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  • Writer's pictureJCB

Project: Cub Hill Modern Cottage Makeover

Updated: Jun 20

This is one of our most epic projects to date! This past fall my client called me in to help her with her family room. When I arrived I noticed the exterior of her house looked so different than the other houses in the neighborhood. It was freshly done with pale grey painted brick and cute black shutters—while every other house in the mid century neighborhood of Cub Hill are red brick after red brick, their house was a total standout. I found out they had just recently had the exterior overhauled and went for an updated cottage look. It looked so great it forced them to start making moves with the interior...

As recent empty-nesters of a big family and busy entrepreneurs, The Walshes let the decor slip by the wayside over the years. The house is a busy place with lots of activity and family, so it was not a priority. Now that the last kid has left the building, Christine decided it was time. As I said, she initially wanted me to look at her family room, but when I got to her house, saw her cute exterior and then walked around her first floor a bit, I gently asked her—so, only the family room? The first thing I noticed in the kitchen was the dated orange cabinetry and huge crown molding that swallowed up the small space (that stove tho!). The peninsula opened into the connecting living room did not have a countertop overhang, so it left the area useless and awkward. The color of the cabinets were also the same color as the floor, so there was a lot of orangey-brown going on. The arches going into the living room were also dated and not really in keeping with the architectural style of the home. So, when I finally saw the family room—which needed new flooring to replace the existing and well-worn wall to wall carpeting, new wall color, furniture and cabinetry for tv watching, I realized we were going to need more than just a cosmetic fix.

Here's the before:

I reached out to Apex Builders Group and we got to designing. First, the family room floor needed a new solution. The dingy wall to wall had to go and the clients really wanted hardwood. Matching the wood flooring to kitchen was going to be nearly impossible and the kitchen floor was pretty torn up from the previous renovation fifteen years earlier, so this update made sense—new wide plank hardwood flooring will really update the house and give us continuous flooring throughout. The kitchen needed a refresh and we did consider keeping the cabinets and refacing them, but the cabinets were past their prime and ready for retirement. We wanted to brighten up the space, so new white quartz countertops, fresh green cabinetry and brass hardware were a modern yet classic choice. The sink was in the corner of the U shaped kitchen, and it seemed to make better sense under the window so we moved it. Who wants to face a corner when doing dishes? The biggest change was taking out the arches and replacing them with a reclaimed header and support beams. Incredible.

My selects for this kitchen included delicious creamy white Zellige tile from Zia stacked vertically.

The gorgeous After!

The family room was an underused space that felt 'dark and uninviting' in the client's words. They didn't want to sit in there because it just simply had no appeal. The large brown sectional was dated and ready to go. The tv area was not organized and attractive. This room was an addition that was put in before they moved in and it was not done well. The brick wall was the original exterior and it was very red and soaked up a lot of light, the painted yellow walls were not the best color for relaxing and the finishes—trim, bookcases and wood header beam were not executed well. I really wanted to brighten up the space by white washing the brick and putting in a new (real) reclaimed wood header. Nader from Apex found this incredible piece of wood at Second Chance and it was the weight we needed to anchor the space. The back wall where the tv lived was just screaming out for built-in bookcases, gas fireplace and tv watching area, so we designed that space with wood floating shelves to match the new wood header. My client wanted a space that felt like a Nantucket or California style coastal cottage, so I wanted to combine these two aesthetics into one cohesive vibe. Light grey walls and a cool green/grey accent wall would bring us the Nantucket and on the opposite wall a new (client requested) record console and vintage rug would live and give us some Topanga energy. It's Cali-tucket!

This is the before:

This is the inspiration for the new tv/fireplace wall:

This is our furnishing selections for the family room:

This is the after!

We decided to go light and bright with wall color and furnishings. Vintage rugs, wood accents and a velvety green chair added the grounding it needed. We created these really cool custom shelving accents in the current and awkward brick wall shelf openings. They were a very shallow depth and not very exciting, so we added the slats and made them more modern for plants and collectibles. The mix feels a little east coast a lot of west coast and very happy and inviting. The clients are so in love with this room now! They swear they have used it more in the past month than in the fifteen years of living here! It was quite a transformation and we loved being a part of this project.

Juniper House is a full service interior design studio helping clients realize their dream space. Contact us if you want us to help create your dream!


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