Let me welcome you to my own home! Working on this project was so dear to my heart, not only because it’s my own home but because it was the first project that I managed from A-Z. For the first time ever I hired subcontractors and made sure that they stayed committed, accountable, met deadlines, met agreed standards, and met budgets. Though not always easy, I found the task extremely fulfilling and I’m proud of myself for following through and pulling it off so successfully. During the process I learned a lot about myself. I learned how important it is to listen to your gut, and discovered new tools and skills that I utilize today. I continue to nurture the relationships forged with a myriad of professionals who were there for me when I needed them, who didn’t deceive me or think less of me when I made mistakes. The bonds created with these people have carried me through multiple years of remodeling projects. In fact, 90% of my workforce include the good people I met while remodeling my own home.

When we bought our house it was in good shape, but for the space to fit our family’s needs and align with our personal tastes it needed to be remodeled.

Kitchen: I craved a spacious island, however in a galley kitchen there’s only so much that can be done. So, instead of an island I created a peninsula by moving the laundry room door towards the end of the room, so that it wouldn’t break the flow of the kitchen. Additionally, I removed a large bearing wall that seperated the kitchen from the living room/original dining room area. This worked well since we love sitting together to eat in the kitchen, and the dining area was originally situated further away from the peninsula.  

I’m drawn towards shiplap covered walls, and therefore chose solid wood to cover all the kitchen walls in horizontal shiplap 6”. For the spacious wall behind the cooktop I used fireproof cement shiplap that looks just like wood. The lower cabinets were painted in a gunmetal grey tone, and the top cabinets in a soft white hue that matched the overall shiplap palette. Brass hardware and light fixtures complimented this color scheme.

The existing wood-burning fireplace was covered with horizontal 6” shiplap. A year later we needed a place to put our TV, but placing it above the fireplace was not an option due to the small size of the room. We also needed enough space to sit and watch TV together. To remedy this I changed the layout of the room by moving the TV to the adjacent wall, situated between floating shelves, thereby creating a new focal wall for the room.

All flooring in the house was replaced with 7.5” wide engineered white oak. If there’s one thing I recommend to clients, it’s to place wide planks of engineered wood flooring on the entire area of the house. Floor texture consistency creates a sense of space more than anything else. The look, the feel, and physical quality of engineered wood is higher than laminate flooring yet the former is pricier than the latter.

My husband and I have an affinity for natural materials and I love to use them in almost every remodeling project that comes my way. Though natural materials require more maintenance, and wood surfaces can scratch easily, I like the way marble ages and how variations of color seep through the stone with time. It’s a classic material that never goes out of style. For our kitchen countertops we chose white carrara honed slab. It’s gorgeous.

For our kids’ bathroom I knew that we wanted to incorporate natural materials again. As a designer who witnesses the ebb and flow of trends, I like to refresh the look and feel of spaces by using modern and classic elements that don’t go out of style and that age gracefully. This is why I went with a black-&-white and brass color combination. Needless to say, this remodel was done in late 2017, just as this color-combo trend just started booming again. Materials and color combinations were somewhat limited in 2017 but today there’s a wide variety available. For our bathroom floors we used cement tiles. Though I’m enticed by the deep colors and hues that cement tiles offer, cement flooring does require maintenance, and stains and marks have a tendency to be stubborn. Nonetheless, I love it.

For both master and kids’ bathroom walls I used simple 3x6 white ceramic tiles in a subway wall layout, with dark grout. Simple and classic. This style never grows old.

See the before-&-after pictures, including our backyard, here. In the backyard we chose a natural travertine stone.

Photos by: Avivit Weissman,  Tel: 408-649-8784



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