Updated: Nov 4
We love all the renovation projects we work on because each home has its own story and we love to see homeowners connect with their homes all over again when the project is finished. This project is extra special to us because it's actually my childhood home, and my sister Danielle, who is the owner of Style & Structure. There is nothing more heartwarming than to work on a property that holds so many personal memories, and we were so excited to help our parents create the home of their dreams.
Our parents have made improvements throughout the 30 years of living in their home, so the main level was more of a cosmetic renovation. They wanted to freshen up the kitchen with a new paint color on the cabinets, new countertops, backsplash, lighting fixtures, cabinet hardware, and plumbing fixtures. They also wanted to add a runner on their stairway, because they took out all the carpet 15 years ago and put in hardwood floors upstairs, and it was a little slippery on the stairs for the grandkids and dogs.
The major project on the home was the over-garage closet addition. This had been a dream of my mom's for years. The attic space in the garage was huge, but it took a little time to get all the storage sorted and edited down after all 3 kids moved out. Of course, we were going to make the closet of her dreams come true. The plan was to open up their closet wall through a unique doorway into the attic space. My dad would take over the current closet, which was updated and beautiful with custom wood closet shelving and my mom's new closet addition would be all white, bright, and airy.
Let's begin with the kitchen. As I mentioned earlier, my parents renovated their house approximately 15 years ago, so we only wanted to make cosmetic changes. Although the cabinets were beautiful, we wanted to lighten the paint color on the perimeter cabinets. They decided to keep the island as a beautiful dark walnut since they had pillars, beams, and hardwood floors all with the same stain. It looks absolutely beautiful with their timeless Provincial French, casually elegant style. It would have also increased the budget, which my dad wouldn't have liked.
When picking out the countertops, we swapped out the darker granite for a bright and lighter quartz. The countertop quartz color is Calacatta Luccia, and it is one of the top tiers of quartz, so it truly has a marble look. We chose to add in the antiqued brass details with Brizo plumbing fixtures in both the kitchen and bar area in the dining room, also in the Restoration Hardware cabinet pulls. To open up the space more visually, we replaced the lighting fixtures over the island with glass globe pendants from Restoration Hardware.
The square tiles we used for our renovation had a charming handmade look and came in various colors of white and cream. At the time, it wasn't as common to use rustic and artisanal materials that have now become so popular in homes here in the Midwest. The tradespeople we worked with had a bit of a tough time adjusting to the idea of not everything being "perfect". They didn't quite appreciate the concept of making everything look "perfectly imperfect" to give it that old-world and European feel. We even had to ask them to remove the first round of tiles because we wanted the edges to stack together without any grout lines.
My mom also loved the look of having a different tile above her stovetop, so we added an elongated hex tile. We are so happy with what we ended up with, and the tradespeople were willing to do as much as they could to help us achieve our vision. As a designer, it can be challenging to convey your vision and have it executed perfectly, especially when trying out new things...but that is why people hire us. We can make sure the vision is executed to perfection!
The cabinets were of high quality and needed a fresh coat of paint. Although it may sound like an easy task, we cannot stress enough the importance of leaving the painting of these intricate cabinets to the professionals. It is quite a process, but when done correctly, it can make a huge difference. We chose Benjamin Moore 912 - Linen White as the color to brighten everything up and also used it to freshen up all the walls. The finish on the cabinets was different from that on the walls, which gave a stunning, and slightly different, look.
Now, let’s get to my favorite part of the renovation! It's the amazing closet addition that we built for my mom. Like mentioned before, she had been dreaming about it for years, but you know how other projects around the main part of the house always get priority. A closet, even though guest never see it, is a space that you use everyday. Having something custom for you can be such a game changer in your day-to-day routine.
We knocked a hole in the closet wall, which had an adjoining wall to the garage attic space. We had custom closets made especially for the sloping ceilings, which turned out to be perfect for drawers, shelves, and hanging space. At the end of the closet there is full length hanging room for longer dresses, pants, and jackets. It added on so much space to their closet that they don't know how they ever lived without it!
This was such an awesome project with basically no demo. It was all space they already had and we just freshened things up to utilize the space better. Sometimes it doesn't take much to have a huge impact.