Name: Kailee, Kyle, and our Frenchie Charlene
Location: Gorham, Maine
Type of Home: 1924 Duplex
Size: 1,378 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, owned
Kailee and her fiancé, Kyle, feel lucky to call this whole 1924 duplex home; they bought it from a family friend and live on one side while renting out the other. “Each side is a little over 1,300 square feet and is a mirror image of each other. We love the character that our home has with the crown molding and oak floors,” Kailee explains. Before this, the couple were renting a small condo that she transformed with a modern farmhouse style. Kailee has so much fun designing, she’s decided to make it her career; she offers painting and design services through her website, Copper and Pine.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Eclectic, mid-century, cozy, colorful. I love to mix old and new pieces so my home looks more collected. I enjoy going to yard sales and antique shops and mixing items with new things from stores like Target and Wayfair.
Inspiration: I get my inspiration from paintings, nature, magazines, and I love Pinterest. We found the painting above our bed at an antique store and fell in love with it. I designed our room around that painting and used it to create the color palette. I’m constantly designing rooms in my head and will often come up with my favorite ideas in bed before I fall asleep.
Favorite Element: My favorite thing about our home is our living room. I love how bright it is with the windows and the French doors leading into the sunroom. Kyle has his dad’s old record player and a large collection of records. We display them as art and it’s really fun to change them out and create new groupings. Although, I always like Kyle’s display better than mine so it’s his job now. I love the colors and how cozy the room is. It’s also Charlene’s favorite room. She likes to sit on the top of the couch and look out the windows.
Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge was our kitchen. We gutted it and did everything ourselves, with the help of family! The kitchen has very low ceilings, which was a big design challenge. I decided not to do any upper cabinets to make the room feel more open, which really helped!
Proudest DIY: Definitely the kitchen. The cabinets are stock cabinets from Lowes and my mom and brother installed them all. I painted them and added all of the shiplap, trim, and open shelving on my own. I have never done anything like that before but I just went for it and learned as I went. It’s really cool to see the before and after pictures knowing that we created it together.
Biggest Indulgence: The hutch in our kitchen is one of the most expensive items in our home. It couldn’t be more perfect for the space and it fits like it was custom made. It was absolutely worth the money and it’s a really fun piece to style and change out for seasonal decor.
What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? I love our dishes from Our Place on our kitchen shelves. I also love the coconut and honey wood wick candle from Target. It smells soooo good and the crackle from the wood wick is so cozy.
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: We love our ottoman in our living room; both sides open for extra storage!
What’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice?
This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.
Painting kitchen cabinets has been one of the most executed DIYs over the last year. And it’s not hard to see why: with everyone staying at home more, there’s a desire to breathe new life into the most used spaces. And when it comes to easy ways to brighten up the kitchen, painting your cabinets is the way to go. However, with so many options out there, settling on a paint color can be extremely difficult — so let HGTV star and interior designer Breegan Jane make it easy for you.
Jane, host of HGTV’s”The House My Wedding Bought,” is a huge fan of tuxedo kitchens, which traditionally means a two-tone combo with a dark coat for lower cabinets and a light color up top. But when it comes to the lower cabinets, Jane is specific with what hue she recommends to bring comfort into the space: a charcoal gray with a hint of navy.
“Tuxedo kitchens are my jam right now, and I am encouraging a charcoal black with a hint of navy for your bottom lowers,” Jane told Apartment Therapy. “I like things that read into warmer tones and a little away from cooler tones, you want it to have some warmth.” By steering away from a traditional black and going for a warm gray mixed with a hint of dark blue, your cabinets will make the kitchen look and feel lighter, especially when paired with white uppers.
In addition to adding some warmth into your kitchen through your cabinets, Jane also recommends some easy ways to add color into your space without fear of it looking dated. “Get out a bowl of oranges, get some apples on the table. For me, I tend to use the natural elements in the kitchen, even florals, to pull color so my space doesn’t date quickly,” Jane explained. “A pile of colorful cookbooks can do a lot, but you can leave your countertop a neutral tone, and you can do a statement range.”
But if you do plan to redo your lower cabinets anytime soon, consider the charcoal gray with a navy tint. A little warmth can go a long way.
HGTV star and fan favorite David Bromstad is done with your boring brown kitchens. He’s also over your white cabinets. Instead, he wants you to paint your cabinets whatever color makes you feel happy — and that means giving pink a whirl.
In a recent interview with Apartment Therapy, Bromstad expressed that he wishes more homeowners would go pink for their kitchen cabinets because it’s such a happy, fun color. And Bromstad practices what he preaches: In season two of “Rock the Block,” Bromstad completed a blush pink basement, complete with painted cabinets and gold hardware. Bold, beautiful, and gutsy.
“Personally, I love to add color to my kitchen by painting the cabinets,” Bromstad told Apartment Therapy. “I prefer to keep my backsplash neutral and classic with some interesting shapes. Painting your cabinets is such a powerful [form of] self-expression. It’s not gonna cost you an arm and a leg, and it’s definitely going to make a huge impact.”
However, Bromstad recognizes that pink cabinets are not for everyone. The good news is that there are plenty of alternatives that can have you refocusing on living in your house, not just playing it safe for resale value. He suggests trying green as a pink alternative, saying it’s “definitely next on the list for being bold and brave with your kitchen. There are so many delicious shades…” If that doesn’t work for you, opt for black. “It’s making a huge resurgence because it’s sexy, it’s bold, it’s still classic, but also very daring,” Bromstad said.
The color Bromstad says is on its way out: blue. “I’m so over it because it’s become too safe,” he said.
As for other trends that do work, open shelving — a controversial topic among HGTV designers — is his favorite, especially if you are organized and have some beautiful dishes. “It allows so much more visual space to be happening in the kitchen and makes the kitchen look so much larger,” Bromstad said.
Can’t keep up with all the kitchen trends? Bromstad says it’s more important to focus on what makes you happy in your space. “People get stuck on design trends because they feel like that’s what’s happening and they have to lean into it, but to me, the biggest trend that needs to happen is people need to buy things that they love and make them giggle,” he said. “When you bring in personal touches of things that are a little odd or a little weird or just unique to you, that is powerful storytelling. Honestly, it’s your house and if you love it then that’s all that matters.”
To see more tips from David Bromstad, check out HGTV’s “My Lottery Dream Home” where he recently looked for his own dream home.
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When you are faced with renovating an apartment on a tight budget and only have about a week to do it, you ask your family for help, especially when they’re a designer! Musician Panda Elliot’s apartment was pretty bland before Natasha Elliot, an interior designer and the owner of Sentido José Ignacio, led the renovation. Since Panda didn’t have a ton of money left after purchasing the apartment, she was on a tight budget, and the refresh needed to go quickly: Natasha says they only had about one week to get it done!
“I was looking for a place in Palermo, an area in Buenos Aires with loads of restaurants, bars, near beautiful parks… I wanted to live in a neighborhood with a lively atmosphere where I had shops, supermarkets and friends and family at a walking distance,” Panda explains. “My older sister with her family live in a building in that area and suddenly the first floor was available for sale and I took the opportunity. Although it is a first floor, it has lots of light and the leaves of a beautiful tree right in front of my window. On the opposite side of the block I get to enjoy the beautiful view of a garden designed by famous Burle Marx. Having my nieces and nephews around sounded like a great idea, too!”
The kitchen got a huge face lift thanks to a lovely pink paint color splashed on the cabinets. Instead of a door closing off the space, a funky beaded curtain adds fun and a more airy look between the kitchen and living room. Panda says the new open kitchen makes cooking with friend even more enjoyable. A built-in shelf makeover in the living room gives the whole space a vibrant modern vibe thanks to green paint. While plenty of elements give the space a mature elegance, this is definitely the home of someone who doesn’t take design too seriously: A combination ping pong/pool tables used as a dining table transforms the living space into a playroom.
“I was also looking for a place I could call home,” Panda says. “That is why I was part of the renovating process and I kept things I treasure, like the two paintings on the living room wall, which belonged to my grandma.”
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Natasha – If we could chose only one word to define our style it would be eclectic. But certainly our style is based on the client. What is their own dream, how they want to live, their favorite colors, what inspires them. When artist Panda Elliot told us she had only a week to renovate her place, we knew it was tight, but we could make it. She came to us with a very tight budget so we spent most of the money on paint. She certainly wanted color, but wasn’t so convinced of the pink kitchen at first, however it ended up being her favorite room.
Inspiration: Panda – I am always inspired by art in all its forms and that influences my music, my style, my home, and my life.
Natasha – I am inspired by nature, by artists, by many travels around the world and their cultures, by books.
Favorite Home Element: Panda – The dining/pool/ping-pong table. It is fun, practical, and it also looks good in the apartment!
Biggest Challenge: Natasha – In this project time was a big challenge. We usually take more time to plan our home designs, but in this case, everything happened in a week.
Proudest DIY: Panda – The two glass coffee tables in the living room are certainly one of my fave DIYs. I took a picture of my eyes, I printed them and stuck them to the table glass. As a final touch I added LED lights underneath so at night when I invite friends over they look really cool.
Biggest Indulgence: Panda – My glass set for my daily whisky.
What’s your best home secret or advice? Natasha – My routine works when I split the house in different areas and clean each on a different day. My secret is vinegar: a great cleaner! And I am recently working on a homemade lavender antibacterial spray, which is great for surfaces and also all kinds of cloths: curtains, sofas, etc.
I think homes are made to be enjoyed. if a house looks too perfect sometimes it feels like it is missing life. I always use hangers inside kitchen cabinets to hang tea cups; it is a great way to organize and make the most of space. When shopping for tableware and utensils make sure they are pretty because they look great in open cabinets! Always have flowers and plants in your kitchen, candles in every room, blankets to relax on a sofa. Make every corner of the house an invitation to relax, play, laugh. A home has to be enjoyed with all of our senses.
What to people most get wrong about using color in their home? Natasha – In Argentina many people are afraid of using color, of mixing, and going for the unexpected. They prefer to stick to a white palette, which is great, but not for every space. Sometimes people think that adding a dark color might make spaces darker but in many cases it is the opposite. Color is life, it is vibration, it is personality.
What are the biggest tricks/secrets to using color in decor? Natasha – I think we chose colors because they represent images that make us feel good. Personally I love blue because it reminds me of the sea in Venezuela where I grew up. It brings to my mind beautiful skies. And I think there are no rules in matching as long as the combination looks good. Sometimes it is important to think what the focal point in a room is going to be… and, of course, there are patterns and textures that cannot be separated from color. You might choose only one color for a room but including several textures might make the room look very colorful instead of looking dull.
Favorite wall paint color of all time: Natasha – Wow, this is a hard question. I am used to mixing paintings myself and making my own colors. It totally depends on the house and its location, how much natural light every room has, I could go on. But if I get to choose only one, it would be “Hague Blue” from Farrow and Ball.
Thanks Panda and Natasha!
This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.