Settled in for about a year, they originally didn’t love the bathrooms, but decided against renovating them. They’re perfectly functional, and they wanted to put their renovation money toward something they’d enjoy more, like brightening the walls and kitchen countertops. Warm modern forms and neutral tones shape the central aesthetic, interspersed with generous pops of color, playful patterns, and expertly-arranged decorative groupings. Despite her decorating prowess, Cristina is firmly function-oriented — unless a piece has a story behind it, it should be useful. She’s not interested in ornaments that don’t serve a purpose, even if that’s just to remind herself and Paul of the journey they took toward finding this home. “After so much searching, we found a place that is ours, to decorate as we please.”
Advice for people thinking of doing the same: Be prepared for weirdness in the house. Our floor was not level by 1.5″, which wreaked havoc with a design that had no trim to hide uneven lines. Our contractor, Dave Rannala, actually jacked up one corner of the kitchen from the basement below in order to even things out. All the counters and shelves are totally level, but then there are all sorts of little things they did, like tapering the ceiling beams to hide the house irregularity. They did an amazing job. It is really important to have an experienced builder. Also, plan the layout beforehand and test lots of ideas. We did five different kitchen layouts before we settled on the final one. Doing that forced us to answer all the questions about the type and size of appliances and where the work stations would be. Those questions have to be answered at some point, but planning first meant that the actual reno was way less stressful. One final thing: Use simple, good quality materials that are timeless and bridge the modern and historic influences
deVOL’s trusted builders quickly got to work, transforming the ground and lower ground floors into a showroom and design offices. The renovation took six months, and throughout the process the team wanted to make sure that they kept every possible original detail. The outside of the building was painted and cleaned brick by brick, and during each new stage of the renovation, the beauty of the old building became more and more apparent. “One of my favorite triumphs was getting the OK by listed buildings to replace the dingy shop loo roof with a glass one; it has completely transformed the feel of the shop and allowed us to create a light and bright and very useful pantry and new smart customer loo,” Helen explains.