When husband and wife, Betty Watanabe and Peter Barickman, moved back to Indianapolis and decided to buy and renovate a condominium, the first and only phone call they made was to Bontrager Custom Homes. Having worked with us 20 years prior to that, they were thrilled to see our family-owned business still thriving and delivering one-of-a-kind custom homes and home remodels.
When Betty and Peter found their forever condo on the North Side of Indianapolis, they had high expectations but no doubt in their minds that our crew could deliver. The condo was built in the late 1980s and it had a tight space with lots of rooms, walls and doors. It also had dated bathrooms, bedrooms and an old kitchen that needed a lot of modifications. Knowing they wanted to retire here, opening-up the floor plan to maximize space and customizing it to make it their own was essential.
With three months to completely gut the condo and make it into Betty and Peter’s dream home, there was no time to waste. From the initial stages of planning all the way to completion, Betty had a vision in mind and worked closely with our team to bring their forever home to life. Our partner and preferred architect, Harold Sark, worked with us to develop a completely new layout. We factored in what walls could be removed and what rooms needed opened-up to get the most use of available space. Together, we took our ideas and tailored them to make the most cost-effective solutions, keeping the high-scope project on time and on budget.
The dated kitchen featured a lot of shelving, which Betty admired. However, it was confined in a small room so the space was cramped, dark and only comfortable for one person. Our team tore down the wall that was between the living room and the kitchen, opening it up to make the space three times larger than it originally was. Working alongside Betty, interior designers and Madison County Cabinets, we customized the kitchen to give it ample storage, added in a huge island for cooking, and gave it a well-crafted modernized finish.
Inside the master bathroom, there were two small vanities and a shower-tub. The space was limited, however, we wanted to give the client a shower and stand-alone bathtub that all fit inside the room. We transformed the original setup into a wet room by knocking down one of the dividing walls which allowed us to create space for a bathtub, shower and a toilet. This custom solution gave Betty and Peter plenty of room and allowed for all three amenities to fit inside the master bathroom suite unlike before.
One of the most unique aspects of the condo ended up being the closet and hallway which were turned into Peter’s “man cave”. Using the original coat closet and part of the hallway, we transformed it into a room with a custom pocket door. Inside the “man cave”, we built custom glass shelving to store Peter’s collector items and made sure there was plenty of room for a desk and sitting area.
Next came the three-season sunroom which was originally a concrete balcony on the back of the condo. It overlooked a lake and Betty and Peter wanted a room where they could enjoy the view all season long. Adding siding, a roof, sliding windows and doors, we transformed the old exterior balcony into a new, comfortable addition to their condo.
To showcase Betty and Peter’s unique style, we carefully designed a powder bathroom starting with an old antique nightstand. Adding a countertop, glass bowl and plumbing into the furniture piece, we transformed the old nightstand into a working vanity for their guests to use. Next, we added Asian-inspired wallpaper and a custom light fixture to pull it all together.
From removing all the carpet and installing beautifully engineered hardwood floors, to knocking down walls and creating two large living rooms, we carefully designed the condo to be functional, comfortable and reflect the couple’s style. With our entire team’s combined experience, we successfully completed the project by the three month deadline with the perfect balance of historical feel and modernized environment the clients were hoping for.
View more pictures
Laundry room with custom shelves designed by Madison County Cabinets
Master bathroom vanity
“Scott at Bontrager Custom Homes is so easy to work with. He is so patient and calm, nothing scares him away. I told him he’s unlike any other builder. Anytime I had a tiny concern, he minimized it with the best solution. Bontrager Custom Homes delivers exactly what they say they will and more.” – Betty Watanabe