To be quite honest, it was a little more than a facelift. This house was flooded and the nicest family bought the house and decided to make it their home. It’s a two-story Colonial, and although only the downstairs sustained flood damage, almost every room was rehabbed in some way. A few just got new paint and flooring and others had walls moved.
I was not a part of the project in the beginning, but once I was called in to consult, I immediately knew I could help bring this project into focus and take a lot of the stress away from the homeowners. The kitchen cabinets were already chosen so the layout in the kitchen could not be changed. The wood plank vinyl floors were also purchased so I need to work with them as well. Lastly, there was a request for a pool table to be accommodated somewhere in the house.
As I walked the rooms I quickly realized that there was not a good place for a pool table, problem number 1. So after giving it some thought, I advised taking down the wall between the downstairs office and formal living room to create a huge game room. This solved the problem and we were off to the races. I created a design plan and submitted it to the homeowners and they decided to implement many of the ideas I had given them and asked me to take on the project.
Even though the kitchen cabinets were picked we still had to choose countertops, lighting, and a backsplash. This was all pretty straight forward. A gorgeous granite was chosen and then we found a backsplash that was pretty neutral in color but had a more modern diamond cushion pattern. Almost all the lighting throughout the downstairs (with the exception of the game room) has a black metal finish to give a cohesive look throughout.
The dining room is right off the kitchen, it was a good-sized room but the doorway from the kitchen seemed too small so we made that wider to make it feel more open. This room only required flooring, paint, lighting, and furnishings. We chose a table and chairs from Pier One and mixed in an antique dresser as a sideboard and the homeowners’ artwork.
Behind the kitchen and leading out to the back patio is a large living room, this is the “grown-up” living room for the adults when the kids are in the game room. This is a large room but it is long and narrow with many doors and one long brick wall. It also has a large brick fireplace at one end and an awkward recessed wall to one side. From the start I envisioned a modern fireplace with glass and custom cabinetry in the awkward little recessed wall.
All the bathrooms were touched in some way. The 2 upstairs got painted and wallpapered (oh, how I love wallpaper!) and new shower doors installed. We kept the vanities but replaced the countertops to update them. We had some fun with the small bathroom downstairs. We did a black-and-white patterned tile on the floor, black shower door and accessories, and a deep blue on the walls. I gotta tell you, this was a hard sell but they were so happy with it and it looks fantastic.
And for the game room, as with many projects, this evolved over time. After taking the wall down to create a large game room, the family decided that Grandma would be coming to live with them for a time. It was “move-in” time and we had to quickly pivot to accommodate her. Although there was an extra bedroom upstairs, this was not going to work so I created a drapery partition right where the old wall was in the new game room to portion off the back half for a bedroom. It works on a few different levels: it is on the first floor, it is right next to the small bathroom, and it is a temporary wall that can be easily taken down when she decides to move back into her own home.
This is what the other side looks like:
It is bright and uncluttered and will work for as long as they need it.
Here is the learning on this….projects, especially ones that take more than a couple months can, and often do, evolve over time, so don’t get too married to your initial concept. Life changes, circumstances change. and you need to be flexible as a designer to help your client navigate through these changes.