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Vacationing at Home in Stevenson Ranch
January, 2008 - Issue #39
Few people can muster much excitement about the process of home improvement. Images of plans, contractors, dust, hundreds of fabric swatches and new furniture dizzily circle through our heads when confronted with the potential task of revitalizing our space. Combine that potential stress with work, kids and "life" and it's no wonder why so many put off the task all together.

Heavy, masculine wood is lightened both literally and figuratively with the addition of iron scroll work found on the couple
Heavy, masculine wood is lightened both literally and figuratively with the addition of iron scroll work found on the couple's bed. A pair of traditional lamps were selected from Madalian, while a stylized clock, frame and Woodwick candle were chosen
But one brief conversation with Holly Prabhu will not only put your worries to rest, but will have you singing a new tune entirely. Her excitement over both the process and the result could convince even the most revitalization-shy homeowner to reconsider their position.

Prabhu and her husband John, parents to Grace, 4, and Hunter, 7, recently completed work on their master suite. To say that she's pleased with the final look is an extreme understatement. "Nearly giddy" is a better description, and rightly so. The 3,700-square-foot Stevenson Ranch home, which already contained four bedrooms and a playroom, now boasts a space more luxurious than a five-star hotel, and that's not a coincidence.

"I took pictures of the rooms in some of my favorite hotels and used those as inspiration for our suite," shares Holly. "I just got back from the first vacation we've taken since the remodel. Hawaii is great, our room was amazing, but it was nothing compared to our new suite. I couldn't wait to come back home," she says.

When asked what makes her room so phenomenal, Prabhu's answer is conveyed with relentless enthusiasm. "It's exactly what I always wanted. We gutted it. Hardwood floors, a new mantel, custom silk drapes, a retreat with custom furniture, new built-ins, a woman's 'dream' closet with amazing lighting (Electrical Excellence installed lights to ensure that there was no more squinting when using the space, even in deep corners), an enclosed balcony that is now a gym, faux painting, exposed beams, wood shutters, grand furniture... And lots more... It's hands-down my favorite room in the house now," she says.

Four-year-old Grace
Four-year-old Grace's room is a study in femininity.
The substantial job was not accomplished alone. "I could not have done this without Ann Peters of Ann Peters Interiors. She took every picture and every ad that I had pulled and figured out a way to put all of my favorite elements together. She helped pick out every single thing," says Prabhu.

Also instrumental was Kathy Goldstein of Suburban Chateau. "All the furniture was purchased from Kathy, and her feedback was priceless. She's also a great person to go to for referrals, as well as design help. I just adore her," says the homeowner. The family room in the Prabhu home is also adorned with selections, including a large L-shaped couch, from Suburban Chateau.

And unlike many remodelers who find themselves struggling to deal with too many contractors, Prabhu has nothing but complimentary things to say about the experience. "Our local electrician was amazing," she says. "Our room looked good, but then Electrical Excellence came in and created a lighting system that truly showcased the space. The difference was very noticeable. They knew exactly where to place everything, and were a huge help. Every lighting fixture, even our chandelier - it's exactly where it needs to be. And the fact that I can see every inch of my 'dream' closet's interior in perfect light is awesome," she says.

The stove
The stove's backsplash, depicting a grouping of lemons, was installed by Surfaces USA.
She also intensely appreciates the contributions of Surfaces USA, a company based in Castaic. "They helped design a really intricate tiled pattern in the bathroom, and were integral to the final design of the tub area, too. Every piece of travertine in that space is from them. The bathroom is now better than any spa around!," she boasts.

The key to a successful remodel, according to Holly Prabhu, is timing. "We've lived here for six years and have never undertaken more than one project at a time. One job has to be totally complete before we even begin thinking about the next one, and after each task, you need a little break," she says.

Another tip: Surround yourself with good people, whether they are designers or neighbors. The Southern Oaks resident is quite sure that she lives on the best cul de sac in the Santa Clarita Valley. "We are literally friends with every single person on this street. We are all the original buyers, and we love living here," she says.
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