Family entertaining is the focus in this traditional farmhouse situated on a lake. However, the existing kitchen layout was not conducive to hosting, entertaining and sharing. It was plagued with a tiny island, lots of unused seating and inefficient cabinet storage.
We were able to capture hollow space from the walls and living room in order to open up a cramped corner and create a more linear layout. When elongating the sink area, it allowed for a spacious center in which we incorporated a new long and wide island.
We also relocated the bar height kitchen sitting area and incorporated it on the living room side. Due to the existing cooktop area remaining unchanged we needed to match the existing finishes exactly. We were able to do so by tracking down the original backsplash tile and obtaining a custom order.
Now the family is able to share lots of love, hearty laughs, and good food around the home's focal point.
Last week I posted a teaser photo of this kitchen while discussing the importance of design drawings. Here you can see the full photo of the brand-new windows and sink area. This kitchen was a major portion of the whole home update so let’s take a tour!
We introduced a new color palette by painting the walls a light grey and accentuated the soft arches with a dark grey so they’d stand out more. This coloring was echoed in the reupholstered sofa and wingback chairs while introducing new pieces such as the cocktail table and area rug. My gift to the client was the sculptural art above the sofa; I featured her vintage mirror in the center and offset metal wall disks with mirrors to span the width of the wall. She says that it reminds her of ripples in the water, therefore making it a joy to sit and bask in its beauty.
One of the reasons her living room was so dark was because she had heavy sheer curtains that blocked the windows and prohibited a good amount of light to come through them. We replaced the coverings with a light gold sheer and modern gold and grey stripe drapery. Only the sheers close in front of the windows leaving enough transparency for daily light to filter through.
We completely transformed the workflow and feeling of this space by removing the peninsula and locating all of the cabinetry along the outside walls. The Wolf range is now a focal feature with cabinetry storage to the left and right giving Gina easy access when cooking. The sink was centered on the long wall to allow for better access and nearby drawer storage.
A key element to this kitchen isn’t seen until you open the drawers. This dish organizer system is located adjacent to the dishwasher and allows her easy access to put things away. Also, by keeping dishes in a drawer it frees up valuable space in the upper cabinet to store glasses, spices and serving pieces.
This small drawer cabinet may seem off to the side but it’s got a hidden secret. The second drawer from the floor is a warming drawer. Conveniently located next to the oven it will help keep entrée’s and sides at the perfect temperature until ready to serve. Entertaining is something she does often so having assistance frees the homeowner up to focus on her guests.
Transforming this historic home was done with much care and planning. Communication between the homeowner, designer and contractor was key to the success of this project. We ensured that all items had been purchased and were on site prior to the beginning of construction. Additionally, regularly scheduled project updates went out to all parties so that we could ensure things were staying on schedule. The curated collection of family antiques finished in new hues and newly acquired pieces create a space unique to and adored by this client.
Exact match items-
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Living Metal Wall Discs : http://bit.ly/2YnIbhJ
Living Starburst Mirror : http://bit.ly/2WpjQGx
Living Small Gold Mirror : http://bit.ly/2HRn3KV
Living Medium Gold Mirror : http://bit.ly/2HOSJRa
Living Terrarium: http://bit.ly/2YnTd6H
Kitchen Teal Vase : http://bit.ly/2HGdwY0
Kitchen Metal Vase : http://bit.ly/2HGdPC8
Kitchen Teal Geode : http://bit.ly/2WnrTU9
Master Candle Hurricane : http://bit.ly/2HSVfGf
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Let’s discuss some of the most common design drawings you’ll see specific to a custom kitchen remodel we’ve completed.
Existing floorplans are the birds eye view that show what is currently in the space with a label of what each item is. They communicate exactly what is existing so that the client can see the “Before” of their space. This is helpful so that they can compare the existing plan with the new layout to recognize changes, improvements and potential hindrances.
You’ll notice the large peninsula of cabinetry in the center of the room, this outdated design provides that only one entrance to the main kitchen space is allowed. The issue with this is that it makes the kitchen feel smaller than it really is (based on where the walls are located) and no more than one person can enter or use the space at a time.
The demolition floorplan is a very important plan because it communicates to the contractor exactly which items will stay and the ones that are to be removed. The items that are supposed to stay will remain as a solid element and the ones that are to be removed are shown as dashed lines. Labeling each item is important so that there isn’t any confusion on detailed elements.
Do you see how we’ve removed the cabinetry and windows but we’ve left the walls and door openings? We wanted to keep the room itself intact but only remove the fixtures and finishes within the room.
A new floorplan is like a snapshot of the “after” layout of the room. It communicates the location of many items such as new cabinetry, appliances, lighting fixtures and plumbing. Again, each item is labeled so that the contractor will know where to place each product. Other helpful information such as dimensions and elevation labels are located on this plan. The elevation labels tell the viewer to go to a specifc page and drawing in the drawing set.
What a difference this new layout makes! We located all of the cabinetry and appliances along the exterior walls so that the center of the room could be open for entertaining.
The previously mentioned elevation labels direct you to these drawings from the new floorplan. While the floorplans are a bird’s eye view, the elevations are a human’s eye view. Imagine that you are standing in this room looking straight at the window wall, this is exactly what you’d see. These drawings are the most crucial aspect in assisting a client with visualizing the finished design. On each page, they are laid out by individual walls; you see what’s on the floor (base cabinets) and what’s mounted on the wall (light fixtures). Text information and arrows point out each element of the design.
As you can see we’ve pointed out the new light fixture over the sink. (Affiliate link here to purchase) Not only does the text inform you of what it is but the dimensions tell the contractor where to place it on the wall.
Each year the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) hosts the top industry vendors; allowing them to showcase the best and newest products they have to offer. Think of it as Fashion Week for Interior Design, Architecture and Construction. The 2019 show was held recently in Las Vegas and we are already seeing top trends emerge for the coming year. Let’s take a look at the design elements, finishes and products as it relates to plumbing fixtures.
Mixing metals in a space has been occurring for a few years now but the trend is taking on a whole new wave with mixing metals on one product. Big name brands like Moen and Kohler are incorporating multiple finishes on a faucet or offering an ombre option for clients. Combinations can be customized by changing one or both of the finishes with options such as matte black, brushed gold, stainless steel, chrome, rose gold, polished nickel or black stainless steel.
Expanded Line Offerings for Gold and Matte Black
In recent years, we’ve seen the break away from brushed nickel through the introduction of gold and matte black yet the product lines have been relatively limited. This year we saw a big breakthrough in the amount of product offerings in these two finishes. More modern and classic styles of faucets will be offered in a wider variety of finishes making the options endless for gold and matte black.
Semi-professional Products in Residential Applications
Again, somewhat limited in the industry semi-professional faucets have found their way into consumer’s homes. With meal prep delivery services such as Home Chef or Hello Fresh, more and more homeowners are cooking professional quality food. They’ll also need professional style options for cleanup, thus making the semi-pro faucet a hot commodity. The wide range of movement, high pressure nozzle spray and spot free finish on these products are essential to any highly used kitchen.
Trends don’t have to be “trendy.” Many of our client’s state that they want to stay away from design elements that will simply be known as a fad. We don’t buy into fads and we don’t ask our clients to do so but there are ways to modernize your space with on trend products. We suggest that you prioritize your space and budget, select one or two “splurge” items. These items will be your focal points as well as your trend fixtures; everything else in the space should be classic elements that support and highlight those featured products.
If we were to ask you what your biggest dislike about your kitchen was, would it be how much wasted space you have inside your cabinets? Most people feel that they aren’t maximizing their cabinet storage in a way that helps them find things quickly and easily. They are forced to put items where they fit as opposed to where they are the most useful. There are many ways to make your kitchen work for you!
Why put your dishes up in the top cabinet where you strain to reach them? Your dishwasher is below your countertop so it’s logical to locate your dishes here too. This dish storage system functions as a peg board which makes it fully customizable. Simply set your stacked plates, bowls and saucers into the drawer and adjust the peg on each side to secure them in place.
This alternative to cabinet shelves allow you to pull items out of the cabinet for easier access. You’ll no longer need to crouch on the floor to reach into the back of the cabinet because it now comes to you. This is crucial because we can now use the space in the back of the cabinet for everyday items.
Knife Block Drawers
We all want to declutter our counters yet can’t seem to find a good way to stay organized inside our kitchen drawers. With a full-width knife block you can safely store sharp kitchen knives away from children and out of sight.
Adjustable Utensil Drawers
The key to this organization system is that it’s adjustable. The storage compartments can be moved and stacked in various combinations similar to Tetris blocks. This allows you to place the most used items up front and adjacent to each other. The added bonus to these individual bins are that they are easy to remove and clean.
The most underutilized space in every kitchen! Reaching back behind the door is nearly impossible so often times it’s simply easier to leave that space empty. With pull out trays that come completely out of the cabinet it’s easy to store and access kitchen products that use every inch of the corner.
So how do you implement these ideas in your current kitchen? First, there are manufacturers that sell after-market solutions that can be installed in existing cabinets. Another way is to have a cabinet maker build custom storage solutions specific to your needs. However, we recommend that you work with a professional to design and install your storage solutions so that they exceed your needs!
We all love natural stone!
Anything from diamonds to quartzite sparkle in their own way. There are a myriad of different types of natural stone used for counter tops but some of the most popular are onyx, granite, quartzite, soapstone, limestone, and marble.
So which stone is right for you? Various aspects of each type should be considered when selecting your own. So let's discuss how counter tops go from natural formations in the earth to beautiful features in your home or office and how you can select the perfect stone for you.
Natural stone comes from the earth and there are quarries all over the world dedicated to safely removing it so that we can enjoy its beauty! The quarry uses dynamite and heavy machinery to cut out large blocks of stone; these blocks are then sold to stone companies for processing. I recently took a tour of a stone processing plant to see exactly how these blocks are turned into the giant slabs that you purchase at a slab yard.
Each stone block is marked so that the company knows what type of stone it is and when it will be processed. These blocks are safe to sit out in the elements because they are organic material which won't be affected by the weather. Their weight varies based on the stone's density but some can weigh up to 40,000 pounds. Large cranes are used to pick the blocks up and place them on carts that lie on tracks; the tracks help the carts move easily.
The block is then placed into a cutting machine to be sliced similar to bread. The machine uses thousands of pounds of force to draw diamond blades through the block slicing them into individual slabs. This step in the process can take many hours, with some facilities running the machine overnight to cut a single block. Once the slabs are cut they are placed back on the cart and transported to the finishing/drying area.
In the finishing/drying area each slab is coated with a resin to maintain the structure of the stone and seal it's surface. Once the resin has cured it is then fired in a kiln so that the slab and resin become one entity. This process is repeated a second time to ensure that each slab is fully sealed and protected.
Once the slabs complete the double kiln process it's time to polish and texture the surface. A long machine with multiple polishing heads take each slab down a conveyer belt while rubbing the surface to create the final finish seen on your slabs. Some popular finishes are honed, leathered, or polished. These textures are often done in large batches of different types of stone yet the same finish so that the factory can maximize it's output. Changing out the polishing heads takes a few hours so the company must run groups of honed material together, then a leathered batch, and so on. At the end of the conveyor belt a robot picks up each slab and stacks them vertically for transport to the slab yard where designers, builders, and clients come select their natural stone slabs.
So now that you know how they are made, How do you select the right one for you?
As I mentioned, there are inherent properties to each one that you should consider when selecting the perfect stone. However, you should first ask yourself how you use your space. Do you anticipate doing a lot of work on the surface which could cause small scratches? Will you be entertaining a good amount and run the risk of stains from food and drink? Do you seek to have a pristine surface that shines just like the space? Each of these answers could steer you toward a specific stone, so I'd start there. Of the most popular types of stone, here are a few considerations for each one:
1. Onyx - The biggest consideration with tis one is typically cost. It's considered a precious stone and typically lies on the higher end price wise. However, it's most popular installation type is to be backlit so that the beauty of the stone shines from within making it perfect for display.
2. Granite - The most popular of counter top surfaces, it's extremely durable due to it's density. The more gathered particles make if fairly resistant to stains and etching (tiny micro-scratches). It comes anywhere from dark black to a grey-white but doesn't come in a pure white.
3. Quartzite - This option is growing in popularity due to its various color options, while often times remaining more dense than marble. It also looks more like a precious stone without the same price tag.
4. Soapstone - Feels quite a bit softer than the other stones due to it's talc composition. This option would be good for the client who wants a pristine space that's not in heavy use.
5. Limestone - This surface is made up of marine organisms and calcite which can make it very hard but may erode over time. It's a great option for a client who seeks longevity out of their surface.
6. Marble - Another popular option for counter tops and most products come in a high polish or honed finish. If you think you'll be prone to stains, this option can still work for you so long as you are aware that they may retain their discoloration and etching caused by acidic liquids.
Choosing the right stone shouldn't be overwhelming or scary. We know that if you take the above into consideration you'll be able to select the perfect surface. Although if you feel more comfortable with assistance please reach out to us and we will help guide you through the selection process.
Denton is often known as Little D and it's vibe is a mix of culture, art, music and fun! When this client approached me about their new build I knew they wanted to enjoy the process rather than stress about it. They had purchased in a neighborhood just outside the epicenter of downtown Denton. Their funky style and vivid personalities played a huge role in how we approached the planning and design process.
Let's take a tour of their home and I'll describe a bit more about the challenges we faced along with it's facets!
Our first challenge was the husband's fear of color. While he has an outgoing personality he did not want the home to feel loud and obnoxious. Putting him at ease was accomplished by presenting a comprehensive design plan with samples laid out so that he gained a clear understanding of how the home would flow together in harmony.
One of the unique project aspects was that KCI was brought in early on in the building process and this afforded the client time to carefully select and execute each portion of the design. One such being the coordination between the builder, homeowner, and designer. There were parts of he builder's standard construction that the client sought to change after closing on the property. During the two weeks after closing and before move in carpenters, painters and custom fixture installers were brought in to complete work such as trim moulding (chair-rail and crown mould), custom paint colors (dining and master suite), custom backsplash (kitchen), and installation of custom doors (glass pantry and master bath barn door). Originally designed to be a three to four week period the trades were compressed into a two week period due to the delay in closing on the new home. This collaboration and pre-planning coupled with excellent project management skills was critical to the success of a smooth transition within the new timeline.
The wife's main request was a centralized location for all of the tools necessary to manage the home. Thus the Command Center was born; it features a bench for seating with built-in cubbies to add storage, wall hung baskets and hooks to store mail and important documents, a tack board to collect mementos and coupons, as well as decorative items such as a large clock and monogram initial.
The overarching challenge on this project was budget and it was critical that we maximize every dollar. With a vast project scope this stretched the budget thinly amongst six rooms. The only existing items to be incorporated were the master bedroom furnishings and a few pieces of artwork. High quality furnishings and rugs were sourced from manufacturers that both the designer and client had an excellent working relationship with. As the clients work in the local design industry, we elected to take advantage of all available trade discounts. This allowed us to come in exactly on budget.
These clients sought a personalized home from the ground up. It was important that their eclectic style be evident to reflect their lively personalities. Color, fixtures, furnishings, materials, artwork, and accessories were carefully selected to communicate the common theme of vibrancy. This family feels unashamedly comfortable in their perfect oasis.
Last week at the Design Ovation Awards hosted by the ASID Texas Dallas Design Community I was honored with First Place in one of the Residential categories. I’d like to take the time to thank all of the individuals involved as well as present the submission while you to tour the home.
Bill and Missy; Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to work with you. I greatly enjoyed curating your existing pieces and the process in which we embarked upon to marry your varying design styles. You’ve been so supportive of me, my design work, and this award.
Barrett Woodward of Showcase Photographers; Your photos look amazing! Thank you for shining the most beautiful light on this home and capturing its harmony. Your eye for angles, vast experience shooting and editing photos of homes, and patience with me is greatly appreciated.
Bob and Jane Cosby; You’ve always encouraged me to step out on my own and follow my dreams. Thank you for raising me to be an individual who knows what I want and preparing me to work for it. I couldn’t have accomplished this without your guidance and support.
Enough with the mushy stuff and let’s get to the good stuff, the photos!
Project Concept: The homeowner’s previous home was a mish-mash of furnishings and accessories collected over a lifetime. There were intensely loved family furnishings and outdated pieces that caused design style confusion. The goal for their new home was harmony and the spaces to be transformed included the living, dining and master bedroom. This was accomplished by curating the existing pieces and adding new items to modernize and marry the couples varying personal styles. Harmony is evidenced through the muted color scheme, geometric shapes, traditional textures, unique lighting fixtures and family accessories. These homeowners love being greeted each day with a feeling of harmony and happiness.
Unique Project Comments: One thing of interest is that the taupe sofa pictured is the second sofa that was delivered. After only 3 months of use, the first began to fall apart. The joints were weak, the arms were not padded correctly and the fabric was not sewn taught over the cushions. We worked closely with the manufacturer in order to resolve the issue and a replacement of same style and fabric, yet much higher quality was delivered. Instances like these created a bond between the clients and I which has allowed us to become great friends. It's an absolute joy to create spaces for them to love and love their family in.
Unique Project Comments: The living room fireplace was inspired by a photo from Houzz.com. While the home was under construction I noticed a discoloration in the fireplace tile halfway up; the grout cleaner used had damaged the finish and resulted in the discoloration. The builder had already begun replacing the damaged tile but had no plans to replace the undamaged portion. A firm request to the builder convinced him that the entire fireplace needed to be replaced in order to be finished properly at no cost to the homeowner.
Please explain how your design reflects the project goals (Part 1): Every custom built home is unique, yet this one faced an identity crisis. The wife's style is country chic and the husband is into industrial modern. My solution was to incorporate as many of the existing furnishings as possible and add new ones to bridge the gap between the couples design styles. We began by selecting existing furnishings that could be relocated and/or refinished. These items included the rust colored sofa, glass coffee table and gray/rust colored area rug in the living room; natural wood buffet and refinished (for our project) table for the dining room; as well as the natural cherry dresser and chest of drawers in the Master Bedroom. New pieces allowed us to choose modern shapes, yet cover them in more traditional fabrics. The taupe sofa in the living room and dining table chairs fit the bill perfectly.
Please explain how your design reflects the project goals (Part 2): The husband requested a platform bed in the master bedroom so we chose one with a camel back style headboard. Additionally, the night stands acted in the opposite; traditional in style, yet contemporary in finish. It provides a wonderful balance and juxtaposition to the room. This client has repeatedly informed me that she loves her home due to the fact that it feels complete rather than the chaotic feeling she had with previous homes in which she did not use a designer.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the project submission and touring the home. It’s my pleasure to work with clients like Bill and Missy. I love working hard to accomplish a finished product like this home and hope to share many more experiences such as this one with you!
I am so excited to debut the photos for Kay Cosby Interiors’ first client Susan in Dallas, TX. This sweet lady came to me for advice about which colors to paint her kitchen cabinets and stuck around to rework her entire home. She already had a number of fantastic pieces, they just weren’t being utilized to their full potential. I have enjoyed working with Susan to curate her home and style it into a space she loves. Let’s take a tour!
Susan’s exterior was a faded gray and black which didn’t match her vibrant personality. She’s got a beautifully landscaped yard and the home deserved the same VIP treatment. We selected a soft blue-gray and punchier rich blue for the garage door and trim. The front door and shutters were freshened up with a new coat of paint to coordinate with the new exterior.
As you enter the home you step directly into the living room which is the heart of Susan’s home. We added new recessed lighting and a neutral tan to the walls in order to brighten the space up. Her existing dark blue sofa, patterned side chair and mid-century modern coffee table create a sense of completeness. Other tasks were to reorganize the cluttered bookshelves and feature artwork over the fireplace. Susan grew up in New York and the modernist style print ties the color scheme together while evoking a sense of nostalgia for her.
Everything in Susan’s dining room is brand new; we scrapped the old and began with a fresh start. The accent paint emulates wainscoting and the new chandelier is more modern yet classically simple. To bring in a softness to the room we added the oversized area rug and wooden table. Our hints for style flowed from the living room into the mid-century modern style walnut table and chairs.
One thing to note is that these chairs are the second set we received. The first were manufactured improperly and I had to go to bat for the client. After much convincing, the manufacturer replaced the chairs and offered a discount for our trouble. A win win for Susan!
The major change in this room consisted of the wall color. Our sweet friend Joe decided to surprise Susan by painting the bedroom while she was away for a girls weekend. However, he accidently painted it the same color as the guest room. He was so incredibly kind to repaint it this fabulous rich blue and it pairs wonderfully with the dark wood furnishings.
I know what you’re thinking, “Why photograph a bathroom?” Well this one was completely transformed in just 3 simple steps. The floor clashed horribly with the old fixtures and it wasn’t really an option to replace it, so what did we do!? We embraced it and tried to feature the colors we did like in it. We removed the gold accents and replaced them with silver, swapped out the tired white towels for dark chocolate brown ones and replaced the plastic shower curtain with a soft aqua-silver one. Voila!
Susan had this amazing white and blue Tiffany style lamp but it was overpowered by the orange walls. Yes, you read that correctly, Orange! It started out as a great brownish faux finish and over time faded into an unpleasant orange. Susan took a leap of faith and trusted me on this wall color because it’s something that instantly popped into my head when I entered the room. I couldn’t place my finger on it but I just knew it had to be this soft aqua-green. Once we changed the room color the lamp instantly stood out as a feature piece!
Thank you Susan for working with me and I hope you love your new home!
Kay Cosby is the head designer of Kay Cosby Interiors. Her background includes architectural planning, interior design and custom kitchen design. She is a Registered Interior Designer in the state of Texas and holds a national certificate for interior design qualification. Her favorite part of working with clients is building a strong working relationship with them.
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