While purchasing a resale home offers buyers price certainty, immediate availability and the security of knowing they will be living in the neighborhood they prefer, the interior design tastes of the previous owner or outdated features and finishes may not be exactly what the buyer has in mind. Those gifted with a sense of vision and a modicum of creativity are usually able to look past a resale home’s cosmetic deficiencies and realize that simply refreshing the space can make all the difference.
Refreshing does not entail stripping a home to the studs and starting over with a total remodeling project. It can be as basic as changing a color palette, introducing new furnishings and artwork, filling niches with custom built-ins, adding area rugs, or simply changing the pulls on the kitchen cabinets. The trick to feeling at home by refreshing rather than remodeling is to ensure the redesigned elements blend seamlessly with whatever existing features and finishes are deemed acceptable for the new look.
“Buyers of a resale home are buying an existing home, but it’s a brand new home to them,” said Vogue Interiors’ Sherri Bradford, ASID Allied Member. “They want the home to reflect their tastes while ensuring the things about the space that attracted them to begin with are preserved. They may envision rooms within the home being redesigned to suit their specific needs. They may want elements in the living areas updated to reflect a more clean-lined, current look that reflects their personal style. The bathrooms may need a look that better reflects up-to-date finishes. All of this can be accomplished by refreshing the home rather than undertaking a total remodeling. My advice is to find that resale home that has great ‘bones,’ the types of spaces that work with your lifestyle, and the location you want and then work with a designer who understands what it will take for you to feel at home in your new older residence.”
Bradford recently completed a refreshing project for a couple who purchased a home in Shadow Wood at the Brooks. The residence is their second home and serves as a retreat in which they can enjoy Southwest Florida while continuing their professional endeavors. The home is a 2,500 square feet great room floorplan with a formal dining room, three bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths, a study and an extensive outdoor living area – all of which suits the couple’s needs. What did not work for them was the home’s existing design style that reflected a more traditional look. They wanted something more clean-lined that conveyed the casual elegance associated with the more current “Florida Transitional” design style.
“The new owner wanted something with clean lines and pops of color that conveyed a sense of fun,” said Bradford. “The new color palette is very neutral. We introduced color with the artwork, the accent pillows and the draperies and mixed dark woods against the existing flooring and neutral backgrounds. We also selected new furnishings. The finished look is very comfortable and exudes classiness at the same time.”
For the home’s foyer, Bradford selected a three-piece, medium-toned transitional chest with vertical stripe inlays. The chest plays against an area rug that introduces color. In the great room, Bradford brought a sense of elegance to the feature wall that includes three arched niches by redesigning an existing built-in. Door fronts were added to the unit’s lower shelves and all of the sound system’s speakers and wiring were hidden. Artwork was added above the television in the center niche. Bradford also introduced a custom bar cabinet to the great room. The piece is dark toned tiger wood with wood inlays on the diagonal. The cabinet includes a pullout serving tray, stacked wine racks, a liquor drawer and upper glass shelving for glassware. The dark tones of the cabinet play against the great room’s caramel leather sofas, honey-colored side chairs, and a decorative rug that features bright terra cotta, red, blue and gold tones.
In the formal dining room, the space for the dining table and chairs is defined by a dark, checker board inlay set in the room’s honey-colored hardwood floor. The glass-topped rectangular dining table seats six in clean lined chairs that are wide and comfortable. Rusty-red draperies with a gold floral pattern add a pop of color. A ceiling detail that includes nine coffers with crown molding the same dark tone as the floor inlay contributes to the elegant look of the space and works well with a dark toned credenza that functions as a server and features gold-burnished silver leaf panel insets on the doors and gold tassels on the door handles.
Bradford simply rebuilt sections of the kitchen’s existing golden maple cabinetry to provide additional storage space. The existing island that features an Uba Tuba granite countertop, and the perimeter’s Giallo Light granite countertop and stone backsplash, provide an attractive workspace. A breakfast area with a circular glass-topped table and four rattan chairs with tweed seats overlooks the outdoor living area where Bradford redid the backsplash and countertop at the outdoor kitchen, added wiring for a television and updated the sink fixtures.
At the beginning of the project, the home’s study was empty. To provide a functional workspace for a salesman who travels extensively and for the lady of the house who has her own endeavors to manage, Bradford designed a cherry-finished built-in L-shaped desk with upper cabinetry and a second built-in desk and cabinetry that extends the entire length of one of the room’s walls. Corkboard covered with textured fabric on the walls above each desk provides space for hanging printed pieces of business related information. The wall-length desk includes file-ready storage drawers, a pull-out keyboard shelf, cabinet space and a storage unit at one end. The his and her workspaces now offer an ideal working environment.
In the master bedroom, Bradford heeded the owners’ love of their dog by fashioning the furnishings in a way that would create a ramp to the bed for the couples’ cherished pet. The bed has a tufted leather upholstered headboard flanked by rectangular nightstands with glass inset tops, an upper shelf, a drawer and a lower shelf. A bench at the foot of the bed provides the ramp and is finished with stripes in greens, terra cottas and tans. Matching clean lined side chairs provide comfortable seating for television viewing. A dark 12-drawer chest with silver tinted gold handles completes the look.
Founded in 1979, Vogue Interiors has earned numerous national, regional and local awards, including three consecutive Aurora Awards. The firm’s 30-year tradition of award-winning design excellence continued in October, 2013 with the receipt of four Collier Building Industry Association Sand Dollar Awards and seven awards presented by the Lee Building Industry Association. From corporate offices at 24520 Production Circle in Bonita Springs, Florida, Vogue Interiors provides design services and model merchandising to residential and commercial clients in the United States and abroad. Visit Vogue Interiors online at vogueinteriors.com.