[Lindsey Grace Interiors]
Story by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by Penny Burns, Northern Stories
As a new build, Christie was brought into the project early on, beginning the process of narrowing down selections even before the foundation was poured. Beyond guiding the selections, she also helped her clients create a realistic budget based on their expectations. "Every process looks different, but a part of the build process that can often be confusing for homeowners is the allowances aspect," said Christie.
"When a home builder gives you an estimated cost, it's just that. By working with my clients early on in the process, I get to know their expectations very quickly. Once I have a grasp on what types of fixtures and finishes they expect to see in their home, I can help them work with their builder to finalize a more realistic bid before the build starts. This helps make it a smooth, enjoyable process for all involved."
"When we first started designing this home, we knew we wanted it to be classic, bright and white. In each space, we created interest while thoughtfully mixing metals with the finishes," explained Christie. "The brass pendants in the kitchen perfectly anchor the island, while the black lantern-style fixtures in the foyer and dining area create a sense of cohesiveness throughout the space."
Adding contrast to the white palette, Christie and her client chose flooring in a warmer, stained maple hardwood, while other spaces like the mudroom, laundry, and bathrooms were given a more durable and easy to clean tile finish.
In the kitchen, Christie made the white-on-white aesthetic feel even brighter by spanning the cabinetry to the 10-foot ceilings, complimenting the oversized doors throughout the home. "This is an investment that I always urge my clients to do; it's well worth it and will make such a difference in the space. We also worked together to design the custom hood which is the kitchen's focal point," said Christie. "Storage is a must for any busy family, so organization and functionality in this kitchen were thought of in every detail. We designed for pantry storage and placed the microwave behind an appliance garage, keeping it at a convenient height, but out of sight when not in use."
For finishes, Christie and her clients chose low-maintenance quartz countertops with a classic ceramic tile in a modern herringbone design. "The large windows in the space adjoining the kitchen filter in so much natural light that going with classic white countertops, backsplash, and cabinetry was a must," said Christie.
For the hardware, they opted for a mixed-metal approach, creating interest and casual character. "The key to mixing metals is to bring them into more than one space. The hardware in the kitchen ties in the aged iron dining room chandelier, and you can see hints of brass throughout the home as well as in the adjoining great room."
In the laundry room, Christie fused classic details like the hexagon ceramic tile and farmhouse sink, with a modern hue of blue-grey for the cabinetry. The functional design insured ample cabinetry, counter folding space and hanging space.
When Christie first began designing for this home over two years ago, the master bath's white-washed oak cabinetry was only an emerging trend. "We created the perfect custom stain with our cabinet maker and the result was amazing. The split vanities were a favorite of this space plan from early on, and the beautiful soaking tub perfectly anchors the room. To complement the white-washed oak and quartz, we opted to keep the tile neutral."
Designing a bathroom for children can be challenging, but Christie was able to create a playful and functional space that would easily grow with their family. "We kept the walls a neutral white to let the Benjamin Moore Hale Navy cabinet really pop against the white and soft grey penny rounds we used for the tile installation. I presented a detailed tile design to the clients and they were so trusting; we also had an amazing installer," said Christie.
Trusting the Vision
What is the biggest compliment you can ever pay your interior designer? According to Christie, it's trusting your designer's vision. "When these clients came to the table knowing so many details of what they wanted and needed in their future home, I knew this project was going to be one for the books. Paired with that and their complete trust in the vision we created along the way, you have the most beautiful, classic, and traditional results."
"My clients hear me use the term ‘timeless’ more times than I can count, and this home is a true example of timeless, fresh design that will grow with this family for years to come."
Midwest Nest Magazine features home designs in its monthly print and online publication.