My own designer home!

Our Graceful Living home project will be ongoing for many months and years to complete all our dreamy plans but we have officially begun!   

I am sure you can imagine how it can be frustrating to be immersed in wonderful design all day and happily helping clients create their dream home and not be able to tear out the ugly tile on my rental, right?  We had been renting for too long and really liked much about the house we were in, but it had too many big-ticket things to fix before I could get into the good designing stuff I love to do: it needed new everything and the landlord reneged on his promises to fix it up while were in it.  So we went looking and found a home right around the corner from where I grew up and my parents still live! 

 

We recently moved into our fixer-upper a few months ago, December 2017 actually.   It was an eventful winter with the move right between the holidays, my son's 15th birthday and the Big Crash down the stairs where I ended up immobile for 3 months (read on :). 

It is rather surreal to be driving home and accidentally turn onto my parent's street instead of my own.  To be walking the dogs on the same streets I once walked with one of my closest friends.  To have countless memories of growing up happy in the same places and at the same age my kids are now.   I know if influenced my reaction to love this house but it was also a good investment. 

The interior is ugly.  I know it is not so gross that you would gasp when you walked in, but there are so many poor choices and cheap solutions that it offends my designer me.  LOL!   

Like this:

Montante_Gracefulhome_Before.jpg

See cute Pippen in this pic?  No, don't be distracted by the cutie, look at the flooring and the molding.  If I sit in my Living Room, I can see four, yes 4, different sizes, materials, and styles of baseboard molding!  Not only that, but 4 different flooring choices!  Why?  I have no idea!  Maybe the previous owners couldn't decide or they bought it all on clearance, I don't know but it drives me batty!!!  Not to mention it was installed poorly.  So, I've already selected a beautiful hardwood I want to use...but will probably compromise on a LVP since we have a pool.  And that cutie in the photo along with two other dogs.  But that must wait for bit...we have a lot of square footage!

See this cute Pippen in this pic?  No, don't be distracted by the cutie, look at the flooring and the molding.  If I sit in my Living Room, I can see four, yes 4, different sizes, materials, and styles of baseboard molding!  Not only that, but 4 different flooring choices!  Why?  I have no idea!  Maybe the previous owners couldn't decide or they bought it all on clearance, I don't know but it drives me batty!!!  Not to mention it was installed poorly.  So, I've already selected a beautiful hardwood I want to use...but will probably compromise on a LVP since we have a pool.  And that cutie in the photo along with two other dogs.  But that must wait for bit...we have a lot of square footage!

Now, I have no worries, you know I can fix ugly!  What is great is the updated roof, dual-zoned AC/heater, and windows so we don't have to invest in the infrastructure and can focus on fixing the ugly, or maybe I should call it fixing the fugly!  It has a pool, also ugly but good thing my awesome mom is an awesome landscape designer!   Two stories, 5 bedrooms, 3 baths with the Master Suite and my office downstairs and the teens and a loft up.  The home was build in 1968 and is 3100 square feet.  

I had, and still do of course, GRAND intentions to start immediately fixing it up.  I'll share details on all our Graceful Living project needs on a different post but like the pics I'm sharing here it has many bad design decisions like the molding and the kitchen.   

kitchen_before_kimberlymontante_interiors

This kitchen - so many issues with this room except the layout is mostly good.  BUT - This cool gray with honey cabinets does not work!  Like I tell my clients, just because it is popular, doesn't mean you should copy it.  And why the gray tile on one side and gray laminate on the other?  And this terribly awkward overhang above lower cabinets where we knock our heads each time we try to get to the tupperware!   So I am so happy there is lots of room for us all to cook together and I will happily start planning tearing it out.  But before we have to wait to do that, we will have to put the pretty bandaid - paint and new counters...I'm already seeing white, navy, copper and concrete!  

Now, to bring everyone up to speed - Our offer on this wonderful home that really needed my help was accepted in the beginning of November, and then I fell down the stairs, sprained, strained and broke my leg!  I was laid up for over 3 months with NO weight bearing.  So we moved, (well, my family moved and I sat immobile!) and all my plans got put on hold.  Additionally, if you've read a bit about me and us - you know I have a business and clients.  And my brilliant hubsy, James, has an IT career, but we really want to DIY as much of our plans as we can.  (James a bit more than me to be honest! lol!)  

And so we begin.  One room at a time...or maybe a couple LOL!  Because really, I simply cannot turn off my inspiration when it hits me so I compile ideas, I stock up on images, I search online when I can't sleep and you know I love to dig through antique and flea markets for those surprise finds!  

 Teenage Dreamy Bedroom Concept - Kimberly Montante Interiors

Teenage Dreamy Bedroom Concept - Kimberly Montante Interiors

But first up is the teenage girl's room.  I challenged her to get inspired and bring me her ideas of her dream room and together we have created a FAB teen room!  Here is our concept board to start off our dreaming -And since her room was smallest of the 3 upstairs, and we knew there was room behind the knee wall we got excited! 

Kimberlymontanteinteriors_teenage_girl_remodel.jpg

This quote is so true and we attack this wall with gusto!  There is about 7' of depth back there and will add so much floor space for her and the alcove bed I'm designing will add so much character to this blah room!  

So, we went out and bought a sawsall ... Let the dust fly!