Restoration and Reinvention on the St. Johns River

A modern Jacksonville residence with an architectural pedigree finds new life after an all-out renovation

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The world of home design is full of comeback stories. Thanks to today’s artisans of space and structure, what’s old and forgotten can be made new and au courant. 

Such is the case with a 44-year-old house fronting the St. Johns River in Jacksonville’s historic Riverside district. Originally built by local architect George Fisher as his family home, the property is a rare example of modern design in a neighborhood dotted with more traditional styles. While the residence was well-maintained throughout most of its 40-plus years, when it hit the market in 2017, its age was beginning to show. Damage from Hurricane Irma in September of that year only compounded the issue. And by the time new owners Joie and Lenka Davis enlisted the team at Zinn Architecture and Interiors for a renovation, the property was in dire need of a complete overhaul. 

That’s exactly what principal Kassia Zinn and project lead Meg Church set out to do. Equipped with the house’s original drawings, the duo embarked on a two-year process that was as arduous as it was inspiring. 

“We wanted to be sensitive to Mr. Fisher’s original design, while also creating more functional, light-filled spaces,” says Zinn. “Natural light was a huge priority for Lenka, and that became a major [driving force] in terms of both architecture and interiors.” 

The construction work was substantial. The entire 3,500-square-foot structure was gutted to the studs, ceilings were raised, and a new staircase was added to open the flow for modern living while preserving the good bones of the home. Rooms were reconfigured to make the most of the water views. Outside, the lines of the façade were modified to improve proportions and achieve a lighter look. 

In terms of design aesthetics, the goal was to carry the vibe of the architecture over to the interiors. As such, the tone of the décor is undeniably mid-century modern with pops of abstract art. All in all, it was a turnkey approach: “We were thrilled to be able to furnish the entire home for the new owners,” says Zinn. “We’re talking artwork, pillows, furniture…everything! Being able to see our vision all the way to the end like that is always an amazing experience.”

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Kassia Zinn and Meg Church, ZINN Architecture and Interiors, Jacksonville, FL

Architecture by Kassia Zinn, ZINN Architecture and Interiors, Jacksonville, FL

Builder Leonard Oliver, Oliver Construction, Jacksonville, FL

Text by Luis R. Rigual

Photography by Jessie Preza, Jacksonville, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Sources

Living Area

Sofa – Interior Define, Chicago, IL

Club and occasional chair – Room and Board, Atlanta, GA

Cocktail table – Room and Board, Atlanta, GA

Drink table – West Elm, Jacksonville, FL

Area rug – West Elm, Jacksonville, FL

Terrace Off Living Area

Table and chairs – Room and Board, Atlanta, GA

White sofa and lounge – Room and Board, Atlanta, GA

Dining Area

Table and chairs – Rove Concepts, Los Angeles, CA

Lighting – Ian K. Fowler, Circa Lighting, Atlanta, GA 

Artwork – Marcus Kenny, Florida Mining Gallery, Jacksonville, FL

Kitchen and Breakfast Area

Cabinetry designed by ZINN Architecture and Interiors, Jacksonville, FL

Fabricated by Living Stone Creations, Jacksonville, FL

Pendant lighting over island – Aerin, Circa Lighting, Atlanta, GA

Table – Herman Miller, Workscapes, Jacksonville, FL

Chairs – Room and Board, Atlanta, GA

Artwork –Marcus Kenny, Florida Mining Gallery, Jacksonville, FL

Stairwell Vignette

Wooden-slat bench – Owner’s Collection 

Floral artwork – Marcus Kenny, Florida Mining Gallery, Jacksonville, FL

Abstract artwork – Betsy Cain, Florida Mining Gallery, Jacksonville, FL

Primary Bedroom

Headboard – Room and Board, Atlanta, GA

Bedding – Pottery Barn, Jacksonville, FL

Grey pillows – Pom Pom at Home, Los Angeles, CA  

Black and bone pillows –Libeco, New York, NY

Bedside table and chest – Room and Board, Atlanta, GA

Sconce – Thomas O’Brien, Circa Lighting, Atlanta, GA 

Armchair – Herman Miller, Workscapes, Jacksonville, FL

Artwork over bed and near dresser – Betsy Cain, Florida Mining Gallery, Jacksonville, FL

Music Room

Seating – Herman Miller, Workscapes, Jacksonville, FL

Record-album artwork – 450 NM, Jennifer Lail, Florida Mining Gallery, Jacksonville, FL

Throughout

Windows – Marvin Windows and Doors, Coastal Sash and Doors, Jacksonville, FL

Sliding Doors (front and rear) – ES Windows, Coastal Sash and Doors, Jacksonville, FL

Landscape, hardscaping, and fencing – Samuel Andrade, Oasis Landscaping, Jacksonville, FL

Flooring – Mercury Flooring, Jacksonville, FL

Stairway iron work designed by ZINN Architecture and Interiors, Jacksonville, FL 

Fabricated by View Rail, Goshen, IN

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