How to Update the Design of Your House -- Even the Spaces You Don't Like

Yesterday, we talked about how the marriage of design and construction was the key to Design Therapy. Today, we will let you in on a few of the secrets from the interior design perspective. Our designer on this project, Terry Lynema, talks about the process that transformed this particular property.

Floors were created and walls moved to create a modern gourmet kitchen with access directly to the pool.

Editor: What were some of the design challenges that you faced with this house?

TL: The home’s exterior was a craftsman style, but the inside was an unusual, multi-angled floor plan, which gave the home a very commercial feeling. The spaces were undefined – some ran into each other with no apparent purpose. There were also multiple and conflicting styles from room to room. For instance, traditional cherry wood and brass conflicted with the contemporary angles and open floor plan, and different styles and shapes of windows disrupted the flow. Our challenge was to eliminate the distractions of these conflicts and bring out the best features of the house – like the generous rooms and incredible flow.

The finished kitchen speaks for itself.

Editor: What decisions did you make to fix this?

TL: Our first task was to identify a style and define the spaces according to how they would be used. We imagined who might live here and what they would need each day to love living here.

Editor: What would a typical life in this house look like?

TL: The house is a perfect entertaining house for a large family. Since the kitchen is the heart and soul of this home, we made the kitchen the epicenter with different living and dining areas flowing from it. There are also enough private places in the house that naturally accommodate those more introverted times.

Editor: How did you work with the construction team to make this happen?

TL: A designer needs to know just enough about construction to be dangerous! I need the instinct of what “might” be behind those walls so I don’t waste the construction team’s time. In this case, it was less about deconstruction and more about moving around and filling in spaces so that electrical, plumbing, lighting, etc. would work with how the rooms would be used.

Editor: How was is working with Team on this project?

TL: One of the many things I love about Team is that they are willing to make things possible. They understand the importance of design so I can walk into a space and brainstorm with them. Together we imagine and re-imagine the spaces.
|  Mindscape