Project In Review: A Look Into The Newer Street Reno

First off, I just have to say that this was such a fun project to work on. It is always fantastic when you get to work with a wonderful client who expresses their needs and tastes, but also allows you to take creative reign. That's when the best results happen!

I'll start off my review with the design problem. Each client that comes to me has some issue with their current space, whether syle-wise or in functionality. In this case, it was both. My client had recently downsized and moved into a home that didn't reflect her vibrant personality. The spacial awareness in the home was also just off. The kitchen was small but more closed off than it should have been. There were tight hallways, outdated finishes, and probably 5+ different flooring finishes on the main level alone. What was my client looking for? A more open, functional floorplan that she could make her own and truly call home. Crack my neck, roll my shoulders, here we go!

Each time I begin a new project, I look for something unique about the client or their style that I can pull inspiration from and I begin designing there. In this case, the client had some existing copper furniture and an art piece made from mother-of-pearl. She had also mentioned to me that one of her favorite colors was green. I was so excited when I decided to go off of these three elements because, when put together, they seemed so unique! When I presented the project to her, she was thrilled but it definitely was pushing her comfort zone (green cabinets?!). Luckily, she trusted me and away we went!

Now for space planning. See the before and after images below. Like I mentioned before, there were tight hallways and a poor kitchen arrangement.

Here's the space planning modifications we made:

1. When you first entered the home from the garage, you entered into the kitchen with the laundry room through a door on the right. This felt cramped and left one feeling a bit claustrophobic upon entering the home. Not a good feeling. So, we took out the laundry room wall - completely opening the space so that the client felt a spacious welcome when she arrived home. Opening up the laundry also created more room for her to drop her belongings, was designed to make her laundering experience more pleasant, and created better organization.

2. There was once a small peninsula in the kitchen where the range rested. This made it so the kitchen had too many twists and turns and felt tight, the range had poor ventilation when cooking, and there wasn't much room for food prep. This was honestly the first thing we knew needed to go. We ripped out that peninsula and moved the range onto the adjacent wall. What was once a tight kitchen, was now opened up for much more pleasant walking and cooking experience! It also created visual space throughout the whole social areas of her home.

3. The front entry was also very tight and uninteresting. There was a coat closet to the right that we removed and replaced with a bench and coat rack. Interestingly enough, when we knocked the wall out, we found that the entryway could have about 6 more inches to it! Again, a tight entryway became spacious, welcoming, and now piques the interest of her visitors upon their first arrival. It allows visitors to sit, remove their shoes, and hang their coats.

No remodel is complete without updating the finishes. The trim and upper cabinets were painted Shoji from Sherwin Williams and the base cabinets Sherwin William's Rock Garden.

Black walnut shelving was installed in the kitchen and was surrounded by a mother-of-pearl tile backsplash. The kitchen sink was replaced with a farmhouse sink, the faucet with an elegant copper faucet from Signature Hardware, and distressed copper knobs and pulls were installed.

The fireplace, once featuring a carved oak surround classic of the early 2000s, was replaced with limestone tile and a sleek black walnut mantel. New light fixtures were installed and matte black door hardware replaced the wearing polished brass.

The overall project from the beginning stages of design to completion took about 4 months. And, when all was said and done, my team and I went into the home to make sure it was all professionally cleaned and styled, so that when the client returned she felt right at home.

When I spoke to the client about her experience later, she expressed her frustration with how the home was before. She sometimes wondered what she was even doing there and why had she moved. The remodel completely changed her attitude. She is so happy with her home now and loves inviting guests over! She expressed how grateful she was that I pushed her out of her comfort zone, but also that in the end, we listened to her needs and desires. Can design change lives? I say yes; it absolutely can! providing that change for clients and improving their lifestyle is why I love my job. The way individuals interact with their environments affects mood, productivity, health, and relationships. I love seeing that all improve for those I serve.

I couldn't have done it without my amazing team, either. Annette Tyrrell, of Inspired! Surface and Studio did an incredible job refinishing the cabinetry and trim. She was a joy to work with and created the most beautiful painted finishes. Our contractor, Darren Folsom of Hands for Hire, was detail-oriented and very knowledgeable. And of course, I couldn't have done it without my wonderful fiance, Eli, who helped put everything together for the final reveal.

So that's it! The Newer Street project in review! If you have any questions or need remodeling help, don't hesitate to reach out!

With love always,

Jamie Nell