Spring has sprung—and does anything make you happier? I can’t think of anything better than getting out our cute clothes (I mean, have you seen Hazel in a sunhat?), dusting off our patio furniture,...
Ep 4: Love Letters
Holy buckets! I can’t wait to tell you guys all about the details behind this episode. I’ve gotten so many questions about all the finishes and custom projects we did for Daniel and Jessica, so here goes. (If you haven’t seen this episode, you can watch it on iTunes HERE and on Amazon HERE.)
So, once upon a time, Jessica and Daniel bought a cute 50’s bungalow in a neighborhood with lots of other identically cute, 50’s bungalows and it worked, and they were happy. Then, they adopted TWIN GIRLS, and the house was still cute, but they were a little crowded. Then came along their baby son, and the cute 50’s bungalow didn’t feel so cute any more. The End.
Just kidding! That’s not the end of the story! It’s just the beginning. In comes Hidden Potential and we might huff and puff and blow some walls down, but ultimately we rebuild their cramped, nondescript home, transforming it into the beautiful family cottage of their dreams.
Check this out:
Their home was just like every other one in the neighborhood, even sharing the EXACT SAME floor plan as all the houses around it. Talk about a lack of creativity! In order to make this home work for this family, we had to totally rethink the space, making sure every part of the design served a purpose (or two or three). Multifunctional design was the name of the game, and you’ll see a number of custom projects on this episode that score MAJOR points in that arena.
In terms of the exterior of the house, my goal was to SIMPLIFY. There were bricks, stucco, concrete, and board & batten siding, all competing for attention and none of them winning. Bland, bland, and more bland. Thankfully, bland isn’t that hard to fix. We got to work immediately, removing the brick planters, carrying the brick siding across the entire lower portion of the house, and carrying the board and batten siding across the entirety of the rest. (Sorry stucco, but it just wasn’t working out.)
From there, we added new, custom built wooden benches (that double as storage, and TRIPLE as planters), painted the brick, concrete steps and garage door the same dark gray, and, of course, added a pop of color to the front door, allowing the home and its family to really express their individuality.
Now it was time to move inside. This is where we spent the majority of the family’s $90,000 budget. The living and dining room were already open to one another, so I wanted to open the kitchen up to the rest of the floor plan, as well. Additionally, the space needed to be reworked to accommodate this family of five. Storage, seating, and comfortable places for the family to congregate were all of the utmost importance. Oh, and Daniel’s GIANT television was also up there on our list of “Most Important Design Elements to Incorporate At All Costs”.
After meeting with Sean and Scott of SC Custom Homes, we got to work demoing the project. And of course we ran into a hitch, and I had to make THE DREADED PHONE CALL. The one where I have to tell the homeowner that we found something unsavory and costly. This time, it was the completely boot-leg construction of the fireplace by the original builder.
As we were tearing off the facade, we found that there was nothing AT ALL holding the bricks together, and that sand, trash, and random debris had been used as filler. Basically, it was a major accident waiting to happen. Instead of paying $8000 to have it totally rebuilt, we all agreed to close up the wall and forgo the inclusion of a fireplace in our design. Problem solved!
Putting this house back together included a lot of custom projects because I really wanted to make it super meaningful for the family. A new butler’s pantry (butler not included), multi-functional storage solutions, hand-picked local art, and even an art project of my own all helped to welcome Daniel and Jennifer back into what was sure to become a well loved and cared for family home.
By the way, the first pic below is of Brian’s face when I told him about my idea for the hidden TV cabinet, followed by a pic of his face when the project was finished. It may be the happiest I’ve ever seen him, and we go WAY back. Every once in a while, I really do know what I’m talking about. (Or at least I’m crazy enough to honestly believe that I do.)
As usual, I was super nervous about showing the homeowners their new home for the first time. Thankfully, their reaction upon driving up didn’t disappoint.
Do I ever talk about how lucky I am to do what I do for a living? (Yes.) I do? (Yes.) All the time? (Yes, all the time.) Okay, good.
Let me walk you through everything that went into the exterior design.
Paint! We used paint as a simple and cost effective solution to tie all of the various exterior design elements together. Sherwin Williams Pure White for the exterior body, Sherwin Williams Iron Ore for the garage door and brick, and a pop of Sherwin Williams Kendal Green for the front door.
Seating! We built a custom, tri-functional seat/storage/planter area and stained it in a beautiful, warm Sherwin Williams Riverwood exterior stain.
Landscaping! There wasn’t a lot of landscaping required here, but a little TLC went a long way to make this house looked cared for and inviting.
Now for the inside.
As usual, it’s hard to tell who’s more excited here: me or the homeowners.
The kitchen and pantry are so fabulous that they’ve requested an exclusive; you can read all the details about the kitchen design on the Ep 4: Kitchen – Love Letters post HERE.
But can we talk about this living room??
Below, Daniel is clearly thinking, Where in the heck is my TV?
Luckily, we were able to quickly put his fears to rest.
And this dining room doesn’t even look like it’s the same house. I mean, the light, bright new vibe is just SO perfect for the homeowners. I can’t even.
I’ll leave you with a few more of my favorite detail shots, because I like you a lot and, if you’ve read all the way to the end of this post, then you’ve really earned them.