Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Matt & Kim's Place

This summer our next-door neighbors and good friends, Matt and Kim, traded their 20’s era Milwaukee Bungalow for a spacious new home in Franklin. Besides leaving behind their fabulous neighbors across the fence, they also left the charm and character that can only be found in an old, Craftsman built home.

Their new place in Franklin came with a spectacular view, lots of space, and a big backyard. But it lacked some of the features they loved so much about their old home – built-in bookcases, leaded glass, a cozy fireplace (…there was a fireplace, but we’ll get to that later).

So Matt and Kim hired me to create a design plan for their new home that would draw upon the spirit of their old place. 

Window Seats

Kim always dreamed of having a built-in window seat somewhere in her home (here's an image she's held onto for many years...).

Because of the generous size of her family room, we had plenty of space to work with. But most window seats are tucked into little cozy nooks between walls, or at the end of the hallway. We had to find a way to create a space that was conducive to a window seat, so it felt like it was meant to be there. A few inspiring examples:

The solution was to construct bookcases between the two large family room windows. Besides creating a home for two window seats, they would provide great storage and display space for the Stickel’s pictures, books and collectibles. 

And perhaps one of the best features provided by the window seats was storage space for stashing the kid's toys - perfect for a quick 5-minute clean up before guests stop by.

The Fireplace

The focal point of the room was the fireplace, but it wasn’t living up to its potential. It felt more like an afterthought tacked onto the wall.

So we set out to create a surround that did the fireplace justice....

First, the unit itself had to be pulled into the room 15”, with a false chimney chase constructed up to the ceiling. This would position the fireplace in front of the bookcases, giving it the prominence it deserved.

The venting was rerouted and reconnected. Then our talented finish carpenter & cabinetmaker, Mark Marescalco, constructed the beautiful new wood mantel and surround.

After two coats of off-white paint and some new slate tile, the fireplace had an indisputable wow factor!

Q&A with the Homeowner

You came from an old bungalow – how did that factor into your goals for the space? 
We missed the charm and the ‘coziness’ of our bungalow – the first floor was filled with beautiful oak wood that had so much character, and we had converted the unfinished attic into a breezy, airy and lighter space. We wanted to combine aspects of both spaces into one room in our new house.  
And we missed bookshelves. We are big readers and to move into a house without them…well, we knew we needed a change. Our goals were to blend the things we loved about our old house and enhance the qualities we loved about the new house.

How did the design process work for you? 
Amy asked a lot of questions about what we wanted the room to feel like, what inspired us, what colors and styles were we drawn to. She was able to render, on first try, EXACTLY what we were envisioning, and managed to take it even further with simple details that added so much. 
The professionals she recommended to do the work have been great to work with and overall this collaborative process has been very satisfying. We love this space!

The Finished Room - Before & After

Q&A Continued...

Do you think the finished product reflects your personal style?
Absolutely! It is exactly what we wanted. We love anything having to do with nature, the Craftsman look of our beloved Bungalow, clean lines and cozy shelves. 
We were striving for a ‘library’ room for our family to settle into at the end of the night together. No TV, just a fire blazing, plenty of books to read and seats to enjoy the sunset out our windows. 

How do the kids like it?
We have ended every night here since it was finished. They LOVE the fireplace and the window seats! 
We chose a very soft carpet for this room for lots of floor play and our 5 year old already chose ‘his’ shelf for his special books and treasures. It is a beautiful and peaceful way to end our day with them.