A Family Room Addition & Whats Up

24 May 2016

A few years ago, I was contacted by a very sweet potential client who was also a longtime blog reader in the process of house-hunting.  She and her husband had been looking for an older home in the city with lots of character and charm.  They thought they'd found the house, but it ended up getting away so they continued their hunt.  Months later, I was so excited to get the call that they had found "the one" and we went out to take a look at the property together.  (above)  Like my clients, I fell in love with this historic house.   The yard is massive with old boxwood gardens and you'd never guess the home's convenient location.  There's something so special about the house and it just feels good inside because there's this bit of nostalgia in everything- the proportions, the woodwork, the floors, the windows... I love it so much!!  The challenge, though, was to bring the (barely touched!) house up to date so that it could work for our clients' young, busy family.  A kitchen- family room addition with master suite above was key.  We worked with CarrMichael Construction to rework the floorplan/ and design the addition and, of course, to build it.  We are taking our time, decorating it room-by-room (next up to be installed this spring is the screened porch!!) with our clients but I was able to share the completed kitchen & family room in my book, Habitat.  Today I thought I'd give you a little peek at the family room and what it used to be & the behind-the-scenes of it all...

 

 

The room above was the small addition clad in white siding that can be seen in the first exterior shot above and was replaced with a large family room and kitchen addition at the back of the house.  

Here's the family room addition now:

 

 

The kitchen (teensy peek below) is now open to the family room and it completely changed the flow of the house. One of the most important features for my client was the raised brick hearth in the addition because she loves being able to cozy up right by the fire. We also wanted lots of light and a major indoor-outdoor connection so french doors line the back wall and windows flank the fireplace.  Simple painted beams add architectural interest.  

A pair of slipcovered sofas provides lot of space for snuggling up for movies & conversation.  We found the antique coffee table (I'm certain I squealed when we came across it!) and a mix of casegoods- both new & vintage- keep it casual and relaxed.  And the reality is that TVs live somewhere and that somewhere's usually the family room. We all agreed that because TV watching would be one of the main functions in here and that we wanted a large group to be able to enjoy it at once, that we'd put it over the fireplace where it could best be seen by everyone.  Curtains are in Lauren Liess Textiles Fern Star in Indigo and I think they were one of the very first things we selected for the room because our client knew she wanted blue patterned curtains.  Layered rugs- seagass and a gorgeous washed blue wool rug- add texture and interest.  The actual wood & velvet chairs that we specified for the room didn't make it in time for the shoot (it felt like they were backordered for-EVA!!!) so we brought in a low pair of vintage woven armless chairs instead.  (They now live at my dad's lake house and are probably one of my favorite- most comfortable- things we own.) 

{a vignette of the kitchen}

 

People often ask me what I like best- working on full homes from the ground up or decorating single rooms...  And my answer is probably different on any given day.  I think I crave both and love the variety so I based our business model & schedule upon taking a combination of the two types of projects.  

I love getting into every little detail like you can on full homes when you eat, sleep and breathe a house for a year or more, but I also love a straight-up decorating project in which it's all about the furnishings and the fabrics and the architecture is already in place, and we just go room-by-room with the decorating.  This project has really felt like a hybrid of the two- because the house was done from the ground up and we were involved in that, but we only furnished the kitchen & the living room at first, and we're taking the decorating slowly, one room at a time, having moved onto the dining room, foyer, and now the screened-in porch.  There's so much trust between my client & our team and I love being so comfortable with each other.  I'd say that's one of my favorite aspects of this business and of getting older... The longer my clients & I know each other and the better friends we become, the more trust we build, more risks get taken and the more fun we all have.      

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the little peek into our clients' home.  The full kitchen is in my book and on that note, I really wanted to thank you all so much for all of the book love & support over the past six months.  It's remained on Amazon's Decorating Bestseller list this entire time and I've noticed that whenever any of you post about it, or Instagram it, the sales really do jump, which shows just how much of an impact everyone has.  My blog is smaller than many of the author's blogs on the bestseller list but Habitat has been hanging and I owe that completely to you all and the love & shout-outs you've given so freely.  Seriously, thank you so much.

We're in the process of concept proposal for Book 2 (I know how fast that sounds and believe me, I delayed it a LOT) so I'll keep you posted on that.  We just returned home from Birmingham last week where we installed the master suite in Southern Living's 50th Anniversary Idea House:


 {The room at the beginning of install... walls are in hemp burlap by twenty2, Bed is by Tritter Feefer )

It was so much fun and I can't sing the Southern Living team's praises highly enough... they're such a sweet, warm, kind group of people and I just love all of the designers doing rooms in the house this year so much- Mark Sikes (Living Room), Ashley Gilbreath (Foyer & Bedroom), Margaret Kirkland (Dining Room & Terrace), and Amy Berry (Pajama Suite) and architect Bill Ingram who designed the house itself and the family room/ kitchen.  I love being a part of a team and getting to know new friends, and my showhouse experiences have been really incredible this past year.  Bunny Williams did this year's Idea House in Charleston, VA and it's STUNNING.  

{Ashley and her 13-DAY OLD (!!) beautiful baby girl, Liza, with me & Gisele.  }

Anyway, I'm off for the day, but hope you have a great one!!  I'll be sure to post updates on the showhouse soon... It opens in JUNE!!! woohoo!!!

 

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