Many of us imagine finding our dream home like a fairytale. We walk through the door, instantly falling in love with what we see, and imaging our future lives there. This story is sort of like that, but only in terms of the fact that it is fairy tale like because this house looked LIKE A CASTLE.
But let me back up.
Our clients found a great home in a wonderful neighborhood. It was built in the 80’s and had had a high-quality renovation done at some point. The problem is, it wasn’t quite the style they were looking for. Allow me to present...
“I can’t live in a castle house!” she cried to her husband. But I assured them we could de-castle it and make it the fresh, New Traditional home of their dreams. The plan was to work in phases. In a speedy Phase 1 the walls were painted, some light fixtures swapped, and many of the wood doo-dads were taken out to clean things up. Phase 2 was to be the Master Bathroom renovation which we were designing as a part of the One Room Challenge, with Phases 3 and beyond staggering out over time, taking the La Madeline style out of the house, eventually bringing this Fairytale to a happy ending. Until…
Dun dun dunnnnnnnnn. THE SNOWPOCALYPSE.
I’m really leaning into this storytelling thing now. Sorry.
5If you’re in the Dallas area, you don’t need me to tell you about the great Snowmageddon of February 2021. Temperatures in the single digits for days, snow and ice covered roads, and (this is particularly important here) no power. A whopping 15+ pipes burst in our clients house, just ahead of us starting construction on the ORC Master Bath.
And the traumatic gushing of water that followed.
OKAY NEW PLAN – remodel the entire house.
Our construction partners, Tejas Remodeling & Custom Homes, rushed to the scene to save as much as possible. No strangers to emergency situations like this, they removed all the baseboards and drilled holes all along the bottoms of the walls to allow water to drain out and prevent mold from forming, which saved the drywall. Nearly all of the base cabinets in the house were toast, along with tons of other things.
We had the Master Bath plan ready to execute and threw ourselves into a re-design of the rest of the house. While this natural disaster was a huge disruption to our clients’ (and all of North Texas’) lives, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it now pulled the entirety of Phase 3+ into the Now.
Say what you will about 80’s houses, but this one actually had a pretty great floor plan. We didn’t have to make many changes to the layout, save two. The most impactful change was to create a laundry room out of thin air. Well, more accurately, out of some surplus closet and wasted space in a bedroom. The washer and dryer were previously in the garage, which is certainly better than NO washer and dryer, but I can tell you from personal experience that you will wind up with clothes in the washing machine for 2 days because you never heard the “DING!” of the laundry finishing and you completely forget about them and have to start the cycle all over again.
One of the girls’ bedrooms had a very large closet and giant entryway, so we carved out space to create a (still rather healthy sized) laundry and a more modest bedroom closet. A pocket door helps this new laundry room not be an intrusion in the hallway. You can see this in the top right corner of the plans above.
The only other floor plan shift happened in the Master Bath that we completed as part of the One Room Challenge, where we stole a couple of feet from the Master Bedroom to allow us to create a larger shower.
Design-wise, the changes were much more significant. The previous owners had a European French Countryside thing going, with lots of ornate, dark wood details throughout the house. Our clients’ design style falls into the New Traditional realm, layering in traditional details with more contemporary clean lines, bringing freshness to a classic style. We peeled the vast majority of the old world details away and replaced them with more simplified elements.
THE FINAL PRODUCT
Without further ado, the La-Madeline-to-La-Fabulous end result.
Entryway – we left the beams and front door, refreshed the flooring throughout the main areas by pulling up the travertine that cut everyone’s feet and went back with engineered wood flooring.
Living room – this space is generous in size, and we got to use one of our favorite moves – parallel matching sofas. If you want your space to look put together, this is a great way to get there.
Previously the stone fireplace completely dominated this room. We toyed with doing a larger fireplace change, but ultimately, we liked the texture of the stone so just toned it down with white paint during our Phase 1 refresh. The texture makes enough of a statement that a big piece of art didn’t feel necessary, so we styled it very simply and it still has a dramatic effect.
We need to talk about this patio door situation. Before this was the pretty standard living-to-patio situation of three pairs of French doors. Nice, but there was a missed opportunity to let in more light and give a better connection to the outdoor space. We removed all of that and installed these gorgeous, HUGE, sliding doors.
We did something a little different here and went with a slate blue door, rather than your typical white or black. It plays so nicely with the colors outside, which also got a facelift in this remodel.
Once the dining room doorway was de-stoned, we were left with a blank slate. Instead of artwork, we added a bookshelf filled with collected items and a classic blue and white plate wall.
Guys, the kitchen. This 100% felt like a La Madeline before, complete with the cozy fireplace. We actually kept all of the original upper cabinets. They were high quality and we loved the detailing on the glass doors and the beveled inset drawer fronts. Not something you see everyday! Where we had to replace the lower cabinets due to moisture issues, we matched the same style. We also remade the entire island, as it was a total loss.
The kitchen is pretty neutral, so the pop of color in the window and the rug are a fun little surprise.
This island is HUGE and is different than your typical island. Normally the “working side” has cabinets and drawers, and sometimes drawers on the counter stool side, but the sides of the island are generally just non-functional panels capping things off. Here, we have storage happening on all 4 sides to make the best use of the U-shaped kitchen. I’m also obsessed with this cabinet color. We used it as well in the Master Bath (Sherwin Williams Krypton).
See that sneaky door on the island?! Very unexpected.
The vent hood is one of our favorite details. Before it was covered in stone (as were so many rooms in the house), so we pulled that down and cleaned everything up.
The kitchen fireplace also got a modern refresh and feels far less Ratatouille and much more sophisticated.
The guest bath is a sweet little gem. It is a classic with a mosaic tile floor, but an unexpected picket tile on the shower walls. The cabinet color, mirrors, and fixtures are a mix of modern and classic and we love the color they bring to the party.
I only have boys, so when we work with clients who have girls I am always hoping they’ll let us do something extra girly. AND BOY WE DID HERE. Pink cabinets and flower shaped cabinet hardware, you guys. We went with a more grown up blush, rather than a childish bubblegum pink, so this will last them through their teens.
The Master Bedroom featured yet another overwhelming stone + wood situation that you can see up in the before photo above. I actually love the texture of a painted brick fireplace, so we simplified the mantle and made it a sister to the fireplace in the kitchen. The built ins also got dressed down and somehow feel more dressed up.
Still one of my very favorite bathrooms of all time. We documented ev-uh-ry last detail of this renovation in our One Room Challenge series, so if you’re curious, take a trip down memory lane and go check out those posts!
Ta da! What a transformation! We were blessed to be a part of this and are so thrilled that our clients love their (now essentially) new home.
For even MORE photos, you can hop over to see the full gallery here.