Villanova Kitchen Renovation: Part 1

Last year we were lucky enough to design and build a really stunning kitchen.  One of my favorites so far.  In my opinion, this space is the perfect blend of a remodel- making for a dramatic improvement of form and function.  We were able to open up the space and make it more inviting, improve the layout of the kitchen, and just choose really beautiful, classic yet interesting finishes.  Before I get into the wow-ee after shots (saving that for next week,) I thought I would share some of the planning and insights that went into this design.

So lets start with the Before situation.  It was a really dated and dark kitchen in a lovely, old traditional home.  Besides the old finishes there were a few things off the bat that I noted as design “problems.”

#1 Commuting Issue: The refrigerator was across the room from the cooktop and sink.  You had to traverse the kitchen, going around the island to get from one to the other.  This interupted traffic flow and just was not an ideal work zone.  I needed to find a way to move the refrig over to the “work” side of the kitchen.

before 4 kit frig wall

(hey Dad!)

#2 Unwelcome Entrance:  When entering the kitchen from the foyer, you walked right smack into the side of the refrigerator.  I wanted to get rid of the tall cabinet and design something that was functional, but a little more welcoming.

kit 2

#3 A Room, or a Closet?  There was this small little room that housed a few extra cabinets just off of the kitchen.  It was too small to be functional… you could barely fit a body in there!  Would we use it as a pantry?  Would we get rid of it and open up the space?  We needed to keep an open mind and assess our clients’ needs.

before 1- kit from dining room

kit alcove

#4 The Abandoned Eating Area.  Just off of the kitchen was a space that would perfect for casual dining, but the family never ate there!  Turns out it felt so closed off and disconnected from the kitchen so nobody wanted to hang out in there.  How could we open up the space and incorporate this area into the kitchen?

laundry room and eating area

wall to be removed

#5 The Window Wall of MEH.  A wall of windows is typically a good thing, right?  Yes and no.  For one, you lose the ability to have upper storage.  Not such a big deal here as we could allocate storage elsewhere.  But these windows are kinda small and lacked wow factor.  Both budget and architectural elements limited our ability to change them.  So how could we enhance this wall and make the most of the windows?

2-kit window wall

Continue after the jump to our proposed layout.

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Before and After: Villanova Modern Organic Dining Room

Recently a longtime client called us back to design her dining room.  It sat empty for the first few years of living in the home and she was finally ready to enjoy the space.  But she didn’t want your typical formal, no-one-ever-uses it, forgotten dining room.  Instead she was envisioning more a lounge space.  The catch was, while it DIDN’T want to FEEL LIKE A DINING ROOM, it still needed to be able to functionally sit 20 at holidays.  Huh?  How do you create a LOUNGE that can seat 20 people and doesn’t feel like a banquet hall?  Turns out, it just took a little creative floor-planning and one custom multi-functional table.

Let’s start with the space itself.  Pros: vaulted ceiling, nice natural light, french doors out onto a deck.  Cons: the red and gold color scheme, the lack of furniture.

BEFORE

before--french-doors-and-accent-wall

THE PLAN

progress--palette

We needed a focal point.  We chose a textural ledgestone for an accent wall in the dining room.  While the room would be mostly neutral, we opted for a little pattern in the seating area.  Natural materials are star of this room; stone, rustic woods, leather, bronze.  The scheme of mostly gray with a hint of teal/ turquoise felt just right.

progress-design

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Before & After: Berwyn Bathroom Renovation

Fun bathroom Reveal to share with you guys today.  Every bathroom project we tackle is different.  Our big challenge with this space was figuring out the function and layout  for the room.  Once we worked that out it was all about the tile, tile, tile.  My clients started with a bathroom that was very white and blue.  While it was a simple and clean design, it was both (a little too) colorful and a little stark at the same time.  My goal was to create a bathroom that felt light and bright, but also had a little more depth.  I still wanted to incorporate color, but in a more subtle, layered way.    After searching high and low for the perfect statement tile, we found a pretty arabesque-like mosaic and built the palette from there.  The result, I dare say, is really beautiful.

Before you check out the Before and Afters, I did an extensive post on the design of this bathroom.  We discussed how we chose the layout, what was saved from the old bath and a little behind the scenes of the design and construction process.  If you would like to learn more about that, you can read the post HERE.

Now onto the pretty pictures!

BEFORE

master wide

AFTER

berwyn bath by design manifest

Continue Post Here

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Before & After: Indian Creek Dining Room

Yay its finally starting to feel like Spring around here so I thought I’d share a fresh dining room makeover that feels very fitting for the season.

I was called to do this project after we successfully updated their family room last year. I find a lot of people like to give me a “tester room” and once that goes well, we move on to a few more. Most of my clients are working with an interior designer for the first time and it can be a little daunting. I have no problem taking it slow and learning how to best bring their design goals to fruition. In this case, I had a good sense of style and the design and the room came together quite smoothly.

My client wanted to remove the dated elements (carpet, wallpaper) mix up the furnishings a little (So. Much. Blond. Wood.) and brighten things up in here.  Another main goal find a dining table that was more conducive to entertaining.  The loose leaves were too heavy for her to lift when she needed to extend the table.  After reviewing options we decided to build our own and teamed up with Coldren Design and build our own self-storing extension table.  The metal base provides a nice modern touch to the wood top.  And then there’s the sideboard.  We decided to keep theirs but had it lacquered the most amazing shade of blue (BM Bainbridge Blue) and WOW what a difference it made!  Art and curtains complete the room and add a necessary dose of color and pattern.

BEFORE

dining room before 2

dining curtain before

dining room before

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Before & After: Bala Cynwyd Kitchen

Few things give me as much joy as re-working a kitchen layout.  It’s weird, I know, but I get this natural high for tearing rooms apart and puzzle-piecing them back together.  I like improving function and flow.  I delight in making a dark space seem brighter.  Think your space is too small?  Maybe my layout will make it seem bigger.

Our Bala Cynwyd clients needed all of this with a dose of pretty on top.  They called us in hoping for a little kitchen magic.  Their kitchen was starting to go (cabinet doors were falling apart left and right,) the layout wasn’t working for them and the look wasn’t to my clients’ taste.  We lucked out and were able to raise a window allowing for base cabinets to run underneath of it.  This was a total game changer as a previously empty wall is now a work horse in the kitchen.  The tight U kitchen was transformed into a Double L with much better flow between work areas.  No idea what that means?  Let’s have the floor plans and pictures do the talking.

BEFORE

Bala Before Plan

Someone packed a lot of appliances and cabinets into previous kitchen design.

I have to hand it to them, the U shape was creative.  Plus the long lower counter sat up to 6.

But the space felt so crowded,.  There wasn’t good prep space

Also the family room felt really cut off from the kitchen.

Continue Post HERE

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