Over the course of the summer I had the pleasure of working with a truly sweet couple on their home in Santa Monica. They were vibrant, easygoing, and intelligent yet their home of more than 30 years did not reflect these sensibilities. It was well loved but tired, in need of repairs, and had seen its fair share of children and pets. It needed major updating, but we weren't about to demo kitchens and bathrooms. The layout remained the same. The key was to address every single room (3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and the living spaces) so that the updates were consistent throughout the house and it felt like a fresh space. The difference that picking one color scheme and applying it everywhere, along with contemporary lighting, can make is jaw dropping. Just look at the before and afters.
Let's get into specifics. Lighting is not the first thing that happens, but it tends to be one of the most exciting. Choosing the forms, materials, and sizes for the lighting is an almost scultptural exercise and makes a huge impact on how you are affected as you move through each space.
The bentwood pendant is an easy and accessible method to add an organic form to the sharp lines of the dining room. And some warmth to balance the cool hues.
This twirling baton chandelier is the perfect scale and style for the staircase.
I have had a crush on the ceramic semi-flush mount ceiling light from School House Electric for too long. I was happy to find just the right application for it along the hallways.
The kitchen exemplifies and concentrates all the upgrades we did. Everything else kind of radiated out from this point and relates back to the kitchen.
- Paint all walls, doors, and cabinets one of the 5 colors in our palette.
- Dress up existing cabinets with new hardware. I went for extra long square pulls to make the Shaker cabinet fronts feel less traditional.
- Update to energy efficient appliances.
- Install new white oak wood floors stained to medium walnut where carpet and linoleum existed. Refinish and stain existing oak floors in the living and dining rooms to match.
- Out with the dated tile counter tops. Hello clean white quartz.
- Splurge on marble subway tile back splash since we were saving a mint by not reconfiguring and rebuilding the cabinets.
There were 3 bathrooms that needed our attention. Cabinets and tiled showers were to remain, but similar to the kitchen, everything else was cleaned up.
- Walls, trim, and cabinets were painted white for a new start.
- New porcelain tile floors to match the existing shower tile.
- The same counter top material and hardware as the kitchen
- New plumbing fixtures and lighting
Along with the vessel sink, these simple elements gave the master bathroom (along the smaller ones not shown) a sleeker and more expansive feel.
The most rewarding part of this project was working with two easy clients. They trusted the process, the estimated budget, and the schedule. I presented my ideas at the beginning of the summer. They instantly approved every selection I offered - no second guessing, seeing third or fourth options, or revisions were requested. Of course that's 100% ok for a client to ask for, but when they don't, man do things go smoothly. Once the designs were approved I laid out the schedule for them - 2 weeks to put together the drawings we needed to get the work done properly, then get a quote for labor, 4-6 weeks to order materials. When the supplies were in we could start the demo and installation with another 6 weeks to completion. Letting me drive allowed us to get things done in exactly the sequence and budget I predicted and freed my clients up to not stress over the daily details. I couldn't be happier, they couldn't be happier. It was a surprisingly devoid of surprises. If only every project could go that smoothly ;)