Transforming a ’70s-era house into a modern home full of bright colors and custom features.
When this family hired us, their fundamental question was, "How do we make this home feel like us?" Built in the '70s, the house featured vaulted ceilings and expansive windows giving it huge potential. But the great intentions couldn't be fully experienced because the spaces within were ill-defined and chopped up in ways that didn't take advantage of these features. Not to mention, there was a giant, river rock fireplace right in the center of everything.
This was not a case of needing more space, it was a case for making a few special moves that completely transformed the look & feel of the home. What was initially a project mostly focused on furniture and finishes selection pivoted to a carefully-curated reinvention of the key spaces that define the experience of the home.
Beyond populating the spaces with contemporary and modern furniture, materials and finish selection were designed to introduce contemporary elements where appropriate (such as the new metal railings, and built-ins), but also taking care to respect the existing style of the home where appropriate (such as giving new beams a rough-sawn, painted finish to match the existing structure).
On the main level of the home, the decision to replace the giant, one-sided mass of the fireplace was a game changer. The modern replacement is a statement piece that not only can be enjoyed from both sides, but allows the two rooms to finally be experienced as one, larger space.
Another move that further opened up the home was to remove the walls enclosing the stair down to the walkout basement. The open stairwell now is a great spot to display art, and with pantry storage relocated into built-ins, there is a niche to capture mail and the odds and ends of life maintenance.
In the basement, two formally awkward spaces are now refined with a custom built-in element that defines, shapes, and supports the activity of the spaces. This big design move is at once highly functional and brings a modern element to the formally stylistically-neutral space. Large barn doors can optionally convert the office area into an extra guest room. A faux rustic wine room is now modern and clean, and a rarely-used wetbar is incorporated into a hall bath designed for easy sharing between sister and brother.
Both by opening up the stair to connect the two floors of the home more directly, and by pulling the same style thread through the entire home, the basement now feels very much like an integral part of the whole. The '70s house now full of bright, contemporary details, and, "yes," the homeowners say, it feels just like them.
“We absolutely loved Board & Vellum. They were approachable, professional, fun and easy to work with and incredibly talented. They got to know our style and home and put their designs to work to create a space that reflects who we are and a space that we love. I would highly recommend them on all facets. Such a pleasure and so satisfied.”
Read the full review on Houzz.
How did this project come together?
Here are a few artifacts from the design process.
What did this project look like before we started?
Here are some “Before & After” shots so you can experience the transformation for yourself.
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