When David and Nicky Kooistra decided to tackle the project that was this house, it wasn’t their first time at the rodeo. I know this because I have seen all their flips over the years; they are my brother and sister-in-law! David is in the real estate business like me, and Nicky owns a successful hair salon in Byron Center. And they both have a knack for finding the right house at the right time….and perhaps most importantly, having the vision and unique creativity to be able to see what a property could be. In fact, their last project was flipping the former Tassell mansion on Burton (in Cascade), a behemoth 10,000-square-foot home built by the founder of Lescoa.

The home on preservation may be less in size at 5,500 total finished square feet…but they made it just as interesting with their extensive six-month remodel. It was also the third foreclosure property they were able to jump on, and like the others, not necessarily something they were actively looking for. In fact, David explained the intent was to build a new custom home on one of the two lots they split off from the Tassell mansion’s 15 acres. But he and Nicky saw the great potential of this home, purchased in 2017, and have been living there since February 2018.

Originally built in 1997, this home had lots of what David and Nicky found to be “unnecessary built-ins,” something pretty common in 90s era homes. It also had unnecessary walls, closed off areas, a second ½ bath that was placed awkwardly off a family room, and a lot of wasted space. The color palette was also…in a word, hideous. So they got to work removing and reworking said walls and opening the closed-off areas to make the space more useful for their family of six (including a Maltese named Zoey and a little four-pound nugget named Mia, a Morky). The weirdly located half bath became an addition to Nicky’s closet. Basically every square inch of the interior was transformed.

Pretty much everyone agrees the best and most impressive changes were in the kitchen, and it’s now where they spend most time entertaining with family and friends. It was ugly, dark, closed off, and cramped. Now it’s bright and brand new, with 14-foot ceilings and awesome lighting. There is an adjacent living room with 20+ foot ceilings, a double sided fireplace, and walls of windows overlooking extensive professional landscaping and patios. The central feature of the kitchen is a monster 10×5’ island of white/gray Carrera marble featuring “water-fall edges” which extends the marble over the edges to the floor. They didn’t skimp on marble, as it covers all the counters in the kitchen and was also used as the backsplash. They both love to cook, so they made sure to install an eight-burner stainless stove with twin ovens and a massive commercial grade stainless refrigerator.  

Other changes include wisely removing a second kitchen, which oddly was also on the main floor and not far from the main kitchen. This area is now a huge mud room with lockers for their two children, Ayva and Wyatt, and they added a spacious laundry room with lots of counter space, cabinetry, and a utility sink. Wyatt’s suite over the garage used to be a large private office…and is now the perfect kid apartment. The main floor master suite offers twin sets of French doors and balcony overlooking the woods, and kind of feels like you’re in a treehouse. Except it’s very large! They also completely remodeled the master bathroom with double vanities, double closets, an oversized walk-in glass shower, and a lovely soaking tub. One of David’s favorite features is the five stalls of garage space for his extensive collection of “needful things”…items he purchases which are on sale…and he just can’t help himself…whether he needs them or not. It’s actually pretty comical.

David and Nicky enjoy time up at the family cottage on Mullett Lake and another family cottage on Gun Lake. When they are in town, they are fans of Vitale’s of Ada, the new Kingma’s Market in Ada, and have been known to frequent Riverbend (aka the Dirty Shame).

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