Inspiration in the Studio

Making Progress on a Remarkable Remodel!

For the past several months, I’ve had the absolute pleasure of working on a significant remodel project. I find that remodeling is often more challenging than new construction. There are many challenges and obstacles that need to be overcome. But, there’s also something about the memories and character of an older home that I love. I’m always aware of the personality of a home and its owners…and this one warms my heart!

First, the before photos….


The kitchen was small and confining but with a load-bearing brick wall on one side and a staircase on the other, the options were limited. The answer became clear…say good-bye to the staircase! No need to worry, a second staircase can handle the traffic.


I love the character of the exposed brick wall….


The carpet was replaced with pine wood floors to match the adjoining dining and living rooms. The beams and paneling were painted to freshen the space. Believe me, I always struggle with covering the natural beauty of stained wood and this was a heavily debated decision.


The new kitchen with center island is fresh and functional. A few finishing touches are still needed…fabric panels in the chicken wire cabinets, great bar stools and the wine cubbies need to be filled with fine wines!


An arched opening replaced a window over the sink that opens to a new back entrance.


There’s a few details of this space that I had to share, like this fabulous backsplash of wine corks! We wanted a unique backsplash detail and our awesome client was up for the challenge. She agreed to tackle the project and I think the end-result was worth the effort!


A narrow back hallway needed something special too, so we painted neutral wide stripes on the walls and added a soft green on the ceiling.


And, who says a laundry room has to be boring? The soft green cabinets look beautiful against the mosaic tile backsplash.


We’re still working on the finishing touches and I can hardly wait to see it all come together! Who’s responsible for this remarkable remodel? Sid Cutts with Corbitt Hills Construction…and I can’t say enough about his talent and dedication to each and every project! And, of course, no project would ever be possible without patient clients who value fine craftsmanship.

A Completed Project on Lake Gaston (another favorite)!

For the past 18 months, I’ve been working with the most fantastic clients (and now wonderful friends) to bring their dream of a second home on Lake Gaston to life. I had the pleasure of working closely with Sid Cutts with Corbitt Hills Construction on the project.  I cannot say enough about Sid’s attention to detail and craftsmanship. Several weeks ago, we spent the day photographing the project and I wanted to share the results. I’ll do my best to give you a virtual tour… we go….

The exterior facade is gorgeous with handcrafted detailing in the columns, shutters, and gables.


The foyer of the home is open to the adjacent lodge room and dining room.  Notice the stunning front door and beautiful light fixtures by Currey & Company.


The lodge room has a beautiful view of the lake and includes more quality detailing in the built-in cabinetry and ceiling detailing. Check out the curved leather sofa…the perfect conversation space!


This kitchen is a dream! The large center island is the perfect gathering spot. We decided to stack the cabinets to the 10′ ceiling height to maximize storage and make a grand statement. Mixing the finishes on the cabinets gave added visual interest. We worked closely with Lake Country Kitchens to create the perfect design. The kitchen backsplash is a combination of tiles, including natural stone and handcrafted decorative tiles and mosaics. What do you think?


The keeping room is open to the kitchen and breakfast nook. Notice the beautiful floors throughout this home! They are fabricated from reclaimed wood and custom finished specifically for this home.


I could live in this master bath.  The barrel vault welcomes you to the walk-thru shower. It’s the perfect master shower combination…two personal showers on each end so there’s no need to adjust settings.  The walk-thru center space (which, unfortunately, you can’t see) includes an arched window, a rain can shower head and body sprays. It’s the ultimate shower experience!


Here’s a detail of the beautiful tile work. Laura Olmstead with Triangle Tile and Stone helped us create the perfect combination of materials and design. Notice the pebble shower floor in the photo above.


The lower level is the perfect spot for entertaining. The wine storage cellar has a gorgeous door accented with wrought iron. The rustic furnishings (and a pool table not shown in the photo) are made from antique wagon wheels and reclaimed teakwood. Sid did a fabulous job crafting the “awning” over the bar. We used engineered cork plank flooring for it’s aesthetics and durability.


The girls have the perfect sleepover hangout in this bunk room! We made sure their every need was met, right down to the reading lights in their personal cubbies. Oh, to be a kid again!


Although the home is a beautiful creation, I always try to remember that nothing man-made can ever top the beauty of nature. Check out the peaceful morning on the lake.


As with any quality custom home, it takes a lot of talented craftspeople and vendors working together to make it happen!  Thank you to all the friends I met along the way….

Long Day of Photography on Lake Gaston

One of my most favorite days as a designer is when we complete a project and schedule the photography. After many months of working hard to create a beautiful space, it’s time to “fluff” with the final details.  Last week, I spent the day working closing with Jennings Mitchell, an incredible photographer who can work magic with the camera. All of the equipment, lights, and camera are connected to a computer that manages the entire system…pretty impressive.


Lighting plays such a key role in the photos that it has to be perfect.  We were forced to reschedule the shoot due to rain (nothing can replace natural sunlight and blue skies), but it was worth the wait.  The day of the shoot was absolutely beautiful….how do you like this view from the deck?


This home on Lake Gaston, could not have been built for a better family.  It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to be part of the project. Here’s a shot of the main lodge room with fabulous lake views.


I’ll post more photos later after Jennings works his digital magic. Of course, credit has to be given to the builder of this home, Sid Cutts with Corbitt Hills Construction.  Sid’s attention to detail and professional expertise is evident throughout the house.

As much as I try to avoid it, sometimes a piece of my heart gets left with a project and this is one of those times. I’m thrilled to see it come together so beautifully, but sad to let it go. So, my wish today is that many happy family memories are made in this home. After all, that’s what life is really all about…the beautiful home is just the cherry on top!