You know the saying “less is more?” Well, here is a kitchen and bath renovation that showcases that point. In fact, in this two-room redo, less proved to be much more! This project demonstrates that straightforward changes, a clean aesthetic and efficient storage make a monumental difference in a home. Interior designer Caroline Smith, architectural designer Jeff Bramlett and Mollie Baird, who is the homeowner’s daughter, made up the creative team behind this project, and today, we get an inside look at the beautiful transformation.
Mollie wanted everything to be perfect for her mother, Anne Speer, so she participated from beginning to end. In turn, updating an upscale East Memphis condominium became a fun mother-daughter endeavor. Mollie and her mother made rough drawings of what they wanted, Jeff interpreted their ideas to scale and Caroline guided the interior design process. In just four months, this kitchen and master bath were transformed.
What was a galley-style kitchen with drop ceilings, florescent lighting and linoleum flooring is now a modern room with more square footage, an island, raised ceilings and efficient pantry space. The master bath, which is close to the kitchen, had an excess of unused space. The team immediately realized that downsizing the master bath area would allow for a more spacious kitchen.
“The existing layout of the master bath was not well thought-out,” Caroline says. “It was huge, with a lot of wasted space. A wall divided the double sinks from the toilet, bath and shower. There were also two large walk-in closets that weren’t necessary.” The square footage they gained by reorganizing the layout of the master bath gave them enough room in the kitchen to add an island, one of Anne’s primary requests.
They removed the drop ceilings and fluorescent lighting to raise the ceilings and make the entire kitchen look and feel bigger. The linoleum floors were replaced by 4-inch-wide quarter sawn plank flooring with a custom stain. They also added a wood plank ceiling for interest and texture.
The walk-in pantry was removed, and that area was converted into floor-to-ceiling cabinets with specialized spaces for spices and canned foods, as well as adjustable shelving and room for small appliances, such as the microwave and coffeemaker. “The kitchen now has ample storage and a place for literally everything,” Caroline points out. Glass cabinetry is present in select places for decorative displays and a touch of variety.
THE MASTER BATH
The bathroom had carpeted floors that were ripped out and replaced with hardwood floors. In keeping with the traditional style of the home, they added beadboard and chose conservative cabinet details and hardware.
The updated bathroom, like the new kitchen, has specialized storage. Caroline emphasized symmetry in the space, which she says is a quality that is pivotal to the success of any design work. All of the bath fixtures are simple with understated charm.
“The splurge of the bathroom was the bath fixtures,” Caroline says. “The Kallista tub, vanity and shower fittings have such beautiful, clean lines that are feminine, yet not too fussy.”
The walls throughout the house are varying shades of white, and they wanted to keep the same look in the kitchen, while adding a little unexpected gray to the island. This contrast pairs well with the Carrera marble countertop. To balance the color on surrounding cabinetry, they used absolute black granite to ground the white cabinets. In the bath area, the cabinets and walls are, again, another shade of white, a dramatically simple and effective choice that emits a soft glow next to Crema Marfil marble throughout.
Mollie and her mother were truly pleased with the big impact made by updating the function and style of these two rooms. “I really think the home turned out beautifully,” Mollie adds. “Caroline is an amazing interior designer, and Mom and I could not have been more pleased with everything she picked out. It is exactly what my mom wanted.”
Want to get the look for your own home? Here are the resources that were used in this renovation:
- Interior designer: Caroline Smith
- Custom Residential Design: Jeff Bramlett
- Photography: Julie Wage Ross
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