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Fun Family Juggles Remodel Pt. 3

Written by Mollie Johnson 11/19/2021


After my dreams of cladding the fireplace floor to ceiling in a striking large scale concrete tile were dashed, I went back to the drawing board. I created multiple design plans for the living room and ultimately, we all agreed on adding a wood panel treatment to the walls. I knew those walls were dying to be can see them now, right?! This was our starting point. The cabinets that chopped up the room also had to go. My clients did a lot of the demo themselves and often worked side by side with their jack-of-all-trades, Chip Dozert and team.

I love that they trusted my vision for their home when I pushed (pretty hard) a dark, almost black paint on that 20" ceiling! After living with samples on the ceiling for a while, they were on board. Because paneling all the way to the ceiling created more challenges with the crown molding, we settled on roughly three quarters. I wanted to paint the entire wall white, but ultimately chose a light grey above the wainscoting because that is what the wife preferred. You see, designing a home for our clients is a collaborative endeavor. It's not just my way or the highway. Don't get me wrong . . . I'm no pushover, but there is a lot of give and take during the process. If clients wanted their way all the time, they wouldn't have hired me in the first place. And if I ignored their needs and wants, I would be doing them a disservice.

I took this "before" photo (above) while standing in the master bedroom doorway. Now, the living area centers around the fireplace, freeing up space around the bedroom door and provides ample room to walk around the seating area to different rooms in the home.

One battle I was able to avoid altogether was the tv-over-the-mantel debate. I am sure you've picked side at this point in life. Here in the living room, I proposed moving the cased opening more to the center of the kitchen/dining area. This allows for better flow and site lines. It also allowed us to push their hang out area closer to the fireplace. In the before photo, you can see that their tv and couches were far away from the fireplace with a huge empty gap in between. My goal was to move the tv to the now wider wall to the left of the fireplace. And the husband had no problem with the new location that allowed for an 85" flatscreen tv. Reclining couches were on their must have list. In my opinion, reclining furniture is not the best to look at from behind, so I suggested a round table instead of a typical console table. This make for a more interesting view from the moment you enter the front door. Sourcing the table we loved was challenging and pricey. But the homeowner found one with a shape she could live with and simply painted it.

We worked with Rosa Babin to create these 19' fully lined curtain panels. I am sure the homeowner got her to agree before she really knew what she was in for, haha! Oh, and they had to rent a scaffold again just for the installation of these bad boys. This was a very Rapunzel moment.

This faux olive tree started out looking pretty puny. After fluffing the branches and "planting" it, the tree looks much more substantial. Remember, you don't have to keep the tree or plant "as is". Just replant it with Styrofoam (or whatever you have on hand) and add a layer of decorative rock, dirt or moss on top.

I cannot find the after shot of this angle, but I think you get the idea...

I am certain that stockings will be hung with care very soon and the construction dust of the past will be a distant memory.


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