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The anticipation almost killed us, but now here we are showing off the final reveal of Design Vidal's historical craftsman project. If you missed the initial renovation ideas and the "before" pictures, you should definitely check out Part 1 of the Historical Craftsman Project. Having personally toured the home when it was still in its "needing TLC" stage, we are completely blown away by designer Karen Vidal's vision. We could go on and on, but I think the pictures tell the story best!
LAMPS PLUS: What was your biggest challenge renovating the Craftsman home?
KAREN VIDAL: The biggest challenge renovating this home was how to open it up and update it in a way that didn't diminish the intrinsic charm and character of the house. People don't like closed off kitchens today. It's the hub of the home, where all guests congregate, so opening up the kitchen was number one on our list.
LAMPS PLUS: How did you make the most out of the budget?
KAREN VIDAL: We maximized the budget by doing a real blend of high and low on our finishes. Where we saved: the stove (vintage), the kitchen sink, faucet, dishwasher, and the white subway tile on the walls in the bathroom. Where we splurged: soapstone countertops, hand painted deco liners in the bathrooms, the bathroom floor tile, and cabinet hardware.
Also, we were smart about saving existing elements throughout the house. We re-used all the interior doors, all the molding and trim that we could, and re-finished the floors thoughout even though there were three different types of wood. We kept any windows that worked, only replacing some bad aluminum ones that had been put in at some point.
On the exterior we sanded and repaired pieces of siding and matched in areas that were really bad like the front of the porch. All of these things add up to budget savings and is more eco-friendly because things are re-purposed rather than ripped out and tossed away. And since we like to talk about lighting, the lights are a great mix; we re-used some that were in the house when we started and then blended in other lights that all had a sort of industrial vibe to keep the house from pulling too "sweet."
LAMPS PLUS: There have definitely been some drastic aesthetic changes. What was the most significant update?
KAREN VIDAL: The most significant update is the kitchen, followed by the bathrooms. It's hard to remember the kitchen being so closed off and tiny! We extended the footprint into the dining room (which was way too big) when we opened up the walls. We also took out another wall that had formed a sort of mudroom area, but really it just blocked access to the outside. The new kitchen is totally unrecognizable from the old one (which was not the original one to the house), but feels consistent with the house.
The bathrooms weren't that functional to start with. The upstairs bath had a nice footprint, but a lot of wasted space. There wasn't a separate shower, for example. We designed a new layout and used great tile and light fixtures to finish it.
LAMPS PLUS: Keeping the original charm is really important to you. What were some of the original elements that you kept intact?
KAREN VIDAL: We kept as many original windows as possible, the 3 panel interior doors and mortise hardware, a small sleeping porch where we managed to keep the original linoleum flooring, the douglas fir wood floors (which some people don't conside refinishing because it is considered a "soft" wood, but I love them!), and some original lights.
LAMPS PLUS: Craftsman homes are generally pretty dark. What is your advice for maximizing light using decorative light fixtures?
KAREN VIDAL: We added a lot of light, especially in the kitchen, living room, and dining rooms. There were no sconces by the fireplace or in the dining room. Obviously the kitchen was completely different from before, so all the lighting changed. On the porch I added another fixture so the front door would be flanked by sconces. I added a stained glass window in the stairwell to let in more light and obscure glass panels in both showers to brighten them up.
LAMPS PLUS: We love seeing our outdoor lights installed on the exterior of such a beautiful home. What made you fall in love with this particular exterior wall light?
KAREN VIDAL: The John Timberland outdoor wall light was actually the last fixture I bought. I was having trouble finding the right one. I wanted it to look traditional, but then everything I was looking at was pulling too "Craftsman-y." I had set up an expectation when I used the bold cement tile on the front porch that this house would be a little unexpected and I wanted my lights to re-enforce that. I went into Lamps Plus and I saw these sconces and I knew right away that they were the missing piece. They had a traditional feel, but had a nice industrial vibe at the same time. I used some Edison bulbs and they looked just right.
LAMPS PLUS: What was the client's reaction to the final reveal?
KAREN VIDAL: Oh my! He was so emotional! He loved it and was so happy to see it transformed. I had been sending him pictures, but to actually experience it was kind of overwhelming for him.
Thank you Karen for sharing your renovation ideas for your historical Craftsman project. We can't wait to see your next design! To view more images of this project check out our gallery on Facebook with outtakes and behind-the-scenes photos.
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