Though Steve and Lisa P.’s beautiful Lake Elmo home was once home to their family of four, their two adult children are now on their own—leaving these empty-nesters with the time and energy to remodel parts of their home.
“Our home is 12 years old and we still love it, but there were finishing touches that were needed to freshen up, lighten up and update the spaces,” Lisa says. “[And] although we have a custom-built home, we needed the additional custom-finishing details.”
Walking into the newly remodeled home, guests are greeted by light and airy finishes. From the fresh white paint and the beautiful wainscoting in the foyer to the cozy finishes, new furniture and custom built-ins in the living room, the home feels more open and welcoming than ever before.
But before the remodel, Lisa says the home had an outdated style with tan walls, dark walnut trim, cream carpet and it also had lacked accent lighting and accessories. “We have a very open main floor; the entry-way, living room and kitchen [are open],” she says. However, even with an open floor plan the home had felt closed off, so the team at J&D Builders freshened up the foyer and living room by adding in the foyer’s white wainscoting and the living room built-ins, including the floating shelves, TV cabinet and cabinets around the space.
After the initial construction was finished, Lisa called in Amy Leferink with Interior Impressions for the décor aspect. “Steve and Lisa came to us wanting the home to be more welcoming,” Leferink says. “Their biggest concern was when they opened the front door and greeted their guests that it had felt like a cave … They wanted to be prouder of their home.”
Focusing again on the foyer and living room, Leferink and the Interior Impressions team brought in all-new furniture and décor centering around a neutral color palette. Because Steve and Lisa already had custom light blue draperies, Leferink made sure to add in blue tones to the palette.
“The draperies are a soft aqua blue and so that was truly our jumping off point,” Leferink says. Soft blue pillows along the neutral-colored sofa as well as a classic-plaid swivel chair and footrest are a few of the additions. “The swivel chair is great … It can be a conversational piece by facing the rest of the furniture or turned to watch TV,” she says. “The owner Steve said, ‘This is my spot,’ so we put the footrest with the chair so he could be really cozy.”
Since the initial remodel, the team has moved on to the master bedroom, bathroom and basement. “It’s not a huge remodel in those areas,” Leferink says. “It’s more like a refresh.”
Lisa says the master bedroom and bathroom didn’t require extensive construction, so only crown molding was added. As for furniture, she says the Interior Impressions team helped out once again, bringing in a bed, end tables, side lamps and an end-of-the-bed bench; the team also installed MirrorMate painted wood frames around the bathroom vanity mirrors, which added another luxurious touch.
“We love the look of our remodel and design updates,” Lisa says. “It came at a great time, since we are spending so much more time at home because of COVID-19. We have a beautiful space to look at and enjoy.”
Light, Bright and Airy
We’ve all done our fair share of at-home DIY’s since the stay-at-home orders first began, but here’s a few updates to make your home more light, bright and airy that you might have to add to your list.
“We get this a lot, where somebody has the honey oak trim and the dark walls and furniture … One of the first things to do is to paint,” Leferink says. She recommends painting the walls a lighter color, such as lighter grey and white tones. “If possible, paint the woodwork and trim white to really achieve that light, bright, airy look,” she says.
Adding wainscoting and woodwork/built-ins around the fireplace will also make the home feel more open. “A rule of thumb: Your room should be as big as your eye is going to wander,” Leferink says.
Her tips? Add décor pieces to empty or dark corners; gather larger and taller pieces to draw the eye upwards in a space with tall ceilings; frame a photo and frame out windows with stationary panels.