This is one of those projects where after construction is complete, you can’t really imagine the space looking any other way. The designs fall into place so well that it looks like it has always been that way…meant to be. This was such an important goal for me on this project, because I was redesigning a home that already had a beautiful design concept, it just needed some updates. This home was built in 1983 and originally designed by local architect Jon Sayler. As an interior designer, I know how special each project is to the designers and architects who develop them. To respect the original design and aesthetic was so essential, and I do feel this newly renovated space fits right in.
At our open house, many people made this exact statement. In fact, people were so curious what the space had looked like before because the new design felt so seamless with the home. What a compliment! So let’s do a little reminiscing and look back at where we started at the beginning of summer.
You better believe I’m going to take you right to the view I had when I first walked into this home. Spacious, filled with light, and perched on stilts to give you a view of the trees (this home was even nicknamed “the treehouse” by neighbors)!
THE INITIAL SITE VISIT
When I was first called to the site, the homeowner had already torn out the floors. He had tried dozens of options ranging from cork to engineered woods, and just wasn’t feeling confident about any of them. He also wanted to update the original kitchen by painting the cabinets, replacing counters, and updating appliances. This is where I had to immediately say, HOLD ON. This needs to be reconsidered! Our client knew he would be putting the home up for sale. However, a quick flip on this kitchen wouldn’t get much of a return on his investment. The next person moving into this space would not be able to love this home with the very small size of the kitchen and closed off layout. So plans changed for the better (and I can’t wait to show you what happened!).
A PLAN FOR AN OPEN KITCHEN
The major red flag to me was not only the size of the kitchen, but the way it was separated from the rest of this AMAZING space. This home had beautiful bones, gorgeous wood accents, and an open concept that needed to include the kitchen. Besides, most people find that to be a very important feature of a home’s kitchen! So, needless to say, that wall had to go. By removing the wall, the kitchen would now be open to the sitting room, fireplace, and dining room.
THE FORGOTTEN FIREPLACE
Ok, so let’s take a look back at that fireplace, shall we? Here was the perfect opportunity for a focal point in the home. Even though this space was currently divided into three rooms by the kitchen wall, this fireplace was still visible from the dining room and sitting room. It needed some anchoring though, because it currently felt lost and unimportant. It would get some attention soon enough though.
A UNIQUE STAIRCASE
The next area that would need some design ideas is the stairway. This home has a rounded shape on a small part of the exterior, which is one of the many reasons why neighbors were always curious about the interior. It’s for the stairs! It had a partial rail on the entry platform, but no railing going down the stairs. We wanted to update these few handrails with a style that was similar to the exterior railings. They play a prominent role on the outside of the home, with its multiple balconies and catwalks (again, this home is on stilts!!). An interior-exterior flow was important because of the large windows and views.
THE MASTER SUITE
The last space of focus was the master bathroom. While small in size, there were probably ways to improve the layout. But budget really wasn’t allowing for a demo of the whole master suite, so we kept to a simple refresh. It definitely was in need of some new flooring, tile, counters, and fixtures.