Trick the eye with architectureBy varying ceiling heights and removing walls, we made the public spaces look bigger and, in the process, created a view stretching from the front door to the backyard.
Luxury of less: Living roomDefine small rooms with furniture that makes a statement.
Neither the leather sofa nor the Wegner shell chair, both from Room & Board, "matches" the custom coffee table, but they create an eclectic vignette in front of the retiled fireplace. The window sheers are by Sunbrella.
Dining areaThe hard-edged but casual reclaimed-wood benches and table from Harvest Furniture play off the comfortably upholstered yet formal end chairs. Dark walnut flooring from Armstrong creates yet another layer of contrast.
Mix and (sometimes) match: KitchenPaint and tile helped take our remodel from glum to glam.
A bow to the subtle hues of the home's 1920s origins, the pale green upper cabinets and backsplash tile set off the cool Hawaiian blue granite counters, the warm tones of the mahogany cabinets and Dylan Gold's reclaimed-wood island.
Master bathAn iridescent blend of glass, marble and metal evokes old Hollywood style.
The vanity wall is clad with azure glass tile, touched with flecks of white, for a watery feel. The fixtures and sinks are by Kohler.
Home officeShades of green are used to calm down warmer colors throughout the home. Here, the light sage on the walls does the trick. Those maps are actually printed onto the cork of the bulletin boards.
Ideas to steal: Hide the clutterCables, cords and audiovisual components are hidden in the bench seats flanking the fireplace. Drawers offer easy storage for blankets, books and games.
Use the outdoorsWe built a daybed from Azek decking and topped it with Sunbrella cushions to create a weather-resistant spot to unwind.
Diary of our dream-remodel projectOur fixer-upper
- Problem: Noise and lack of privacy — the corner-lot house faces a busy street — plus cramped rooms.
- Solution: Rotate the building 90 degrees so it looks onto a quieter street; open up the interior and make use of outside space.
Remodel week No. 1Construction starts
The house is jacked up 5 feet and slowly turned; meanwhile, a crew scrambles to build the foundation before impending rain.
A late-winter storm lingers. We build the foundation in a pelting downpour.
Remodel week No. 2Gutting the interior
The crew took one day to gut the interior. Attempts to salvage and reuse wood are thwarted by years of termite damage.
This was our last look at the old kitchen. The location of the window and sink is all that will survive.
Remodel week No. 3First design tasks
The tile choices will be the first step in creating an overall interior look. While winnowing tile options, we discover an interior style motif: Moroccan Craftsman.
Remodel week No. 4Backsplash brainstorm
With the tiles selected, old-school colored pencils help interior designer Joseph Hittinger play with colors and scale for the kitchen backsplash.
Remodel week 5Living-room updates
The original fireplace profile will remain the same, but we'll update with a new stone and tile façade. Then the house is wired for audio, video, lighting and heating controls — all operable from an iPad.
The framing is finished, and suddenly, the house feels huge and full of light.
Remodel week No. 6Updating the arched windows
These windows add to the home’s historical charm, so we’ll replace the glass panes and restore the original trim. We choose a dark chocolate walnut for the hardwood floors to match the deep brown trim color at the windows.
Remodel week No. 7The paint palette emerges
The finish line is in sight. Cabinets have arrived, the house exterior is painted in light and warm shades, and tile work has begun.
Remodel week No. 8Deck and outdoor details
As completion nears, the front, back and side yards demand our attention. Builder Mark De Mattei and designer Joseph Hittinger brainstorm on the dining deck-to-be.
Debates about the yellow paint on the exterior — not everyone loves it — prompt us to go with a cool palette of blues, teals and greens for the front garden.
Remodel week No. 9Finish floors, add furniture
Simple, elegant furniture will make the most of the space we have. Every piece should look great and have a purpose.
The finished floors remain under wraps until all interior painting is done. But with the furniture in place, it looks like we've made a not-so-big house work. Phew.
Remodel week 10A house reborn
The new space has the same bones but more function and style than in its former life. We're all ready to move right in.