Sunday, June 30, 2019

Kitchen Refresh

Recently finished a project at my own house that I've wanted to tackle for years--an overhaul of the kitchen!

When the house was new, this is what the kitchen looked like:

It was a great size, but that's about all that could be said for it. Basic cabinetry. Cheap laminate countertops and linoleum flooring. Apparently, even cabinet knobs were a luxury the builder couldn't justify.

The walk-in pantry was a great space, but with just a few wire shelves, it was hardly optimal:

When I first moved in, we took it up a notch by adding some color to the walls, knobs to the cabinets, and some crown moulding:

Better, but it always left something to be desired. Because of it's size, doing much more always seemed daunting. (With over 60 cabinets and drawer fronts, even buying cabinet hardware was an expense!) So we lived with it for over ten years!

But for the past two months, we've taken it from dark and basic to bright and open.

First up was to tackle the pantry. A coat of paint, and new shelving and bins more than doubled the space available for storage:

It made sense to do the pantry first because it gave us space to store much of the "stuff" that we then took out of the kitchen while the renovation in there took place.

Over the course of six weeks, we replaced the black appliances with stainless steel ones, installed Cambria Torquay countertops, a white handmade subway tile backsplash laid in a herringbone pattern, undercounter lighting, new light fixtures, and new cabinet hardware. Finally, the original cabinet boxes were upgraded with new trim and everything was painted.

The walls are painted Sherwin Williams Mega Greige and the cabinets are done in their Agreeable Gray.
New glass pendants from Progress lighting are stylish and affordable.

The bar in the adjacent morning room was refinished to match the kitchen.
The color scheme was chosen because it felt up to date, but the paint shades still worked well with the earthier tones in adjacent rooms.

Monday, May 14, 2018

New Townhouse Project

Phase two of a townhouse project I designed has just wrapped up! Originally, the lot was mostly pavement and a house that had seen better days. We oriented eight units along a shared driveway, five of the units have street frontage, and three share a wonderful courtyard.

Drone Footage of the Project
The Three Units that open to the Courtyard 
The Foyers Feature Beautiful Wood Doors, Tray Ceilings, and Arched Openings
Open Living Areas Make the Most of the Available Space
The Kitchens Are Outfitted with Soothing Colors, Stone Backsplashes, and Quartz Countertops
All the Units have Large, Light-filled Bedrooms
Herringbone Patterned Floors Bring Interest To One of the Master Baths
Each Unit Features a "Drop Zone" near the garage entrance
Tile Details are Featured in Each Bathroom
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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Before and After

Here's a little before and after of a sunroom we recently refreshed.

Dark walls, an undersized rug, and monochromatic drapery made the sunny room feel small and heavy.

 After: A painted beam and shiplap ceiling was added. The existing club chairs were reupholstered, and a skirt added to give them a more tailored look. New drapery (from Thom Filicia for Kravet), and a fresh new wall color (Mega Greige from Sherwin Williams) and a larger, brighter rug, make a huge difference!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

New Custom Home

A three level custom home we designed last year is wrapping up this week, and features a lot of nice features we wanted to share with you.

The great room has a wall of arched windows overlooking the pond at the rear of the property.
The kitchen is highlighted by timber beams and a sculptural range hood flanked by open shelves.
The formal dining room has a beautifully coffered ceiling.
The master bedroom' tray ceiling has intersecting timber beam work.
In the study, a door is hidden in the judge's paneling.
The master shower is accented with herringbone patterned marble.
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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A Whole House Renovation

Several years ago, I designed an extensive expansion and renovation to a lackluster ranch house in a fantastic old neighborhood. One of the images that has been "pinned" most to Pinterest from this site is the schematic drawing of that house. (The original post is HERE.) Thought it was way past time to share some actual photos!

A little "before and after" of the front. The house went from 1600 square feet to nearly 5,000.
A close up of the new entrance. Wide front steps, gable end trusses, and large columns with bracketed details create a sense of arrival.
One of the original bedrooms became the formal dining room, with tall wainscoting and coffered ceiling.
A new master suite was added at the rear of the house. The bedroom features another coffered ceiling.
The new master bathroom.
The new stair hall overlooks the back yard.
A large vaulted living space on the second floor separates the two children's suites.
The owner's son enjoys this spacious vaulted bedroom.
While their daughter's room is Princess-perfect with a double tray ceiling.
Another suite is tucked under the roof over the added garage. Interesting ceiling lines give it a lot of character.
A large covered porch with stone fireplace expands the main level living area into the outdoors.
This view of the rear highlights the challenging slopes the project presented. The alley-entry garage is actually a half story above the main level of the house.
A final shot of the new front. The beautiful landscaping finishes everything off.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Creating a Mudroom--Guest Post

How to Create a Mudroom Even If Your House Doesn’t Have a Designated Space
Kaitlin Krull

If you have a family, you know that children are known for traipsing grass, mud, and all sorts of other substances through the house. While we can promise you that this behavior won’t change anytime soon, we at Home Improvement Leads have a solution. A mudroom is an essential part of any family home and can be easily created even if you don’t have a designated room or space. Here are a few of our top tips for faking a mudroom in whatever way you can.

Adapt your entryway
Your home’s entryway is probably the most logical place for a makeshift mudroom, since it sees the majority of traffic and is the first port of call for messy kids after they arrive home. If you’re particularly DIY savvy, you can create a mudroom out of a tall cabinet with built-in storage for bags, coats, and shoes. Renters or homeowners with less technical skill can achieve the same organized result with a storage bench and wall mounted hooks or a coat rack. Just make sure you equip your entryway with a large mat and plenty of storage baskets to catch dirt and collect your kids’ belongings.

Utilize your porch
Enclosed and secure porches are another go-to for outerwear storage, so if your house is blessed with this bonus space, make the most of the area and adapt it to your mudroom needs. A shallow storage bench or dresser with drawers for shoes or bags works in even the tightest of spaces and will safely contain any mess to the very front of the home. If you choose this option, just make sure to keep your storage as hidden as possible and don’t forget decor since this is the first space any guests will see. 

Make space in your laundry room
Most bespoke mudrooms are actually multifunctional and usually share space with a utility or laundry room. If your utility room is big enough, section off a corner of the room for seating, shoe storage, and space for bags and coats. This option is particularly useful if your home has an accessible back entrance and if your children participate in equipment-heavy sports, since you can easily close the door and pretend the mess doesn’t exist. 

Outdoor-proof your kitchen
While spending time in the backyard is great for kids, it can wreak havoc on kitchens. If your family uses the kitchen as a thoroughfare to the backyard on a regular basis, you might want to invest in a durable indoor/outdoor floor mat and some storage bins to place beside the back door. Larger kitchens will benefit from wall mounted hooks and a wooden bench with storage baskets underneath to corral any wandering shoes or hats.

Use the garage
Homes with connected garages practically scream out for a garage/mudroom combination. Everyone knows that a garage isn’t designed to be the cleanest room in your house, so embrace the dirt and set up your mudroom station here to save yourself both space and stress inside the house. The only thing we insist here is that you must keep your garage well organized and tidy, otherwise you will invariably lose something sooner or later. 

Repurpose a hallway closet
If your entryway is too narrow or short for even a storage bench or dresser, consider converting your hallway closet into an organized mudroom-style space. All the standard storage options apply here (bench, hidden shoe storage) with the added bonus of three walls to hang all your coats and outerwear. If you want this space to be even more accessible, consider removing your closet doors and you will instantly have an entryway nook that wasn’t there before.

Monday, June 27, 2016

A New Home For An Infill Lot

We just wrapped up plans for a new house on a narrow infill lot on a street of charming old bungalows. It was important to the clients that the house feel as if it belonged there. The hope of everyone involved is that once the house is built, passersby will be hard pressed to know if it is new or just a recent renovation.

Simple detailing, appropriate to the neighborhood, highlights the front elevation.
The main living areas and kitchen are one large space that opens to an inviting screened porch.
Upstairs, three bedrooms and a loft (complete with a hidden nook under the eaves) round out the plan.
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