Coastal Make-Over: Part 2

It’s time for the grand reveal! If you read ‘Coastal Make-Over: Part 1’ you will have read about the initial consultation of this project, what the clients wanted from their space, and the process to get to the final design.

Here are the finished photos…

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The arch is accentuated by the navy paint.

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I didn’t change a lot in the dining area. Just swapped out the old bar stools for wicker versions, and changed the island lights for handmade glass pendants, and added some navy and gold lamps to the buffet. I also re-orientated the table to fit the space better.

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I added coastal decor to the mantel, coffee table and shelves.

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The new TV area is much larger and cozier with the new L-shaped sofa with linen performance fabric removable slip covers.

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“We want to thank you for helping to make our home into an inviting, cozy, sophisticated space, it’s really what we were looking for. You really listened to us throughout the whole process and were very patient and willing to work with our requirements (stain-proof furniture and unbreakable items to accommodate kids) and style requests (look like Pottery Barn, but not cost like it!). We’ve gotten lots of compliments from friends too.” 

Here are some before and afters…

“We love it! I look forward to seeing this space every day. Bonus points if there aren’t toys everywhere! It feels like a grown-up space, while still being comfortable for the whole family.” 

If you’re interested in a free design consultation please contact me.

Thanks for reading! Until next time…

Jo (@Britflipper)

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Continuous Improvement

The subject of today’s blog is along the theme of ‘continuous improvement’. It’s a term we regularly use at work in a quality / lean process sort of a way, to signify the journey towards being world class in something. Never stopping with being satisfied with what you did today, and always striving to do better. It seemed like the perfect title for the design journey I’ve been on over the past few years.

The entrance hallway in our house is the perfect example of how skills evolve, and admitting that sometimes you don’t get it right the first time.

This is our hallway when we first moved into our 1969-built Prairie Style Minnesotan home. It was very beige, and very dated.

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Hallway when we moved in (circa 1969)

I set about renovating it to make it feel more like a modern cabin (as we live in the woods.) I tried to make it feel rustic with the use of the aged wood wall partition that we made, and the antler chandelier. To give it a modern twist, I added faux taxidermy in white only on the gallery wall.

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Hallway after reno No.1

To give it more of a British hunting lodge / country feel, I opted for flagstone style flooring, and added things like the antique umbrella stand and horse bit artwork. We gave the wall a gold paint effect finish to add some richness and the traditional feel.

But it felt dark…

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After living in the house for 4 years now, I’ve come to realize that living in the middle of the woods, with such heavy tree coverage, that the only time the house is ever bright inside is during the winter when there are no leaves on the trees. So the decoration inside has to account for this lack of natural light.

The other thing I’ve noticed whilst living in the US, is the growing trend for light, bright and airy spaces. Practically every new-build and renovated home has white-painted trim. The spaces are made bright from large white windows and white or light grey walls. Any wood is generally kept natural, such as natural white oak.

After living here for a while now, my tastes have evolved to the more contemporary side, so we set about with renovation No.2 to our hallway…

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Hallway today (after lessons learnt)

We removed the aged-wood partition wall we made, as we felt it made the space darker, and the dark wood made it feel a little dated. We opted instead for a more open half wall, which we painted in white and grey to match the new open-plan kitchen / dining room. And changed all the floors for natural white oak.

The biggest change was to the feature wall. Now when you enter the house, you’re met with a wall of white split-face marble, which adds depth and texture to the room, whilst still being bright, and yet at the same time, rustic.

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I had to keep the antler chandelier, it’s the little nod to the modern hunting lodge theme we were originally trying to achieve. I think now we’ve actually managed to achieve it. By keeping the colors light and limited, and introducing interest through texture, and pops of natural wood colors.

I’m the first to admit that my first attempt at ‘modern cabin’ was not that successful. But with a few more years of experience of both living in this house, in the US and having completed many more renovation projects, I can gladly say my skills have improved for the better.

To quote Lloyd Dobyns:

“Continual improvement is an unending journey.”

Thanks for reading, until next time.

Jo (aka Britflipper and continuous improvement seeker)

Kitchen Reveal

The time has finally come to reveal our kitchen make-over. What started out as a 6 week project turned into the 7 month project from hell! Anything that could’ve gone wrong, went wrong. Even after months of pre-planning, Gannt charts and double checking everything. We had cabinets that didn’t fit; doors that were warped; fridges, microwaves and vent hoods that didn’t fit; walls that undulated; ovens that didn’t work… I’m glad to say that this nightmare project has now come to an end, and boy was it worth the wait!

Here’s a reminder of what it used to look like…

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And here’s the new kitchen…

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Full list of products used:

  • Cabinets: Austin cabinets in Urban Stone by Cliqstudios
  • Countertop and backsplash: Calacatta Gold by Silestone
  • Flooring: Vintage French Oak by Lumber Liquidators
  • Cabinet hardware: Knobs by Emtek style 86152US3NL, pulls by Emtek style 86123US14 both in polished nickel
  • Window: 400 Series by Andersen Windows & Doors
  • Paint: White Veil by Behr
  • Kitchen chandelier: Halo by Gallery
  • Dining room chandeliers: Rosalias modern cage light by Warehouse of Tiffany
  • Oven: Slide-in gas range by Samsung (model:NX58H9500WS)
  • Refrigerator: Counter-depth refrigerator by Samsung (model: RF23M8070SR)
  • Faucet / tap: Alea pull-down faucet in polished nickel by Pfister
  • Instant hot water faucet / tap: Insinkerator in polished nickel
  • Sink: Apron front sink by IPT Sink Company
  • Stools: Gelsomina counter stool by Joss & Main
  • Upholstered dining chairs: Kenleigh tufted side chair by Wayfair with upholstery nails added
  • Dining table: Emma dining table by Hom Furniture
  • Cane dining chairs: Bought from a friend

To learn about how the kitchen was planned read my blog ‘Goodbye 1987’. To learn how to overcome common kitchen renovation problems read my other blog post ‘Kitchen update: How to avoid delays’.

As always, thanks for reading!

Jo (aka Britflipper)

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