I had the pleasure of working on a project for my friend, Allison, last year. The challenge presented was to turn a house that once belonged to her grandparents into a home for her and her budding family. They were moving from a good sized home in the city to a large plot of land in the country with a house that once was cutting edge but by today’s standards could be considered simple. As you can imagine, there was a lot of sentimental attachment to all elements of the house requiring much consideration for any decisions. Each change had to fast forward the look of the home by 50 years and be a nod to the architectural style, all while keep the family memories made there intact. This was like Christmas to me. So many possibilities were available. Do we go retro to suit the age of the home? Would elegant country be more fitting due to location? How do we blend the needs of a young family with the space available in the house? My mind was reeling with ideas. After weeks of various discussions, a plan was formed. With the skill of many talented carpenters the space took on a new life. Some of my favorite features include:
The tall cabinets in the kitchen. No need to replace something that has good bones and can be updated with just a little paint, some nice hardware and beautiful countertops. (left photo is before, right is after)
(bottom photo is before update)
The oversized family room that affords plenty of space for seating guests to watch TV and converse while the play area behind the sofa offers an easy solution to keeping an eye on their son.
Each furniture piece in the house has a story. What I realized during the project was that this house and it’s contents were influential in shaping Allison’s personal style through the years. She and her family couldn’t fit more perfectly in their new home.
While I had a very small hand in the process, I felt so honored to be consulted and to help guide them toward what they have now. When Allison shared photos of the home through her blog, she wrote, “Although I wanted to update things, my heart was a little heavy. What I kept remembering, though, was that both of them would have wanted us to give the house new life. Each time I was there, I could feel my Papa smiling down on us, loving the fact that we were making our mark on a place he loved. I only hope that while we are here, we can honor the memory of Mama and Papa and live a life of which they would be proud.”
Colors and fabrics excite me but words like that are what drives me.