A certain amount of intrigue develops when a client asks us to assist with a renovation and design for their home. Refreshing a space is exciting work – there are many possibilities to explore. This renovation project is an easy illustration of what happens when we take a great room and create a fresh, new concept.
The process begins with a client interview. We discuss how the room will be used, the timeframe we have before us, the desired appearance that matches the client’s dreams, and of course, a realistic budget.
In this situation, the client wanted to keep the storage in her great room, but hadn’t been able to visualize a solution that would solve all of the problems. There was a fireplace behind the television, the storage cabinets were adequate; but, the color scheme was not to her liking.
She wanted to open up the room, make it lighter and still have comfortable seating. Big comfortable seating was enveloping the room. Care had to be taken to use airier colors, design new cabinetry and still use seating that did not close off the view.
Here are some of the notes I took the day we started the project. I gather dimensions, and jot down ideas that can form a pleasing and creative finished product. Details such as dimensions are extremely important. They help me plan the space efficiently. When the drawings are on paper, new creative options often appear.
In this case, I knew we needed to improve the vertical affect of the room. Taking the cabinetry to the ceiling instead of going wall-to-wall gives the room a more spacious feeling. Leaving a little air space around the cabinetry gives the illusion that the room is fairly large.
Also, keeping the cabinets as narrow as possible, providing shelves with lighting and storage provided the look I wanted. At the same time, it gave my client display space for the family photos that she treasures.
Once the drawings are done, it’s much easier for the contractor to give us an accurate bid. They know exactly what the intention of the space is. They can analyze the materials, estimate labor and give us a more accurate response concerning the budget.
By painting the existing wood and beams, the new cabinetry transitions into the space more easily. Painting everything unified all the various wood species. We were able to use 80% of the existing trim work, expose the beautiful fireplace, and install the television where an outdated dark tinted mirrored wall was previously.
The finished photo at the top of this page shows you the result of the changes now that the major parts of the transformation have been completed.
We’re ready for the next phase: It’s time to move forward with the accessories and small tables that will complement the room. Since the majority of the work is completed, it will be easier to finish the room with items that can be changed easily, perhaps even seasonally.
My client is ecstatic and the room functions beautifully. We went from A to B to C and Done! Seems simple when it’s finished, but it takes vision and accuracy to achieve a beautiful room that works.