Brian and Anissa Zajac have mastered the rustic meets streamlined look in their stunning remodel, proving that with a little patience and lots of attention to detail, you can have the best of both worlds.
Located in a dreamy historic neighborhood in Indianapolis, Indiana, the couple bought their old Cape Cod cottage as a fixer upper just over three years ago, and have transformed the home into a beachy, modern oasis they share with their three daughters.
What most deemed as a remodel project too large to take on, Brian and Anissa, who started House Seven Design + Build, saw it as an opportunity to challenge their skills and test out some daring design choices. “All the rooms on the first floor were cut up due to years of bad remodeling and it just didn’t flow. I wanted the house to serve us and how we live together so we opened it up as much as possible,” Anissa says.
Anissa and Brian are here with all the details on their design process, exactly how they turned a historic fixer upper into their dream home, and of course — all the breathtaking photos. Scroll on.
Tell us about your home.
Our home is a Cape cod style located in Indianapolis, Indiana. When we purchased the home we intended on remodeling a lot of it, but now have remodeled almost every square inch in one way or another over the past 3 years.
Favorite spot in the house:
I love our kitchen because it’s where we spend the majority of our time as a family.
I can see why! When you’re not in the kitchen, what’s your favorite way to spend time at home?
The wood burning fireplace is my favorite! I love lounging on the sofa with a hot drink while listening to Billie Holiday.
Your house is the epitome of beachy vibes meets cozy cottage charm. What was your design inspiration?
I wanted the house to feel true to it’s cottage style. My goal was to keep the house feeling calm with neutral and organic elements, along with lost of texture for warmth.
How did Indiana play into your design inspiration?
It’s funny because most people that see our house online think that it’s on the West Coast. I gravitate towards neutrals because the sky’s get very overcast in Indiana in the winter months, and I want to keep the house as light and bright as possible.
What does winter time look like at your house?
Always a wood burning fire going in the living room, soup on the stove, the scent of candles burning throughout, and jazz music playing in the background.
What was your biggest design challenge for the space?
The rooms are small and choosing furniture that would be comfortable and beautiful was something that I had to work at. I will say there were a couple rooms that I didn’t get exactly right at first but now I think they’re perfect.
What’s your number one interior design tip?
Have a plan and stick to it. It’s so important to know how you want to use the space before purchasing items. I think living in your home for awhile before tackling the overall design is so much better than doing everything before you move in. It gives you time to get to know the home and how it functions for you. Once you have that established you can make a design plan as to what you need to make the space feel complete. Whether that’s new furnishings, paint colors, trim work etc.
What are your favorite design resources?
I’m always on Pinterest looking for inspiration but I also love design books and I have my favorite blogs that I look at weekly. I also love to travel and no matter where we are, Brian and I are always looking at the architecture and the way things were designed and fabricated. I love knowing the process of how things are made and trying to figure that out, I think makes me a better designer.
Favorite places to shop for furniture and decor?
Antiques are my favorite and especially ones from France. The craftsmanship of French furniture made always inspires me. I’m always searching for one of a kind items, so I love the antique shows in Roundtop, TX. It’s seriously a dream! I also love Eneby Home in Nashville for one of a kind items, and of course our own House Seven Design Shop opening in 2020!
Fill in the blank: A well-designed home should _______.
Make you feel at home and comfortable. It’s the one place that should make you smile as soon as you walk in the door. The saying, “There’s no place like home,” didn’t come from stuffy uncomfortable museum like homes.
Describe your home in 5 words or less:
Vintage, modern, cozy and comfortable.
Tell us about what you do at House Seven Design + Build.
I’m the lead designer at our company. I lead the interior design side of the business and Brian is the head Contractor and leads up the Build side of the business.
The House Seven Design + Build Shoppe is our new baby and we are both working together to get it going. Brian’s in charge of the overall renovation of the space while my team and I are busy designing it and filling it with all kinds of goodies! We officially started our business together in 2017, and I’m so excited to see where the next few years takes us.