The view from their house in the summer
I usually get involved with a project AFTER the renovation, when it’s time to decorate.
However, I have spent countless hours with clients helping them navigate and plan the colours and finishes for their renovation .
What you should do first.
What you should do second.
What colour is your foundation palette? White or Cream?
What is the look and feel of your new house going to be?
What are the colours? This is the easiest part for me, but the hardest part for so many.
Anyway, remember the summer house I decorated two years ago (above)? Well we are about to start the renovation on the main house. My clients are staying in this house because their brand new pool and guest house is next door. They were newlyweds 8 years ago when they built this house, so instead of moving and renovating another house, they just want this house to get updated from the Tuscan Brown trend into a much fresher, timeless and classic look.
Habitat for Humanity will take all the millwork and countertops (in case you’re wondering).
The view from both houses is incredible (here’s a glimpse above). You already feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere when you look out the window so why drive 5 hours to see the same thing somewhere else? So smart.
Crystal wanted me to decorate her house but first it needed the renovation. So I called my friend Jan Romanuk and she agreed to design all the new millwork, etc.
So here’s what Crystal’s house looks like right now.
The engineered floors are too red and will be replaced with a new light hardwood which will be installed on the second floor of the house as well.
The staircase will be painted and the carpet replaced.
The millwork in the great room is white so it can stay. It will simply need a new coat to go from the existing cream colour to white.
The other side of the living room. The earthy wall colour and furniture needs an update.
The tile will be replaced.
Here’s the kitchen. Crystal’s husband Rob is a gourmet cook so they are installing a Wolf/Sub Zero appliance package. This time, they will have an integrated fridge.
The kitchen will be white this time, however the island will be made of walnut.
The reason why the downdraft is staying (update based on the comments), is because you can’t move the range and have it underneath the window or beside the window. If you move it to the wall where the wall ovens are now, then you’d have to move the wall ovens beside the fridge, and when you bundle your appliances together it’s hard to make it look beautiful. The entire bank of 72″ of appliances now becomes the focal point of the kitchen.
And Rob likes entertaining his guests while he’s cooking; he does not want to look at a wall.
And truth be told, most people use their hood fan very rarely (that’s certainly true in my house). This is a large room where smells will not stick around. If ethnic cooking was a primary focus, having a hood fan would become more important, but for this family, it’s not a concern.
The island legs will look like this inspiration picture below:
Instead of glass doors where you are suddenly heavily restricted to displaying glassware or white dishes, they will be mirrored doors, similar to this picture (below).
Okay so here’s where I would love your input! This is the first tentative drawing of the kitchen eating area.
Currently, Crystal doesn’t like the fact that essentially they have two dining areas almost beside each other because the dining room is opposite the kitchen island.
She says they rarely use the dining table (below) and that bothers her.
What she does need on this side of the kitchen (below right) is an area where they can store all their glassware and liquor and have it also be a bar area where drinks can be served during parties.
You can see that in the current plan (above), the new table has been designed so that it’s higher than the cabinets because then it will be counter height (approx 37 inches). The windows are lower (34 1/2 inches) which eliminates the possibility of a counter height row of cabinets.
As you can see by the first drawing (above) the integrated fridge will now go on this wall with another bank of pantry cabinets extending into the wall area (above). The island will be 10 inches longer.
Here’s another view (above).
I like the idea of a smaller corner dining area with a small round table, and then we either need more millwork on the other side or a sideboard which could be a bar but it’s awkward because it’s a narrow space and not wide. And there’s another low window on the other side (below):
The low windows aren’t a problem if the built in banquette was staying (below) but the problem with this kind of arrangement is you’re facing away from their incredible view as well.
Renovations are never going to be as perfect as a new build. First you have to work with what’s already existing in the space and of course the budget needs to be considered as well. Here the dilemma is the lower windows and the narrow space.
Sometimes the ONLY solution is custom millwork, and sometimes you need to find the right custom pieces of furniture in order to make something work really well.
However, none of us feel like the first solution is the perfect one so I thought I’d post about it before we come up with a new drawing because every time I have a dilemma, my brilliant community of readers (you) always have the best solution.
This will be a fun project to follow and when Spring comes, I will post a better picture of Crystal and Rob’s spectacular view.
My Vancouver Specify Colour with Confidence™ Event was amazing; I had an incredible group of 25 women who were talented, generous, creative & inspiring who bonded and created their own groups! And the best part is we all get to continue the conversation to support each other on my private True Colour Experts Facebook page.
If you would like to transform the way you see colour, become a True Colour Expert.
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