Helena Residence Part 2: Final Reveal

We are finally rolling out the project reveal for our Helena Residence! A two-part renovation, where we started with the basement and then over the last year, moved into the construction of the incredible main floor! Between the two phases, I spent many months dreaming of the day where we’d get to come back and design the main floor. The house features incredible architectural details such as divided windows, planked walls and ceilings, and more. It had so much potential hiding under an outdated contemporary kitchen and bathrooms that just didn’t fit the true style of the home. Read on to check out all that we did to bring this midcentury gem to life!

cleaning up the kitchen

We had great square footage to work with for the redesign of the kitchen! We made some modifications to the layout but more than anything, it needed simpler lines and updated finishes. New custom cabinets from Old Hat Workshop included a custom stained white oak design. Some of my favorite features was the flat panels (and naked upper cabinets sans hardware!) and the hidden pantry behind doors matching the cabinet style. If you look extra close at the first image on this post, you may also see the little brass line detail on the side panel of the island. This was a super creative solution that came from our clients and putting our heads together when the panels were not wide enough to span the whole island!

the unforgettable ceiling

Before the mob comes after me for painting a wood planked ceiling, let’s make something clear. The ceiling in the kitchen and family room was NOT the same as the beautiful ceiling in the formal dining and living room! Unfortunately, the ceiling in here had been slightly whitewashed. It felt so disjointed from the rest of the paneling throughout the home. Sanding and staining was not an option, so we went the route of a solid stain in an ebony color.

Throughout my career, there’s been an ongoing theme of gaining trust. This was one of those scenarios where the clients maybe thought I had lost my mind! They explored many other color options before coming to terms with my idea of the dark charcoal. I’d say they’re pretty happy with the end result, and it’s definitely a favorite part of the house for me! With all the wood tones throughout the home, I think the ceiling adds contrast and highlights the architecture!

rooms with a view

A few rooms throughout the home felt perfect as they were. But with some slight refreshes and additions, they turned out even better, which I didn’t think was possible! In the breakfast nook, we designed a custom bench to match the angles of the room and tie into the cabinetry. In the sunken living room near the front of the home, new custom upholstery and curtains were added for a new look while honoring the unique parts of this home’s history.

bring in the funk

With midcentury homes, I really prefer to let the architecture stand out while creating a warm, organic vibe with natural tones and textures. Bold bright colors just aren’t my style, but I can definitely get down with some earthy tones, textures, and patterns! We wanted to bring up some of the green tones from the basement renovation. We had a few perfect spots around the main floor to create some peekaboo moments! Near the sunken living room is a “closet” bar that was existing to the original layout and just needed a refresh. A deep green oversized round tile was just the thing to bring some fun(k) in!

bathrooms, galore!

We had several bathrooms to design throughout this home. But powder rooms can be the most fun to work with, and this one was no exception! The clients were looking for something dark and moody, but still pulling in color and style. We brought in the same green tones with just a vertical stack full wall of tile. A veined hexagon tile floor plays off the hexagon tiles in the basement. But it’s a little something new with the added picket detail. And finally, brass on brass details here that bring a level of elegance and warmth that I absolutely love! You may also notice the mix of walnut and white oak cabinetry throughout the home. It is a favorite combo of mine when used in a meaningful way!

The guest suite’s bathroom was another area with color and pattern! Still playing on green tones, we went a little lighter here and with a level of variation that I absolutely love! In this room, the floor was a light-colored terrazzo tile. It is such a perfect fit for this age of home, but it feels so fresh and spa-like in this space! Brass fixtures carried throughout this room also bring in a flow from the rest of the home.

primary suite deets

We had so much fun dreaming up the details of this room with the clients! They have incredible style but still needed help with execution and flow. It was such a fun time dreaming and scheming room by room with them. And yet, we still accomplished the main goal of honoring the home’s roots while bringing it into modern day.

Laying out the design for the tile backsplash was a challenge, but well worth the extra planning to ensure perfection! Every size, shape, color, and pattern were looked over to strike that balance of movement and negative space. The walnut vanity, surround, and built-ins outside the bathroom totally bring in the built-in vibes known in older homes and maximize storage AND style!

final surprises

With a renovation of this scale, you are bound to have some surprises along the way. Whether they are good or bad, well, that’s the unpredictable part of it! One of my favorite (happy) surprises on this renovation was the fireplace. We had a full design to take the contemporary drywalled/mirrored fireplace to something new. But as demo began, we uncovered something wonderful! The original basalt fireplace was hiding behind a contemporary facade! So with a little elbow grease to clean it up, and a charcoal concrete surround and hearth added on, this beauty was restored.

That’s all, friends! I’m so grateful to have known these clients for the majority of my career. From nearly my beginning years to where I’m at now, I’ve had the pleasure of overseeing this home’s entire renovation come to life! I couldn’t be more happy with the results!

And seriously, go look at those before pictures!!!

Helena Residence Part 2: Before

If the Helena Residence sounds familiar, that’s because this isn’t the first time you’re hearing about it! With the scale of this remodel, our clients phased it out into two phases. In Phase one we took care of the full lower level. You can take a look at the Before, Progress, and Final posts of the basement of this gorgeous midcentury home. With the second phase we’re tackling the full upper level, and demo has recently begun!

Sunken lounging is back in!

The upper level wasn’t as big of a blast from the past as the lower level but still has lots of unlocked potential. This beautiful midcentury home had many fun features, my favorite probably being the sunken lounge located in the family room. I was very excited to hear that my clients were just as fond of it, so a face lift is all that we’ll be doing here.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2021-04-05-10.12.39-1.jpg

The bar and fireplace in the living room were also things we loved and wanted to keep but definitely needed some help to bring them back to life. The cedar throughout the home is incredible, so some adjustments to the remaining fixtures & finishes play a huge roll in the end result! You’ll get to see just how much a dated space can be turned into your most loved space after we change up just those, without touching the floor plan too much!

The first look inside

When you first walk into the Helena Residence you’re greeted with a spacious entry way. You have the skylights right above you, and an open staircase to the left. The only piece of the entry way we weren’t sold on is the pony wall separating the entry from the dining table. This space called for more of a statement rather than a half wall blocking the flow. Taking that wall down will open up a beautiful view into the home. We also are going to update the finishes of the stairway. As tasteful as the aesthetic may have been in the past, our clients are wanting a little update while still nodding to the original architectural style.

My favorite transformation!

From the dining room, you head into the kitchen. With everything we have planned this will be my favorite transformation done to the entire home! Here we’ll keep the general layout of the kitchen in place but everything will be new. New cabinets, counters, appliances, and flooring. This kitchen is quite beautiful as it is, but the style doesn’t fit the home at all. I’m so excited for the midcentury style we will be embracing!

Major Refresh to the Bathrooms

On the main floor we’re working on three different bathrooms. The powder room, where we’ll be updating all the finishes. The primary suite currently has TWO bathrooms. We will update one, and the second will get swapped to create a second suite for guests. I love all of the finishes we’ve selected for these bathrooms, and excited to show off what we chose to make these spaces truly stand out!

The Helena Residence is truly a beautiful midcentury home, just in need of a lot of fixture and finish updates! The layout of the home is really quite functional, and only took a few tweaks to get the results we were wanting. This project has been on our radar for a long time, and we’re excited to finally see it start transforming!

Helena Residence: Final Reveal

midcentury modern bathroom remodel

midcentury modern bathroom remodel

We have a fun reveal to share with you today! Would you believe this gorgeous bathroom is in a basement? Unexpected, right? This entire project focused on the renovation of a seriously dated 70’s style basement. While there were some major shortcomings with it’s “before” style (did you check out that post?) , there was no shortage of space. This project included overhauling 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a laundry room, and family room. The whole place now feels fresh, bright and fun, while nodding to it’s midcentury modern roots.

consistency is key

We wanted to keep this basement feeling as spacious as it actually was. To do that, it was important to use the same key materials as much as possible. As you look around the space and see a continuation of the same material, it reads as a continuation of the room. For all of the bedrooms, family room and hall, we used a white oak vinyl floor. Walnut was used on all of the main cabinetry. We carried the same wall color throughout, except for in the kids rooms. In each bathroom, we installed the same black hexagon tile floors. However, it was important for the bathrooms to have some differences while still being cohesive.

black hex tile with oak flooring

walnut cabinet with black floors

kids’ bathroom

The kids’ bathroom is of course my favorite. We wanted an elevated yet playful aesthetic, and the Fireclay diamond-shaped tile offered exactly what we needed. Besides the mirror and lighting, this tile was the only thing we changed to make the two bathrooms feel unique. I love how it looks with the black fixtures! Paired with a crisp white quartz counter, it keeps the space feeling calm and sophisticated.

green backsplash tile in bathroom

Throughout the basement, we stuck with two metal finishes — matte black and satin brass. While there are lots of way to mix and match metals, our guide for this design was as follows: we paired satin brass hardware anywhere we had a walnut cabinet, and matte black was used for all plumbing fixtures. Beyond that, we had some flexibility for fun combinations, like the black and brass bubble lights over the mirrors.

modern black bathroom faucet

custom modern bathroom vanity

How gorgeous is this view from their daughter’s room over to that bathroom!? I am totally in love with the softness of the blush pink wallpaper paired with the bold bathroom.

girls bedroom with pink wallpaper

black hexagon tile and white oak

guest bathroom

The second bathroom would be the primary bathroom used when hanging in the family room, as well as for guests. We wanted a clean, bright look in here while keeping with the modern accents of walnut and black finishes. We made a few adjustments to the layout in order to achieve a much larger walk-in shower. The full glass enclosure keeps the space feeling airy and clean. With the new layout, we ended up with some unused corner space. We planned for walnut floating shelves to store towels, toiletries, and other items for guests to use as needed.

modern bathroom with floating shelves

floating walnut shelves

black hexagon tile in shower

family room

The fireplace design is hands-down one of my favorite parts of this project. We knew exactly what we wanted, and while it took some trial and error to get the finish right (among other details), it’s now looking so stunning. The subtle variation of shades of black is imperfectly perfect and I love the high contrast to the custom walnut cabinets. The lines of the satin brass hardware on the cabinets are sleek and just as importantly, feel so great ergonomically, too. They are definitely ranked in my top three favorite hardware pieces I’ve ever used. And yes, I take mental notes of these things.

black fireplace surround

walnut cabinetry with brass hardware

And that’s a wrap! Be sure to take a look at the “before” photos if you want a blast from the past, as well as some of our favorite milestones from construction in our progress post. If you like what you see and have a project of your own that you would like to discuss, we’d love to hear from you! Check out our services and let’s chat!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. We hope by sourcing some of our favorite products, we provide value to you and your projects!

SHOP THIS PROJECT

Helena Residence: Progress Update

black hex tile with oak flooring
black hex tile with oak flooring

As I mentioned in the last post (with the before shots of this project), this project actually took place last summer! We wrapped up in the Fall and just last month got to go do some styling and photographs. All this to say, our “progress” blog post is a bit delayed here! While shuffling through my archived project folders on my computer, I counted over 20 projects (big and small) that have never seen the internet. So hey, on the bright side, we made it here today!

Over on Instagram, I’m consistently sharing story posts of site visit updates as they happen. It takes a bit more time to prepare the photographs for our blog, but it’s so fun to look back at projects on these posts to really see everything from start to end without the other distractions of social media. We’ve used this blog a bit like our project journal, and we hope you enjoy diving into the details of your favorite projects here.

demolition begins

The Helena Residence was pretty straightforward as far as demolition goes. We weren’t tearing apart tons of walls to change layouts, it was mostly just cosmetic changes. Some of the original finishes were so dated though that it really felt great to see those pulled away and have a fresh slate to work with.

The two bathrooms were probably the most labor intensive. They were fully gutted and one had some minor adjustments to the layout, which meant moving some plumbing around.

tile preparation & installation

It was nice to see the bathrooms start pulling back together with sheet rock and cement board. It’s always a good sign that finishes will be going in soon and the real transformation is going to begin.

I loved the transitions throughout the bathrooms. From the large black hex to the mini for the shower pan, and the large hex to the white oak vinyl, they were some beautiful pairs.

the arrival of cabinetry

When cabinets arrive, it’s a domino effect of good things. Counters can then get installed, along with backsplash, plumbing fixtures, lighting and hardware. These bathrooms started pulling together very quickly and it was an exciting time!

We also finally got to see the laundry room start to transform. It didn’t quite make sense to do the walnut cabinetry in the laundry room, so we went with a stocked grey color and paired it with black hardware. My favorite detail to plan was the waterfall drop in the counters for a very sleek detail. This change of height was necessary due to the taller height of the washing machine and dryer, but the lower height needed for comfort at the sink.

the fireplace transformation

One of the most satisfying parts was seeing the fireplace get cleaned up. The hearth on this thing was multi-layered and we had to pull it all out before we could frame over the brick. While many midcentury houses look incredible with painted brick fireplace surrounds, we wanted something much sleeker here. We went through a pretty extensive sampling process to get the look just right. And then more trial and error on the actual fireplace to make sure it had the perfect amount of variation (or lack thereof, which was difficult to achieve) for our clients.

This process was discouraging at times, sometimes to the point of questioning if we should just paint it. I’m so glad we held strong because the finished result is gorgeous. Custom walnut cabinets were added to the side for media storage as well as an area for games, toys, etc.

the final details

Mirrors, lights, hardware, and furnishings… these pull a space together and it’s always so exciting to watch the tiniest things make the biggest impact. I love hearing from clients about their experiences and reactions to their new environment. When I found out about the joy and twirling that happened when this little girl saw the wallpaper in her new bedroom, my heart just about exploded. Creating the backdrop of someone’s life where their memories will be made is the biggest honor.

Be sure to check back soon for the final reveal of this modern gem!

If you have a Spring or Summer project on your mind, be sure to contact me here! It’s time to start planning your design and booking a contractor to meet that timeline! You can contact me or book online here.

Helena Residence: “Before”

walnut cabinet with brass hardware
walnut cabinet with brass hardware

We recently had the opportunity to return to a project that we finished last year to take some photos. While I’m so excited to share the final reveal, I never do so without showing where it all started. This is a gorgeous midcentury home that our clients had just acquired. We knew we were in for a real treat! You just never know what kind of gems you will find in an older home. Take a scroll down memory lane with us!

a wrongly placed farmhouse style

I say farmhouse, but honestly, I’m just not sure what happened here. When you first walk down the stairs to the basement, you are greeted with several chunky posts and beams, complete with mosaic tiled “shelves.” They were purely aesthetic, but just not an aesthetic that fit with the midcentury vibes the home longed to return to. The brick fireplace had so many layers and levels of design, it was quite busy and just a major beast. The storage next to it was obviously great and convenient but again did nothing for this major focal point opportunity. We were excited to tear it all out and design something bold yet clean here.

dated brick fireplace
brick fireplace with large hearth
LAUNDRY ROOM GOALS

As you walk from the family room down the hall, you eventually run into the biggest blast from the past that I’ve ever seen. And I’m no stranger to original midcentury homes! In fact, it’s where my career all started when working in Denver. I imagine at one point, this was the most stylish laundry room and maybe the most fun for those who enjoyed hallucinogenics. It doesn’t take long in this space to feel like you may have taken a few yourself. The green and yellow on every surface was so overbearing. But seriously, I was in awe over it, in the worst possible way! We like to have fun with these kinds of situations.

70s laundry room
70s laundry room
yellow and green laundry room
bedrooms that are refreshingly boring

After seeing the laundry room, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect for the rest of the basement, as we were just getting started. To my surprise, the rest of the rooms were refreshingly boring and pretty darn easy to take care of with the remodel. With some new doors and trim, updated light fixtures, a lot of paint, and new windows, they’d be as good as new.

outdated bedroom with dark woods
outdated bedroom with dark built-ins
the half-done bathrooms

There were two bathrooms that would be gutted during this project. Both appeared to have been partially updated at some point. My favorite part of midcentury homes is guessing what color the plumbing fixtures will be and adding it to the long list of colored sinks, toilets, and tubs I’ve seen. I’m also thinking I should start a collection of wallpapers from these renovations! Unfortunately I’ve already missed out on tons of amazing opportunities for collecting these.

Anyway, the first bathroom had a very small shower stall, which was the biggest complaint for our clients. This is a guest bathroom that gets used very frequently, so they wanted it to be a more comfortable size. It was the only part in the basement that we needed to explore a different layout!

The next bathroom would be the kid’s bathroom; the perfect Jack & Jill suite and I wanted to make it extra special for them. Again, mostly just cosmetic changes would be needed. However, I did want to remove the partial wall to make the space feel a tad bigger.

I’ve been filtering through my project archives and it’s been so fun to look back at this project! It’s been almost a year from when I met these wonderful clients. I’m so excited to share the final reveal, but first keep an eye out for the progress post, coming soon!

If you have a Spring or Summer project on your mind, be sure to get in touch! It’s time to start planning your design and booking a contractor to meet that timeline! You can contact me or book online here.