With more and more Millennials reaching the home-buying stage, and a housing market that’s as competitive as ever, people are looking for that “diamond in the rough” type of home that can be fixed up. By “rough” I mean homes that were built or remodeled in the ’80s and ’90s and are seriously ready for a makeover.
Luckily, a lot of these homes have great bones and much of the work is in paint, flooring, lighting, and refinishing. But, boy what a difference some fresh paint can make.
Our young clients in Vancouver asked us to help transform this sprawling suburban 1990’s home into something that better represented their style. The most dramatic change was in the master bedroom(below).
So many things in this before photo made us ask, “Why?”. Were the green marble columns actually a 1990’s trend, or did the previous designer just have a thing for drama? Luckily, because these columns were not functional, we were able to remove them without structural issues.
Pro Tip: We took out all of the dated brass/gold hardware and lighting and replaced it with a matte black finish. That alone will go a long way toward moving your home style out of the 1990’s and into the new millennium.
The fireplace is actually two-sided, with the other side facing the bed in the master bedroom. It’s a very sweet, romantic and spa-like space accented with natural tile and soft blue tones. Again, we removed the brassy gold fixtures and this time replaced it with brushed nickel for the faucets and shower/tub fixtures.
Pro Tip: As we stated before, updating your hardware finish is a relatively inexpensive way to make a major change to the overall style of your home. In this case, we are using two different finishes in this bathroom. The door hardware and fireplace surround are matte black, but the tub filler is brushed nickel. It’s okay to mix finishes, as long as you stick to a maximum of two!
Living/Family rooms are often where we spend most of our time. Creating an inviting space with ample light and seating is our main goal. Amazingly, we were able to keep the carpet–it’s in great condition–and re-design around it in a way that brings the room together. We talked about family photos in a previous post; this B & A shot shows off the difference between accessorizing with tons of different colors and textures vs continuity in your accent pieces. Again with the 1990’s green marble, this time on the fireplace. To update it, we selected a mosaic hex in shades of gray.
The greatest impact in remodeling often comes from the kitchen. Starting in the ’80s and stretching well into the ’00s, honey-colored cabinets were king. This trend is finally being squashed out, one overly-colorful kitchen at a time. The craftsmanship of these cabinets was outstanding, so it seemed like a shame to just rip them out. Instead, we designed around them–much like the carpet in the living room–and by toning down the countertops, walls, and backsplash, we’ve created a space that is more calming than overwhelming. Also, again with the valences? Yikes.
Design Tip: The kitchen backsplash is actually 50% glossy and 50% matte. This technique creates a look that always gets a second glance. You can see that something is interesting about the tile, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. It’s the way light hits the backsplash–especially with hand-crafted tile–that creates just the right amount of gleam.
We hope these tips will help you identify the 90’s design left-overs still lingering in your home. From jetted tubs, to columns that support nothing, and flouncy valences, the 1990’s were a rad time full of bold design choices. When you’re ready to tone it down, reach out to us. We are happy to help de-bling.