There's a reason I tend to score the best vintage finds. It's because one of my most tried-and-true design tips is actually pretty simple: Always add something vintage. Adding something old and...
Season 2 Episode 14: Our Little Sunset Sitting Area
The Home Owners
Jaymee and Mindy
Jaymee and Mindy’s home was as cookie cutter as they come. The color, footprint, roofline, and garage doors were all exactly the same as every other house in their neighborhood. Inside, the floor plan had completely gone to the dogs…or cats, in this particular case. And the segmented floor plan, with four different ceiling levels and outdated finishes, was a far cry from being the cat’s meow. (You may have gathered that Jaymee and Mindy have cats, and love cats…)
It was time to bring this home into the new millennium, and to differentiate it from every other house on the street. In order to do this, I wanted to instill as much of Jaymee and Mindy’s personalities into the design as possible. I used the existing stained glass seascape and craftsman style alder front door as our guides and brought their love of nature, organic finishes, and the outdoors into all other areas of their home as well.
Before, the first things you noticed when you drove up to this home were the roof and the garage door. Unfortunately, neither made any sort of unique impact or set the home apart from its neighbors in any way. Since the roof was in great condition and didn’t need replacing, it was up to the new garage door to stand out and make a killer first impression. Additionally, new stone, a fresh coat of paint (the color of which was pulled from the stained glass seascape), and new, drought-resistant landscaping (which unfolds in a wave-like pattern) were called upon to add some character to the exterior of this home. Lastly, a brand new front patio added a welcoming touch to the front of this warm, inviting new exterior.
Before, the homeowners had a self-proclaimed “sand bar,” when what they really wanted was a big, beautiful island. By reclaiming their former dining space and removing a bulky pantry wall, we were able to double the size of their kitchen and quadruple the size of their “sand bar” resulting in a full-on, no holds barred, private island to call their own.
Cabinets & Hardware
I don’t know if I’ve ever loved another cabinet knob like I love these glass bubble knobs. They remind me of the ocean, and juxtaposed against the light blue island cabinets (Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams), they were the perfect match for this home with its stained glass seascape inspiration. The white, shaker style perimeter cabinets with their restrained brushed nickel pulls are the perfect backdrop, letting the island and Cocktail Corner cabinets shine.
Lighting, Furniture, & Accessories
I used three, bold, black pendants to center the room. The furniture and accessories are weighted heavily in elemental materials, with lots of mercury glass, clay, wood, and greenery to be found throughout the space.
Special Project | Cocktail Corner: The kitchen may have been Jaymee’s domain, but this cocktail corner was all for Mindy. We defined the space by painting the cabinets the same color blue as the island, making it feel separate from the adjacent pantry area, but still cohesive. Having a space like this, dedicated to entertaining and relaxation, specific to a purpose that is important to the homeowners, is exactly the way to make a space feel custom. Not EVERY homeowner would want a cocktail corner in their kitchen, but THESE homeowners do, making it the perfect use of space for THEIR home.
Before, walking into this home gave visitors an immediate introduction to the interior’s piecemeal renovations, with their various ceiling heights, and the dated decor. The main offender was the staircase, with it’s shag-wrapped risers and heavy, ornate iron railing. By refreshing the carpeting, replacing the old railings with new, modern, glass dividers (Affordable Coastal Glass), and changing out the chandelier, we’re now giving this fully customized new home the proper introduction it deserves.
The Living Room
Before, this formal living room was dedicated to a long-defunct pool table now being used as a cat play area. After, the humans and felines can happily coexist underneath the spacious, vaulted ceilings and in front of the updated, functioning fireplace. Widening the opening into the adjacent den makes the entire space feel more open-concept and updated.
S2 E14 Living Room
Special Project | Fireplace Refresh : Since the fireplace is often the focal point of the room, updating it is a project that takes minimal effort but has maximum impact. By switching out the dated and non-descript white brick for the same stone we used on the outside of the home (Eldorado Stone), we were able to tie the interior and exterior design together. A custom alder mantle matches the wrapped alder beam (Mom’s Garage Woodworking) at the crux of the vaulted ceilings above, creating a feeling of intention and cohesiveness in the room.
Special Project | Cookie Cut Olive Burl Coffee Table : Before, this smaller seating area was the dedicated space for all human living activity. Now, with the much larger front room operating as the dedicated and all-inclusive living room, we were able to reclaim this nook as a sweet seating area, complete with a serious gallery wall, and two comfy, upholstered reading chairs.
The Dining Room
Before, there were two small dining tables, one facing the television in the former living room, and one functioning more as an eat-in-kitchen. Neither was particularly warm or inviting, and it was confusing as to which was the true dining area. EIther way, the redundancy meant that one of the spaces was being wasted. Now, there is one well-defined dining area, with open access to both the kitchen, den, and, most importantly, the Cocktail Corner.
Designer Trick: We used paint to delineate the space, using Farrow and Ball’s Oval Room Blue for both the walls AND the ceiling. There is no question now as to where the dining area starts and ends.
Shop the Look
This project could not have been made possible without our amazing vendors as well:
General Contractor: Innovative Builders | Garage Door: All County Garage Door | Paper Towel Cabinet Dispenser: Girelli Woodworking | Cat Wall: B and D Cabinets | Address Numbers: Build It Workspace | Wood Wrapped Beam in Living Room: Mom’s Garage Woodworking | Glass Stair Railing: Affordable Coastal Glass | Tree Stump Coffee Table: Old Tech Design Backsplash in Kitchen: Zia Tile | Stone on Front of House and Fireplace: Eldorado Stone