HOME & GARDEN
Less is more
A 1970s condo is transformed into a cozy city retreat
The project involved bringing an outdated 1970s apartment into the new century. A complete renovation of the simple four-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath, 1,300-square-foot apartment was in order.
Once a month, the Star-Bulletin and the Hawaii chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers feature a local designer sharing details of a recent project, whether it involves a room transformation or a project started from the ground up. This month we feature Lynnsey Doles of LD Design Group, Inc.
The bilevel unit is a pleasant surprise in an area densely populated with one-level condominium units. But the scope of the project involved modernizing plumbing, lighting, flooring and adding much-needed air conditioning to keep out street grit and noise while still maintaining building standards.
In addition to keeping within a fixed budget, other major challenges included working within specific building hours, maximizing limited space and keeping all electrical and plumbing systems in their original locations to save on cost while improving circulation and adding aesthetic appeal.
Design Development and Process
The client expressed a need for a calm, contemporary escape from the rigors of a hectic lifestyle. As a result, a soothing palette of greens and warm tones was selected for materials and finishes, along with natural furnishings -- environmentally responsible as well as comforting and inviting.
The small living areas were given new life with the removal of kitchen walls, the widening of a doorway and the addition of glass-fronted cabinets accessible from both the kitchen and living room. These changes allowed natural light to flood formerly dark spaces.
Medium- and dark-toned woods add contrast to the finishes. Varying tones in cabinetry and flooring create depth and contrast with neutral furnishings while unifying the spaces. The outcome is a space that is well blended yet still functionally distinct, with a contemporary loft perception.
This once tiresome apartment has become an upscale home. The rooms are now well ordered, open and light-filled, with ample space to entertain. Upkeep has been simplified and living is efficient with much added storage, maximized with custom cabinetry and closet systems. Seating is efficient and ample. Less is definitely more. At the end of the day, this comfortable, functional home has fulfilled the client's dream of a contemporary city retreat.
Simplified seating provides space for entertaining. Natural, washable linen slip-covered sofas allow for easy upkeep, while hand-knotted Tibetan rugs anchor the spaces, adding texture, color and softness. Floor-to-ceiling windows have been fitted with shades that tilt to allow light and privacy or tuck away to maximize views.
Counter workspace was greatly increased with the addition of multihued granite countertops throughout the kitchen and a new buffet. Cabinets in the buffet area reduce clutter and add service space for entertaining. All cabinets have hidden pull-out drawers, and in some cases, drawers were substituted for cabinets for easier access. Glass cabinets allow for display and storage of wine glasses or treasures. Under-cabinet and glass-mounted wall sconces add strategic lighting. New cabinets and flush-mounted equipment, and the widening of the kitchen entryway create greater circulation between the kitchen and improved laundry area. The former stacked washer and dryer were replaced with a full-size washer and dryer, in addition to a deep, full-service laundry sink.
The removal of a neglected Murphy bed allowed for the addition of conveniently placed custom cabinetry. The den serves as a computer/workstation (complete with file drawers), TV room and library. The space allows ample room for overnight guests with the updated sliding pocket divider between living room and den.
Contact Lynnsey Doles
of LD Design Group at 864-4450, or through lddg-hawaii.com