When I’m called upon to create a makeover in a home that is well cared for but dated, I always tread carefully. I don’t want to discard the timeless with the “80’s”. In the case of these North Shore clients, the project was accomplished in 2 phases- the one I was called in for and the one I actually wanted to do!
The first project was to update and “warm up” the existing dining room and entry foyer as well as completely re-design the kitchen and powder bath. Translating the clients’ wants and needs was relatively easy because it was dramatically in sync with what would have been my own personal choice if that were my home. (That may sound surprising, but there is a difference between a seasoned professional’s ability to create a home best suited to their client and wanting to actually
live there themselves!) That’s one of the joys of my job. I get to live vicariously in many styles and locations.
Because of existing space constraints, the kitchen basically kept the some layout, as did the powder room, but this time product chores dramatically changed the look. Dave Goldstein, of Ultimate Styles of America, created an amazing textured white finish for the custom kitchen cabinetry. Patti Calleia, trompe l’oeil artist par excellence applied an unusual aubergine wall finish in the powder bath to blend with vanity, mirror and tile “scatter rug” for an unexpected mix of neo-classic and contemporary styles.
To lend the musical touch I think every home needs, a baby grand piano became the centerpiece of a welcoming entry foyer. The area rugs in both this space and the dining room proved that even if you don’t “start from the floor up”, you’ll need this catalyst to ultimately complete a room to its best advantage.
The spaces I really wanted to get my hands on didn’t come until later. I planted the seeds of a “redo” for the family room and exercise room and waited. It took a little while but these smart folks were willing to entertain options and it didn’t take much convincing when I presented the possibilities.
The exercise room was fun and easy, thanks to the professionalism and expertise of the folks at Gym Source. All I had to do was add a little “bling”. Unfortunately creating this space didn’t help me lose any weight.
The family room, on the other hand, was not only dark and dated but its unusual shape posed floor plan challenges. In addition, the homeowners were used to a certain orientation of the room for T.V. watching and I introduced a plan which placed them out of their comfort zone. Since audio/video priorities were major here, I brought in my gurus at Audio Den to design a system way beyond my technical abilities, as the T.V. wall became a major focal point, with the concept actually suggested by the client. Combining the skill of many experienced trades, we accomplished a unique design. On that same wall, we installed a frosted sliding door panel to separate the kitchen’s activity from serious T.V. watching. By adding a window, more natural light and a better view of the lovely backyard was accomplished. Motorized shades under wood cornices darken the space when needed. Colorful, unique art work reflects the clients’ taste and enhances the neutral color palette of the buttery soft leather sofa, dense luxurious carpet, wall paint and wood panels.
Truly a transformation! Here’s what the client said when it all came together:
“I knew the look and feel that I wanted, but Natalie was able to make it happen. She stretched me just a little out of my comfort zone- but still kept it my own style.” We started with two rooms- we were so happy with the result, we just kept adding more rooms.”
Ah- the joys of my job!