March 24, 2019
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Point of View

It all came down to the view.

The modern home sitting along Riverview Court in Downtown Evansville wasn’t exactly the style MaryAnn and Dr. Max Lingo were used to, nor did it fit their planned aesthetic. But the view couldn’t be ignored.

“I wanted to feel like I was on vacation. I wanted something relaxing to come home to,” says Max. “My favorite part is sitting outside at the table on the patio, drinking coffee, and reading the paper.”

When the couple purchased the home in 2016, there were several changes they had in mind to make the home theirs. From finding more storage space to converting a former theater space into their closet, the mission for the Lingos was to make the contemporary space fit their needs.

Previous owner Kent Hahn constructed the home along Riverview Court in 2006. Hahn, a small business owner, worked for more than a year with local experts to create the modern oasis in the Harbour’s Edge riverfront subdivision. Featuring 3,400 square feet and two floors, the “funky” style of the home was reflected both in the interior and exterior.

The interesting style and beautiful location caught Evansville Living’s attention in 2006, when the home was featured in the November/December issue that year.

▲ Bold colors and unique treatments immediately greet visitors to MaryAnn and Max Lingo’s home along Riverview Court in Downtown Evansville. The couple kept the original stained glass front door and incorporated faux wall treatments from Barb Woodruff in the entryway.

“I think what Kent did was create a wonderful home. This has so many unique features in it,” says MaryAnn. “But I think what we did was simply take this house and not just make it livable for us, but we kind of took it to the next level, making it different still.”

“Kent had a lot of quality in it,” adds Max. “It’s very well built and laid out. It’s unique and the way it sits on the lot is fantastic.”

The home — which is one of the first seen by visitors to the small subdivision — was not the first choice for Max and MaryAnn. In fact, the couple bought a lot and a half at the end of the development with the intention to construct their dream retirement home from scratch.

“We had it for 13 years,” says Max. “We had one house designed, and we thought we want-ed a Mediterranean-style home. But your tastes change. We just never did get around to it.”

The couple made a few sets of possible designs for the lots — Max even built a large-scale model of what they wanted to construct. As the Lingos were working on obtaining estimates and surveying the lots, Hahn’s home went up for sale. So, on chance, Max and MaryAnn took a look at the house.

The uniqueness of the layout and design, as well as its position on two lots appealed to the Lingos a great deal. And though there were many areas that were addressed in an extensive remodel process, they agree the home works for them.

“I’m afraid if we had tried to build something, we wouldn’t have been happy with it,” says MaryAnn.

The Riverview Court house was not the first renovation project for the Lingos. The couple had renovated their previous home in Oak Meadows twice and many other spaces during their 38 years of marriage.

“Max knows construction; I know design and decorating,” says MaryAnn. “We knew, with the help of the right people, we could do this project.”

The home would become a large, customized remodel for the Lingos. Changes included adding two more pantries for dish and food storage and the replacement of all appliances. The laundry room was expanded and part of the garage converted into storage. The bamboo flooring of the home was replaced with hickory and many light fixtures were redone to fit the couple’s style.

For MaryAnn, designing the home came down to visiting each room, standing in the space, and seeing the possibilities of what the room could be. It was the best way for her to design the space, she says.

“Don’t give me dimensions and things; let me see it and how it’s going to lay out,” she adds. “I had to know how things were going to work to design it.”

The Lingos do not shy away from color in their space — from the tomato red furniture pieces to the colorful artwork, the home lights up with the bright colors MaryAnn has decorated with.

“Most people don’t like this much color in their home, but we like color,” she says. “I don’t do neutral. We’ve always done bold colors.”

Some of the bigger projects for the home revolved around the large round windows found in the dining room and master bedroom. While the circle design broke up the linear feel of the home, the clear glass left little privacy in the rooms.

For the window in the dining room, Ron Snodgrass came to the Lingos rescue. Having worked with the couple before on various renovation projects, Max and MaryAnn called Snodgrass in to help.

“We needed a solution that could be done on the outside. I was at a loss until I saw stacked glass at Ron’s studio,” says MaryAnn. “It has texture, flow, and creates total privacy but does not sacrifice light.”

Snodgrass and Terry Boyd also installed the mirrored walls of the kitchen and mirrored the panels featured in the master bedroom. Snodgrass’ touches can be seen through the rest of the home as well in the form of eight original glass artwork pieces commissioned by the Lingos.

“He’s just so talented,” says MaryAnn.

Two other big projects involved the semi-circle window and lack of ample closet space in the master bedroom downstairs. To bring the vision MaryAnn had for the spaces to life, the couple brought in Brandon Hill from Fehrenbacher Wood Specialties.

While the window afforded the couple a beautiful view of the Ohio River, it also presented a privacy issue. MaryAnn had an idea of how she wanted to solve the problem — install sliding doors with mirrors that would retract easily. Hill stepped in, putting together a custom wall unit with the retractable, mirrored doors MaryAnn wished for, which also disappeared into the end panels.

▲ The couple’s master bedroom features a breathtaking view of the riverfront.

“Brandon was a real find. The master suite would not have been possible without Brandon,” says MaryAnn.

Hill also would help with the closet doors in the remodeled master bedroom space. Once a large theater room designed by Hahn, the Lingos worked with contractor Loehrlein Carpentry & Concrete (who was the main contractor for the entire renovation of the home) to refit the theater into a massive closet space. It would be Hill who designed the sliding, mirrored custom doors for the closet, as well as the headers at the top of the doors to hide the tracks.

Many other professionals added their touches to the Lingos’ riverfront property as well — from Robbie Reisinger’s landscaping expertise and Bill Meyer’s talent as a painter to Liddy West’s touch on all the home’s window treatments and Aaron May, who brought a unique touch to the Lingos’ staircase with custom-made stainless steel steps and other metal work in the home.

MaryAnn also gives a lot of credit to Barb Woodruff for her work on faux wall treatments throughout the home, including the entryway, dining space, and bedrooms.

“Barb is a good friend who always has gone above and beyond for me. She knows we like vivid, bold statement walls,” says MaryAnn. “She is a very talented, gifted artist; she was instrumental in helping me pull all the colors together.”

Through all the hard work, the Lingos smile brightly about their finished home. It’s the best place to catch the annual air show in the summer, it offers the best view of Downtown Evansville, and in the fall they can even see the Ferris wheel light up at the Fall Festival on Franklin Street. In the end, it always comes back to the view.

“I just feel very content here,” says MaryAnn. “The view is why we’re here. It’s incredibly amazing.”

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