posted by Heather Harkovich
I am not sure how, but I forgot to share this wonderful before and after of a lovely home in the Balcones area of Austin. We completed it in late Spring.
The young family that moved in about two years ago liked some elements of the house, but felt overall it was very dark and was not giving them the light, happy feeling they wanted.
The house is a Spanish Revival style and had some great architectural character, like plaster walls and beams on the ceiling. But, the walls seemed like a dark beige and the beams a bit orange. So, we set about a plan to provide some cosmetic updates and furnish the main living area, which included the kitchen, breakfast area and family room.
The kitchen received a major makeover with painted cabinets, new backsplash, new sink/faucet and lovely Colorado Gold marble countertops. We did not change the layout or configuration, so it was a fairly smooth update (although, of course, it seemed to take forever!).
Kitchen Island Before:
Can you imagine how much brighter this space is now?
The husband was concerned a bright white kitchen would not be in keeping with the style of the home, and he had a good point. It is hard to tell from the photos, but the cabinets have a cream undertone and the backsplash is a gorgeous hand made creamy ceramic tile.
Flowing from the kitchen you go straight into the eating area and family room. Both husband and wife wanted a more mature, sophisticated look for the living space, but they also needed it to be practical.
Every one of their inspiration photos had all white furniture, with some blue accents. But, with children at home, it is often hard to take that leap to design want you want versus what you think is practical.
We managed to deliver what they wanted and what was practical. Our new seating includes Sunbrella fabric counter stools, vinyl seats on the dining chairs and, just in case, Sunbrella on the sofas and Crypton fabric on the side chairs. You can never be too careful!
Family Room Before:
Family Room After:
I love the detail on the back of this chair, which you can see from the front door behind it.
We rebuilt the bookcases flanking the fireplace as the previous design was outdated and not practical (it had housed a deep TV at one point). Painting them the same color as the kitchen cabinets really brightened up the space.
And, do you notice how much lighter the wall plaster seems now that the rest of the room is brighter?
Additionally, we stained the beams a darker brown to remove some of the orange and tie more closely with the existing window and door trim.
Previously the large wall of doors/windows did not have any window treatments and it felt very cold and exposed (especially at night!). We added woven wood blinds for privacy and decorative drapery panels with a wonderful embroidered detail to finish off the space.
As you can see, a major difference. I hope you take some inspiration from this couple on the importance of designing your home for yourself, rather than putting it off. Chose to live in a space you love.