If you can dream it, you can do it.
– Walt Disney
Dreams do come true! Just look – gone is the blah, dated wallpaper that converged with dirty, dingy bricks in a family room next to an equally outmoded, has-been kitchen. The top image shows an inviting new family room that homeowners Jackie and Paul dreamed of, with an updated fireplace, room for a large flat-screen television, and beautifully designed media shelving.
In this chapter of the transformation of a 1960’s tract house in Tiburon, before and after images are featured in my discussion of the family room and kitchen. In my previous two blogs, I’ve described the renovated dining room and living room in the same home, also complete with before and after photos.
New Family Room
The after image (top of page) shows the fresh, modern fireplace, bricks removed, sporting a crimson red wood surround, fitted snugly between warm caramel-colored built-ins. Attractive storage abounds with nine drawers – one dedicated to the couple’s LP collection – and plenty of room for a large flat-screen television, multiple stereo components, and decorative objects – just as the homeowners imagined.
The sofa in the family room faces this engaging wall, and has a vantage point into the kitchen and the wrap-around patio, where the outdoor kitchen resides footsteps away. This makes for an enticing living space, ideal for talking to the cook, entertaining guests during a baseball game, or turning the barbequed ribs while watching the couple’s favorite movie, Sideways.
I wrote a blog about this kitchen last September, but include it here for those of you who have not seen it before. I wanted to show how it connects in feeling, style and color with the family room, as well as other rooms in the home that have been remodeled. But to truly appreciate how dramatically this space has changed, look at the before image.
Although the renovated fireplaces, dining room, living room and family room were almost unrecognizable when completed, the cooks room metamorphosed most remarkably. The cramped and dated traditional space, with its homely white cabinets and small sliding metal windows, translated into a modern, light-filled cook’s kitchen, complete with the big center island and door to the outside the couple had dreamed of.
Warm red aniline-dyed upper cabinets combine with butterscotch-colored cherry cabinets below. The dark granite countertops with muted flecks of reds and greens ground the colorful kitchen. Silver-toned stainless steel hardware and appliances threaded throughout add a cooling sparkle to the warm palette. This room truly sets the tone for reconstruction of the entire project, and lives up to the cooking couple’s dream kitchen.
The family room was primarily linked to the kitchen without access to the once renounced living room. Now, because of the wide opening we cut in the wall between the living room and family room, the home flows better, feels more spacious and is filled with natural light. Combining all three rooms with access to fireplaces, light and the outdoors provides sensual gatherings for both winter and summer entertaining.
Participating in this remodel taught me the importance of determining a color palette to use throughout an entire project. Jackie and Paul picked up a kitchen and bath remodeling magazine where they saw a red kitchen and knew immediately what they wanted. This color choice was daringly courageous for a kitchen at the time, and still is. In fact, this is the only kitchen I have ever worked on that has red cabinets.
Although this remodel was completed thirteen years ago, I still marvel at the images of the brilliantly bold colorful rooms that look current, soulful and whimsical today. However, I don’t believe in following trends and neither do Jackie and Paul. They follow their truth. That’s how to create a timeless and artful home that’s as unique as the people who live in it.
As Walt Disney said, dreaming can make things happen. I hope you will continue to dream your dreams in color, and make that longed-for kitchen remodel or updated bathroom appear one day. I believe there is magic in the universe, and thoughts create reality through your intention. It may take years to materialize what you want to change in your home, but if you keep dreaming, it just might happen sooner than you think.
Never stop dreaming,