A Kitchen in Woodstock | Before

This kitchen has been so much fun to work on. Not only is the client great, but the house is great! From the architecture through to the client’s style, I’ve loved working on this project.

I’m excited to share more on this one as progress continues because compared to most of the projects around here, it isn’t a full gut! We are taking the space and using a lot of existing elements to change the overall look without changing everything. The kitchen has a lot of natural light pouring into it as you can see in the photos above of the existing space, which is great. It is a really great size and everything is in relatively good shape.

So, what’s the plan? (Images Below: left, existing floor plan; top right, proposed new floor plan; bottom right, new window wall elevation with shelving and molding details.) We are stripping and painting the cabinets, replacing the island with something that fits the space a little bit better and offers a bit more function, replacing the countertops, sinks, faucets and backsplash. Then to elevate things we are raising the upper cabinets, adding some floating shelves to the space and opening up the pass through window to make the space flow better. Sounds like a lot? Well it’s a lot of carpentry work that will add up to make a huge impact on the space, without gutting the space completely.

What are we keeping exactly? All of the perimeter cabinets, base and uppers (with the exception of the kitchen sink base which was shot), all of the appliances-including the built in grill in the island, all of the shelving in the space is staying (cookbook storage and art storage above cabinets now) and actually we are adding more around the rest of the kitchen, lighting will remain as is since the kitchen is so bright already, and most importantly we are keeping the flooring which continues throughout the first floor and is original to the home.

What do I love most about this project? When I first started design school, when I was still in Washington (state not DC), my second semester I took an environmental design class learning about all the ways interior design adds to landfills and how to use better products and re-use what you can to help limit or prevent this. After that class I actually dropped out and switched majors for a while to environmental science. I realized that there wasn’t really a career path I could see myself in that would fall under that new major, so then I quit altogether and did some living and some soul searching. After a few years, I finally decided to follow my passion of interior design and go back to school, promising myself I’d do my best to encourage ‘green’ choices when I could. This project totally speaks to that!! And I can’t wait to share with you all how beautiful it can be, after we get it all wrapped up, to renovate this way!

Maybe it’s the location, but this project is really bringing me back to my Pacific Northwest tree-hugging roots in the best way possible and I’m loving every minute of it. And if you made it all the way through this wordy post, I appreciate you hanging in there! I’m going to be up at this jobsite next week and I’m hoping to get some pictures for an in-progress post to share with you all then!

Do you think you’d be a fan of keeping some of your existing pieces and only refacing cabinets and updating some of the details to make a change instead of doing a full gut renovation? I’m interested to hear what you think of the concept and see how you will feel when you see the completed space–maybe I can convert some of you!

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Project Update: 1893

Summer is my busiest season with my workload and the whole work-life balance. Things have been moving right along and I have a few projects underway right now, a few of them that should be wrapping up soon(ish). And I wanted to give you guys an updated look at the progress on the 1893 House!

The tile work is done in the bathrooms, the new wood floors have gone in where needed, all the windows are in and we are only waiting on the custom french doors leading out from the kitchen. The cabinetry started to go in over the last week or so and the counters have all been templated. We have selected paint colors and had the guys swatch them on the walls for us and we will be meeting at the house on Monday to review and finalize so they can paint. All in all, good progress has been made and I am starting to really see the light at the end of this one! And if you ask me, it is looking pretty bright!

How has your summer been so far? I hope it’s going well, filled with a lot of competed projects and fun adventures on your end too! More updates to come… Happy Friday!

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Living Room Revealed | ORC Week 6

Stick a fork in me, I’m done! Last week I didn’t know if we were going to pull it off. I even shared about the delay of our window treatments… but ya know what, we did it! Even without the window treatments, in my opinion, the living room looks pretty damn good.

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So, if you are new around here, we’ve been participating for the last 6 Thursdays in the One Room Challenge, which is a design challenge graciously hosted by Linda at Calling it Home, where 20 host design bloggers and countless guest bloggers transform one room in 6 weeks and share all the plans and progress along the way. It is intense to say the least, but worth every stress-filled moment once you make it to the end.

Here are a few before pics to remind you where we started:

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We transformed our living room with the miracles of paint, lighting and trim. It sounded easy enough when we started, and I can’t tell you how many times I was filled with excitement or tears throughout this process, but I am thrilled with where the living room is now. (I’ll be even happier next week when the Roman shades are up, but you can come back next week to see how those fit in.)

Without further ado, the full reveal:

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What do you think? I love hearing your feedback, so please comment below! It was a grueling process for sure, and the pictures really don’t do the space justice, but it is a bigger change that it looks, and we couldn’t be happier!

I know Brantley is happy to not have to hide in the bedroom while the living room is filled with noise and chaos, and I know P and I are thrilled the our living room furniture isn’t crammed into our bedroom anymore.

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The little things that we did, and the sheer work and effort we put into getting this room done, are huge! This living room project has made us love our little corner of the world that much more. And I don’t know about any of the other participants, but I’m going to have the best sleep of my life tonight!

My step-dad (Handy Dad as my mom and I refer to him) was an insane resource for us during this process. I wish he lived closer, but we talked on the phone almost daily with questions, tips, etc., throughout the challenge, and I really could not have done it without him and his advice and support. The local contractor and friend I do a ton of work with, Greg, was a huge resource for this project as well. He connected us with the floor refinishers, the lighting guys, a carpenter to help with the weird molding issues that we were unable to deal with on our own, the list goes on. My neighbor A, who came in with her muscle, not only kept me company while I worked on the room, but she was willing to get covered in paint to help me keep my sanity and my timeframe. And of course to Linda at Calling it Home, for not only hosting this great challenge, but for cheering us on through the weekly blog posts and on social media updates to keep us going especially when it was tough!

I’m so appreciative of all the advice and support from all corners… our tiny home has never looked so good!

One Room Challenge, One Room Challenge Spring 2016, One Room Challenge Guest Participant, ORC Spring 2016, ORC Guest participant

And if you think our space looks good at all, wait until you see the host designers revealed spaces. OMG, if you haven’t seen them yet, hop over here and prepare to be wowed. Once you recover from that, don’t forget to get back to the Calling It Home guest participant link up where other guest participants are sharing their reveal today too! There are some really incredible transformations floating around on the web today!!

Check back next week (or follow on any of the linked social spots below) to see the room truly completed with window treatments, and then a follow up post on the budget for this space, which I think it’s always helpful to see a real perspective of how the numbers break down. Thanks so much for following along, I hope to see you around the blog again soon!

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Reveal | Master Bathroom That Wows

I have been busy with work and training and projects running their course, we hosted Easter, which I really want to share more about at some point, but for now I really just want to share with you this finished bathroom!

AT2_4409

This is the project that the homeowners main request was to open the doors and feel “wow-factor.” I shared the progress report over a year ago and it just took a long time to get schedules lined up for photography.

I don’t know about you, but I definitely think that mission was accomplished!

What do you think? Are these photos not the most beautiful thing? (Thanks Lindsay Photography!) They really show off all of the details in the space!

More work/life/general updates to come late this weekend/next week! What do you have planned for the weekend?

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The 1893 House

This suburban New Jersey project has been under way for us for about 6 months now, with DBK involved for a little over 2 months. They found the home last summer and immediately started seeking out contractors and an architect and I didn’t step onto the project until the architects plans were complete and the crew was about to break down the walls.

I love this project. I love this old home, the clients, the character in the details, the things we are able to salvage and retain and the things we are working so hard to incorporate to get it back to it’s hay-day style. (The pictures above are from the real estate listing which didn’t share photographer information, but since I came on board late there was already a bit of debris around the house so I wanted to share something so you could at least envision the space before it became a construction zone.)

I love being able to walk in and envision film reels of this house’s glory days. I can’t wait for this couple to be able to enjoy their own glory days in the homes renewed beauty when we are done with it.

That said, when I first walked in and walked through with the client, I was awe struck. The details truly are magnificent and they really don’t make homes like this anymore. However, upon seeing the architects plans for the house, I had to proceed with making a few adjustments, and without hesitation, I brought up my concerns with the client.

Basically I had concerns with the layout of the master suite, and the flow of the kitchen. There were some minor issues with the hall bath that we caught and addressed before they would become an issue, and we have more recently been combing through the electrical plan and making sure the lighting is enough and that we have our proper layers of light in each space. (The lighting I will have to share more on another day, because I get so excited just mentioning it… I can’t wait until it’s actually all in place.)

For the Master Suite (first five images in this photo group), the changes were made but didn’t get to the construction crew in time, and because of this, we had to re-frame the master suite (relocating closet space and bathroom space). It was extremely frustrating for the crew and I’m pretty sure the GC is still upset with me, but honestly, these are the details we need to make sure are done with 100% accuracy so that when move in date comes and the client is using the space, they are moving through it with complete ease.

Good design of a space isn’t just fitting it all in. It is making sure there is good function and flow… making sure that the end user can function well and thrive in their new environment. I truly believe that is key to any successful design project.

So, the changes were made. The space is really beginning to take shape and the home is opening up beautifully. (The last picture in the lower grouping is of the kitchen space opened up now into the dining room area… I can’t wait to see how the light and space feels when framing is complete!)

I will share more progress as we move through and make more progress. All of the photos here are obviously rough and in the works as the construction team has been working through all the rough work. Hopefully I can give you an update next month that is a little more resembling of a place you would actually enjoy spending time.

What do you think so far of this project? Would you be brave enough to buy a 100+ year old home and take on it’s restoration? I have been sharing a lot of in process images from this space over on my Instagram and you can follow along with the hashtag #dbkproject1893 to see some updates and selections along the way.

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Simplifying a Bathroom

This project is the type of project that is so fun! No major plumbing or electrical changes are taking place, but the transformation is so HUGE! The work is in progress now, hopefully will be done soon so that I can share a reveal with you but on the phone last night she said to me that already the bathroom is “one hundred and fifty seven thousand times better!”
I love that, and I have to agree. The old space was outdated with burgundy 4″ tiles everywhere with the exception of a one piece tub surround unit that felt cheap and dingy in the space, a vanity that was dis-proportioned to the space and visually felt bulky with the details and finish, and an overall yellow tone in the space that didn’t feel right.


The goals for this space were to maximize the functionality and the storage while making the space feel clean and bright and more open.


Here’s what we are doing:

First things first, the vanity that is existing is 42″x 21″ and with a long narrow bathroom like this one, we want to make sure the vanity protrudes into the space too much. We decided to order the vanity to be 60″ wide with a reduced depth of 18″ to allow more storage in the length, while running the cabinetry more flush against the wall.

Due to the position of the door, we can’t run the vanity all the way to the door, so we positioned it as close to the commode as we could according to the code regulations, leaving a 20″ space between the entry wall and the vanity unit… perfect spacing to accommodate a decorative hamper or waste-basket, or just leave it open, either way, the space is left feeling elongated and open.

We changed the vanity finish from dark wood to a painted white finish and from a dark granite top to a gray and white top.

The other main thing that we changed that will make a huge impact is the tile. On the floors we removed the old dated mini burgundy tiles from the floor and replaced them with a large 10″ gray hexagon, and on the walls, we used a large white tile, staggered just like a standard subway tile would be, but in the large scale, it makes the space feel so open and the white is so refreshing compared to the old dark tile that was there before. Instead of using a standard bull-nose tile to finish the ends, we capped it all off with a sleek chrome trim. (Some in progress shots below.)

Basically the re-design is a simple change in the scale and tone of the details to really simplify and freshen up the space. Hopefully I will have more details to share soon… be sure to follow along on Instagram to see any updates that may come along.

What do you think? Are there any little things you can do to simplify your bathroom? (Or any room in your home?)

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Updating to a Classic Look | Farmhouse Bathroom Renovation In Process

TGIF y’all!! I wanted to celebrate that we made it through the week by sharing a bit about one of my current projects!

I started working with this client on their space several months ago (back when there was still snow on the ground). We sorted through all of the details of their space, worked out a plan, and started selecting our materials.

Farmhouse Bath Floor Plans

Orders were placed around March or April and then we waited. This is not that uncommon in the world of renovations. You have to wait for your contractor to fit you into their schedule, the town to approve your permits, and the materials to all arrive. All that said, we were ready to go in June, but couldn’t start until a few weeks ago due to many variables.

You can take a look at the planning process in this post (the first image shows me working through this space planning). And the plan above is the one that we ultimately went with. The idea was to bring in some more classic farmhouse elements to be true to the home’s character while not creating something that would easily feel dated.

We decided to choose materials that represented that classic farmhouse feeling with the wood look tile on the main floor, white subway on the walls (in an updated scale and finish), and accents of Carrera marble in the counters, shower floor and saddle pieces.

We went with a claw-foot tub centered in the bathroom space with a beautiful and classic tub filler to finish it off. This detail was the one sticking point for this client, we had to find a way to make a claw-foot fit in the space in addition to the shower, and ideally make it stand out as a centerpiece.

Farmhouse Bathroom Storage Cabinet Linen Tower Custom Amish Dining Room Hutch

For the cabinetry, we went with a simple style and a classic valance base that nods towards an Amish farm style cabinetry detail. The plan is to carry this theme through with custom corner cabinets to flank the tub and add storage in the space (we had to knock out the linen closet in the hallway to make everything fit in the space that we wanted). The corner cabinets would be a painted white finish with a valance base that would match that of the vanity cabinet, but for now they won’t be added due to budgeting restrictions (also very common in renovations), however they are all planned and ready to go whenever we are ready to add them. The vanity cabinet itself is a really pretty chestnut brown finish, which is a nice rich tone without the reddish undertones.

I can’t wait to see how this whole space comes together! Hopefully I can share more soon! Are you working on any projects at home? What renovations are on your list currently and what types of renovations do you want to see me share more of here?

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Traditional | Warm | White | Kitchen

This kitchen renovation took a lot of planning, but it was so worth it. You can see what it looked like before and in process here, but let’s take a look at all that storage and counter space in the after below!
Warm White Kitchen 1

One of the things that I really love about this new space is the new windows. Both of the windows in the kitchen space were replaced, the one over the sink was moved (it’s worth checking the before post to see the old window placement). The previous window was close to the corner of the room nearest the front door, it was large and low and took up a bulk of the usable space. For a kitchen though it is so nice to have natural light streaming in, it was better in this kitchen to recover that space for storage and counters and upgrade to a smaller window centered over the sink.

We centered the window in the interior space, so if you look closely at the exterior shots, you will notice it is slightly off centered between the door and the edge of the home, but it isn’t super obvious and the bigger concern was that it would look puny compared to the large window on the living room side of the home. Once we applied the siding and shutters it seemed to really blend in and balance out on the front of the house, and there are always landscaping tricks you can do if this is something that ends up changing in your space as well.

The other thing we did to help make this space feel larger was open it up to the formal living room. We weren’t able to open it up completely due to structural requirements and budget constraints, but we opened it as much as possible, extending the counters through to the living room side of the column to create a breakfast nook and keep the sight lines as expansive as possible.

Lastly, we grouped all of the food storage together anchoring the far corner of the room creating ample storage while still leaving the eat-in kitchen capabilities.

Another favorite feature of this kitchen is the white sink. Believe it or not, it is a white granite composite sink, and the homeowner has reported that it is holding up very well and they are quite pleased with it. With the cabinets and sink being white, we balanced it out with a warm counter, paint and flooring to really get a warm feeling in the space overall. This is also why we steered clear of stainless appliances. The white appliances keep the space feeling more open and don’t add the cool stainless feeling to the overall warm space. All of the hardware is in a brushed nickel which is also a very warm finish.

What do you think of this finished space? A lot of people right now are doing all white kitchens with white details on everything except for the appliances and hardware, so I’m interested to see what the feedback will be on this space with the white balancing out with warmer, softer details, but at the end of the day and at the end of the design what matters most is the homeowner and it is safe to say that they are really pleased with not only the visual of the space, but also with the new functionality they have here!

Halfway There on a Home Redesign

I wanted to share a photo post of a space in progress. I shared a little bit about this project on this post with the before, and here is a look at the first install day trying to get as much done as possible before the family hosted a big event at the house. 
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We are still waiting on most of the furnishings for both kids’ rooms, the headboards alone will make a world of difference. And for the living room, we still need the chairs that were on back-order (I brought my living room chairs to fill in while they wait), and all of the accent tables, art work, window treatments, etc., but I have to say that the place has already made such a huge transformation on 2 weeks notice before the party! I can’t wait until the rest of the pieces arrive and I can get this job wrapped up and photographed so I can share it with y’all! This project has been a favorite so far!

What do you think? Do I look like a crazy person in these photos running around trying to get all the details in place? What little transformations have you been making to your home lately?

100 Year Old Basement Renovation In Process

This project started out a lot like many others. When I first met with the homeowners, the wife was timid and anxious about even letting me see the basement, but upon seeing it and discussing the space with her, she became very excited to be moving forward with renovating this space.

When I presented the plans to the husband and wife they both became very excited about the space and anxious to keep things moving. This basement needs to consist of more organized storage for household items, their extra refrigerator, an appliance pantry for larger counter-top appliances that get used only a handful of times throughout the year, a laundry room, and gym. In addition to these shared spaces, we needed to create a space where family can crash when needed, so there is also a shared mud room with exterior entry and a full private suite with a kitchenette, living room, bathroom and bedroom, and knowing how amazing this space is going to be when it is finished, any member of the family who gets to crash in this basement is going to feel like they landed at a 5 star hotel.

Through shopping trips, research, planning and revising plans, I have become pretty close with the family and they have had some unfortunate news come to light. That said, we are doing everything we can to finish this project as efficiently and inexpensively as possible.

The space has been fully gutted and the french drains are going in. The space feels so much larger than it felt before and they are starting to be able to envision the plan within the shell of their basement now. We are at a pretty fun stage of the game with everything so raw right now. (All of the images above are pre-demo; below is where we are now.)

I wanted to share this seemingly nothing of an improvement so that you can see how these projects start. We have to knock things down in order to pick them back up again, and in this business it isn’t all pretty. Sometimes you might be ashamed of how your space looks now, but it will get there, even if it takes forever.

This basement is 100 years old, it has a lot of character, and we are intending to keep a good chunk of the character in tact. Can’t wait to show you more along the way as we progress.