A Charming Renovation for this Family of Five!

Jan 23, 2018

 Excited about their purchase of this 1950s ranch style house and eager to personalize the space, homeowners Bryan and Kelley enlisted the help of designer Talbot Cooley in their home renovation. The couple has three young children, so they were not only interested in making their home visually appealing . . .  they needed usable, functional spaces. There is now plenty of room for their young family, and every family member has their own customized space!  

The kitchen, which opens to the den, is the hub of this busy household. Seeking an old-world European ambiance, hexagon tiles were used as the backsplash.  The tiles, a purchase from Chateau Domingue, were formerly used as flooring in a French convent (how’s that for authenticity?).  The butcher block counter on the island is essentially indestructible, making it the perfect foundation for chopping, prep work, or just using it as homework headquarters.  Fabulous to look at, yet serviceable, the period lantern style light fixtures are from Joyce Horn Antiques.

Blankets of glazes were applied to all the cabinetry, giving this newly built kitchen a much more rustic, vintage appearance.  It was so fun working with Talbot on the pantry doors.  She wanted them to stand out from the rest of the kitchen, so we glazed them a beautiful French blue, which I think makes them look like salvaged antique treasures.

We first distressed the doors and then applied a gesso finish under the glazes. This method works well when attempting to create the illusion of texture in the finish.  If you can’t find authentic antique doors that work for your space, buy new ones or have them made and finished to your liking.  Purchasing new doors is usually less expensive than investing in refurbished ones.

Talbot worked with much of the clients’ existing furniture to create this space.  While some of their existing furniture was recovered, the sofa, club chair, bench and cocktail table were all custom built. The fabrics they chose set the mood for the room and, although a light color, are still durable and suitable for everyday life. The built-ins were glazed to make them seem like furniture, since they are a focal point for the room.  This is definitely a place for the family to gather together, with plenty of seating for all! The eight-foot ceilings help the room feel spacious, yet comfortable and warm.  The light color palette and soothing tones in the fabrics, paint, and finishes are calming and inviting.


This is now Talbot’s favorite room in the home.  Using the drapery fabric for inspiration, we plastered the walls and ceiling in French blue.  On top of the blue, we hand-painted a silver metallic design on the walls, creating a soft but dramatic effect.  The rug is from Pride of Persia, and the table and fixture were purchased at Joyce Horn Antiques.

This space was grand, but seemed cold prior to the renovation.  The area needed some warmth to be inviting. Because the original sheetrock ceiling was so large and offset by the brick, it really stood out.  As is the case with most high ceilings, there were sheetrock seams and noticeable imperfections, especially at night.  These blemishes drove Bryan crazy.  Once we plastered the ceiling, this space truly evolved.  All the issues disappeared, and the ceiling became just another part of the room.  Talbot wanted this to be a place to entertain guests.  In today’s world, that meant it needed to be suitable for both formal and informal entertaining.  Now, whether Kelley’s guests arrive dressed in jeans or decked out in black tie, there is room for them to have a glass of wine, visit, and enjoy the architecture and ambiance of the space.  You can see that even Dixie the dog loves it!


There are different ceiling heights throughout the home, making it challenging for adjacent areas of the home to  flow.  We created a contiguous feel by plastering the walls and ceilings in these areas with a textured gypsum plaster, which makes the height discrepancies feel intentional. Notice the finish behind the wonderful floating egg prints from Frame Tec.  I love the framing  because it allows you to see the beautiful plaster walls underneath; the wall becomes part of the art itself.


The master bath and closet were the home’s biggest challenge–Kelley needed more room.  With the help of architect Rudy Colby, a new floor plan was created, and an old study was turned into Kelley’s master bath and walk-in closet.  Not only was this a great use of space, but it made the bath area work–a priority for most women.  Wanting something simple and sophisticated, a light hexagon tile was chosen from Walker Zanger.  The walls have a one-color wash, and a soft stencil design was applied to the ceiling to draw your eye up and add a soft detail to the room.

Talbot’s next idea was genius!  These doors are in a very narrow existing hallway, with two more sets just down the hall.  Talbot wanted to completely change the dorm-like corridor but couldn’t without major structural construction. Instead, we painted a French design on the doors to make the hallway to the girls’ bedrooms and playroom feel more unique.  A great, inexpensive solution to open the space and make it seem less cramped.

I loved working with Talbot, Bryan and Kelley on this project and adore the finished product.  We kept the home’s original character but enhanced its charm.  The home is now Kelley’s sanctuary – full of warm, comfortable and beautiful spaces.  She now looks forward to coming home, which is exactly what Talbot wanted to create for her and her family.

Thanks for letting me be a part of this project.  This home will be featured in my upcoming book that is scheduled for release in August.  To be notified when the book is released, sign up under “Book Release” on my blog’s homepage.

1 Comment
  • Greet
    Posted at 11:27h, 06 November Reply

    Beautiful renovation! I just love the painted door!! Awesome!

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