Wednesday, December 14, 2011

basic to beautiful makeovers

Basic to beautiful makeovers

A forced kitchen redo

When a pipe burst under the sink, this homeowner knew it was time to remodel

After the redo
Get stainless steel without going broke. A number of affordable appliance manufacturers now offer models almost identical to their high-end counterparts.

Unify everything with white paint. To ensure that the new bottom cabinets matched the old upper units, the homeowner painted both with Benjamin Moore's Linen White, a move that lightened up the whole kitchen.

Make the natural choice. The homeowner ditched the laminate countertops in favor of oak countertops from Ikea, which cost $800 and can be sanded down when cooking blunders occur.
Heavy, dark kitchen
This plain kitchen felt heavy with its dark wood and army of cabinets
Natural and real
Embrace little imperfections. The homeowner relished the opportunity to swap laminate floors for hardwood, but saved more than $1,000 with grade 2 red oak, which shows natural flaws.

Create a "real room" feel. The wall of cabinets was replaced with a $200 hutch scored on Craigslist. The homeowner also hung a vintage chandelier, rewired for $45, to bring a sense of opulence to the space.
Not yet livable
When the homeowners purchased this Fayette, Miss., home six years ago, it was uninhabitable.
New life
The homeowners raised the structure into the air to repair the foundation and installed new plumbing and insulation. They also rebuilt both chimneys and added a hand-crimped aluminum roof
A blank palette
This room allowed the homeowners to start from scratch
Finding hidden details
Each wallboard was removed and numbered, then put back in place after the electrical updates. Scraping away decades of paint revealed original artistic details, including marbleized baseboards and faux bird's-eye maple panels, which a restoration painter was able to revive.

In the living room, Pottery Barn pillows adorn slipcovered armchairs by Lee Industries. The homeowner bought the set of framed prints at a flea market for $94; she has collected the ironstone for years
Less than welcoming
The homeowners converted this second story into sleeping quarters for their grandchildren, adding a bathroom to the larger of the two rooms
Cozy quarters
In the girls' room, linens by Simply Shabby Chic for Target dress trundle beds by Young America; the lamp is from Target
nviting and fun
The boys' Young America beds sport Americana Collection quilts from Dillard's; the crocheted mushroom ottoman is from Anthropologie.

Bright idea: For a purposely casual display, hang artwork with clothespins clipped to a length of fishing wire
Saving a staircase
Though the rotted floor in the hall had to be replaced with reclaimed heart pine, the homeowners were able to restore this staircase using all of its original components
Original but better
The homeowners found the spindles, newel post and banister in the offices of a local preservation organization. The hall is decorated with a high-low mix: A custom tiger-maple table pairs with bargains such as a terrarium from T.J. Maxx and artwork scored on eBay.
Tight work space
This kitchen's island and brick backsplash created a cramped feeling
Open and airy
Designer Sara Story and her sister, Lisa, share a laugh in Lisa Story's much-improved Connecticut kitchen.

Sara Story banished the awkward upper cabinets and dated wooden valance from the wall with a pass-through window. She replaced the rest with sleek custom units and got rid of the hulking island. She also scrapped the bricks and installed plain Sheetrock, painted white.

The stainless-steel appliances are by Frigidaire and Maytag. But the best update? Barclay's apron-front sink.
Needing a new look
An old toilet and vanity mixed with heavy sponge-painted walls made this bathroom a prime makeover candidate.
Same bathroom, new look
The homeowner steered clear of major plumbing work by keeping the room's layout the same.

Moroccan cement tiles, from Artesana Interiors, almost read like a fine rug. Ditching the sponge-painted effect for Nemo's penny tiles delivered the biggest impact, spacewise. The homeowner also swapped out the dated vanity for a classic Kohler pedestal sink; an efficient commode by Toto replaced the old water-wasting toilet.

A custom medicine cabinet hangs in the powder room, along with a towel rack from Moon River Chattel.
Pointless porch
Don't let outdoor space go to waste
Garden-side dining
Once an exterior passageway between the main house and garage, the homeowner's dining space acknowledges its outdoorsy past with glass doors that open onto the garden. The homeowner resisted "civilizing" the walls, either leaving the clapboard intact or exposing the framework beneath it.

The furnishings include a handcrafted zinc-topped table, chairs by Rockland and an Oly pendant lamp
Dated design
The counters and cabinets in this kitchen needed a chic update.
Mix of vintage and modern
The homeowner kept the kitchen's old Chambers stove and cabinets — now improved with new fronts and a coat of Benjamin Moore's Patriotic White — but jettisoned the Formica counters and dark backsplash in favor of marble and white subway tiles.

A Design Workshop stool from ABC Carpet & Home and a Dash & Albert rug decorate the kitchen

Boring garage
This garage was used as a low-key hangout

Guest quarters
Take converting a garage a step further with sleeper sofas that allow the room to double as guest quarters. The homeowner also installed bead board on the lower walls and painted the rafters white.

Among the room's wallet-friendly finds: a Crate & Barrel sofa, West Elm pouf and yard-sale chair. The homeowner purchased the model boat at a local antiques store.

Bright idea: Bring artwork onto an easel for an unexpected, eye-level display.
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