Houzz Pro Spotlight:

How to Update Your Home for Today’s Lifestyles

Who: Edward Kaplan of The Buckingham Group
Where: Tulsa, Oklahoma
In his own words: “I enjoy taking someone’s verbal expressions of what they want and converting them into something tangible that they can enjoy.”

Lifestyles have changed over the last few decades, but homes haven’t always followed suit. If you’re a cook, you probably yearn to be part of the party action. After a long day, you might want to relax with a long shower or bath. And everyone simply has more stuff to store.

So how to redo your home to fit modern preferences? “It’s about taking what was fashionable 20 or 30 years ago and updating it,” says Edward Kaplan, owner of design-build firm The Buckingham Group in Tulsa. “Improving workflow, bringing contemporary products and style in, adding storage.

Cooking connoisseur. Though Kaplan works on entire homes, kitchen projects hold a special place in his heart. “Cooking is a long-term hobby for me,” he says. He’s even created a company cookbook filled with over 600 recipes that he and his wife have made and enjoyed. “So I know that the kitchen must look good but also function well,” he says.

Grounded in experience. Growing up on a family farm, “if you wanted to get anything done, it was DIY,” Kaplan says. “So at a very early age, I was an auto mechanic, plumber, electrician, woodworker.” Even though he started his career in plastics engineering, “construction was always my fascination,” he says. Kaplan founded his design-build company in 1981 to merge his hands-on knowledge with state-of-the-art tools. 


Ready to have your home suit how you really live? Kaplan shares his tips below.

1. Think About Spaces for Entertaining



Gathering with family and friends is central to modern lifestyles, so design with this in mind, Kaplan says, especially in the kitchen. Cooks want to be central to the action.

In this South Tulsa home, the owners wanted a place where they could bring together their adult children and grandchildren. Kaplan’s team moved the kitchen from the front of the house to the side to create an entirely new space.

Up to 20 people can now comfortably move around the kitchen, popping things into wall ovens and stirring pots on the range, while half a dozen can sit and prep around the large island. Plenty of storage keeps countertops clean and allows the room to feel even larger.

2. Create Serene Sanctuaries

With today’s hectic schedules, it’s ever more important to include spaces where people can relax and rejuvenate, Kaplan says.

One owner of this Sand Springs home wanted a place where she could soak in a bath. The other asked for a great shower. Kaplan centered a freestanding tub under the window — plantation shutters slant to let light pour in but maintain privacy. A glassed-in shower keeps the look airy, and its bench provides a place to sit while using the handheld spray. Muted, neutral colors and stone countertops maintain the spa-like feel.

3. Spring for Plenty of Storage



Having designated places to put items away and store treasures reduces clutter and will make you feel calmer overall, Kaplan says.

The original master suite in this Southern Hills home had closets that Kaplan describes as “very, very small.” His team doubled the size of the bathroom and created a walk-in closet with an addition. Then it built cabinetry that matches the specifications of the owners’ clothing, such as bars that accommodate the wife’s dresses and cubbies for shoes. His-and-her armoires flank the entry to the bath, which has additional storage for toiletries and towels.

This story was written by the Houzz Sponsored Content team.

CASE STUDIES

Fit for the Modern Lifestyle

Houzz Pro Spotlight: How to Update
Your Home for Today’s Lifestyles

Lifestyles have changed over the last few decades, but homes haven’t always followed suit. If you’re a cook, you probably yearn to be part of the party action. After a long day , you might want to relax with a long shower or bath…

Fit for the Modern Lifestyle

Designed with Outdoor
Entertaining in Mind

With families spending more time at home, homeowners are looking for ways to add value and comfort to their homes through the addition of an outdoor living space. The homeowners of this home planned to take full advantage…

Fit for the Modern Lifestyle

How to Improve
A Home’s Curb Appeal

Our client, like most of us, had focused their attention for upgrading and home remodeling on its interior. Over a series of several years, their design daydreams had stimulated and provided the impetus for contracting for a new kitchen…

Fit for the Modern Lifestyle

How to Design Build
A Total Home Remodel

It didn’t happen suddenly over a cup of coffee or while reading the newspaper. Over a period of time, our clients had come to the conclusion that their existing home no longer fit their needs. It was time to make a hard decision…

Fit for the Modern Lifestyle

How to Design
A Gourmet Kitchen

Our relationship with this client started in 1986 when, with a design build project, we converted a three-bedroom “bachelors pad” into a five-bedroom home to accommodate a newly blended family of five children. Years passed, children moved out…

Fit for the Modern Lifestyle

How to Create
An Open Floor Plan

As empty nesters, our clients were confronting the traditional dilemma of most home owners, that being to move or improve. Two of their three children were married and the third was in college. It was time to either find, or create a household…

Fit for the Modern Lifestyle

Remodeling a Spatially Limited Kitchen and Master Bathroom

The footprints of the master bathroom and kitchen were small and could not be enlarged without taking space from the adjoining rooms. The kitchen lacked purposeful storage space and a “workable flow.” The bathroom had…

Fit for the Modern Lifestyle

How a Custom Outdoor
Kitchen Provides Inspired Living

This outdoor kitchen was designed for year-round pleasure and the changing seasons. With a back drop of beautiful gardens, trees and a large Koi pond, the covered outdoor living space provides a seamless continuation of this…

Fit for the Modern Lifestyle

How an Island Became
The Key to a Kitchen Remodel

Our empty-nester clients wanted their kitchen remodel to create a hub for the two to hang out in while simultaneously providing an efficient, highly-organized work space for cooking. They also wanted to restore some…

Fit for the Modern Lifestyle

How to Update a 1950’s
Ranch Kitchen & Utility Room

Our clients came to The Buckingham Group with specific needs in mind. They both loved to cook. They both loved to entertain. Their kitchen was no longer working for them. They needed more functional prep space…

Fit for the Modern Lifestyle

How to Remodel
A Kitchen & Master Bath

Our client’s home was surrounded by a hard to replace collection of mature trees. It was located in a quiet neighborhood that was known for its interesting collection of architectural styles. It had a back yard pool that was perfect…

Fit for the Modern Lifestyle

How to Remodel
An Outdoor Kitchen

The Buckingham Group had recently completed both a master bathroom and guest bathroom remodel for our client. We were in the design stages of a kitchen remodel, which was to be the second phase of a planned…