...because home doesn't happen overnight.
10.18.14 / Made Me Smile

grow grass grow

A few weeks ago, we reseeded the lawn around the new driveway. Thanks to a rainy fall, the grass is coming in nicely. We’re getting so close to not being embarrassed by our home’s curb appearance. Grow grass, grow!

A few links to carry you through the weekend…

*Which international city should you live in? (I got Austin, TX. Because I’m “outdoorsy, health-focused and a little weird.”)

*This house was in our Top 3 when we were looking to downsize over three years ago. We nixed it because the only bathroom was on the second floor and the house didn’t feel like that big of a project. Note to self: next time buy the house that doesn’t feel like that big of a project. Idiots. Anyway, the house is up for sale again. We aren’t buying but I do think it would be fun to walk through the house just to see how it feels to us now, three years later.

*We don’t have a basement, but if we did

*An amazing DIY kitchen makeover!

copper bathroom

*Copper penny tile and reclaimed oak make for one warm and cozy bathroom.

*I gifted this colorful cookbook to my sister-in-law for her birthday.

*A tub sneak peek. Spoiler alert: it’s in! Not plumbed, but in!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. We’re celebrating my dad’s birthday and staring at our new tub (!) until the plumber comes to hook it up next week.

images: 1) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 2) Geremia Design

 

modern family laundry 1

modern family laundry 5

James and Kristina‘s laundry room is less of a room and more of a hallway that runs between the kitchen and garage.

modern family laundry before

The original laundry room consisted of nothing more than a washer and dryer. James and Kristina were looking to add storage without adding square footage.

modern family laundry

So they built up! James created a platform for a front-loading washer and dryer and took advantage of wall space by installing horizontal wall cabinets from Ikea. (They are a nod to similar cabinets above the kitchen sink.) A laminate countertop provides a surface for laundry detergent and grab-n-go early morning coffee. Keeping the coffee maker in the laundry room frees up counter space in the minimal kitchen.

modern family laundry 4

Kristina is a hair stylist for friends and family and works out of the house so a separate utility sink for washing and rinsing clients’ hair is a must-have. Food and water bowls for the family’s two dogs sit at the base of the sink cabinet. The entire space is tiled in the same porcelain tile as the entry, dining area and kitchen. (Sock feet photobomb.) The wall color is Behr ocean pearl, the same color used in the entry and family room.

It just goes to show that a laundry room needn’t be big (or even a room) to be tidy and functional. I’m especially inspired by how the space flows so well with the rest of the house due to repeated elements like the horizontal wall cabinets, floor tile and paint color. Way to work with whatcha got!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

Last week I shared our friends’ renovated kitchen and dining space. There was interest in seeing how the renovation affected other areas of the house so I thought it would be helpful to feature the entry, family room and office as well. First, let’s recap how James and Kristina reworked the floor plan without adding square footage. (FYI – These are rough sketches showing changes made to the layout. They are not to scale.)

BEFORE

modern family reno floor plan before

AFTER

modern family reno floor plan after

A wall separating the kitchen from the original family room was removed and a doorway in the kitchen that provided access to the original dining room was closed up. Keeping their casual lifestyle in mind, the homeowners turned the former family room into an open dining space. The original (more formal) living room at the front of the house became a family room and the original dining room became a home office. Part of the wall separating the new kitchen from the new family room was opened up to give the space better flow.

modern family entry before

The original entry included vinyl flooring and a few midcentury gems (i.e., front door, pendant lights and brick pony wall planter).

modern family room 1

Not wanting to stray too far from the home’s midcentury roots, the homeowners kept the original front door but painted it a lively turquoise. They kept the statement pendants and pony wall but chose to nix the planter setup. (They didn’t think the planter would go over well with their two young kids and two dogs.)

modern family entry 2

Instead, James covered the brick pony wall with MDF, painted it black and then wrapped the entire thing in walnut paneling salvaged from the paneled wall that once separated the kitchen from the old family room. (You can spy a glimpse of it here.) He capped it with the same quartz countertop material found in the new kitchen. The pony wall provides a welcome pause upon entering the home without completely blocking off the entry. James was able to reuse more of the walnut paneling as shelving in the entry closet for added storage.

modern family entry 1

The new entry boasts the same large scale tile found in the kitchen and dining space. It’s durable and provides a cohesive look.

modern family room before

To James and Kristina, the original living room felt too formal and too disjointed from the heart of the home (the kitchen). The adjoining dining room was dark and didn’t jive with the family’s desire for an open kitchen-dining space.

modern family room 2

They decided the formal living room was unnecessary and repurposed it as a casual family room. The dining room was sealed off from the kitchen and relabeled as a home office. James is a self-employed contractor and runs his business from home. Kristina is currently taking college courses. The new room designation just made sense.

The entire home’s carpet had recently been replaced when James and Kristina took possession of the house. They considered installing hardwood flooring but the new carpet was in excellent condition and reminiscent of a 50s shag. In the end, they decided to keep the carpet out of the landfill and embrace it.

modern family room 3

modern family room 8

A wide doorway between the family room and kitchen lends an openness and a simplified traffic pattern between the two spaces.

modern family room 6

modern family room 5

Staying true to their preferred minimal and masculine aesthetic, James and Kristina mix midcentury finds with clean-lined contemporary furnishings.

modern family room 4

For contrast (and to play up the room’s inherent darkness), the office is painted a deep charcoal with blue undertones. Since photographing the space, James and Kristina have hung an oversized black and white print on the far wall to draw the eye into the office.

modern family office 3

modern family office 2

One side of the office features a sitting area and has a cozy den vibe. Vintage end tables play nicely with a big box daybed.

modern family office 4

modern family office 5

The opposite side of the room functions as a workspace. James installed LED can lights overhead. The wall-mounted flatscreen can be used as a computer screen or a TV screen (for watching movies or playing video games). Two tall Ikea cabinets flank the desktop. James wrapped the cabinets and center desk support in a tiger wood laminate from a countertop supply store. The desktop is marbled Corian with a 3″ lip to give it a chunkier appearance and to hide unsightly wires. Transparent chairs take up little visual space in the small room.

Rescources of note:

family room and entry wall paint – Behr ocean pearl, matte finish
TV wall paint – Behr mocha accent, matte finish
office wall paint – Behr dark ash, matte finish
entry tile – Kaska Italian porcelain tile from Build Direct
entry cabinet – vintage
entry pendants – original to the house c. 1965
walnut paneling – original to the house c. 1965
pony wall top – Silestone white zeus quartz
media center – BESTÅ, Ikea
family room end tables – Urban Outfitters
family room coffee table – $20 garage sale find
family room chair – vintage, given as a tip from one of James’s clients
sectional – Kardiel
family room table lamps – Ikea
desk cabinets – ABSTRAKT, Ikea
desk chairs – TOBIAS, Ikea
office daybed – Urban Outfitters
office coffee table – Target
office end tables – vintage via craigslist
pillows – Target

modern family room 7

modern family media

modern family office 1

modern family light

modern family entry 3

There are so many good ideas to take away from these spaces:

*Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and relabel rooms to suit your needs and lifestyle.

*Always consider what’s on the other side of a wall. Closing off and / or opening up doorways can have a huge impact on a home’s flow.

*Some original statement features are worth keeping – even if it means putting your own spin on things.

*Quality materials can be salvaged and repurposed as a way to pay homage to a house’s past life.

*You don’t have to rip out all the carpet to make an improvement. Replacing the flooring in the most highly trafficked areas will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Keep durability, cohesion and traffic patterns in mind when contemplating materials and location.

*Mix old and new successfully with a unifying theme.

Once again, thanks to James and Kristina for sharing their livable yet stylish, modest yet modern home! I can’t get over the entry pendant lights and the modernized pony wall. What’s your favorite part? I have a few more ideas from this renovation to share as inspiration. Stay tuned…

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

10.11.14 / Made Me Smile

vintage batik fabric

Happy Saturday! We’re busy sanding, staining, priming and painting today. The (declawed) clawfoot tub and accompanying DIY cradle base are coming along. Can’t wait to share our progress! This project has been so much fun mostly because we feel like we’re sailing uncharted waters. I’m not sure if the final result will resemble anything close to our vision but we’ve enjoyed the challenge.

More things I enjoyed this week…

*Vintage batik fabric for a special project.

*Lovers.

*DIY wabi-sabi wood tiles.

*Bekah’s airstream redo.

*Danielle and Austin’s big reveal.

auhaus architecture

*There’s an Australian version of Houzz now?! Whoa. Where have I been?

*Tracy Anderson’s new workout DVD.

*Currently reading and loving: The Big Tiny.

*Trivets anyone?

Have a great rest of the weekend. I’m off to give the tub yet another coat of paint!

images: 1) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 2) Auhaus Architecture