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Decorating Tips

Form and Function

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After decorating homes for fourteen years I have learned certain code phrases from customers that help me to understand some of their needs. The phrase, “We have to live here”, is code for “We want our home to be comfortable and things to be easily accessible.” The second phrase, “This is not a house in a magazine”, is code for “we want a casual livable style that looks nice and doesn’t break the bank.” And finally my favorite phrase to hear is, “I am not Martha Stewart!” which is code for; “My house won’t look perfect all the time so I need things to be easy.” I think that all customers have the same basic needs of a comfortable home for themselves. However, pulling together function (comfort and usability) with form (making it look good too) can be a puzzle. Let’s take a peek into a Gardenia kitchen remodel that combines both form and function in a harmonious union, somewhere in the heart of The Villages.
• Function guides FormAfter-shows-the-lower-Counter-Top-higher-Cabinets-and-the-Drawer-on-the-back-wall-of-Base-Cabinets
The homeowners had a clear picture of changes that were needed to increase the function of the kitchen and make it more user friendly. Once they were clear on what did not work for them, they figured out ideas of how to change the space to increase the function. The homeowners used a myriad of pictures to communicate the look they were trying to achieve to me and all the contractors involved. Pictures communicate ideas well!
• Lower the bar to counter top height
The Gardenia has a bar that looks out to the living room. The homeowners preferred counter top height for all their needs. When the counter top is lowered it creates a large island to use a serving space. Also, the chairs are much easier to pull up and sit down because they are counter top height. Finally, the usable surface area is increased because everything is on one level. I love the lower counter because it is so much more functional.
• Refaced bottom cabinets
The basic footprint of the kitchen stayed the same, so there was no need to replace the bottom cabinets. The homeowner refaced the bottom cabinets by adding new updated doors. They love the crisp clean look of a white kitchen so they kept the kitchen white. Remember, a white kitchen will always be in style, even with a modern flare, white is a classic!
• Adding drawers
Any place that they could be added the homeowner added drawers. It is much more functional to have large drawers to pull out rather than have to get down and look into a low cabinet door. Always add drawers when it is possible.
• All upper cabinets were replaced
The upper cabinets were too shallow for the homeowners kitchen needs. They were replaced with taller and deeper cabinets. The doors were replaced with a simple but beautiful Shaker style door. This gave the kitchen a fresh updated look and so much more function.
• Quartz
The homeowners had their heart set on quartz and they love white, so they chose white quartz with grey veins. The counter looks pristine and is reminiscent of another classic, marble.
• Backsplash
The backsplash the homeowner chose is a great complement to the all the white in the space. The long tiles are glass and resemble the iridescent interior of an abalone shell in varying shades of gray.
• Paint walls
The wall color is Popular Gray 6071 by Sherwin Williams. I love this gray because it is warm. The warmth is created by a bit of a brown base in the paint. This color really shows well with white!
• Floor
The old tile in the kitchen was replaced with white tile with grey veins to tie into the counter top. The tile had a “rectified edge” which means each side of the tile has a perfectly straight edge. This straight edge allows for a tiny grout line. Also, the large tiles were used in order to cover more square footage and have fewer grout lines. The kitchen tile was abutted to the new hardwood flooring without thresholds so that the transition is smooth and creates no tripping hazard.
• Lighting
Two simple pendant lights were installed above the new lower island. They were installed a bit higher to eliminate glare from the down wash of light.

P.S. –Attention, club presidents! I give free decorating programs! It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today or call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056

P.P.S Be sure to visit our home decor store, "The Finishing Touch" for your home good needs.

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