Muller Home Gallery: February 2010
After an electrical fire, the foundation of Vicki and Jerry Muller’s home was the only thing left. The two had a new, contemporary-style home built in the same spot.
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On July 20, 2008, many people’s worst fear became a reality for Vicki and Jerry Muller. Their home, which they had lived in for nearly 30 years, caught fire. No one was hurt, but the home was destroyed. “The insurance company declared it a total loss,” Vicki says. “What wasn’t burned had water and smoke damage.”
The couple decided to rebuild in the same spot, located in south Springfield’s Ravenwood neighborhood, with a very similar floor plan. They even reused the former foundation and some salvaged bricks. Thanks to builder Gene Douglas of Gene Douglas Construction Company, the new home was rebuilt in seven months. Vicki’s stepson, Dirk, and his wife, Pam, helped the couple deal with the important things during the stressful time, and Pam suggested they hire Nola Shivers of Decorating Den Interiors to decorate the space.
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“I thought we couldn’t ever afford an interior decorator,” Vicki says. But she was relieved that Nola doesn’t charge by the hour; she works as a wholesaler. They decided to use her, and she spent many hours working with the couple. “By spending so much time with us and working with us, she created a home that expresses us totally,” Vicki says. “The journey that Jerry and I took with her was incredible and fun.”
The result is a home that Vicki describes as contemporary and minimal. “We told her we liked contemporary, no clutter, just a clean and crisp look,” Vicki says. “I’ve heard it called ‘minimal luxe.’” Vicki now lives in the home alone. “Jerry got to live here for about two months,” Vicki says of her husband of 33 years who passed away last April. But she still considers him to be a part of the home, especially since he was a part of all of the major building decisions. “This house is just as much his as it is mine,” says Vicki, who was a teacher for 33 years and is now a substitute teacher.
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