Creating an updated custom look in a 1990s spec home was the main goal of a first floor remodel we partnered on with Steve Gray Renovations and Nathan Alan Design. The design called for opening the floor plan by relocating a fireplace that was dividing the kitchen and the family room. This drastic change to the flow created a lot of opportunities to craft a truly elevated design scheme through adding custom details.
Adding a Natural Focal Point
The fireplace was relocated to the center of the wall opposite the kitchen. To accommodate the flue and firebox, the fireplace popped out into the room a bit. Our clients knew they needed storage as well, so we recessed the cabinetry on either side of the fireplace to add dimension. This design also provided a natural start and stop point for the different materials on the whole wall. Natural stone veneer lines the surround, complementing the neutral tones of the whole first floor. Finally, a television and sound bar were placed above the mantle.
Once the dividing wall was removed, an errant bulkhead in the family room that no one noticed before stood front and center. The design made the space feel off balance with a heavier look on one of the room than the other. We created a beam design that not only placed a similar shape on the opposite side, but also added more in the middle to bring additional architectural detailing to the space.
There were many opportunities to elevate the design of this newly opened space to create the look and functionality our clients were looking for. For example, our clients were keen to minimize clutter, so they wanted closed storage on both sides of the fireplace. There was no need to fill the space with cabinetry based on what they planned to use it for, so we designed them to stop at height of the fireplace and left the rest open for artwork and accessories. This tactic is a smart was to save money by not adding cabinetry you do not need, and also provides room for vertical space décor. Bringing the fireplace mantle across the length of the wall meant it had to be scaled in relation to its length and the space of the room. We designed a mantle made of built up crown molding, adding other moldings of different sizes to the original crown to create the needed heft.
One of the downsides to an open floor plan is that there usually is little vertical space to add layers to the overall décor. As we mentioned above, we left open space above the cabinetry to allow room for that necessary visual interest. We commissioned artwork for the space, comprised of an abstract supporting the whites, greys and beiges of the first floor with a pop of blue. The accessories will be viewed from a distance, so they needed to be the right scale and be interesting in themselves so they do not look like clutter. They were chosen for size, color, and texture to create visual interest and harmony. Our clients kept their original furniture, which was scaled correctly for the space. Lighting was layered through canned lights, a floor and table lamp, and natural lighting from the large windows. Finally, we added a rug, as well as window treatments consisting of light control and non-functioning drapery to soften the space.
Bringing a modern, clean look to a 1990s home offers many opportunities to add architectural detailing and visual interest. Each home has its own quirks, and having an interior designer’s eye on your design can help you fully achieve the look you desire. For more information on this project, or for advice on your next home remodeling project, send us an email or give us a call at 317.253.8986.