It’s been a busy year for Angela and Jeremy Freyenhagen. The couple found a secluded old home in the heart of the city that desperately needed some major help. In less than a year, they’ve redesigned, rebuilt and decorated their “dream” home, getting married in the meantime.
Built over six decades ago, the small 1,100-square-foot home immediately appealed to Jeremy, owner of Freyenhagen Construction. He quickly and easily assessed the potential of this half-acre piece of real estate. Asking how he ever discovered this hidden gem situated between Rimrock Road and Poly Drive, Jeremy quips, “Angie’s a Realtor for Century 21.”
It turns out that a real estate agent and a construction company owner make a good team. The couple agreed this was the ideal spot, with its super location.
“We’re close to everything,” Angie says, noting that the location sits off the main street and provides lots of privacy. “It’s one of the reasons we picked it,” Angie says. “We enjoy the seclusion.”
Renovating an old house with tiny rooms, bad flooring, outdated plumbing, radiator heat and an old basement into an actual dream home seems a daunting task. For Jeremy, after two decades of redesigning and rebuilding dozens of homes in and around the Yellowstone Valley, it was a no-brainer. There was just one major difference. This house would be his and Angie’s personal home.
“The hardest part for me building my own home is narrowing it down,” he says. “Angie helped me narrow it down.”
The “narrowing it down” included tearing off the roof, demolishing the garage, closing in the breezeway between the garage and house, keeping half of the original foundation, reconfiguring every room and expanding the overall space to 4,600 square feet.
“The front entry had an old pergola look,” Jeremy points out, as we stand outside the newly reconstructed house. “So we took that out. The roof pitch is now steeper and we added two gables.” The front looks entirely different, with six rustic trusses now providing a 16-foot grand entrance to this magnificently redone home.
The covered entry sports richly stained tongue-and-groove panels. Flashing a big smile, Angie says, “I put my labor into this beautiful home, too!” Finishing off the rustic look is rock work by Harper Masonry. The natural rock rises about halfway up the front exterior and engulfs the entry.
The colossal front door opens into an 11-foot-high foyer. A half wall complete with three columns rocked half way up gives separation to the great room. At one end of the foyer is a totally redone guest bedroom with an illuminated tray ceiling. Across the hall, a “run-down” old bathroom is now finely furnished with a large subway-tiled shower, tiled floor and all new fixtures.
Both spaces are part of the original structure, as is the formal dining room at the other end of the foyer. This divine dining room features a lighted tray ceiling, custom wainscoting and a view to the newly manicured front yard. “This room used to be the living room,” Jeremy notes.
“The new contemporary living room/great room has been elevated two steps and expanded 20 feet toward the back,” he says, as he continues pointing out construction details. “We wanted a higher basement ceiling,” Angie explains. “And, it gets us up higher above the yard,” Jeremy adds.
The large living space boasts a vaulted ceiling with a majestic rock fireplace surging up amid warm gray-colored walls. Soffit lighting highlights the height of the fireplace while softening its masculine structure. A 75-inch flat screen fits snuggly against the rock above the mantle, and three skylights with remote control shades are stationed above.
A dark faux beam runs the length of the great room, tying in the dramatic flair of the fireplace mantel and the columns, custom done by Todd Harmon of R & T Cabinets.
The well-planned details attest to refined design and sophisticated taste. Everything matches and has turned out exactly as Angie had prayed it would: “I said through all of this, ‘O Lord, please let it match,’ and it all came together beautifully.”
Even the light color of custom-patterned chairs and sofas reflects the same hues in the area rug spread beneath. “I like symmetry,” Angie says, as she mentions that all the furniture in the house is from Time Square Furniture.
The furniture choices pair well with medium-to-dark engineered Gaucho Monterey hickory flooring from Floors by Design. The rich wood flows throughout the main floors. The bedrooms, however, are carpeted and the bathrooms are tiled. Lush carpeting also covers the relocated and widened staircase, as well as the entire downstairs area.
The roominess of the basement gives way to large egress windows, allowing in natural light. A large rock fireplace plays host to a flat screen TV that can be observed from any seat on the substantial sectional. A game table sets next to a window and a pool table is on the agenda.
Angie researched how she wanted each room. “I found everything I wanted,” she exclaims. “It’s the first time I’ve decorated a home and Jeremy let me go!”
Finding a picture of her “dream” kitchen on Houzz.com, Angie then showed the photo to Jeremy. The old minuscule kitchen that “was no bigger than a small bedroom” is gone. Seeing the kitchen in this house today in its glorious white splendor, it looks exactly like the Houzz picture Angie holds in her hand.
“Jeremy outdid himself,” Angie says. “I got the butler pantry that I wanted, too.”
White subway tile backsplash adds to the brightness of this all-white kitchen. White staggered Medallion cabinetry from Freyenhagen Construction sparkles with plate and glass organizer drawers, roll-outs for pots and pans and a pop-up mixer shelf for Angie’s KitchenAid. All the stainless-steel appliances look sharp in this fresh white space.
“I love my 36-inch gas stove with the big oven and the lower wall oven with the upper convection/microwave oven,” Angie says. A huge white hood over the stove makes a strong focal point. “Of course,” Angie says laughing, “We’ll be having Thanksgiving here!”
For those big family gatherings, an over-sized Cambria Quartz center island looks like marble with its brilliant whiteness and gray veining. Plenty of matching countertop space assists in creating this spectacular gourmet kitchen. Furniture legs have been added to the center isle base cabinet. Under cabinet and upper cabinet lighting kicks up the ambiance another notch.
This brand-new designer kitchen also welcomes in the beauty of the private backyard through an entire wall of windows. “We fell in love with the backyard,” Jeremy says, “and Angie wanted windows looking out to the backyard.”
Standing at the white farmhouse sink, the view takes in impressive landscaping recently done. Step out through eight-foot double sliding glass doors and you’re surrounded by a park-like oasis filled with fresh plants, shrubs, rock gardens, mature trees and a large stained-concrete patio.
Off to the side of the patio sits a sunken salt water spa from Montana Hot Springs Spa. A separate sliding glass door just steps from the spa allows Angie and Jeremy to come and go from their master suite.
In Freyenhagen fashion, rope lighting casts a soft glow above the crown molding of the tray ceiling. Recessed lighting frames the circumference. Light-colored furniture gives this room a classy feel.
The en-suite exudes classiness as well. A double sink quartz vanity of gold and silver shimmers with purple flecks as the plum-colored wall exudes a bit of chic glamour. A large transom window above the vanity lends extra character to this modern bath, as does the tiled walk-in shower with a linear drain.
It’s all in the details. This stunning redesign-rebuild of one of Billings’ older homes is one for the architectural digests. Angie, Jeremy and the Freyenhagen team, along with many local vendors, transformed this small 65-year-old house into something extravagant in comparison.
Quality workmanship, functionality and beautiful design pair well with a talented couple on a mission to redesign and rebuild their dream home.
of Yellowstone Valley Woman Magazine
Photography by Daniel Sullivan Photography