Kitchen countertops: they're SO crucial to the way a kitchen functions, but they're also a huge part of the design. No pressure to pick the right material or anything, ha! With hundreds of kitchen...
Season 2 Episode 1: Welcome Home
On this week’s season premier, we help homeowners Cherise and Anthony tackle a remodel that has been in the making since one month before their youngest daughter was born.
Here’s a quick overview of their project:
The Home Owners
Cherise and Anthony
These two young parents purchased this home when Cherise was eight months pregnant with their youngest daughter (now one year old). Understandably, they haven’t had the time or energy to take on a renovation yet. With Jasmine’s help, they would like to give the front of their home more curb appeal, rearrange the floor plan to work for a young family with little children, and update some key features of this mid-century track home.
We’re going to play some musical chairs with the floor plan, changing the current playroom into the dining room, and dedicating the current dining room over to the kitchen. We’ll update the staircase, revamp the kitchen entirely, and put in all new flooring. Outside, a fresh coat of paint, removal of the bulky front wall, addition of a tree house, and a new garage door and front door will help to tell this family’s story.
S2, Ep1 Inspiration
So, this home actually had some interesting architectural features and a really nice tree working in its favor. Other than that, it was exactly the same as every fifth house on the street, the landscaping was hazardous for young children, and there was really nothing particularly remarkable or personalized about it. It was time to change all that!
One of my favorite things we did to the exterior of this house was sandblasting the original beams to bring them back to a natural wood grain. Not only were we able to maintain this original feature of the home, but also to emphasize it, and use it to create visual impact and definition.
S2, E1 Exterior Before After
What a huge difference in the front entry! Before, everything was a little haphazard, with that strange, offset front door and the off-center hanging lantern. Now, with some vintage accents and lots of green, it’s an inviting, warm, friendly entrance that almost makes it hard to go inside since it would be so lovely to just sit on that faded green bench in the shade with a book and some lemonade. Not that I’ve done that myself. At least not since they moved back in. That would be weird.
Another favorite project? You guessed it: the tree house. You should have seen Brian’s face when I asked him to come help me with this project. He was a little miffed, I could tell, and he more or less said he was a cabinet maker, not a tree house builder, but agreed, begrudgingly, to help. But, like always, we had a blast working together on it because, come on, we’re building a TREE HOUSE, and what’s more fun than that?! And even Brian had to agree that it turned out really, really cute.
I love projects like this because you can look at them and glean some real information about the family who lives inside the home. Clearly, now, this family has two young children who like to play outdoors and enjoy their neighborhood.
S2, E1 Exterior
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The original kitchen in this home was small, closed off, and had some really terrible lighting that resembled a disco floor, but on the ceiling. The plan was to open up a few walls to create an open concept floor plan, and, in doing so, to take over the former dining room and use that space to create a larger kitchen footprint that would now incorporate an eat-in kitchen nook.
S2, E1 Kitchen Before After
Read on for the details of this design from the ground up. I would like to start by pointing out some of my favorite elements of this particular design:
- Eat-In Kitchen: With two young children, having an eat-in kitchen is more or less a necessity. This built-in kitchen nook with cozy bench seating is great for meal times, and also for crafts and activities while the parents are working in the kitchen.
- Pass Through Window: There is just something inherently fun about having a pass-through window. The kid-me would have loved playing drive-through at this window. Actually, who am I kidding? The adult-me would love it, too! Not only is this project fun and cute, but it is also hugely functional, making entertaining in the backyard so much easier. We used Fold Up Windows for this project and were beyond happy with the results.
- Pizza Making Station: This little gem of a project wasn’t covered in the episode, so you’re getting some real BTS low down, here. This family loves cooking together, and making pizzas especially. I drew up a sketch for this concept and presented it to Brian with B and D Cabinets and was so excited to see it come to life! Now, I’m totally putting one of these into the next house I build for myself. Also, it’s not limited to pizza making. I’m thinking tacos, baked potato bar, ice cream sundaes, cookie decorating, jewelry making…the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
S2, E1 Special Projects
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Now on to all the exciting construction design specs I know you are just dying to hear all about. Honestly, though, construction design is so often the least considered part of the design process, with furniture, pillows and art getting all of the attention. But really, the construction design elements are the most permanent, and most expensive to change, so I always invest a ton of focus into getting them right, and making them timeless. This is why you’ll see so many repeated elements across my designs: shaker style cabinets, subway tile, marble(look) counters. These things have all been around for a really long time, and for good reason.
S2, E1 Kitchen
The original wood flooring was dated and a mish-mash of various pieced together materials. We worker with Marquez Floors to replace it with LVF, or Luxury Vinyl Flooring, for those of you not up to speed on your design acronyms. This is an AWESOME material: durable, waterproof, affordable, and nearly impossible to tell from the real thing. Plus, kids can get it wet and muddy without you having to pull your hair out over it. Source: Provenza, Moda Living – Jet Set, Marquez Floors
Countertops & Backsplash
I chose porcelain countertops for their durability and beauty. We worked with The Marble Yard in Anaheim to find the PERFECT finish. The moveable island is handmade locally by George Bernalusing a live edge pine slab, which compliments the floors, range hood, and exterior wood beams. For a backsplash, I selected a gray subway tile in a brick pattern. It’s classic, but with a subtle twist on color. Since the cabinets and walls were all white, going with a gray backsplash was a subtle way to warm up the pallet. Sources: Porcelain Countertops, Custom Island, Backsplash, Countertop Installers, Backsplash Installers
Lighting, Furniture, & Accessories
Most of the color in this design was brought in via furniture and accessories, sticking with a soft, subtle pallet of blues and greens. A blue rug, blue dishes, navy roman window shades, pillows in blues and neutrals, and dark green leather stools all help to balance out the crisp, white nature of the cabinets and countertops.
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The Dining Room
Can I just say, I HEART this dining room so darn much! Cane cabinets, wine storage, T&G ceilings, a painted brick fireplace. Sigh. And to think, all this potential greatness was lost in the clutter of a playroom before!?!
S2, E1 Dining Before After
Now, this room is the perfect place for these two young parents to come unwind with a glass of wine after the kids go to bed: alone, together, or with some friends. And, even though there are a lot of solid elements in here (built-ins, fireplace, large table), it all still manages to feel bright and airy. Love, LOVE, LOVE.
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The Living Room
This living room looked like something out of a college apartment before we arrived. It was sparse, boring, and totally lacking in any character. Once we opened up the kitchen wall, the living room instantly felt friendlier and more accessible.
S2, E1 Living Before After
A few things I’d like to point out here. First, what a difference updating the carpeting on that staircase made! Next, can you believe the transformation of the front entryway?! Just changing out that strange, asymmetrical wooden door was EVERYTHING. Lastly, what a great use of space under the stairs. It now functions as an office AND toy storage, with the help of some cute storage bins.
To finish things off, I added lots of layers of texture and pattern, a comfy sofa as part of a conversational layout, and an adorable doll house and there you have it: a bright, inviting living area great for hosting family and friends alike.