An Indianapolis couple moves out of the suburbs and remodels a historic home closer to downtown. Roll credits? Not so fast. Because (spoiler alert) this episode is not the series finale.
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living room simple split wood couch
Credit: Robert Peterson

The U2 anthem "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" would be an apt theme song for Anissa and Brian Zajac of Indianapolis. They've fixed up several homes over the years, always in search of their next forever (for now?) home. "We have never been so attached to a home that we wouldn't find something that fits our needs better," Anissa says. "Home is anywhere your family and friends are." 

barn door modern farmhouse wooden cabinet
A dark-painted sliding barn door hides the mudroom and laundry from the family room and creates a modern farmhouse look.
| Credit: Robert Peterson

The serial makeovers inspired their firm's name—House Seven Design+Build. House #7 was a large, five-bedroom house in Noblesville that the couple poured their blood, sweat and tears into updating. "Our lives looked pretty great," Anissa says. "But life in a big house in the suburbs wasn't all it was cracked up to be."

front house fence black gate landscape
The couple spruced up the former frat house annex's exterior, painting it an iron ore color with black trim and adding light gray shutters that Brian built.
| Credit: Robert Peterson

Fast forward to House #8, a Meridian Hills Cape Cod in sad shape. "It had been occupied by five fraternity guys—need I say more?" Anissa says. "We bought into a neighborhood, for sure, because the house itself actually scared me to death." 

media wall family room chairs couch
Brian used shiplap to accentuate the media wall in the family room (above and right) and fashioned a sleek console to hide electronics and games below the TV. Flanked by two narrow columns with open shelving, the space reflects the symmetry Anissa craves. "The open shelves add texture and depth and show some personality," Anissa says.
| Credit: Robert Peterson

The couple reconfigured the floor plan to fit their family, which includes daughters Everly, Emma and Avery. Then they infused every room with a rustic-modern vibe. "I like the clean lines of modern pieces," Anissa says, "but I love the warmth of big wood beams and salvaged wood. And despite the fact that I love color in other people's homes, I'm drawn to white in my own." 

gallery wall dining area light fixture
An oversized wicker pendant provides a focal point in the dining area. "The symmetry and straight edges in the space needed to be softened with something circular," Anissa says. As it is in much of the house, the look here is relaxed. The couple chose country pine and oak pieces over more fussy and formal furniture—no worries about fingerprints and water rings.
| Credit: Robert Peterson

Anissa chose wood flooring in a herringbone pattern for the entry, family room and dining area. And she pared down the family's possessions to make the home feel bigger.

bright kitchen island marble wood
iron glass cabinets sleek white black
kitchen range stove white cabinets
Left: Credit: Robert Peterson
Center: Credit: Robert Peterson
Right: Credit: Robert Peterson

Anissa wanted the kitchen to suit an old Cape Cod, "so I didn't go all slick and white," she says. An iron-and-glass counter-level cabinet takes a classic look and gives it a sleeker vibe. Hammered-iron hardware lends history to new base cabinets. Soapstone on the counters and range backsplash first struck Anissaas too dark. "It's turned into one of my favorite elements," she says. 

backyard outside garden planting chicken coop
Credit: Robert Peterson

The home's relaxed rustic feel extends to the backyard, where a chicken coop, raised beds and pea gravel paths put down rural roots. The Zajacs kept most of the wood its natural cedar color, painting the fence black for a sophisticated contrast. Left to roam free-range, the couple's Columbian Wyandotte hens (aka the ladies or girls) will peck at plantings. "We keep them out of this area while the garden is growing," Anissa says. "They are out in the larger part of the yard."

bedroom vintage wood bench pillows
bathroom soaking tub tile towel ladder
living room couch throw blanket wallpaper
Left: Credit: Robert Peterson
Center: Credit: Robert Peterson
Right: Credit: Robert Peterson

Anissa likes to put comfort first when designing bedrooms, including her family's. "I love linen and high-thread-count cottons—anything that is soft to the touch and inviting," she says. But the rooms don't want for style. Canine-pattern wallpaper makes Emma's space pretty doggone cute. As zen as their bedroom, the couple's bath features a deep soaking tub and walls of dark green board-and-batten below fireclay subway tile. 

bedroom bird wallpaper light fixture
Dreams take flight in youngest daughter Everly's room, thanks to bird wallpaper and a light fixture that clearly bubbles over with charm.
| Credit: Robert Peterson

"If you're intentional about it," Anissa says, "you'll find you're living with things that you actually really love." And they did. Until they bought House #9. Check out the exclusive tour!