What an incredible year 2017 has been for us at Design Connection, Inc.! Here is a look back at some of our favorite Before & After interior design projects from this past year. Enjoy!

After living in their home for 12 years, my clients had grown tired of the Tuscan-style décor, deep colors, and heavy carpeting; they longed for clean lines, darker woods, crisp whites, and soothing greys. Having each room flow from one space into the next was also a design element they desired for their “new” home.

Because the original kitchen cabinets were in great shape, we were able to save my clients an incredible amount of money by re-vamping their current cabinets. Keeping the original cabinets also made my client’s life a little easier, as they were living in their home throughout the renovation. Here we are in the process of painting the cabinets:

The next design element we addressed was the kitchen island.  Although the original island was massive, its design lacked function. The rough angles and multiple edges made seating options slim and storage space limited. It had to go! The new island contains custom storage on BOTH sides of the island; after 12 years of having an island with wasted space, my clients were thrilled with this new feature! By eliminating the L-shaped island, we not only changed the flow of the kitchen, we changed the way the kitchen worked.

As you can see from the Before photo below, my clients spent a lot of time moving around the island, and walking to-and-from the island, while cooking on the range. Designing a kitchen that “flows” isn’t just about looks, it is about function! My clients used to navigate through their kitchen; now they are able to flow with their kitchen.

The stunning new Cambria Quartz countertops take this kitchen to a whole new level. We replaced the Tuscan-style blacksplash with Country Gris Claro tile, which gives this kitchen’s focal point a shimmery feature while maintaining the overall clean and crisp look of this new space.

The new bar stools were selected with my clients’ everyday use in mind; stylish, comfortable, and durable. Not only are the new bar stools sized perfectly for this space, the new island now accommodates seating for the entire family!
What do you think of this “new” kitchen? Can you envision your home with an updated space like this? From helping you determine if you should stay and renovate or move and buy new, to finding the perfect accessories and finishing touches, we are prepared to oversee every detail. Let us help you make the changes you long to see in your home–Contact us today for a complimentary in-studio design consultation!
The smaller room beside the kitchen was the perfect place for the kids to hang out, watch TV, and play games. Although this space is primarily used by the kids, it was important to maintain the sophisticated look and feel of the rest of the home.

The fireplace really dated the look of this space. The honey oak woodwork and the old tile surround had to go. The first order of business was to wall in the hole that was designed to house an old box television.

Lounge Fireplace BEFORE

Updating your fireplace doesn’t have to be a complete gut-and-redo! Painting the wood from a honey finish to white instantly brought this space into this decade. The new tile selections compliment the colors in the neighboring kitchen and bar area while giving this space a look all its own. The two old chairs were replaced with new furnishings; the gorgeous new sectional, chaise, and small ottoman further defined this small space while adding comfortable seating for four people.

The new cabinet anchors this space and provides out-of-sight storage for video games and TV components. Working with the colors and the size of this space, custom artwork was created to complete this look.

The great room was also drastically transformed. Great rooms are supposed to be an inviting, welcoming space to gather. The original great room was a sparsely furnished and rarely used. There were no gatherings; there was no “greatness”…

Great Room BEFORE

The dated hearth and pillars were removed and the fireplace was refaced in a beautiful stacked stone. The carpet was replaced with the dark hardwood floors that now seamlessly flow throughout the entire first floor.

A floor rug sized-to-fit and the custom-built mantle add a unique touch to this gorgeous new great room.

The old sofa was removed and a custom-made sectional was created to fit the dimensions of this space perfectly.

The original artwork and the large multi-functional leather ottoman with contrasting seam-stripes further unifies this space.

In this project, my clients, after living in their home for 15 years, came to Design Connection, Inc. for help in re-furnishing areas of their home that they simply weren’t spending time in.  After meeting with this active family of six it became apparent that they required more than just updated furniture; they wanted their entire main floor to “flow”.

“How much will it cost to transform my home? How can I get my home to “flow”? What walls should come down?” This is a common conversation I have with new clients. Many times, kicking up dust and knocking down walls isn’t the answer to giving your home an open feel. In this home, the original layout was fantastic and the ceilings had height, but it had a very choppy feel when you moved throughout the main level.

Family Room BEFORE

As you can see in the before pictures, the combination of carpet, tile, and hardwood floors severed the flow of the home. In order to create a design that allows their distinct living spaces to have an open feel and flow from one room into the next, we worked from the ground up, installing medium Oak hardwood floors throughout.

Photo taken for Design Connection by Aaron Leimkuehler of All Levels Photo.

Although the family room was the designated TV viewing area, it was not the family-gathering-place my clients longed for. The new layout, in addition to the new swivel chairs and the custom sectional, creates a comfortable place for conversation for the entire family of six, while allowing for the room to feel open and connected to the rest of the home.

Photo taken for Design Connection by Aaron Leimkuehler of All Levels Photo.

By updating the traditional fireplace to a sleek stack stone with a custom mantel, the space feels warm and inviting. The new window treatments and custom shutters, accessories and art, gives this space a finished look and comfortable feel.

Because the family room is now used for lounging and watching TV, we decided to utilize the hearth room as a sitting room that joins the kitchen and dining areas in comfort and in style.

Photo taken for Design Connection by Aaron Leimkuehler of All Levels Photo.

A round leather ottoman at the center surrounded by four upholstered chairs made this room into an elegant but comfortable space to relax and read a book, entertain guests, and spend time together with the whole family.

We completed the update to this room with the addition of custom shutters, paint, mosaic tile fireplace surround, and artwork.

Photo taken for Design Connection by Aaron Leimkuehler of All Levels Photo.

The original kitchen layout was functional and the cabinets were in great condition, but they looked dated and didn’t fit my clients’ style.

With the budget and my clients’ wish-list in mind, we transformed the kitchen by faux-painting the cabinets in a java finish the lightened up the island with a cool, gray hue.

Photo taken for Design Connection by Aaron Leimkuehler of All Levels Photo.

The new quartz countertops add elegance and depth alongside the classic elongated herringbone pattern subway tiled backsplash, while the vinyl wallpaper was chosen for texture and durability.

Updating the powder room was a necessity. The wallpaper was selected for color, texture, and durability and makes for easy clean-up for this family of six.

We completed the update with a new vanity, mirror, toilet, lighting, wallpaper, accessories and wall décor.

Photo taken for Design Connection by Aaron Leimkuehler of All Levels Photo.

We added a touch of elegance to the entry with a metal and glass console table with a mirror above. The perfect place to greet guests!

If you are wanting to make design changes in your home but you’re not sure how to get started, call us! From finding furniture that fits your space perfectly to facilitating a complete-home remodel, we are prepared to oversee every detail. Let us help you make the changes you long to see in your home–Contact us today for a complimentary in-studio design consultation!

Photo taken for Design Connection by Aaron Leimkuehler of All Levels Photo.

In this project, my clients were ready to find their dream home. After two years of researching builders and exploring the area, a contemporary home became available in the area they preferred, but it required extensive remodeling. After much consideration, they decided to purchase the resale in the neighborhood they loved in the hopes of transforming it into the home of their dreams.

That’s where we came in!

My Team and I at Design Connection, Inc. were chosen from a list of many qualified designers. After viewing the home with the clients, a wish list was formed and a contractor assigned to complete the remodeling portions of the project.

Arlene Ladegaard (front) & Design Connection, Inc Team (L to R: Bailey, Pam, Dana, May)

Many parts of the original kitchen worked for my clients; the appliances, island, and the cabinets were in great condition and worked beautifully with the new design plans. After viewing many countertop options, a honed quartzite was chosen. The soft gray coloring and honed finish was the perfect choice for my clients’ dream kitchen.

The pass-through connecting the dining room and kitchen areas was transformed into a wet bar and butler’s pantry. The steel gray walls, the honed quartz countertop, and the gorgeous honed marble backsplash in a geometric pattern continues from the kitchen and through the wet bar, unifying the new designs and materials in this updated casual contemporary home.

This home also features two separate living areas. The living room that is open to the kitchen was created for their daughter to have her own space where she can hang out and watch her own TV away from the main living room area. With careful space planning, this area works with just the right amount of furniture.

The furniture is modern in styling, yet so cozy and comfortable. I selected the colors and chose performance fabrics known for their easy-clean features and long-wearing durability. My clients love the color combination of the bright blues, grays, and neutrals!

The original black granite fireplace surround was updated with beautiful gray honed quartzite that matches the kitchen countertops, blending these two areas together. Artwork provided by a local artist and friend of the clients is displayed on the mantel, adding an additional burst of color in this fresh, comfortable space.

Incorporating family heirlooms, artwork, and cherished furniture pieces into our new designs is a request I receive often, and a challenge I embrace wholeheartedly. In this project, my clients loved their existing sofa from their old home. Because their sofa was Italian in styling and sat very low to the ground, the new furnishings had to complement this one item in both color and scale

The new furniture was chosen with style, size, and comfort in mind. The existing artwork was brought over from their previous home; the oranges, blues and grays were pulled from the colors in the paintings. The large wall behind the sofa includes a new custom cantilevered cabinet. Zebrawood was used for this contemporary custom cabinet and a natural floor stain was used to complement the furnishings.

The steel gray wall was the perfect color selection to compliment the furniture, warm leather tones, and the geometric wool area rugs. The clients are thrilled with their new space and love the accents by the fireplace, which display their own treasured accessories.

The remodeled master bathroom also checks all of the boxes on my clients’ wish list. The customized steam shower features a quartz bench, extended Euro glass door and panels, and tile accents and niches that add height and interest to the design of this space.

Although the shower is one of my clients’ favorite elements, it is the bathtub that steals the show as the stunning focal point in this space.

My clients LOVED the idea of having a freestanding bathtub in their updated master bathroom. With the symmetrical design of the vanities on opposite walls, centering the space with a beautiful stand-alone soaking tub was a design-WIN!

New cabinets were designed with soft close doors and drawers in a washed oak finish. The chrome-framed mirrors were custom made for this space while the new chrome sconces add an extra design element while emphasizing my clients’ personal style.