Tag Archives: Before and After

The ’90s Remodel for Millennials

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 seriously ready for a makeover.

Ironically, while fashion treads have placed the crop-top-stretch-pants-oversized-glasses look on a golden pedestal, the floral-valance-with-matching-wallpaper trend of the same era is being kicked to the curb.

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.

We recently completed an entire home remodel for a young family.  Check out the B & As.

Master Bedroom: So many things in this before photo made us ask, “Why?”.  Were the green marble columns really necessary?  Did swooping red velvet valences ever look good?

We decided that a stripped down, subtle palette over some rich hardwoods would set the perfect backdrop for some killer custom furniture.

The fireplace is framed out in a tile that resembles ledgestone in its soft range of colors and textures. For a more modern look, we decided to float the fireplace with no hearth underneath.  In this remodel, the fireplace is meant to provide a warm glow, not to act as the focal point of the room.

The subtlety of our palette and finishes allowed for a little bit of sparkle with our lighting choice.  One of the most common issues with ’80s and ’90s style is that there are often competing finishes within a room. In the before photo we’ve got a brass light fixture, black door hardware, and white recessed cans.  Consistency in finishes in so important for creating a cohesive space.  We narrowed it down to black/oil-rubbed bronze finishes for the lighting, fireplace, and door knobs.

 

Here is the room compete with furniture:

 

 

We decided to float the bed and anchor it with two perfectly sized bookcases as a divider between the bedroom and dressing room.  The stepped ceiling and central light fixture make more sense when the bed is placed in line with these features.

 

The fireplace is actually two-sided, with the other side facing the freestanding tub in the master bathroom.  It’s a very sweet, romantic and spa-like touch.

 

 

The living room is 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.

 

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:  This 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.

 

Check out the rest of the house.

In our next blog, we’ll take you into the beautiful bathroom remodel and reveal the spa bathtub of your dreams.

 

Happy Decorating!

 

–Allison

 

 

The Shanghai Project

interior design style for shanghai kitchen rendering interior designers

An upscale design for an industrial setting.

Having worked in China previously on a western-themed resort community, Jackson Hole, I already had a feeling for how to work through the language barrier.  When working on new construction in the States we’re able to focus on the details and oversee the implementation of our designs in person.  When sending a design to China, you never know.

Step 1: Materials and Layout

Choosing the materials is the fun part where we get to work out how the project is going to feel; what kind of vibe it’s going to give off.  Our contact in Shanghai, Andy, provided us with photos of the bare bones of this large apartment building so that we could create a plan.  Our job is to create an inviting apartment that will appeal to the expatriates, some of them from the States, who are living and working in Shanghai.  This model unit needs to show the potential of the building and draw in new occupants.  It really has to shine.

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Using only these photos, AutoCAD plans, and a little help from our friend Andy, we were able to come up with a design theme: Post-Industrial Posh.  Walnut flooring set in a chevron pattern, Carrara marble tile, black and white paint, exposed concrete and some painted brick round out our design board.

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Because we cant be there in person, we decided to create a 67 page instruction manual for implementing our design.  This may seem like overkill, but flying to Shanghai every time there is a question about flooring installation just isn’t an option.  To get it just right, we have to be specific.

We started with the floor plan layout.  This building has 4 apartments per floor, and 12 floors.  We only have to design the model unit, which is on the southern corner of the fourth floor.  The only obstacle at this point is working within the existing structure; the developer would like a three bedroom, two bathroom unit.  Fitting all three bedrooms into this space while maneuvering around support beams, fire doors, and concrete columns, is a challenge, but nothing we cant handle.

interior design plan for furniture and layout

We opted for an open-concept living space that takes advantage of that large wall of windows.  Even though furniture wont be specified, the best way to get a feel for how the space works was to throw in some generic furniture outlines.

Step 2: Flooring and Ceiling Design

The ceilings in this unit are relatively high but there is a sprinkler system and concrete support beams are scattered throughout.  To give the apartment a clean look while keeping our post-industrial theme alive, the solution is a dropped ceiling in some areas, and exposed beams in others.  In the living room and bedrooms, the ceiling will be at it’s full height–about 11 feet–for the bathrooms, foyer, hallways, and above the closets we’ve decided to drop it down to 9 feet so that we can add recessed can lighting.

interior design, feature wall, paint, apartment style, modern designinterior design for feature wall with reclaimed brick style

To make sure they understand the look we’re going for, we threw in this rendering(on the left), drawn on top of the actual photograph of the living area of the apartment.  Once the brick is up and painted, they can install the custom cabinetry we designed for this space(right image): shelves on either side for coffee table books, and cabinets in the middle to hide your components and wiring.  These cabinets will have the same finish as the kitchen–a medium-tone reclaimed look with satin black cup pulls.

 

Step 3: Lighting and Finishes

The rooms that have raised ceilings still needed some lighting, so we added soffits with recessed cans.  The lighting schedule is very simple for this apartment, with the most ornate fixture above the kitchen island.  The bathrooms get a little extra love in the form of sconces around the mirrors.

interior design lighting for kitchen remodel

Step 5: Explaining the Design through Imagery

Our in-house graphic renderer was able to put her new skills to the test with this project.  Bathed head to toe in marble, we needed to show the tile layout for both the master bathroom and the second bathroom.  Even though the images are just rough digital sketches of how the rooms will look, we feel they get the point across.

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For the final renderings of this apartment, we opted to hire a professional to ensure that we can provide top-of-the line detailing with the representations of our design.  Any point where the language barrier cant be broken down, these images have to pick up the slack and explain our intentions.  We were so happy with how they turned out; they almost look like photographs!  Hopefully, once the apartment is finished, our friend Andy will send us some pictures.  For now, we just have to hope that they love our design as much as we do and can create this beautiful apartment.

interior design style for shanghai kitchen rendering

entryway interior design with carrara marble tile and custom cabinets

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