It’s easy to agonize over every decision in a kitchen renovation. Once the excitement of the project wanes and the pressure to get it right kicks in, suddenly all of the choices that go into creating a dream kitchen feel like the difference between failure and success. And one of those seemingly make-or-break judgments is often which countertops to pick: the popular quartz, or the equally popular granite.
They say it can be hard to mix business and friendship, but not in the case of this Dallas design project, featured in designer Cathy Kincaid’s new book, The Well-Adorned Home,out this fall. Kincaid had been friends with the owner for years before taking on a refresh of the French country-style house, a project that resulted in the addition of one exceptionally chic “She Shed,” which packs a slew of global references into a single, understated space.
When Brooklyn-based attorney Allyson found into her 1920s Flatbush home in 2017, she knew it was the perfect space to showcase all the pieces she’d collected over the years. But it was also in need of some major love, so she moved in with every intention of renovating it and making the space her own. Knowing where to start, on the other hand, wasn’t as obvious, until she found Sweeten, a free service matching renovators with vetted general contractors that makes remodels big and small easier than ever. One area in particular need of help: the outdated, dark second-floor master bathroom.
Sometimes, the only way to make a room feel right is to carve it in two. That’s just what London-based interior designer Mark Lewis did in this inviting family kitchen, the heart of an 1870 townhouse facing the city’s historic Hampstead Heath park.
Island homes are often either informal beach houses or Gatsby-esque grand estates. For this Martha’s Vineyard residence, interior designer Elizabeth Georgantas of GEORGANTAS Design + Development was challenged to come up with the perfect middle ground, something proper yet playful. Her clients, a finance executive and a retired ballerina, set out to create the ultimate playground for their family. The couple met, fell in love, and married on the island and had the opportunity to renovate an existing family house that was part of a compound set one pathway away from her parents. Drawing upon theatre and fantasy, they wanted to make every childhood dream come true for their two school-aged kids.
On the day of this photo shoot, there were a pair of pants at the bottom of the pool. No one knew who the pants belonged to, but Jackie Smith, a real estate mega-agent and the matriarch of the house, has a lead on which kid launched them there. “This is truly the house where everybody comes,” says her husband, Dennis, a designer and builder. “On a Friday night, there will be about 13 kids of all different ages over here.” Plus three dogs, two cats, and a male hamster named Susan.
The words summer home conjure sun-soaked days and beach breezes—basically an indoor-outdoor disconnect from the world. Before the design and architectural firm Kureck Jones got to work on this Martha’s Vineyard house, built in the early 2000s, it was the opposite of a breezy vacation home. “It was a dated warren of rooms, really dark and internal,” says John Kureck.