This full remodel included the kitchen, dining room, living room, and principal bathroom (en suite). We also provided guidance on a light remodel of the hall bathroom and replacement of the stair-railing.
The home is located in Erie, Colorado and the remodel took place from summer 2020 to spring 2021.
Jen and Colby came to Spark Interiors feeling overwhelmed. There were a lot of decisions that needed to be made to update and open up their ranch style home.
Their principal bathroom, in particular, felt dated. It had carpet flooring, a big jacuzzi tub they never used nestled under a window, and a small shower with no elbow room. It wasn’t a place they wanted to start or finish their day.
The main living space felt dark, outdated, and claustrophobic. They had a formal dining room space they weren’t using, and they didn’t feel like they had enough room to host their family.
There were also outdated appliances, lighting, built in doorway arches, and carpeting throughout the house that needed to go. Removing the carpet was an especially good idea, given that carpeting in a home can negatively affect air quality.
When you’re planning a big remodel, there are a lot of choices that need to be made. Our clients were having a hard time seeing the bigger picture without knowing all the details. They were trying to pick finishes, but what they really needed was to see what everything would look like together.
Colby had purchased the home as a bachelor, and later on Jen moved into the space. They lived in it together for a while after their marriage before deciding to invest in a remodel.
Colby told us, “When I bought this house I thought it was really modern and open.”
It was for the late 90s and early 2000s! Now, housing styles have shifted to include even more light and space, so Kolby and Jen were really noticing the dated look.
We knew we wanted to work with Jen and Colby immediately, because we had helped Colby’s brother remodel his home in the same neighborhood. Plus, they were using the same contractor, who we also enjoyed working with.
Colby and Jen knew they wanted a bright and airy space where their friends and family could spend time together. They were both drawn to the color blue and wanted to incorporate it in the main living area. They also were hoping to do a remodel that could stand the test of time and not go out of style.
When it came to the bathroom, the only thing they wanted to keep was the layout. The giant jacuzzi tub, the tiny shower, the carpet, and the finishes all needed to be replaced. They needed a bathroom that was more practical for their lives.
Our clients decided to live in their basement while construction took place. While this is an option for saving some money and avoiding relatives, it can be challenging to live in a construction zone. Colby and Jen managed to make their basement work despite construction, COVID, and both of them transitioning to working from home.
From top to bottom, the main living areas were redesigned.
We knew that we were going to need to take out walls to open up the dining room with the rest of the kitchen and living space. This meant we’d also have to pick new flooring. In the entryway, we were also going to replace the outdated stair rails.
Taking out the walls meant that there would be more space and light. Jen and Colby’s home felt dark and sectioned off. They didn’t do any formal dining, so the room being walled-off from the kitchen and the living room felt like a waste of space.
Instead, they wanted an open floor plan so they could entertain. Afterall, Colby’s brother’s family, including nieces and nephews, lived just down the road! They wanted a space that fit their whole family during football games. The idea of having six or more people gathered around an island really excited them!
The house had big windows, and we knew taking down some walls could maximize not only their space for entertaining, but also the natural light.
For the bathroom, we planned to take out the giant jacuzzi tub, the tiny shower, the outdated vanity, lighting, and tile. We designed a big shower and planned to make a space that was brighter and more modern.
Our clients wanted a home without all the carpet, arches, and constraining walls. They wanted new paint, including fun color pops of blue (in a way that wasn’t overwhelming) and for their main living space to all tie together. For the principal bathroom, they wanted a space that felt practical and relaxing.
- Replacing the flooring in the living spaces
- Entertaining space for 7 to 10 people
- An open floor concept that made it feel like everyone was together in their living space
- A big kitchen island that sat at least 6
- Updated appliances and fixtures
- Maximize the light provided by the windows
- Add a bigger shower to the principal bathroom and lose the jacuzzi tub
- Replace the flooring, vanity, mirrors, and lighting in the bathroom
- Update finishes for a more sleek, modern look
This remodel took place during the height of the COVID pandemic. Spark Interiors implemented precautions to ensure everyone’s safety during this time. We’re incredibly grateful Colby and Jen were so understanding and rolled with the punches!
Between distanced meetings, supply chain issues, and shortages, we were all learning how to do things in a new way. The construction phase took longer than normal because trades couldn’t overlap. Normally, electricians and plumbers can work together in a remodel this big, but to be safe we had to do one trade at a time.
There were lots of walls and arches that needed to be taken out. The space felt a little claustrophobic and dated. The dining room wall, and one of the kitchen walls blocked off the rest of the house.
The shower plumbing in the bathroom was going to be tricky; we needed a shower control location that wasn’t inside the shower. We ended up placing the controls on the other side of the vanity half way, and running the pipes through the floor to the shower head.
There was a lot of space to fill in this home given that it had 10 foot ceilings. Many of the folks we work with are unsure of how to fill a space so big. We got creative with cabinetry, finishes, and tiling to address the volume with the appropriate scale while retaining the grand ceiling height.
Once you take out a wall, you have to redo the flooring. It may seem like flooring continues under the walls, but it doesn’t. Since our clients wanted to get rid of the carpet too, we selected wide plank wood flooring throughout the home, and stylish tiles.
While we tried to specify the use of reclaimed wood floors, COVID had other plans. Instead, the contractor had to use what he could find and made the best of the shortage!
- COVID created supply chain issues, made meetings complicated, and created shortages
- Walls needed to be taken down to open up the space
- We had to get creative with the shower plumbing to ensure Jen and Colby didn’t get wet each time they showered
- We needed to fill the home enough that the 10 foot ceilings didn’t feel vast, but not so much that it felt crowded
- Replacing all the flooring in the main living area and the principal bathroom
Take Down Kitchen and Dining Room Walls
Our first priority was making more room for friends and family to get together and maximizing the natural light. To do this, one of the kitchen walls, and the interior formal dining room walls needed to be taken down. This made the space into more of an open floor plan.
By redoing the layout, we were actually able to give Colby and Jen more square footage without a bump out. Now, whether they’re making food in the kitchen, sitting at the dining room table, or lounging at the couch, everyone can see and talk to one another.
Everyone can watch the big game from anywhere in the room, too!
Add a Big Island to the Kitchen
A big island was a priority for Jen and Kolby. Together, we selected a design that included a slight “L” shape that could sit six people. Around the base there’s a wine cabinet, a microwave, and extra storage.
It’s as practical for eating as it is for keeping the holiday decor tucked away!
Application of Color
We could’ve made this space all white with a blue island, but instead, we knew we wanted to tie in the new open floor plan with a soft shade of blue. The veining in the island has a blue undertone, and the rest of the kitchen countertops are a blue/gray color.
There are blue pops throughout the living room, and one remaining arch we painted blue as well. The color helps tie the entire space together.
A Hood We Still Daydream About
Our principal designer, Megan, found a hood that was made of white shiplap. She had the idea to wrap the hood in pieces of walnut that tied into the open shelving on each side of the stove. This customization really helped the hood stand out in the kitchen, and is a unique piece only found in Jen and Colby’s home!
Our favorite moment of this design was the day this beautiful hood arrived!
Making the Most of the 10 Foot Ceiling
In the kitchen, there was really no natural place to stop the tile. Between the windows and the ten foot ceiling, it made sense to take the tile to the ceiling!
Originally, our clients were a little unsure about this much tile, but once they saw the renderings, they knew that it was the right choice for creating a cozy and grand space.
A Relaxing Place to Start and End Each Day
To make the bathroom practical for Jen and Colby, we needed to remove the tub, make the shower bigger, and replace the vanity, finishes, and flooring. We used basic interior design principles here: dark on the bottom, medium in the middle and light on top. It creates a grounded space that’s still airy and light.
The bathroom tiles look like steel. You can print anything on porcelain tiles these days, and the industrial-look tied in well with the black fixtures on the vanity.
Our clients wanted a big shower, so we gave them one! While we did have get clever about the plumbing controls, Jen and Colby will never get their feet wet with cold water.
In the bathroom, Colby and Jen didn’t want to take the tile all the way to the ceiling like we suggested. We were glad that they shared what they wanted and instead came up with a paint plan to fill the space above the tiles.
We also added wood accents to create another layer of texture and color. The reclaimed teak tiles are some of our favorites. In Colby and Jen’s bathroom, we were able to use them like a piece of art, framed among the rest of the tile.
We wanted to create a space that left them feeling reinvigorated after each time they were in their ensuite. We can’t imagine leaving this bathroom without feeling refreshed, and ready for the day, or bed!
Sustainability Upgrades Throughout the Home
There were a lot of opportunities to make this home a little more sustainable, and to make sustainable decisions when it came to purchasing.
Spark Interiors selected tile and suggested reclaimed wood for the flooring. Both are great sustainable flooring options for Colorado residents, especially compared to the carpet that was there before.
By taking down some of the walls that were blocking the light into the home, Colby and Jen will be able to use less energy to heat their home in the winter. Plus, the more daylight that gets let in, the less likely they are to need to turn on the lights until the sun has set.
Our selection of high-quality cabinets should last a lifetime. We also selected energy efficient appliances, and LED lighting – including the Edison bulbs in the kitchen!
The quartz countertop came from a producer who makes their products in America and Canada, meaning a smaller carbon footprint for shipping. These countertops are incredibly durable and made without VOC resins.
The reclaimed teak tiles in the bathroom are one of our favorite sustainable pieces and design statements. For those who are unfamiliar, teak is a type of wood used to build boats. It’s real wood, rather than a “wood look” tile. These tiles are a win/win/win because they’re gorgeous, made of reclaimed wood, and water tight.
Colby and Jen didn’t feel like their home was a place they could host their family and friends. Compared to more modern styles, their home felt dark and closed-off. Plus, their bathroom was dated, and they didn’t use the fixture that took up the most space in their ensuite.
They were overwhelmed with all the decisions that come with doing a big remodel, and needed help sketching out all the little details within the big picture.
Now, they live in a home big enough to host everyone for the big game on Sunday. It’s bright and feels like a breath of fresh air, with soft blue tones throughout the main living space.
When everyone leaves, they can step into their luxurious bathroom that’s perfect for their needs before heading to bed.
“Everything is so much better, from cooking to entertaining,” Jen told Boulder Magazine, who featured our interior design. “We feel like we’ve created a timeless feel that won’t go out of style again.”
If you’re like Jen and Colby, you may be living in a home for which you have big dreams, but aren’t sure how to execute them on your own. Is it also a little dated? Perhaps your home is not living up to its full potential, given outdated designs.
Or, you could be at the beginning of a remodel, looking at the long list of decisions you’re going to have to make and wondering how you’re going to coordinate all the little decisions – from flooring to ceiling fans!
We can help. At Spark Interiors, we love working on big remodels (like this one) and helping folks see the big picture before mistakes are made. We pride ourselves on creating the right feeling or emotion for each room, to suit your lifestyle, while maintaining the practical application.
You deserve to love where you live.