Inside a Myers Park Home Rebuilt After a Devastating Fire
Three months after renovating their craftsman, an electrical fire forced a family to strip their home down to the studs and rebuild
On January 5, 2019, Tina Trabucco and her husband, Matt, came home from their sons’ basketball games to find their house engulfed in flames. “When we tried to get in and rescue the dog, we couldn’t see past the smoke,” Tina recalls. “It had risen upstairs, got into the HVAC, the duct work, and it collapsed the kitchen where it all started.” Sadly, their 15-year-old dog Bailey didn’t make it out alive, and after a six-week investigation, they determined their dishwasher caused an electrical fire. The smoke damage was so extensive that they’d need to strip the home down to the studs and rebuild.
It was a particularly tough blow for the Trabuccos, who just three months earlier had completed a renovation to their 1950s craftsman. They’d upgraded the entire master suite and relocated a fourth bedroom to make the house more functional for their family, which includes sons Colin, 7, and Tyler, 9. The idea of starting all over was daunting, but abandoning this home was never an option.
On May 1, after they’d closed the investigation and settled up with the insurance company, the Trabuccos started construction on their house—again. They used the same team that had done their previous renovation, Chris Belcher of CasaForte Builders and Bridget Gasque of Loftus Design. “Having a team that already knew the quirks and eccentricities of my house was huge,” Tina says. And this time, she says, they could “take one big swing at the house” and make it what they’d wanted all along.
All of the carpets and floors and most of the drywall had to come out, and the house got new windows and doors. Gasque redesigned the floorplan to include new kitchen and bathroom layouts and expanded the master bedroom to create a suite with a larger bathroom and two walk-in closets. They also built a mudroom where there wasn’t one before and closed off an existing loft to create a bonus room for the kids. They relocated the laundry room to the second floor and turned the existing laundry room off the kitchen into a walk-in butler’s pantry with a wine fridge Tina had always wanted.
The main living areas got a complete overhaul, too. The previous owner had done an addition that left the first floor with different ceiling heights, so they raised the ceiling from 8 to 12 feet in the kitchen and added structural beams. The team at Walker Woodworking installed custom cabinetry in the kitchen and butler’s pantry, as well as lockers and drawers in the mudroom to hold the boys’ backpacks, shoes, and sports gear.
With the exception of some master bedroom furniture that survived the fire, everything in the house is new. Gasque, who describes the style as transitional, outfitted the home with new furniture, lighting, fixtures, window treatments, and artwork. “It gave us a blank canvas,” she says. “This time we gave it a refreshed, modern look.”
She used a neutral palette of soft grays and tans for a relaxing vibe. In the kitchen, she chose off-gray cabinetry and accented it with the walnut island and beams. The hardwood floors got a dark walnut finish, and the walls are Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter. She opted for quartz countertops instead of marble for more durability, and rope weave barstools from Orient Express Furniture that could stand up to everyday use.
For furnishings, she incorporated stain-resistant Crypton fabrics and indoor and outdoor area rugs. The formal dining room, guest bedroom, and master suite got custom window treatments courtesy of Kasmir Fabrics, and Gasque accented the home with a mix of moss planters, glass bowls, and wall décor from Paragon and Soicher Marin Fine Art.
In September 2019, nine months after the fire, the Trabuccos moved back into their new old house. They also welcomed a new puppy, Gunner, into the family. “It was so stressful; it took hours upon hours to sort out,” Tina says, “but we ended up on the right side of this.”
Taylor Bowler is lifestyle editor for this magazine.