When my husband and I purchased our first house together, we didn’t realize quite how much work we’d signed ourselves up for. After six months of house hunting, I opened the front door to our current home and knew that it had the potential to be everything we had dreamed of. I looked beyond the highly textured walls, skin-colored tile flooring, non-existent closets, and irregular angles. The bones were there and it meshed the indoors with the outdoors thanks to its abundant windows; abundant natural lighting was one of our biggest requirements. It checked all of the wish list boxes on paper, but it would take some serious labor to get it looking how I had envisioned.
I wanted to transition away from the Southwestern aesthetic and move toward a Scandinavian modern look instead. I didn’t want to incorporate anything too precious or serious since my husband and I are very casual people. While it certainly wasn’t a fun role, I served as the general contractor on our remodel, because we wouldn’t have been able to afford the very long to-do list if we hired a GC to add further stress to my life. Phew!
While I’m skilled with color palettes, visualizing layouts, and sourcing furniture, my interests don’t lie in all of the construction details. So, I hired Claire of Claire Zinnecker Designs who loves these elements of a remodel. It was a huge stress relief because you constantly second-guess yourself during a remodel. Claire and I have very similar taste in interiors, so I was easily able to make decisions to keep the project moving forward. I’m not sure I would’ve made it through without her help since she handled so many of the items on my to-do list.
The kitchen was previously my least favorite part of our home. There were bizarre angles everywhere, a wall that cut off your view to the rest of the house, and the fridge couldn’t even open fully without slamming into the bi-fold doors of our laundry closet. It wasn’t functional and it certainly wasn’t my style. Let’s not even get me started on the orange cement countertops and floral linoleum flooring – the demo of the kitchen was very gratifying!
I wanted to keep our open-concept kitchen because we entertain often and it helps guests feel connected even when they’re in the living room. I wanted a neutral color palette of whites and woods throughout our home. It was a no-brainer that I’d have white appliances, not stainless steel.
Although I enjoy styling open-shelving and would’ve loved to display some of my beautiful kitchen goods, I thought the kitchen would be more functional with closed cabinets – no regrets there, as we really maximized our storage space this way.
Our Caesarstone Pure White countertops are the perfect accompaniment to our muted cabinets. We used it for our large peninsula and even the backsplash because I wanted something very clean and simple to allow my white and brass stove to steal the show – the white ties everything together cohesively with our Newport Brass faucet and our cabinet pulls.
The master bathroom was the area where we did the most renovations throughout the entire home. It took four renderings with our architect until we had a design that could accommodate a modern freestanding tub – it was one item that I wasn’t willing to compromise on because I prefer a bath to a shower any day.
We cut into the slab foundation to re-run every plumbing line, re-worked all of the electrical, framed a new entrance to the bathroom, and built an oversized walk-in closet that now holds my excessive shoe collection.
My husband doesn’t love tile or pattern, so Claire proposed that we build a concrete shower & vanity backsplash to add a masculine touch. It turned out to be the most difficult project in the entire home, but it was well worth it for the statement it makes! We went with white concrete Cle tiles for the flooring to continue the organic feel throughout the space.
Our carpenter, Aaron of Ramsdell Rustic, built our custom vanity. Because we already had brass sconces, faucets, and shower hardware, we decided to opt-out of any type of brass hardware for the vanity. Instead, we opted for cut-outs in the drawers and avoided hardware completely. Our Caesarstone Pure White countertops complete the entire space perfectly.
What was once a blend of 1980’s construction without any cohesive design, is now a bright and inviting modern home.
All photography by Randi Reding