When we first met this client, she was a store shopper who said “I’d love to hire you guys to come style my space but first, can we remodel my kitchen? I know it needs it but don’t know HOW to fix it!” Haha! She also had THE CLOSET of cool things she’d purchased over the years that hadn’t found a home yet but needed to—you hate to turn into a hoarder of cool things before 40! After seeing the space (and THE CLOSET) we set some visual goals. Our objective was to make it look much cooler, more industrial, collected, eclectic, and original! They wanted space to cook as a family and plenty of room for pour-over coffees and craft beers with display shelves for dishes and a few closet treasures.
What specific needs stuck out on this project?
There were two main areas we were focusing on: the kitchen and the upstairs playroom. They had a pretty small kitchen with not-great storage! Only one person could be in the kitchen at a time or else there were traffic jams and accidents. The breakfast nook was divided from the kitchen by a peninsula but it wasn’t big enough to have kids sit and do homework or even a good location for meal prep because it was so far away from the work zone. The pantry didn’t store everything they need, the materials were a little dated,…in summary it was time for an update!
The playroom was really just the landing at the top of the stairs. It was only 10’x10’ and y’all know that’s not enough space to really SPREAD OUT and play! That lead to so much family frustration because toys would travel to where they could be played with, never to return to their playroom home, or the day would end with parents yelling “why is everything always OUT?!” We don’t need more stress in our lives, we need less, and this renovation would fix both problems!
What did you do to find solutions to the problems?
For the playroom we ended up lowering the 2-story ceiling of the family’s main living room to create a giant space upstairs where the kids could play. Now we can have the tent out on an indoor imaginary camping trip and still have room to spread out! For the kitchen we demo-ed everything and created a whole new layout that moved the pantry, eliminated the peninsula, and went back with a large island designed with family dinners in mind. Instead of cramming a breakfast table into the small space—we eliminated the need for the breakfast nook and instead made the island the home for dinners. We put a mini library and seating area in the old breakfast nook space—a great spot for the parents to relax downstairs but keep an eye, or ear, on the playroom activities upstairs!
What selections did you make and why?
The playroom was easy—we just extended the existing floor into the new space and designed toy storage! A few cute pieces we utilized for storage were Crate and Kid’s 6-cubby shelves, old lockers, and several cool pieces from Round Top, TX. One of the vintage storage pieces is from an old hardware store that used it to keep bolts and screws sorted—now it holds all of those little pieces that need sorting like matchbox cars!
In the kitchen we knew we wanted the island to look less like custom cabinetry and more like a cool, vintage, found furniture piece so we made the selections for the island intentionally different than the selections for the perimeter or edges of the kitchen. The cabinetry is a different style (Shaker vs round-edged flat-front), the countertops are different (marble-looking quartz on the island with concrete-looking quartz on the perimeter), and even the cabinet hardware is different! The pendant lights, counter stools, and even the island’s industrial support legs came from vendors on Etsy! Getting unique things from small makers helped us stay on-track with our original vision.
This client chose to stick with the beautiful hardwood they already had but click to see what other flooring we recommend for your kitchen remodel!
What was the most memorable part of this project? Laughable? Tragic? The most memorable part of this project was mid-way through the kitchen and playroom expansion the clients found out they were expecting a baby! That helped cement the decision to expand the playroom because now we’d need room not just for two boys and all their toys but for a girl! I think the parents might have considered it laughable and tragic, at first, but the family just wouldn’t be the same without our girl! Another hilarious moment was after finding out about the baby, the client pulled a beautiful mobile out of THE CLOSET that was just waiting for it’s time to shine—it became the inspiration point for the baby girl’s nursery!
What’s your favorite part of the project now that it’s done?
My favorite part was the care we put in to making sure it looked unique and collected. We’ve all seen a few pinterest photos where you can’t tell if it’s the brand’s catalog photo or just someone who bought everything from the brand! I love the intentional styling to make sure the space looks authentic!