As an interior designer, our job is not only to create the perfect space for you, but it's also to learn about how you live, work and what your goals are. As you can imagine, through this process we gain great relationships with homeowners and business owners. In the case of this home renovation, I gained a very good friend and fellow female business owner at the same time! This project is very special to me for that reason, but also because it was one of the first project ever completed under the Kuchar name!
It's common in old homes to have a lot of separation between rooms - which I personally love about vintage design! However, this kitchen was too closed off which made it feel dark and dated. We decided to open up the walls to the dining room and brighten up this space with lighter finishes and better lighting.
Can you believe this is the same kitchen? We replaced the orange flooring with a modern chevron tile made in Italy. It has color variation within each tile, giving it a handmade look that fits perfect with this vintage home.
We designed lighter cabinets and marble counters to help brighten this once dark area. The modern brass cabinet pulls also add a lighter feel and add to the vintage charm.
In the world of white marble, this is one of my favorites. It's quarried state-side in Vermont and is typically less porous than Italian marble (read: it won't stain as easily). It's also less expensive than Italian marble. It has a soft appearance and, in my opinion, is just as beautiful as other traditional marbles.
The backsplash is made of the same slab, which we love so much more than mosaic tile. The monolithic installation helps bring modern details to this kitchen design.
The white backdrop lended itself to a dramatic light fixture accent. I was ecstatic when the homeowner fell in love with these extra large pendant lights! The interior of each light is a hammered copper that glows beautifully when illuminated. We balanced the heavy lights out with a lighter scale black stool.
I love this final mix of materials- brass, white marble and black metal accents. It blends well with the adjacent dining room, which kept many of the vintage details original to the house.
The brass pendant hanging over the dining table was left by the previous owner and we loved the way it looked with the new kitchen renovation- so it stayed!
The focal point of the living room is the homeowner's piano. Since designing this house, she has opened her own music studio teaching kids vocal and piano lessons (See her music studio here!) Since music is a big part of her life, we loved integrating it into the design.
Another common "feature" of an old home is a lack of bathrooms, compared to today's standards! This home lacked a master bath but was tight on space. When the homeowner first suggested we turn a small closet into a master bath, I was skeptical... but with clever planning and use of a barn door, we made it happen!
We decreased the counter depth next to the sink dramatically to fit the toilet- but still provided extra room for drawers and bins.
The sliding barn door allows us to use every square inch of the previous closet! Upon entering the bathroom, the sink is central, since it is the deepest part of the counter. To the right is the toilet and to the left is the shower. It's efficient, but it works!
Vintage homes have a lot of quirks, but they bring so many wonderful details that aren't as common in new builds. Mixing old and new is a fun challenge and one of my favorite styles to design!
Project: Chicago Vintage Remodel
Photographer: Stoffer Photography