Life of a business owner running the whole show…I have a confession. Most of you know that this project has been “in progress” since end of Spring/early Summer. So, it would only make sense if this progress update blog post took place sometime during those months. But, that’s not how it goes around here. This blog is fresh and new and often less prioritized than other things on my to-dos, such as actually taking care of my clients! Well I’m excited that this home is now complete and the clients are on their way to unpacking and moving in. So while that’s being taken care of, I’ve been working on updating the blog posts for their renovation journey. Don’t forget to check the “before” images of the project, and final photos can be found here.
OPENING THE ENTRY
So we are going to start with they foyer, because I love that the photo below has a progress shot taken from the same location as the before photo. Pulling out those dark cabinets and stair spindles and removing the light fixture helped so much. But the biggest improvement here was opening up the dining room wall on the left as much as possible to help bring some room and light to this area. It also now has more of a connection to the kitchen, which was really important for giving it some good use.
UPDATING THE STAIRCASE
The original handrail was painted white to match the trim throughout the home. New square metal spindles were added and drilled directly into the stair treads to eliminate the need for the metal shoes, which are essentially great for collecting dust. It took some convincing of the contractor to work out this detail, but he was incredible for dealing with all my ideas and particulars.
KITCHEN & LIVING ROOM
So I’ll jump right into the kitchen area since I just gave you a sneak peek of what that looks like from the foyer (and living room…oops)! Off the kitchen is a sitting room with lots of natural light, which would get much brighter with the new floors and a fresh coat of paint.
The wing wall next to the refrigerator was removed as well…sometimes those very small things can make a world of difference in opening up a space. We also felt it was necessary to move the fridge to the other side of the kitchen, next to the large sitting room windows. It feels better when appliances aren’t lined up right after another, allowing more counter space (on the sides of the range, for example) and more distinguished focal points. The kitchen also felt blocked in because of the change of flooring. Almost 100% of the time I recommend that if you have an open space, you need to treat it as an open space. There shouldn’t be changes in color of flooring or paint if you want the space to feel consistent and open and BIGGER.
CABINETS GET INSTALLED!
Cabinets are finally installed with quartz counters, as well as beautiful white oak flooring. See anything different about the ceiling? We filled in that awkward cove and changed the recessed can layout. Later, pendants will be added over the island. You may also notice the difference in the hallway, which started as a corridor of doors. We reframed the closets so we could do a large pantry closet (see the arched door?).Further down the hall is a small coat closet, which is now a convenient location for both the mudroom and front door. This floor plan really couldn’t be changed in a cost-effective way no matter how we looked at it, so it was in these small adjustments that we found huge improvements in functionality.
Ready for the pantry? I sure was! I practically jumped up and down when this thing was installed. This is a beautiful custom door that I dreamed of in this home since the beginning stages of design. The way it softens the entire kitchen makes such an impact. It really was an essential piece to the home. The cost of it nearly cut it from the project when we were analyzing expenses. But ultimately, we were all so excited about this piece that it just had to happen.
At the end of the project, the client and I were standing in the kitchen talking, and she asked me, “Do you know what my favorite part of the whole home is?” I shrugged and was like, “the floors?” After a few missed guesses, I was stumped. She said, “it’s right behind you,” nodding in the direction of the pantry. This made my heart flutter! OF COURSE! The doors are so stunning, and she told me how worth it they were. In the scope of the entire project, the cost really wasn’t something to blink about. I have to say, they totally change the feeling of the kitchen, and especially the hallway. You can also see in the image below why it was so important to remove that wing wall on the side of the cabinets. It allowed the pantry to be easily accessed and seen from the kitchen.
THE LITTLE DETAILS
Here’s a few last photos of the details around the kitchen…
New window over the sink as well as some close-ups of the beautiful quartz counters, blue cement tile backsplash and the custom island color to match it, brass light fixtures to bring warmth to the design, and polished chrome plumbing fixtures for the perfect mix of metals.
PLANS FOR THE LIVING ROOM/LIBRARY
Okay, let’s walk back over to the formal living room, which is off the foyer and front stairway. Remember this lovely fireplace? The room also had a tray ceiling that made the space feel dark and closed in. The same detail was found in the dining room. We removed this detail from both spaces. Normally I’m all about leaving the architectural details, but in this case, it didn’t make sense. We had cooler plans, anyway.
I LOVE doing custom pieces for clients. And this house and client gave me several opportunities to do just that (like the pantry!). She wanted this front room to be a cozy library-esque space for her collections of books, art, and photo albums. She also loved color and pattern in the home since the rest of the space would be white, bright, and neutral. So here’s what I did…
I literally despise fireplaces that are flush with the wall. Like, it just feels so plain and weird to me. (Exception: modern houses…sometimes). Bookcases were needed in this room, so it was a great excuse to bump out the fireplace flush with the new built-ins. We also decided to use the same color as the kitchen island on these built-ins to get that deep blue color in another location. I love how it enhances the fireplace tile surround.
LAUNDRY & POWDER ROOM
For a few final details of the main floor before we move on to the basement, I’ll show you the laundry room floor. It has thin brick pavers laid in a herringbone pattern! The powder room was inspired by a Pinterest photo the client found. She did some great work sourcing the wallpaper. I love it! We were also able to track down a console sink for the tiny space we had to work within. It’s turning out to be a really gorgeous space that brings such an exciting feel for a little powder room.
Last, the basement, which was a huge area to be finished out! It’s always fun to watch a creepy dungeon take shape into something more finished and bright. I loved the new stained concrete floors, it really brought some warmth to the space! This basement will be used as a family room and music room. On the other side (behind where I was standing) is a bedroom. A bathroom was also added and there was STILL room for a huge storage space.
No more progress shots to spoil the surprises! These clients have an incredible collection of rugs, art, and antiques that are changing the look of their new home! Check out the final reveal here!