Old charmer vs. new stunner

To build a home or remodel an existing one — that is the question. The answer depends on what you want in a dwelling.



The Sanfords’ renovated kitchen features a custom window seat that adds function to a space that might normally be overlooked, while stainless steel appliances complete the modern remodel.

Do you love your current space but think it needs a facelift? Do you want a home with the charm and character of a past era, or do you want something completely new? Are you up for the challenge of remodeling a home or space you currently occupy? Do you have the imagination and flexibility to work around an existing structure’s bones, or do you want to build to your exact specifications? Do you want to live in an established neighborhood with stately old trees, or are you more of the “blaze new trails” type?

We asked some of Tulsa’s top builders, contractors and designers to weigh in, share their tips and give us the scoop on today’s top trends.

Pros and cons

Remodeling a home can be a valuable investment.

“Most renovations take place in very mature neighborhoods with significant infrastructure, shopping, entertainment and dining, where home values are higher and renovations can easily add to the value of the residence,” says Bill Powers, owner of Powers Design and Build LLC.

On the other hand, building a home from the ground up offers homeowners expanded possibilities when it comes to design and function.

“The advantage of building new is that you are getting the best of today’s newest products, including energy-efficient items, the latest engineered framing products and the latest technology that comes in the form of wiring and planning,” says Adam Curran, builder and owner of Adam W. Curran Homes Inc. “Remodeling can give you some of these items, but a lot of items simply can’t be introduced without a huge cost.”


The kitchen features an island, custom cabinetry with LED undermount lighting and granite countertops.

A tale of two homes

Pat and Julie Sanford bought their midtown Tulsa home five years ago. Built in 1958, the three-story, ranch-style home has a large basement and pool — perfect entertainment spaces for their children and grandchildren. Although the home was outdated, the couple knew they could make it their own.

“It was the perfect house for us except it needed a lot of updating,” Julie says. “We weren’t seeking a home to remodel, but the bones of this house were right for us.”

Over the past five years the Sanfords have remodeled the entire house, including gutting and rebuilding two bathrooms, turning the basement into a game room, replacing carpet with wood floors, painting and landscaping. The final piece of their remodel puzzle — a new and improved kitchen — was completed in January.

“Kitchens, living areas and master suites are the most commonly renovated areas,” Powers says. “The direct benefit is the comfort, convenience and enjoyment for the family. The upgrades will always add value to the residence and improve salability.”

Working with Jim Means and Lynn Knight Jessee of Kitchen Concepts, the Sanfords took their cramped galley kitchen down to its studs and removed two walls to open and expand the space. The new kitchen features travertine tile floors, custom cabinets, undermount LED lighting, a subway tile backsplash, a new island, granite in black pearl, stainless steel appliances and a custom window seat.

“What I advise people to do is talk with a kitchen designer first (before starting construction in a new build or remodel),” Means says. “You need to talk with someone first and ask, ‘Do I want to cook in this kitchen, or do I want to entertain in this kitchen, or do I just want it to be pretty?’ There are a variety of different aspects that we can design into the layout so that you can get what you want. My philosophy is ‘creating kitchens for the way you live.’”

Two years ago Scott and Kim Case moved into their new home, built by Adam Curran, in the Broken Arrow planned community of Berwick on Cedar Ridge. The couple wanted a customized home they could build around their family. Their customizations included a media room with two rows of leather recliners, the latest in audiovisual equipment and a surround sound system, and a beverage and snack bar.

While media rooms have been “hugely popular for some time, we are starting to see some really innovative products become more affordable and accessible,” Curran says. “LED multi-color lighting is a must-have for all my clients, and 3-D projectors are almost standard. It really makes staying in for a movie a real joy.”

The Case home also features a state-of-the-art smart home operating system called Control 4.

“The system controls our security system, lighting, televisions, garage doors, outside cameras, HVAC and door locks,” Scott Case says. “What’s really cool is that it is all controlled from an app on our phones or smart devices.” 

A large granite-topped island with an induction cooktop and 5-foot galley sink anchors the Cases’ new kitchen.Location, location, location

Whether buying new or remodeling an older home, location is always a key factor.

For the Sanfords, midtown was the ideal area to settle.

“I’ve lived in Tulsa all my life, and I like midtown,” Sanford says. “We just think these older homes have so much personality. The neighborhoods are established. As far as convenience, it’s in the middle of town and easy to get anywhere.”

But many, like the Case family, are choosing to make their homes on the perimeter of the city in new, upscale neighborhoods and master-planned communities centered around amenities such as green space and water features, hiking and walking trails, country clubs and community pools.

Living in one of these communities is about more than just the home; it’s a lifestyle. Owasso’s 3,000-acre master-planned community, Stone Canyon, for example, touts its outdoor and nature-centered community as a main appeal.

“Stone Canyon appeals to those who desire a country feeling, yet still (want to be) connected to neighbors and have the convenience to the city,” says Sharon Baker, Stone Canyon’s general manager. “Whether it’s fishing, golfing, running, hiking or just watching nature, there is space to enjoy it, yet jumping on the highway to get to the airport (or) downtown events or running errands is all within a short distance.” 

A home in Stone Canyon comes with access to the recreational stock lake for fishing and boating, a beach area, an amphitheater that hosts sunset concerts, a climbing mound for kids, a labyrinth for an inspirational walk and miles of nature trails.

When building or purchasing a home in a planned community, consider your surroundings and choose a location right for you and your family’s lifestyle.

“I think anyone interested in building a new home should consider the location,” says Steve Surles, marketing director for The Robson Cos. at Forest Ridge. 

“Consider how the neighborhood looks (right) up to the point you select a home site — the amenities within a community, activities that such a community offers, proximity of schools if (you) have children, convenience to major highways and a strong homeowners association to ensure your investment is secure,” Surles says.

Forest Ridge, a master-planned community in Broken Arrow, boasts amenities such as jogging trails, a public restaurant, a pool and fishing lakes.

In many planned communities, buyers have the option to choose their lot and design their custom home. If time is of the essence and you can’t wait the five to eight months to complete construction, many premier builders keep homes under various stages of construction, allowing buyers to purchase something already in progress that can be completed to their personal taste.

Top trends

Whether topping off a remodel or newly built home, most owners are choosing similar finishes in line with today’s trends. Transitional design — a mix of traditional and modern elements — is in vogue.

“Tile is the easiest way to give your home a transitional look,” Curran says. “Implementing that beautiful natural travertine is very traditional, but introducing a crushed glass tile that still has some earth tones really gives that space a nice transitional look.”

Wood floors are a timeless mainstay because they work in any style of home. Ironically, making new wood floors look old is the contemporary application.

“What’s becoming more popular is distressing,” Curran says. “While distressing floors isn’t new, doing a slight distress of the cabinets is becoming very popular. With more and more people wanting to add a touch of modern to their homes, distressing your cabinets and mixing in some fantastic glass tiles really creates an amazing transitional look that has become ever so popular.”

Both the Case and Sanford families chose granite for their countertops. The Cases’ kitchen features an 11-foot-by-12-foot, granite-topped island complete with an induction cooktop and 5-foot galley sink. While granite remains a popular choice, Caesarstone, or engineered quartz, is emerging as a common choice for countertops because it is a greener product, non-porous and easy to clean, according to Means.

When it comes to layout and function, wide-open spaces remain the most popular design request.

“Open-concept ‘media’ kitchens are the most popular remodel in our work,” Powers says. “It brings all aspects of living, eating and entertaining into one space with seating for 10, a 55-inch television, surround sound, lots of counter space, (a) beverage center and great appliances.” 

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August 2019

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

The Mabee Center will come alive in a colorful expression of dance, drum music, and song as members of tribal nations from around the country gather to honor, strengthen and share traditions with...

Cost: All Weekend Pass = $20 | All Day Pass = $12

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 South Lewis Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Join us for Victory Conference, hosted by Pastors Paul and Ashley Daugherty at Victory Church.  This year’s free conference is jam-packed with an amazing line up of speakers including...

Cost: Free

Where:
Victory Christian Church
7700 S. Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74136
View map »

More information

BROKEN ARROW COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE Presents “The Wizard of Oz” (R.S.C.1987) By L. Frank Baum With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg Background Music by...

Cost: $22-$25

Where:
Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
1800 S Main St
Broken Arrow, OK  Broken Arrow
View map »


Sponsor: Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
Telephone: 918-258-0077
Contact Name: 74012
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
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Tee off at Cedar Ridge Golf Club to support Operation Aware’s 13th Annual Golf Tournament. Proceeds fund prevention education courses for schools in Tulsa Metro and beyond. Clean your clubs,...

Cost: 350

Where:
Cedar Ridge Country Club
10302 S. Garnett Rd.
Broken Arrow, OK  74011
View map »


Sponsor: Operation Aware of Oklahoma
Telephone: 918-582-7884
Contact Name: Jennifer Barnett
Website »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Join us on Wednesday, August 14 from 6:30pm - 8:30pm for our weekly Dog Days of Summer! This special event will feature Tyler Jones with Tulsa Caricatures - come get a caricature done with your...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Sweets & Cream
1114 S Yale Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74112
View map »


Sponsor: Sweets & Cream
Telephone: 918-633-3182
Contact Name: Lori Moore
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Third Thursdays in the Rainbow Room returns for second season  Third Thursdays in the Rainbow Room returns for its 2nd season in the Lynn Riggs Black Box Theatre at OKEQ with the hilarious...

Cost: $10 General Admission / $15 Bistro seating

Where:
Lynn Riggs Theatre at OKEQ
621 East 4th St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahomans for Equality
Telephone: 918-637-2866
Contact Name: Pat Hobbs
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Once again the skies over Muskogee will be glowing with an array of vibrant color as the Oklahoma Festival of Ballooning descends upon historic Hatbox Field August 16 and 17.  The...

Cost: $10 per car

Where:
Hatbox Field
4000 Border Street
Muskogee, OK  74403
View map »


Sponsor: Muskogee Parks & Recreation
Telephone: 918-504-3255
Contact Name: Carol Matza
Website »

More information

Happy Summer! $30 for members $35 for non-members you must RSVP online or on the phone before the event. Must RSVP before event, These have been very popular this Summer and space is limited....

Cost: 30

Where:
The Little Gym of SE Tulsa
6556 E 91st St
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Sponsor: The Little Gym
Telephone: 918-492-2626
Contact Name: Scott Kindred
Website »

More information

BROKEN ARROW COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE Presents “The Wizard of Oz” (R.S.C.1987) By L. Frank Baum With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg Background Music by...

Cost: $22-$25

Where:
Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
1800 S Main St
Broken Arrow, OK  Broken Arrow
View map »


Sponsor: Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
Telephone: 918-258-0077
Contact Name: 74012
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Gathering Place is grilling-up a new barbeque tradition in Tulsa! Riverside Ribfest is a day of grilling, chilling and challenging some of the top BBQ masters in the region! Think your secret rib...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gathering Place Great Lawn
2650 S. John Williams Way E.
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Website »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

The Kiwanis Club of Tulsa is pleased to present Chili on the Green, the State of Oklahoma Chili Championship. All proceeds from this event go to Kiwanis Key Club Scholarships and Special Olympics...

Cost: Free Entry. Tasting kits are $10 for 1, $15 for 2 and $20 for 4.

Where:
Guthrie Green
111 W Brady
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Kiwanis Club of Tulsa Foundation
Telephone: 918-849-0464
Contact Name: Brian Walker
Website »

More information

Chili On The Green is the State of Oklahoma Chili Championship sponsored by The Kiwanis Club of Tulsa and sanctioned by the International Chili Society. Chili cooks from across the country will be...

Cost: Admission is Free and Tasting Kits can be purchased: 1 for $10, 2 for $15 and 4

Where:
Guthrie Green
111 E MB Brady Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Kiwanis Club of Oklahoma
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Join the Oklahoma Aquarium for its first annual Salsa Festival! Take part in the hottest event of the summer by tasting a diverse selection of salsas from vendors and enjoying the diverse marine...

Cost: General Admission

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
300 Aquarium Dr
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Telephone: 918-528-1507
Contact Name: Liz
Website »

More information

Come join us for delicious vegan pastries and beverages at Chimera Cafe, all while taking action #ForTheAnimals! RSVP here as well: https://tinyurl.com/thlchangemakers The Humane League exists...

Cost: Free

Where:
Chimera Cafe
212 North Main (Tulsa Arts District)
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: The Humane League
Contact Name: Dara Homer

More information

America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
View map »


Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
Website »

More information

Once again the skies over Muskogee will be glowing with an array of vibrant color as the Oklahoma Festival of Ballooning descends upon historic Hatbox Field August 16 and 17.  The...

Cost: $10 per car

Where:
Hatbox Field
4000 Border Street
Muskogee, OK  74403
View map »


Sponsor: Muskogee Parks & Recreation
Telephone: 918-504-3255
Contact Name: Carol Matza
Website »

More information

BROKEN ARROW COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE Presents “The Wizard of Oz” (R.S.C.1987) By L. Frank Baum With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg Background Music by...

Cost: $22-$25

Where:
Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
1800 S Main St
Broken Arrow, OK  Broken Arrow
View map »


Sponsor: Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
Telephone: 918-258-0077
Contact Name: 74012
Website »

More information

Offbeat: Crazy and Hilarious Stories from the People that Lived Them Presented by Story Club of Tulsa and Blue Whale Comedy Festival Ready for some wild and crazy stories told by the funniest...

Cost: https://www.storyclubtulsa.com/

Where:
Duet Jazz Club
108 N. DETROIT AVENUE
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Story Club of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-596-2008
Contact Name: Ryan Howell
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Where:
Ninowski Rec Center
1367 E 71st St
Broken Arrow, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

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