Before & After: Julie Lyons, Roomscapes’ Senior Designer, Tackles Her Own Home
With years of design experience, Julie Lyons, senior designer at our South Shore kitchen and bath showroom, has expansive knowledge of every aspect of the building and design industry. Yet when it came time for Julie and her husband, Michael, to remodel their bungalow-style home on the coast, the process was not without challenges.
An awkward layout, a series of rooms that were not only small, but oddly proportioned, and the need to stay within the existing footprint of the home pushed the couple’s creativity to the limit.
The issues Julie and Michael needed to address began right at the front door, which opened directly into the living room and was sited along the wall that offered the best view of the water. A coat closet located directly across from the front door made the living room feel chopped up.
A full bath situated off of the dining room was not only in an odd location, but was disproportionately large in comparison to other rooms, and somewhat extraneous to Michael and Julie’s empty-nest lifestyle.
A small kitchen presented its own issues. The location of the windows made the space feel choppy, and created an inefficient layout without a crucial “work zone.”
The renovation began with reducing the oversized full bath to create a new powder room. The extra space allowed the front door to be repositioned so that it opens into a short corridor. A new coat closet and row of hooks are on the opposite wall. Added ceiling beams, made of reclaimed wood, add texture and visual interest.
With the front door removed from the living room, Julie and Michael were able to add a bank of oversized windows in the water-facing wall, maximizing the gorgeous views. The existing coat closet was repurposed into a built-in cabinet with a recessed opening for the television, space for display on the top and room to hide electronic equipment below.
For Julie, a kitchen designer, and Michael, a chef, getting their new kitchen just right was critical. Julie wanted a stunning room that complemented their home’s overall aesthetic. Michael, who handles much of the cooking at home, wanted chef-grade appliances and an efficient work zone.
Removing the existing upper cabinets immediately made the space feel larger and more open. To compensate for the loss of storage, two new floor-to-ceiling cabinets bookend the newly created L-shaped work zone.
Julie chose to incorporate natural and artisanal materials throughout the home, including in the kitchen, which creates a cohesive sense of flow from room to room. In a nod to nature and the proximity of the nearby water, she incorporated natural finishes, in the wood and stain used in the cabinetry, as well as the stained ash island top and floating shelves. Brass and white bronze appear with restraint in hand-welded finishes on the hardware. A countertop of leathered Teltos quartzite that reads as a natural stone, but holds up to the rigors of frequent cooking, proved the perfect finishing touch.
For Michael, there is a chef-grade, six-burner cooktop with a custom-made plaster hood above it, and custom-made drawers below to hold pots and pans. A wall-mounted steam oven and convection oven are positioned immediately adjacent to the cooktop. Sub-Zero refrigeration keeps his gourmet goods at peak freshness.
Just off the kitchen is a newly created pantry with a coffee and tea station, as well as additional storage for serve ware and baking supplies. Floating shelves add visual interest and tie the spaces together.
The couple is thrilled with their remodeled home. Julie loves the design elements and overall look, improved flow and increased sense of openness. And Michael is happily cooking in a functional kitchen worthy of professional chef.
“This remodel and redesign is perfect example of how significant, but not overreaching, changes can dramatically and beautifully alter the way a home looks and how it’s lived in,” Julie says of what now feels like a completely new home. It is the very embodiment of coastal elegance, which is just what Julie and Michael wanted.