backsplash tile and bold navy wallpaper with a metallic gold abstract jellyfish print.
Jennifer loves the color blue, as it relates to water and sky. Different shades are used on the front door of the home and casita. The kitchen backsplash is a watery blue, and the marble top in the kitchen island also features deep veins of blue. The small hallways feature a deep midnight blue wallpaper with a bird print.
“It’s the feeling of movement and water,” says Jennifer. “We both love the ocean. And since we’ve not been able to travel, we’ve found our home a peaceful place to be.”