Issuu on Google+

style scout

DESIGNING FOR THE REAL WORLD PRACTICAL WAYS A DESIGNER CAN MAKE YOUR LIFE—OR AT LEAST YOUR HOME—BEAUTIFUL. By Cy Winship I’ve wanted to write about being a designer in the real world for a long time. About how everyone can attain cool, one-of-a-kind design. So, when METRO’s senior editor, David Doody, and his partner, Liz, asked for ideas for their new south Minneapolis home, I jumped at the opportunity to do it—and to write about it. Like a lot of first-time homeowners (my husband and me included), David and Liz bought an older home because it’s what they could afford. Trouble is—as is often the case with young, urban couples—many of the characteristics of these homes don’t necessarily jibe with the tastes of their new owners. (In this case, these include some unfortunate “updates” by the previous owners and a center wall clad in fake brick.) A designer can help you bring your home to a place that feels more like you, introduce you to local artisans who can fill your home with one-of-a-kind pieces (ones you won’t want to replace every time you get a new Crate and Barrel catalog) and steer you on a path toward spending your money wisely instead of just spending.

So, for this month’s column my friend and co-designer, Erica Cooper, helped me come up with a daring design for David and Liz. Check out some of these ideas below. We hope they will get you thinking about how a designer could help with your new home—or your not-so-new home that’s started to feel a little stale. Designers aren’t all like the ones you find in Elle Decor, where “the best entry tables you have to have” are always $10,000; we’re not all out-of-touch, elitist snobs. Some of us actually try to listen to our clients, using their ideas to do something fresh and unique, while keeping the integrity of the home intact. Listening to the client and using as many local talents as possible are both hugely important. It may not be the cheapest way to go and everything may not be able to happen at once, but with a focus on individuality and an emphasis on unique décor, we can create spaces that match the people living in them. Take David and Liz’s new home—in the end it’ll be like them: witty, young, interesting and fun. +


LIVING ROOM

style scout


SLEEK, MODERN WHITE SOFA

TEXTURAL ACCENT PILLOWS

SCRATCH ART

EDDIE HAMILTON ART

OVER DYED RUGS

OVER-DYED RUGS

FOOTSTOOL RUSSIAN INSPIRED PILLOWS


style scout

PHOTO: TATE CARLSON ILLUSTRATIONS: PETER GARDNER

DINING ROOM

RIP OUT FAKE BUILT-IN; PUT IN QUALITY HUTCH WITH SEATING FROM MARTY KUSAR.

CUSTOM, MIRRORED TABLE BY CLAY BEARDSHEAR


COLOR PALETTE

CHANDELIER DETAIL MODERN CHANDELIER

MISSIONI FABRIC SWATCHES

WHITE/ FUCHSIA SAARINEN CHAIRS

FLOOR TO CEILING BUILT-INS


AS - IS SPACE

remodeling

AS - IS SPACE

We invited one of our favorite contractors, Brownsmith Restoration, to come up with a creative solution to a dilemma David and Liz faced with their new home: a small kitchen. Like many young couples, they figured the solution would come with a more open floor plan. On the following pages, you’ll see how James Brown and Mike Smith, the minds behind Brownsmith, tackled the issue, and whether David and Liz’s inclination was the right one. Here’s what Smith had to say about the challenge:


remodeling

AS - IS SPACE

Some points to remember as you look at the concepts: • I re-oriented the stairs coming from the back door. This allows for a much-needed full wall to put cabinets against. • I also removed the chimney that used to come up right in the kitchen, which made an immense difference in layout possibilities. • I also took the liberty of moving windows to allow for a better functioning and better feeling kitchen. • I did add a minimum size half bath to the “Key Hole Plan,” which could be added to any floor plan.

David and Liz have a great house with a horrible kitchen. The space is small and has an inefficient layout. This is a pretty common problem in older homes. I personally like small kitchens, if they are laid out well. Above all, it is important to me that spaces feel authentic. I have prepared four concepts for David and Liz. These are quick studies exploring some different layout possibilities.


AS - IS SPACE

remodeling

Brownsmith Restoration is a full service general contractor and construction management company that focuses on renovating old homes and finding creative solutions to the challenges of historically accurate restoration. To learn more go to brownsmithrestoration.com


AS - IS SPACE remodeling


OPEN PLAN

remodeling

OPEN PLAN OPEN PLAN: It seems like everyone wants an open kitchen. I understand the desire to be connected to the activity and conversation in the next room. I have seen many kitchens in small, older homes that have been opened up to the dining room and/or living room, and my heart sinks every time I see this. I feel that in most cases, opening the kitchen to the formal dining room creates an identity crisis for both rooms and, ultimately, the house as a whole. Yes, the light feels good, but at the expense of the integrity of the home’s style. And, usually at the expense of valuable wall storage space. If you are going to open your kitchen to the dining room, please at least header off the opening at the height consistent with the other door openings in the house, and for God’s sake wrap the opening with casing. Oh, and I almost forgot, never put a bar overhang with stoolsfrom a kitchen into a formal dining room!


OPEN PLAN

remodeling


OPEN PLAN

remodeling

Brownsmith Restoration is a full service general contractor and construction management company that focuses on renovating old homes and finding creative solutions to the challenges of historically accurate restoration. To learn more go to brownsmithrestoration.com


GALLEY PLAN

remodeling

GALLEY PLAN

GALLEY PLAN: This is my favorite plan using David and Liz’s existing floor plan. It allows for a very functional kitchen. And more importantly to me, it feels authentic. This is a kitchen that feels at home in a house that was built in the 1920s. I added a wall blocking the view of the back door from the front door. I never like to see right through a house. I added a hall tree with a bench seat against this little wall.


GALLEY PLAN

remodeling

Brownsmith Restoration is a full service general contractor and construction management company that focuses on renovating old homes and finding creative solutions to the challenges of historically accurate restoration. To learn more go to brownsmithrestoration. com


GALLEY PLAN remodeling


KEY HOLE PLAN

remodeling

KEY HOLE PLAN

KEY HOLE PLAN: This is my preferred open kitchen plan. I’m still not happy about it, but if you’re going to do an open plan, do it with a key-hole arch, with a cased opening. With this plan we would need to sacrifice the window on the north wall of the kitchen. This plan also requires two corner cabinets. I don’t like corner cabinets and I don’t use lazy susans, so although this looks like more storage than the Galley Plan, it is poorly used space. I feel that in a small home, when you open up all the spaces, the overall effect is that the home feels smaller. There is no mystery left; no sense of destination.


KEY HOLE PLAN remodeling


KEY HOLE PLAN

remodeling

Brownsmith Restoration is a full service general contractor and construction management company that focuses on renovating old homes and finding creative solutions to the challenges of historically accurate restoration. To learn more go to brownsmithrestoration.com


remodeling

ADDITION PLAN

FAMILY ROOM AND KITCHEN ADDITION PLAN: This is the big one: In the case of David and Liz’s home, I would recommend an addition. At 9’x9’, there is only so much you can do with the current kitchen. The other factor at stake is that there is already a weird addition on the home that needs attention. The existing addition is built about three feet higher than the rest of the main floor. I propose we lower the floor height and make a large open kitchen and family room off the back of the house. This allows for an open feeling without compromising the formal dining room. We can keep this space vaulted and airy. In the original kitchen space we can put a full bath or a half bath with a walkin pantry. This space could also be used as a small study. The additional space also allows for the possibility of adding a master bath and walk-in closet on the upper level.


ADDITION PLAN remodeling


ADDITION PLAN

remodeling

In this plan, the microwave is in the large center island.

Brownsmith Restoration is a full service general contractor and construction management company that focuses on renovating old homes and finding creative solutions to the challenges of historically accurate restoration. To learn more go to brownsmithrestoration.com


METRO Magazine: Designing for the Real World