About a year and a half ago, one of my favorite clients, whom I have had the pleasure of working with on multiple projects, was looking at a new home purchase and asked me to tag along for the initial walk through. He knew there was going to be some renovation involved and wanted to ensure we could reasonably work with what he was purchasing. The before images are from the actual real estate listing of the home and was literally the shape the house was in when we originally saw it (which could be a whole other blog post on staging your home to sell). I am working on a full story before and after video, but in the meantime, here is a sneak peek of the before and after for your enjoyment:
The home office (below) is immediately to the left and visible upon entering the home – it was very dark and traditional (so was the rest of the house). The wood paneling was in great shape but my client has a more modern style and wanted something unique while still maintaining the masculinity of the space.
So we painted all of the shelving and paneling black. Seriously. Tricorn black by Sherwin Williams is the color we selected, and we replaced the hardware with brushed gold handles. We continued to lighten the space by using a rug that had some color and contrast to the flooring, but did not overpower the furniture. And that desk? Sigh. It is even more gorgeous in person if you can believe it.
Continue walking in the front door and you’ll arrive in the formal living room. All of the walls in the main living areas had a old world, heavy faux finish.
We lightened the entire house (except the home office, obviously), using Benjamin Moore’s Swiss Coffee on the walls, and Ceiling White on the trim. We used Benjamin Moore’s Baltic Gray on the interior doors. In the formal living room, used a semi-sheer fabric for the window treatments and painted the fireplace black. It is a nice place for the eye to rest after walking past the black home office, and is in the same line of sight when you’re in the vicinity. And you can’t see the dining room, but we installed a high gloss black dining table.
The master bathroom was another area that needed some serious attention, as you can see below. The room was dark and had travertine finishes everywhere. And the light fixtures. Wrought iron with dusty light shades and a dusty window treatment. I shudder just reminiscing on how that space felt.
I know every time you turn around there is a white kitchen or white bath, but this space really just screamed to be lighted up. So we did. As you enter, the cabinets on the left were custom made in mirror for the “Mrs.” and the right side had a wood veneer for the “Mr.” The legs, hardware and countertops were the same so there was still a great uniformity in the room. Pretty drastic difference, huh?
Speaking of a drastic transformation, check out the kitchen below. The dark cabinetry, the bar height counter, the stone surrounding the range, and the island light + pendants that look like they came out of an apartment unit.
So again, we lightened the space. We actually took the cabinets down on the side of the range and tiled the entire wall in a herringbone pattern. Don’t worry about storage, y’all. There is plenty in the island, on the bottom all the way around the kitchen, in the butler’s pantry AND in the giant food pantry. Storage is covered. We also lowered the counter behind the sink to a welcoming counter height, and replaced the island light with two pendants. We didn’t even want to distract the eye from the beautiful kitchen with any pendants above the seating area (there are plenty of can lights in reality – we just airbrushed them out for the photos; now you know a designer secret).
Here is the kitchen from the opposite angle. How about that stone surrounding the range? Does it make you feel like you’re in a European castle? Me neither. So we took it down.
We also shortened the giant island because it was in the way of the refrigerator doors, and instead of having seating (in the way of anybody cooking), we installed a microwave drawer. The kitchen now feels giant and is worthy of some serious envy for anybody who loves to cook and / or entertain.
You can see these (after) images and more HERE in the project portfolio. And stay tuned, I am putting together a video of the before and after with images not even published anywhere yet. Not just renovation, but design and decor too. I’m so excited to share! What do you think of the before and after for Project Tulip? And if you’re on Instagram you can search #ProjectTulip for even more behind the scenes shots. It was one of my favorite projects!