Monday
Aug172015

Home Tour Feature in Lonny Magazine

Our Philadelphia row house is featured in Lonny Magazine! We spent a year renovating the 1804 Federal row house located in Society Hill, and I can finally share these beautiful 'after' photos with you. Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason wrote a wonderful piece about our home. I've since moved onto another and very different home renovation on the West Coast, but take so much of what I learned from this project and from our Interior Designer, Sarah Chiovarou, also a Kansas native. We designed for the house by honoring the house's original aesthetic - always keeping it in mind when selecting finishes and fixtures. Follow this link to see the whole tour in Lonny Magazine

I plan to post the 'before' photos this week. Hold tight! 

 

Friday
Jun262015

beach house remodel. the functional kitchen

The beach house came with somewhat decent slab front kitchen cabinets- from 1980. I was determined to keep them, paint them white and upgrade the appliances and surfaces with very practical and durable materials. The biggest issue was the 24" wide oven cabinet opening. Even the compact Miele ovens wouldn't work without opening up the frame. During our December visit to the house, we decided to bite the bullet and get new cabinets. It was worth it because we could re-configure the kitchen - eliminating all upper cabinets, installing integrated appliances and expanding the pantry space. 

The placement of range hood and the wall with a Nutone radio speaker made the space feel small. When we opened up the wall there was plumbing and a structural beam, of course. Still it was a necessary adjustment to make the space feel more welcoming, and to create a counter and seating area that extends into the dining area. 

Here's the BEFORE kitchen.

Below is a progress photo from February 2015. It's really stripped down - the new support beam installed, the counter height lowered, and plumbing rerouted. We also replaced all the plumbing and ventilation - added AC and a dehumidifier. We had to follow the new California Title 24 standards for energy conservation - LED lights, occupancy sensors, etc. 

Below is another progress photo from April after we moved into the house. The kitchen window over the sink was enlarged to meet the countertop so we could create a pass-thru to the back patio. 

Below are the after photos. We kept the Viking gas cooktop from the original house - it's a classic durable piece. We love the Bosch Microwave/Convection Oven combo from our house in the Poconos, so we chose it again. The countertops are from Caesarstone in Sleek Concrete. I chose simple white edge pulls because I really didn't want pulls at all. I wanted the pulls integrated into the cabinet doors, but it was more than our budget could handle. Pendant light is from Cedar & Moss. 

The cooktop backsplash is actually one giant piece of porcelain made to look like a Calcutta gold marble slab. We did this for function - it's easy to to keep clean. No tears over discolored marble will be shed in this kitchen.

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Below is a shot of the new kitchen window, pantry, integrated Sub Zero refrigerator and wine storage. Since we have the large mudroom sink, I kept the kitchen sink small. I've had giant sinks before and found I spent too much time and used too much water keeping them clean. The counter stools are from CB2.

 

 

Friday
Jun052015

beach house remodel. mudroom for the dogs

Our house is L shaped. 1010 square feet of living space downstairs, and 1010 square feet of bedrooms upstairs. A lovely balance. In the BEFORE version of the house, the laundry room was in a small room off the kitchen in the back of the house - downstairs, and the master bedroom is at the front of the house - upstairs. This makes for long treks with laundry baskets through the house. I'm not a fan of having laundry spilling out of the kitchen, so we moved the washer and dryer upstairs into the master bedroom closet. That move opened up the room quite a bit. Now it's the perfect space to feed the dogs, with a big wall-mounted sink and the orginal cabinets painted white (on the left/out of the shot) for brooms, and other supplies. The floors are 32" squares of natural Quartz. 

 

Friday
May292015

beach house remodel. matte black

All the doors in the house will have these matte black lever handles from Emtek. Love them! The house came with hollow core wood doors upstairs, so I replaced them with solid core slab walnut doors. They are wonderful. I don't want to seal them because I love the chalky grey look of the unfinished walnut. Alas, I'll have to seal the doors soon to keep them from splintering and water damage. For the downstairs doors, we painted the existing solid core wood doors white so they would blend with the wall. 

Friday
May222015

beach house remodel. perfecting stairs

Our house came fully carpeted - even the master bath...yay. We of course ripped it out and chose wide plank oak floors throughout the house - except the bathrooms. I liked the style of the stair case and rails, but it wasn't to code so we had to take it all down and start from scratch. Because the house has such clean, modern lines, I didn't want the standard bull nose edge on the stairs. The previous railing was made from redwood. Again I chose oak for it's hardiness, but I stained it charcoal to match the knots in the oak floors and to create some nice contrast. I love the way it turned out.