Updated: May 10
As we continue buying, selling, and renovating homes for our clients, we get to meet so many wonderful people. What really makes us happy though, is when people want to keep working with us and call us again when they need something new! This has been the case with a few of our clients and most recently happened with Jairo and Brittany. We worked with Jairo and Brittany to help them find a previous home and they reached out to us again when it was time for something different. Their current house, a two-story floor plan with a limited first floor layout, created some challenges for their big family. With homeschooling responsibilities and everyday caring for their children, they realized that a single story, low-maintenance ranch-style house would make life much simpler. So, we started making plans to make sure their current home could sell for top dollar and we could find another home that was perfect for what they needed.
In Jairo and Brittany’s first home, we started by increasing the curb appeal with some new landscaping. Simple additions like a curved garden, wrapping around the front of the house and some new lights to illuminate the walkway would make a big difference.
Inside the house, we got right to work making the house appeal to a larger audience. As we entered the house, we were greeted by a few rooms that could essentially be used for any purpose. In their current layout, these were made into a ping-pong room and a home school room. While we liked the thought of the homeschool room and thought it could appeal to a number of families (especially during the COVID quarantine period!), we decided the first room would be staged as a study instead. This room would be separated from the homeschool room with a pair of new barn doors too, making sure both rooms could be used at once without distraction. Jon set to work on the barn doors and once complete, they were finished off with some paint and arabesque accents.
In the kitchen, a dishwasher had been removed and turned into a snack/breakfast corner for the kids. However, when it came to resale, we knew a dishwasher would have to be put back in to this space. The rest of the kitchen was in good shape and therefore required only some minor updates. To modernize the look, we decided to add some new lights and colors by painting the cabinets in a two-tone theme. Next up: the backsplash. To save some money on the renovation, we went with a peel-and-stick backsplash that could be easily installed, looked good and did not require any mortar or grout (as typical tile work would).
In the breakfast nook just off the kitchen, we realized the small space was definitely in need of added seating (and even storage!). To make up for this, we designed a custom window bench that went right up against the corner walls of the dining area. The window bench was painted to match the new kitchen colors and the seat was made to lift up, in order to provide added storage underneath.
"The window bench was painted to match the new kitchen colors and the seat was made to lift up, in order to provide added storage underneath."
In the living room, a beautiful fireplace with an extended hearth was the main eye-catching piece in the space. The room was just the right size to accommodate every day living for a big family. While the size of the room was great, we also noted that it was quite dark and would need some added lighting to brighten up the space. Most other homes with these large living rooms had beams across the ceiling too, emphasizing the overall size of the room. In order to keep with the theme of the neighborhood, we made sure to budget time and materials to add those as well. With a fresh coat of paint and new light fixtures, the whole room ended up looking much brighter than it was at the start!
In the main bedroom, we were once again presented with a large space that only needed minor updates. The current layout needed some updating though. There was a bathroom connecting various rooms through two different doors and while this may have seemed practical from a building standpoint, in reality, in led to house guests frequently using the main bathroom instead of the guest bathroom. With the removal of one door, this was easily repaired and the bathroom would once again become reserved as the main bathroom only. Off the side of the bedroom was a home office, which was separated from the main bedroom with a few wooden, baluster-style posts. These dated the home and had to be removed so that the side area would be split with a pony wall instead. The home office would be restaged as an extra vanity or beauty area and with some updated light fixtures, this room update would be complete!
When the house was staged and listed on the market, it quickly sold with 20 offers coming in from potential buyers. With this additional profit from the sale, we were able to plan even more renovations for their new home.
"With this additional profit from the sale, we were able to plan even more renovations for their new home."
With a selection made on a larger, ranch style house to move into, we were ready to get to work. Some spaces in the house had been updated not long ago but others still needed some work. In the main bathroom, we decided to replace the older countertop and transform it from a single to a double sink vanity. The sink inside the bathroom was removed, leaving more space inside. With some added light fixtures, the space was brightened up and made much more functional for the couple.
From the main bathroom, the light and feeling of tranquility flowed into the bedroom space where we updated the look with new pendant lights and staging furniture that filled the space with a relaxing, spa-like feeling of serenity.
In the kitchen, we planned to update the countertops and add a bright, new backsplash. We used a marble granite countertop in a "Super White Dolomite" to replace the old countertop and made it continue up the center wall divider too, bouncing light throughout the kitchen. The original countertops had been curved around the edges but we reinstalled a countertop with angled edges instead, giving the entire room a much more modern look. The cabinets were already in good shape so we worked on simply updating them with a coat of paint. Jairo and Brittany had loved the two-tone theme we did in their first home so we made sure to do the same in their new home too.
To continue meeting the needs of Jairo and Brittany's growing family, we also wanted to make sure to create a space that could cater to all of their homeschooling needs. Just off the side of the kitchen, we had the perfect space to dedicate to a homeschool workstation. Jon got right to work designing a custom table for the children. He came up with the idea of a pentagonal table that could give a designated workspace to each child. When the kids had to work individually though, the table could be pulled apart, with every desk moving away on its own set of wheels. With a large bay window looking out to the yard space, this area was perfect for accommodating the angular table when it was pushed together or when it was used as separate desks. In order to maintain balance between home and school, Jon also made sure to create a cubby space in each desk, where the children could put their school books and papers away at the end of the day. The table was yet another piece that brought design and functionality together, helping turn this house into one that could meet all the needs of this family.
To the right of this work area, the living room was set up with high cathedral-style ceilings which were already highlighted by a single beam running through the center of the room. In order to really accentuate the high ceilings, we decided to wrap the current beam with reclaimed wood and add even more beams to highlight the ceilings. After consulting with the experts from The Reclaimed Wood Shop in Houston, we decided to go with one thicker beam in the center of the ceiling and then four slightly smaller beams off to the side, emphasizing just how high these ceilings reached. The beams from The Reclaimed Wood Shop were made to look distressed after construction, with custom markings and engravings added to the wood. With some stain added to finish the look, the beams were installed and essentially became a work of art on the ceilings of Jairo and Brittany’s living room.
In the dining area, we found a table that could seat their entire growing family and a beautiful and unique light fixture from Kichler Lights that would make the room stand out. With both pieces together, this area quickly became a prime example of how beauty and functionality can tie together. While we may have said this a number of times, we cannot help but emphasize the fact that light fixtures make such a huge difference in the renovation of a home. They are a simple way of adding a touch of design and modern flair to a space without breaking your budget. With the plethora of options offered by Kichler lights, we were able to find not only a dining room light fixture but also a ceiling fan and pendant lights for the bedrooms, outdoor lights for the main entry, and vanity lights for the bathrooms.
With the front of the home and all the interior spaces taken care of, our final changes took place in Jairo and Brittany’s backyard. Since the backyard was going to be such an important place for their family, we wanted to make sure it would be everything they had hoped for. In order to personalize it, we decided to clean it up and add two main things: a garden and a playscape. For the garden, Mary set to work planting a small vegetable garden for Brittany and the kids. When it came to the playscape, we left that in the hand of the experts at Tree Frogs Swing Sets. The swing set we selected seemed to include all the components a kid could dream of having. There was a climbing wall, a climbing rope, two swings, a tire swing, a slide, and a little fort, complete with a telescope and steering wheel. Tree Frogs Swing Sets are made from chemical-free, premium lumber that is naturally resistant to insects or decay so we knew we were providing Jairo and Brittany’s kids with a safe a beautiful swings that would last a very long time.
Looking for more details?
To see this project take place from start to finish, check out Episode 6 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 beautiful light fixtures like those seen in Jairo and Brittany’s new home, make sure to check out Kichler Lighting online. If you would like to browse wooden swing sets like the amazing one set up in their back yard, be sure to check out Tree Frogs Swing Sets. And to learn more about the beautiful custom beams we installed in Jairo and Brittany’s cathedral ceilings, check out The Reclaimed Wood Shop! 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!