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When a family is looking for a new home, we always make sure to ask them what the most important thing is for them. This can be anything from a backyard, a certain number of bedrooms, a covered garage, or anything else. In the case of Bryant and Courtney, their top reason to move was to get an additional bedroom to accommodate visitors and a larger backyard for their growing children.

Their first home, an adorable two-story red house (that looked a bit like a little barn!) simply lacked the space for their growing family and regular house guests. With two bedrooms and a small yard, it was time for them to move out. In order to prepare the home for sale, we knew there were a few things that had to happen. The current angular layout of the home made for a kitchen that was withdrawn from the rest of the house and a living room that needed some rearranging to maximize the use of the space.

"The current angular layout of the home made for a kitchen that was withdrawn from the rest of the house and a living room that needed some rearranging to maximize the use of the space."

On the first floor of the house, we started working on our kitchen overhaul. In order to fit the project within our clients’ budget, we decided to make use of natural and easy-to-access materials. Jon made new countertops with walnut butcher block and finished them with a coat of epoxy finish for protection and durability. To match the countertops, we also created a shiplap-style backsplash with thinner strips of wood. These were then painted white to match with the newly installed upper cabinets (also custom made in order to stretch up to the ceiling of the kitchen). The original bottom cabinets were kept but repainted in an iron ore gray, balancing the colors from the wooden countertops and white counters above.

As a final touch on the kitchen, we also opened one wall on the side of the kitchen, making sure the space was no longer so shut off to the rest of the house. This simultaneously brought more light into the space and gave a feeling of openness that was not there before.

"This simultaneously brought more light into the space and gave a feeling of openness that was not there before".

Further into the house, we decided to make minor updates to brighten and modernize the space. The fireplace mantle and door frame were repainted to match the bottom cabinets in the kitchen and new light fixtures were added in the living and dining room. In the dining room, a larger pendant-style light fixture was brought in, emphasizing the beautiful high ceilings in the room. We also decided to stage the dining room with a longer, rectangular table. By staging this table and some strategically selected living room furniture, we were able to make the home appear larger, with space to accommodate a small family.

After completing a series of updates on the first floor, we moved on to some additional renovations needed upstairs. We added a custom wooden desk in the second bedroom and staged it for one child. From there, we moved on to the main bedroom. This large room was essentially a merging of three different spaces: an office or work area, a sleeping area, and a reading room. The current layout was not quite taking advantage of each area so our first priority was to reorganize and stage it accordingly. We re-carpeted the sleeping area and added an eye-catching light fixture that brought attention directly inside the room. The entry area was staged as an office area, complete with beautiful bookshelves and in the final area of the room, we added some colorful sitting chairs, turning it into a reading retreat for the next owners of this beautiful home.

Our last changes inside the house were done in the master bathroom. This was a complete transformation as well. With older fixtures and surfaces currently in place, we started by changing out the countertops and painting the cabinets in the same iron ore color featured throughout the house. With some modern light fixtures and a beautiful mirror for the vanity, we could then move on to the second portion of the room. Previously a bathroom with a tub only, we removed the tub and installed a brand new shower, complete with a new tile floor as well. The result was a more spacious space for adults and a completely new look overall.

As a final touch, we moved to the exterior of the house. Since the house was located on a busy street, a metal privacy fence had been installed. On the inside, wooden siding had been added on for aesthetics but on the outside, we decided to add something that would boost this home’s curb appeal. After bringing in our artist friend Thaddaeus to view the area, he came up with a unique mural that could be painted across the fence. In a neighborhood known for art and unique architecture, the mural was prefect. It added a pop of color and personality to this little red barn house and finished the design out perfectly.

With the renovation complete in their first home, it was time for us to start working on Bryant and Courtney’s new home: A ranch style house with an extra bedroom and a large backyard. While it sounded like a home that checked all the boxes, on the inside, the home needed a lot of work. A covered car port and attached garage made the home look crowded and dark from the outside. On the inside, a number of walls closed in the spaces and made the house feel much smaller than it actually was. Jon introduced a new floor plan to our clients on their initial walk through and after their approval, we got to work. The covered carport was torn down and the attached garage was converted to interior space with a new, large window. In order to match this window and keep the whole facade of the house consistent, we decided to update all the windows on the front of the house. We called NT Windows to get the home evaluated and with their vast selection of windows, we were quickly able to find just the right size for each area of the house. Since the exterior of the home was made of brick, we had to tear out and re-lay bricks around the window frame after installation. However, with that complete, the brick painted, the windows in place, and new wooden shutters installed, the house had a whole new look. The newly selected windows not only gave the house a much more clean and modern look, it also allowed for significantly more light into the living areas.

With the exterior redesign complete, we began work on the interior. To start, a center wall separating the house was brought down, immediately opening up the space and allowing the light in the kitchen and living area to merge in the center. The newly open kitchen was outfitted with new countertops that extended into a peninsula and brand new, custom cabinetry from Brother’s Cabinetry as well as. The cabinets were cut precisely to the size and style we requested and then were painted in Sherwin Williams “Midday”. The new cabinetry provided ample storage in this new, open kitchen and brightened the entire space. We added dark metallic fixtures to all of the doors and drawers as a finishing touch and then, we were ready to keep working on the rest.

The new cabinets were all in place and new countertops were selected so we made sure to add a matching sink and faucet to complete the updated look. Using a Lenova faucet and sink, we brought contrasting lights and darks together with style and functionality in mind. The large, graphite black sink selected was paired with a metallic pull-down faucet. Together, these two items brought together the color scheme in the entire kitchen and provided all the space and utility that this family would need.

With the added light in this new kitchen bouncing off the cabinets, the final update came in the form of new appliances. Matching the same brushed metal look of the newly installed faucet, we selected Verona appliances to bring everything this family would need! A new gas range and oven was installed, along with a hood. We also installed a matching dishwasher and refrigerator and this kitchen was ready for their family to start cooking, baking, and making memories together!

After completing the kitchen, we moved on to transforming the garage space into a whole new wing of the house. We essentially rebuilt this entire area of the house, adding structure, flooring, walls and windows. In the end, the space which was formerly the garage became a living room, a laundry room, and a half bath. When the transformation was complete, it truly looked as though this section of the house had simply always been this way.

In the main area of the house, a fully open space was now created, leaving little definition between rooms and living spaces. To remedy this situation, Mary decided to have Jon build two pony walls to separate the entry from the dining area and the dining area from the living room. This may seem like a small detail but it made a tremendous difference in splitting up the home and making a better flow throughout the space.

In the bedrooms, we made small adjustments with paint in order to update the overall looks of the rooms and from there, we were ready to begin work outside. One of the main selling points of this home for Bryant and Courtney was the size of the backyard. Knowing that it would be a heavily used space by the whole family, we made several changes to make sure it would be as practical a space as possible. The back door to access this yard space had originally been attached to the space previously used for a garage. Since this went against the new, open floorpan of the house, we moved the door to the kitchen, making an easy path through the house and into the yard. Outside, we made a stone pathway to a new, fire pit and created some simple outdoor benches with repurposed cinder blocks and wooden boards. On the opposite side of the yard, Jon created a brand new sand pit for the children to use, complete with a sunshade. As a finishing touch of design along the fence, Mary also repurposed old drawers as planter boxes and used them to put flowers alongside the new sand pit. All in all, this little ranch house became the perfect getaway for the family, checking all the boxes for things they dreamed of having before!

Looking for more details?

To see this project take place from start to finish, check out Episode 5 of HGTV’s Two Steps Home. Here, you will see the process from start to finish, with every detail captured on film. If you would like to see more sink and faucet pairings like those pictured in Bryant and Courtney’s new kitchen, make sure to check out Lenova Sinks and Faucets online. If you would like to browse through some of the beautiful appliances like those seen in their kitchen, be sure to visit Verona Appliances. And to learn more about the custom cabinetry that was installed in their forever home, make sure to visit Brother’s Cabinetry and ask them about their installation options too! Finally, if you loved the windows we installed on Bryant and Courtney’s new house, be sure to check out NT Windows to learn more about their beautiful and energy-efficient windows. 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!

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