Transforming a Builder-Grade Home into a Modern Dream Space
September 1, 2017
Home ToursHome
A standard builder-grade home is no match for the design prowess of Carly Waters. For this young couple, she turned their 90's style space (beige carpet and all) into a modern dream layered with killer cement tile, a bright white kitchen and cool mid-century decor. Take the full tour captured by Amy Bartlam right here.
The young couple (he works in advertising, she works in finance) hired me to transform their builder-grade house into something that felt modern, hip & comfortable. Like most houses built in the '90s, the space felt outdated with its beige carpeting and over-the-top architecture (faux-arches, need I say more). Luckily, the couple (along with their two young kids) were ready to completely transform their first floor. 
All fixtures, doors, hardware, lighting, cabinets, floors & furniture were changed out. In a mere 8 weeks, we lightened, brightened and modernized. There were a few key elements that transformed this space-- the first being the fireplace. 
The home previously had an Italian inspired bulky fireplace with emerald green tiles. The hearth was so large that it ate into the usable living space. Simply by removing and straightening the lines, we immediately enlarged the room. We choose tiles by Cement Tile Shop which created a fun focal point for the room. 
The next big overhaul was the wall nook in the living room, previously used to house a keyboard. Due to structural constraints, we had to leave the nook but we were able to straighten out the arches. With any construction project, sometimes constraints can be your best friend. 
In this project, that nook turned out to be the perfect spot for a bar. We scoured local stores for the decor, added some fun photography, and immediately the space felt like it was always meant to be. 
In the kitchen, we made a few minor tweaks to the original layout- we moved the fridge to the back wall in order to open up the space (it used to be the left of the range). We also elongated the kitchen, and pushed the peninsula more towards the dining room. 
We also added custom floating shelves, which was the perfect spot to display ceramics and greenery. All the cabinetry is from an online retailer, Cliq Studios. We added a vintage rug, hardware from Schoolhouse Electric and lighting by Cedar&Moss.
In the laundry room, we completely rearranged the space. We stacked the machines, and thus allowed more natural light into the space (the old machines blocked the window). We designed a cabinet that could both work as a folding surface, as well as a cabinet for all of their storage needs.
Lastly, the guest bathroom got a full overhaul. The all-star in this room are the fun hex ceramic tiles we purchased from a local tile store, Cosmos Flooring. Because the room does not get any natural light, we used the power of paint to brighten, and warmed up the space with a floating wood vanity.
The final transformation came from the furniture. The couple gave us full reins to completely start over and start from scratch, so long as we stayed within their budget. 
In the living room, the furniture is a mix of one-of-a-kind pieces (the ottoman), big box store purchases (the rug is Urban Outfitters) and smaller retailers (the sectional is from Article). We used that same model for the rest of the space- mixing high and low - to create a unique and updated look.
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