When we are invited into a new client’s home, we know that we are being trusted in redesigning and beautifying your most precious space of all. This is a privilege we do not take lightly. When we start a design project with a new client, we go over everything from favorite and least favorite colors, to overall design preferences. In the end, we want to make sure we understand exactly what your vision is for your home. In the case of Bobby and Dean’s home transformation, we knew certain things were non-negotiable. The couple needed a single story home closer to the city, with access to public transportation. From a design perspective, they knew they wanted something that brought together all of their design favorites: a home with a mid-century modern, Aztec, Boho, Scandinavian vibe!
In order to get the perfect next home for Bobby and Dean, we had to start by making their current home market ready. As a recent construction located quite a ways outside the city, their current home did not need a lot of updating. Generally speaking, when we approach this type of project, we know there are just a few things that can make a big difference: Light fixtures (which bring out more design and personality than the usual builder-installed lights), new paint colors, and decluttering. With these adjustments, we knew we could add a few differentiating pieces that would help the home stand out and garner more interest from potential home buyers.
"With these adjustments, we knew we could add a few differentiating pieces that would help the home stand out and garner more interest from potential home buyers".
In the open-plan kitchen/dining/living area, we got right to work. We started by decluttering and removing a lot of the current furniture so as to show the vast amount of space that existed in the home. Ridding a home of personal items and leaving only enough to make it feel cozy and beautiful makes it easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves living there. After removing all the unnecessary pieces, certain parts of the house stood out. The living room had a fire place with a statement mantle, larger than any we had seen before. However, with the white mantle on an off-white background, it was barely noticeable. We started by painting a teal blue accent wall behind the mantle to give the fireplace a bit more presence in the room. Then, to match this accent wall, we used the same color in the dining room, adding a chair rail along the wall and painting the lower portion on the wall in the same color. The two areas combined made the space come together and helped show off the size and main attributes of the room.
Moving into the kitchen, we worked on creating a subtle separation between the spaces, while also making the space look for finished. We wrapped an existing support beam in the center of the room with a brick pattern peel-and-stick wallpaper, complementing the brick outside and making the structural column look more like a design piece inside the home. To continue this improvement, we also added a 15 foot wooden beam, which connected both sides of the open concept room. The result made the room look completely different and helped separate the kitchen and living spaces in this large room. As a finishing touch in the kitchen area, we changed out the original light fixtures for some more unique statement pieces that fit in with the rest of the decor. This not only personalized the space, it also helped distinguish the areas even more, better indicating the difference between the breakfast area, the kitchen bar, and the rest of the room.
As we moved further into the house, we continued with consistent colors and themes to maintain the continuity within the house. Moving towards the bedrooms, we added the same peel-and-stick brick wallpaper to an existing archway. Past the archway and on the way to the bedrooms was an office, which was cleaned up and restaged with the desk in the corner of the room. This placement took advantage of the full amount of space in the room. Some light draperies were added around the windows too, emphasizing the amount of light coming in through the windows. From there, we moved towards the main bedroom, making a few more small, but impactful changes.
In the main bedroom, we continued the effort to tie together color schemes from the rest of the house. We brought the same teal blue color to an accent wall but this time, painted just the top portion of the wall. On the bottom portion of the wall, we built another rail, similar to the chair rail in the dining room, but this time bringing it up just past standard headboard height to add a shelf and create added storage in the bedroom, just right for little decor items and books.
The last space to get a makeover was the main bathroom, which only really needed some updated lighting and decluttering. To take advantage of the high ceilings, Mary decided to remove the wall vanity lights and instead, use pendant lights to emphasize just how high the ceilings were. This change, coupled with some light decluttering, made the space look bright and new again.
"To take advantage of the high ceilings, Mary decided to remove the wall vanity lights and instead, use pendant lights to hang down and emphasize just how high the ceilings were".
With these small but significant changes in place, Bobby and Dean’s house was quick to sell for the asking price we had in mind. From there, we were ready to get to work in their next home: a single story home that was much closer to the city and public transportation but still able to offer the space they were looking for.
While their new house had the overall structure that Bobby and Dean were looking for, on the inside, most spaces were in definite need of work. First things first, we decided to change out the front door of this home, exchanging a set of closed-off wooden double doors for an extra large door with five horizontal windows that allowed in maximum natural light. As we entered the house from there, the main entry area led directly into a large but dimly lit living room that was almost completely closed off from neighboring rooms. To remediate this issue, we decided to do two main things: Brighten the living room as much as possible and open the wall that was currently separating the two spaces.
To brighten the room, we replaced the current windows with some glass paneled French doors on both sides of the fireplace. These doors would allow access to the outside and let in maximum light. At the top of the doors, we repurposed the home’s original, extra large window valences too. With some help, we had the window valences completely recovered with a new drapery fabric (which worked out perfectly to match the same fabric used as draperies in the dining room!). From there, we added some recessed lights and a new ceiling fan too, which all together made the room look completely made over. We also wanted to make the fireplace stand out a bit more as the main focal point in the room. To do so, we gave it a fresh coat of paint and added a beautiful, reclaimed wood mantle to tie together some of the natural design that would appear in the kitchen area. In the living room (and throughout the rest of the house as well), we removed the existing flooring and replaced it with stained concrete floors. These beautiful floors helped reflect the natural light in the space even more, and fit in perfectly with the mix of design styles the couple was looking for.
As a finishing touch in the living room, we wanted to dedicate an area to the time that Bobby and Dean would be spending hosting friends and family at their new home. As we moved closer to the kitchen, we designed in a bar corner, staged with an eye-catching piece of driftwood that would double as a drinks table. This small area was in no way overwhelming to the rest of the space but it still provided a personal touch to the room, which we knew would be appreciated!
Moving from the living room into the kitchen, our next big plan was to open up the wall between the two rooms as much as possible. Jon set to work with the rest of his team and took down the wall to check for structural pieces. When it was found that there were no structural columns, we quickly decided to open up the whole space and install a peninsula in this area. The peninsula would provide additional storage on the kitchen side and bar-height seating on the living room side (just close enough to the entertainment/bar area in the back corner of the living room!). With countertops in place and pendant light fixtures selected, there was just one more improvement to the area. While there had not been any structural columns in the newly opened pass-through area, there was still one horizontal beam that Jon decided should be left intact. To make it more aesthetically pleasing, Mary suggested the beam be covered with a “faux” wood beam so as to connect the spaces and tie the design themes together.
To complete the faux beam we needed, we called our friends at the Reclaimed Wood Shop in Houston. They not only created the beautiful faux beam to top the peninsula, they also made a custom mantle piece for us to add to the newly repainted fireplace. The addition of these exposed wood pieces really tied the two spaces together and brought in the same sense of peace and tranquility that often comes with the installation of natural materials. These design elements, coupled with what would become a small atrium, or “plant sanctuary” nearby, came together seamlessly to make one room flow well into another.
"These design elements, coupled with what would become a small atrium, or “plant sanctuary” nearby, came together seamlessly to make one room flow well into another".
With the beam in place, all that was left for this space was the addition of light fixtures. The smaller pendant lights were hung over the peninsula and a larger, complementary light was kept for the atrium room to the side. In this room, we staged a small cocktail table and some of Bobby and Dean’s plants. We also painted a small accent feature, in the form of a warm, gold-toned arch. The mix of warm, natural tones, and cool greens from the plants (and neighboring kitchen cabinets!) worked so well and made the room feel like its own little retreat. As a finishing touch, Jon added a custom-cut shelf to place in another wall opening. This shelf made space for some of the smaller plants in Bobby and Dean’s collection and added a unique piece of design in this newly open-concept room.
In the rest of the kitchen, we worked on updating as much as possible with our budget. With a new coat of paint on the cabinets and some new gold hardware on the doors (complementing the gold detailing on the kitchen backsplash), great progress was being made. From there, a brand new apron sink and faucet were added and new countertops were installed as well. To complete the updated look of the kitchen, we also brought in some new Verona Appliances. A large stainless steel refrigerator replaced the older one left by the previous homeowner and a beautiful new gas range was installed to continue updating the look. The new appliances fit in with the rest of the design flawlessly, making it seem like the pieces had been there all along.
Moving away from the kitchen, we began work in Bobby and Dean’s new dining room. Originally a purple room with a dated light fixture, this room became another bright and spacious area, which would be perfect for hosting dinners with friends. While most of the updates in this home required tearing things out, in the dining room, we decided to keep a special part of this older home. By the ceilings, an ornate crown molding was left completely intact, and simply repainted. This added to the charm of the house and helped keep some of the history of the home alive.
From the main hosting areas, we then moved to the other side of the home, where the bedrooms would be found. Our beautiful stained concrete floors continued here and a new coat of paint was applied to the walls after sheets of bright wallpaper were removed. In another attempt to keep some history of the house though, we managed to salvage some full sheets of wallpaper in order to frame pieces and add them to the home design. The patterns were absolutely too much to fill an entire wall but in a frame, they made for a great accent piece (with such a fun backstory too!)
Inside the main bedroom, we added new lighting and a special, custom design piece. To replace the need for any kind of headboard, we decided to make a geometric wood accent piece, using strips of wood. Continuing the theme of exposed natural materials (seen in the kitchen and living room), we kept the wood in its natural state. The design piece was complemented with some new wooden shelves too, tying the whole space together and bringing a similar feeling of tranquility in the bedroom.
"The design piece was complemented with some new wooden shelves too, tying the whole space together and bringing a similar feeling of tranquility in the bedroom".
As a finishing touch, we made some small updates to the main bathroom shower. While there was not a tremendous amount of work to be done, we still decided it was necessary to retile the shower and add a few decorative pieces. To continue the design theme that was made throughout the house, we decided to match the main bathroom tile to the kitchen backsplash tile - just in a different color. So in the end, the white triangular tile with gold accents used in the kitchen backsplash matched with the black, triangular tile (with gold accents!) That was used in the bathroom. These small details in design and materials selection often play a much larger part than one might assume when it comes to the cohesiveness and general flow of the house. By complementing materials, colors, and patterns, a house becomes more connected, from one end to another, and in becoming so, makes you quickly feel like you are right at home, no matter what room you are in.
Looking for more details?
To see this project take place from start to finish, check out Episode 7 of HGTV’s Two Steps Home. Here, you will see the process from start to finish, with every detail captured on film. If you liked what you saw in this home renovation and would like to learn more about of have your own custom beams installed (like those seen in this renovation),check out The Reclaimed Wood Shop! For any kitchen renovations including an appliance upgrade, make sure to check out Verona Appliances as well. If you have any additional questions or you would be interested in speaking with us about your own renovation or design projects, please contact us and a member of our team will reach out to you directly!