A Remodel of Perfection
The Wolfs' Newly Ideal House
Jimmikā Wolf likes to joke that two small, octagon-shaped windows – one in a closet upstairs and one in a bathroom – are the most expensive items in her Nichols Hills home.
But the joke isn’t because the windows cost a lot. As it turns out, those windows were the only two items they salvaged when they realized they were going to have to tear down the entire older house and start over.
Over a four-year period, the Wolfs kept running into issues with the previous home, which resulted in dismantling it piece by piece to fix the problems … before they finally had to tear down the entire house and rebuild.
“We kept thinking, ‘Oh, we can save this part. Oh, we can save this part,’ until we had an empty lot,” Wolf says. “It was one thing after another. Foundation problems, termite problems, rot problems. Everything they … got into was just one more problem.”
Oklahoma City builder Roger Jones of Jones Construction and architect Stephen Blair worked together with the Wolfs to build the new home with a neo-classical design that sits on the lot today. With a style that includes French country and urban French elements and many repurposed items, the new home fits elegantly among the other homes on their street.
It also is filled with Jimmikā Wolf’s decorative touches and design sense, with family items that mean a lot to the Wolfs and their two daughters and with items that Jimmikā has found along the way.
“I really wanted it to be a reflection of me and my family and all the things we love,” she says. “It’s very personal.”
On shelves in a study off the dining room are toys that belonged to her great-grandfather and great uncle — they were twins — and photos of them and her great-grandmother, along with the same great-grandmother’s books tied with strings. On those shelves is a painting of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf by her husbands’ brother, the late Ray Wolf, also known as “Ray the Painter.” In her younger daughter’s bedroom is a shelf stuffed with the ballet pointe shoes she danced in through the years. The ottoman in the keeping room off the kitchen is covered in a wool blanket that belonged to her great-grandparents. Old books and interesting dishes, many passed down from previous generations, are on display in nooks throughout the home. Behind her pool and guest home, she has what she calls a “secret garden,” where she enjoys working.
Deep custom couches covered in Zoffany fabric anchor the front living room with floor-to-ceiling antiquated mirrors and quartersawn white oak floors.
Jimmikā even considers her kitchen appliances to be monogrammed in a way – her dad worked a long time for both Sub-Zero and Wolf Appliances, and she put in a Sub-Zero refrigerator and a Wolf cooking range.
Jones said that it would have taken X-ray vision to see the problems before the remodel started on the home, reportedly built in the 1950s, because they weren’t visible until he began working. Some of them were due to inadequate add-ons over the years, built on slabs instead of a proper foundation. As the builder tried to fix the issues piece by piece, he realized there wasn’t any way to save the house. Hidden water damage was the final blow, and he said he hated to break the news to the Wolfs.
“I was probably sicker than they were. You adapt, you overcome. You just keep plugging away and keep going,” Jones says.
However, Jones said he was really happy with the way the remodel turned out — features include custom-built cabinets, repurposed brick from one of the historic Fred Jones Auto buildings downtown, snowmelt technology on the steep driveway, pavers in the sidewalks out front rescued from another historic Bricktown building, energy-efficient construction from the ground up and a backup generator.
“This house, I would tell you, has a lot of character,” Jones says. “Kudos to the Wolfs that they were willing to go the extra mile.”
Jimmikā said she and her husband loved working with both Jones and Blair. Jones “was a perfectionist, which my husband and I loved. And he was here every day,” Wolf says. “So it took longer, but in the end, I feel like we really have a solid, quality house that really reflects what we want it to. “