The backstory: The homeowners enlisted interior designer Anne Dempsey to renovate their kitchen, using the footprint of the original kitchen plus an adjacent office. The homeowners wanted two islands: one for everyday use plus a second dedicated to baking.
Scope of work: Except for a few retained features from the original spaces, this project was a total remodel.
Layout: Combining the original kitchen and office created a long, skinny space — 12½feet wide and 25 feet long. Dempsey was determined to break up the kitchen visually so that it wouldn’t feel excessively narrow. Adding two islands certainly helped distract attention from the shape of the room, as did varying the materials.
Cabinetry: The owners didn’t want traditional-looking cabinet doors, so Dempsey and her team designed a custom slab door with a 1-inch bevel applied to the outer edge. “Because the edge detail is applied to the door — versus being routed into the wood — it is a unique look and really special,” Dempsey says.
The cabinets on the hutch and to the left of the refrigerator feature antiqued mirrored glass. This subtle but important detail helps keep the design in line with the rest of this older home, balancing out the look since the other cabinetry veers more modern.
Main island: The island with the sink is in the space that used to be the office. The owners originally wanted larger islands, but the space wasn’t wide enough, so Dempsey included conveniences like drop-in areas within the sink for cutting boards, as well as a teak draining board.
Countertops: The two islands feature different quartz countertop materials. The main island and perimeter countertop feature a subtly variegated off-white material, while the countertop on the baking island is whiter and has some veining, which adds visual texture without being distracting. “I felt like we needed to use multiple finishes to break up the monotony of a lot of cabinets in a long room,” the designer says. Since the baking island was already getting a furniture look (you’ll see its feet and open shelves in the last photo in this story), she chose that island for the alternate counter material.
Range hood: The homeowners already had a 54-inch range hood that was like new, not to mention quite expensive, so they chose not to replace this element. Instead, Dempsey and her team clad the original hood in walnut so that it harmonized with the rest of the cabinetry.
Savings: The existing refrigerator, oven, range and hood were in good condition, so the owners decided to keep them. They did replace the dishwasher. As they did with the range hood, the owners covered two 30-inch pullout refrigerator drawers in walnut to allow them to blend in.
Backsplash: Aqua tile in a star and cross pattern brings a hit of color to the backsplash.
Main island and perimeter countertops: Akoya, Vicostone; baking island countertop: Aurea Stone; refrigerator and pullout refrigerator drawers: Sub-Zero; oven, range and range hood: Viking; backsplash tile: Star & Cross in Jade, Fireclay Tile; 45-inch sink: Multiere, Kallista; browse stainless steel sinks
Chandeliers: The owner spotted a version of this fixture in a magazine and asked Dempsey if she could incorporate it. Because different configurations are available, Dempsey was able to choose a size and formation that would fit best over each island. The fixtures’ brushed gold hardware lends warmth to the room.
Sink: The sole sink in the space is in the main island and has pedals to allow the faucet to be turned on and off hands-free. The baking island has a continuous countertop with no sink.
Just past the end of the countertop, you can see a source of natural light. This area was previously the office, where the couple had recently installed French doors. Dempsey was able to leave them in place, bringing natural light into the kitchen space, as well as providing easy access to outside.
Open shelves and cubbies help create a furniture look for the baking island while providing useful storage.
Bathroom at a Glance
Who lives here: A professional woman
Location: Clarksville, Maryland
Size: 128 square feet (11.9 square meters)
Designer: Elizabeth Lawson, owner and principal of Elizabeth Lawson Design
Backstory: Designer Elizabeth Lawson had worked with this client before, redesigning her living room and master bedroom. This bathroom was the next room on the to-do list. “She likes to do one room at a time so she can really focus on the details,” Lawson says. In the case of this bathroom, that meant the materials, because the layout and footprint weren’t going to change much.
Before: A long vanity ran all the way up to the edge of the built-in tub.
After: New materials and features and fresh paint give the bathroom a different look, even if the layout is almost exactly the same.
Flooring: The homeowner first decided on the flooring, which set the tone for the rest of the choices. “That was the one element she loved right away,” Lawson says. “I knew right away we were going to be building off of that porcelain tile.”
Style: The main pieces in the room — the flooring, tub, vanity and shower — are gray and white. To give the space more warmth, Lawson used a red-based taupe paint on the walls, brass hardware and fixtures and wood-tone mirror frames. “They give the room a charming look,” Lawson says, “and make gray and white not so sterile.”
Lighting: Lawson updated the room’s lighting to give the homeowner a brighter bathing space. The biggest change was replacing the one large mirror with two smaller ones. “The smaller mirrors gave the room a more traditional look,” Lawson says, “and gave us the ability to have more light at the vanity.” Now the vanity has four sconces, one to the right and left of each mirror, instead of two over-mirror units.
Wall paint: Joa’s White, Farrow & Ball; vanity paint: Decorator’s White, Benjamin Moore; flooring: 12-by-24-inch porcelain tile in Almond, Krea series, Savoia; ceiling light: Precision large square flush-mount, Circa Lighting; tub: Voce Petite in White, Aria Tubs; tub filler: Trinsic collection in Champagne Bronze, Delta; browse floor-mounted tub fillers
Before: The built-in tub took up a lot of space, and the homeowner didn’t like the look anymore.
After: Lawson worked with the client to find a soaking tub that not only looked great in the corner, but also fit in the room. “We had to keep it angled to fit a long vanity and a shower in the other corner,” Lawson says. This dimension constraint, along with the fact that they needed to find a tub that would fit through the bathroom door, made the search more challenging.
Pro tip: Remember that the tub not only needs to fit the design, it also needs to fit through doorways. If you don’t consider this ahead of time, Lawson says, “you can really have a headache on your hands on installation day.”
Plumbing: Luckily, Lawson says, the contractor had to make only minor plumbing changes to have the tub filler on the opposite side.
Before: Frosted glass and a gold frame enclosed the previous corner shower. “She felt like she was showering in a hole before,” Lawson says.
After: Glass walls create an open area that shows off the new tile wall and brass fixtures.
Brass fixtures and hardware: The client opted for a shower system that had both a shower head and a handheld sprayer, both in a brass finish. The glass walls were finished with brass brackets and a brass door handle.
“With brass, the finishes don’t have to match exactly,” Lawson says. “You can used aged brass with satin brass and it can look great. That being said, you still want to get samples if you can, so you can make sure you like how it looks.”
Shower tile: Because the rest of the room is so streamlined, they decided to boost the visual interest by applying the tiles in a chevron pattern.
The shower floor is done in marble hexagon tiles.
Shower system: Trinsic collection, Delta; shower flooring: 3-inch hexagon tiles in honed Calacatta marble; wall tile: Don’t Be a Shell Out, Tongue in Chic collection, AlysEdwards Tile & Stone
Before: The vanity, while long, lacked function and made the space feel cramped.
After: The new custom vanity adds to the bathroom’s light and welcoming feel, now that it’s not pressed up again the wall or the tub. The new design, while slightly smaller, actually gives the homeowner more usable space.
Brass cabinet knobs and sconces were chosen to complement the rest of the brass accents.
Vanity and mirrors: custom, Willard R. Kauffman Fine Woodworking; vanity hardware: Dyer cabinet knob in white and unlacquered brass, Rejuvenation; countertop: Mystery White marble, Rock Tops Fabrication; single-handle lavatory faucet: Trinsic collection in Champagne Bronze, Delta; Darbon sculpted sconce in hand-rubbed antique brass with white cast glass: Circa Lighting
“I really love how this section came together,” Lawson says. “It has just a warm, beautiful tone. It really invites you into the bathroom.”
It’s clear from their favorite photos that Houzzers are looking for ways to connect to the outdoors. In the most popular new deck photos added to Houzz in the last three months, users were drawn to spaces that provide strong connections between indoors and out, as well as those that offer indoor comforts out in the fresh air and sunlight. Here are seven ideas from the most popular recently added photos, as measured by the number of people who added them to their ideabooks.
1. Steel Cable Railings
This type of railing provides safety while keeping the views practically clear. It also adds a modern touch to a deck. This one is on Lake Martin in Alabama.
This midcentury modern-inspired home in South Carolina also has a view to the water from its deck. Preserving the trees nearby maintains the woodsy surroundings.
2. Glass Walls
Large sliding glass doors promote easy indoor-outdoor living at this Northern California home.
3. Outdoor Kitchens
Houzzers continued to take notes on outdoor kitchens and grilling areas. In this stunning Australian landscape, a covered deck and a wall of sliding glass doors ease the transition from inside to out.
A pergola enhances the architecture of a home, providing a partially covered spot that feels more enclosed and shaded but is still open to the elements. On this extensive deck and patio, it also defines the lounge area in front of the outdoor fireplace.
5. Different Levels
Another way to define outdoor rooms is by placing them on different levels. Here the dining area is right off the kitchen and contains the grill, making it easy to serve food. Before and after dinner, guests can step down to this comfy lounge area for drinks and conversation. The deck is made from sustainably harvested sapele hardwood.
6. Indoor Comforts
With the advances in weather-resistant fabrics, it’s easier than ever to take living room style outside. Cushions and pillows provide both comfort and good looks, and other outdoor items, such as this coffee table, have followed suit in the style department.
7. Fire Pits
Fire pits extend the deck season by cozying things up on chilly nights. This Los Angeles roof deck has gorgeous sunsets to boot.
Share: Have you recently added a deck or freshened up yours? What’s your favorite thing about it? If you’re just dreaming of a deck, what would you want to include in the design? Please share with us in the Comments.