Splendid Surroundings

Multiple renovations bring David and Karen Trigg’s Greenwood home to stunning fruition

By Jon Shoulders

»David Trigg sees clear parallels in how he approaches his career as an oral surgeon and the work he puts into maintaining his 16,000-square-foot Johnson County home with his wife, Karen. “You have to strive for excellence, and I try to do things at home — whether it’s maintaining the lawn or fixing something on the interior that needs it — with the same sense of pride that I approach my professional efforts with,” he says.

In 1998, two years after its construction, David, now 55, and Karen, 50, moved into the Greenwood home with their three children, Brittany, 25, Austin, 21, and Logan, 17, and almost immediately the couple began the first of three renovation phases that would run from 1999 through 2001 and again from 2006 through 2008. The home underwent extensive additions and renovations, including an expansion of the kitchen into the original garage space and the addition of two separate four-car garages. The results blend comfort, functionality and elegance, and include an indoor pool and hot tub as well as a master bedroom suite with backlit, three-dimensional ceilings and a separate sitting area overlooking the backyard. The master suite’s spacious bathroom features white onyx countertops and heated marble flooring, in keeping with the home’s fusion of beauty and function.

David says while the renovations and structural additions were lengthy and difficult, the results were well worth the hassle. “It was miserable because we lived in it while we were doing it,” he recalls. “When we did the kitchen, it was right when our oldest son was pretty young and our little one was a newborn. It would be noisy with the contractors here. We got through it though. Karen is kind of the color person, and I’m kind of the structure person, so we make a good team.” Six bedrooms, along with six full bathrooms and four half baths, round out the four-level home, the lower level of which features a guest suite, a spacious exercise room, a sauna and a bar next to the indoor pool.

“In addition to all the architectural design work, I acted as David and Karen’s project superintendent through construction,” says William Sickmeier, an Indianapolis-based architectural design consultant. “In essence, David acted as his own general contractor, and he, Karen and I collaborated on the construction. I go into projects with a simple goal — create a finished product that is a true collaboration between all the parties involved, with continuity threads running throughout the finished product that may or may not be obvious at first, but taken together create a sense of comfort and interest within a space.”

Several indoor surfaces, including the groin ceilings in the ground level hallway and the back staircase, are finished with a JaDecor covering, which the Triggs chose to add a unique texture to the interior atmosphere. “It goes on like oatmeal,” David says. “You put whatever fibers or flakes or colors you want on it. There are several different colors throughout the house.”

Displayed on the walls of the recreation and poker room, which David calls his “little slice of heaven” where he and his friends gather for poker nights, is an assortment of local sports memorabilia and several specimens of sizable fish caught by the Trigg family during vacations in Mexico, Florida, Hawaii and Antigua. “We used to deep-sea fish everywhere we would go,” David says. “The blue marlin is the big one, and it was about 170 pounds.”

The fourth floor, which David constructed almost entirely by himself, including drywall and electrical installations, houses an office with custom cherry cabinets and shelving for his abundant reading material. “It’s another place to escape to, to read or to get brushed up on things,” he says. “It’s important to have a spot like that where you can get away and just focus for a while.”

Having both grown up around horses, David in northwest Indiana and Karen in Louisiana, the Triggs have kept their own horses on the 15-acre property since 1998, one of which was purchased from Mel Blount, former cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee. The Triggs expanded the property’s original fencing to maximize pasture space, drilled a well and installed an irrigation system that helps to keep the riding area in top shape.

Three horses named Stormy, Cypress and Kid, two golden retrievers named Berkley and Bentley, a bichon named Latte and a cat named Jynx enjoy the open acreage, and the home’s exterior also features a tennis court, a motocross track, an outdoor swimming pool, a free-standing fireplace and an outdoor kitchen with a grill and television for relaxation during warm months. “It’s kind of our place to be in the summertime and fall time,” David says. “The gazebo is also a good place to relax. It’s screened in and bug-proof, and it’s a good hangout for the kids.” 

David and Karen feel the home’s proximity to their office, where David practices as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and Karen works as administrative anesthesia/surgical assistant, is among its best attributes. The couple met in Louisiana while David was completing his medical and surgery training at Louisiana State University School of Medicine after finishing his doctor of dental surgery degree at Indiana University School of Dentistry, and moved to Indiana in 1994 to begin their Greenwood-based oral surgery practice. “It’s just nice and peaceful, and we also have phenomenal neighbors,” says Karen, who holds a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene from Northeast Louisiana University (now the University of Louisiana at Monroe).

“It’s convenient from a work standpoint, yet we’re out in the country where we can ride horses and ride the motorcycles,” David adds. “And then we’re still only 20 to 25 minutes from downtown if you want the action of the big city. It really is the best of both worlds.”