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After 25+ years with minimal changes, these homeowners decided it was time for an update in their kitchen, living room and dining room. 

The 1950s ranch-style home still had the original Saltillo Tile, and while this terra cotta tile is coming back into vogue, it has been an aspect of the house that the homeowners have struggled with (and eventually downright loathed) for years. The wood-slatted ceilings just needed some love, but bulky track lighting and blah fixtures needed to be changed.

The walls in the dining room were sponge painted sometime in the 90s and it had to go, as did the bold, primary colors in the kitchen (hello, wallpaper border!)

The main goal—NEUTRALIZE AND MINIMIZE, while keeping in mind the wife’s love of color.  As with many people, a more simple, intentional decor style was desired, so knickknacks and accessories needed to be pared down considerably. Her inspiration was an embroidered pillow purchased on a trip to Greece.

The kitchen cabinets were in great structural condition, but the slatted doors and pickled finish were very dated. We re-faced the cabinets, adding new drawers and doors, and reconfiguring some of the spaces when possible. New, higher profile crown moulding was added and after all was painted a crisp white, the kitchen looked like it received new cabinetry at a fraction of the cost!

As a punch of color, the island was painted a bold green (SW6453 Cilantro Green), which pulled the subtle green out of the backsplash mosaic tile.  The new cooktop melds into the black island granite, and the two large pendants provide much-needed task lighting for cooking.  

Plain, solid surface countertops (and integrated sink) were replaced with gorgeous White Ice granite and matte black pulls were added.

The old, “Hello 1989”-track lighting was removed and LED cans were added, eliminating the dark, shadowy spots along the high wall.  And the yellow walls and wallpaper border—gone—painted a neutral taupe. Like-toned drapery with a bright green geometric tape on the leading edge helps keep the wall space visually uninterrupted.

In the Dining Room, we installed a bright green grass cloth, and that alone gave the room a huge lift. New, simple stationary panels and reupholstering the heirloom dining chairs made this room substantially brighter, fresher.

In the Living Room, it was a fresh start with the furniture. The dark, “well-loved” furniture was replaced with a large, custom-designed sectional that features a textured (and stain-treated!) fabric with taupes, ivory, and a slight thread of grass green.  Navy was chosen as the accent, so this was brought in through pillow fabrics, as well as the fabric on a reupholstered ottoman and a new swivel glider. 

A neutral, custom-sized wool area rug anchors the conversation area, and it looks so much larger than it did prior, with no expansion of the room!  Thoughtful accessorizing helped to make this space personalized, yet not cluttered.

Luxury vinyl plank was floated over the tiled floors, giving durability, water resistance, and easy cleaning. Again, as popular as Saltillo tile may be, if the homeowner does not love it, it has to go.

Overall, the public spaces in this house were brightened considerably and the homeowners love it. They are looking forward to a post-COVID world to enjoy entertaining again.


DESIGNER: Gina McMurtrey

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