For this beautiful Colonial Cottage we brought back the fan favorite “german smear” technique from season 3! This home was originally very traditional looking with red brick, white trim and dark shutters. We brought it back to life by updating the exterior and filling it with beautiful nooks and spaces for this family to relax together.
Objective: Extend the footprint of the kitchen to make it larger and more practical.
The kitchen was a space that perfectly aligned with our style of colonial cottage. Marble countertops and matching backsplash is broken up by a sudden change to classic subway tile. The white and gray is broken up by a custom wood vent hood.
The most unique feature of this space is the island countertop that Clint refinished for us. It was cut from an old bowling alley lane and has all of the character and scratches you’d expect.
Objective: Carve out a space in the heart of the home for the family to gather for meals.
To the left of the staircase is the dining space. It was important that this be close to the kitchen but not necessarily in one large open area. I love that this floor plan is open, but the spaces can each be defined apart from one another.
One of the first things you notice when walking into this home is the staircase. It was previously very dated, but we opened it up and added this traditional railing to give a bigger “wow” when you walk through the door.
LIVING + READING NOOK
Objective: Create a comfortable and cozy living room and reading nook for the family to gather together and enjoy.
We extended out this fireplace and added a mantel to give this living room a cozy and relaxed feeling. Some shiplap and shelving was added behind the fireplace to give it the classic clean lines the colonial style leans on.
In the living room is where we created this one of a kind reading nook. It’s almost like a little daybed with built in bookshelves for this family of readers to put to good use.
Objective: Set aside a special place for the Severns family to get away and work from the comfort of their home.
To the right of the staircase is the area we set aside to be the designated office space.
The Severns appreciate small comfy sitting nooks, so I was intentional about incorporating benches, chairs and seating everywhere there was open space.
We built in custom shelving in here to store and keep books, photos and odds and ends.
Objective: Build a wooden pergola on the front of the house, and add french doors leading out onto it for easy outdoor access from the entire bottom floor of the home.
This outdoor patio was specifically requested by the family, and I loved the dimension the wooden pergola gave to the front exterior of the home.
The Severns wanted this home to have easy access to their front porch patio from almost anywhere in the home. We added three sets of doors to the front of this house to give them the indoor/outdoor feeling they were looking for.
Q. What are some ways that you’ve used your cozy book nook off of the living room?
A. All of us love to read in it, but we also play games in there. My mom was just here for a visit, and her dogs loved to nap up there (on a blanket, of course). It’s a great nap spot!
Q. What was something that surprised you about the design process?
A. I was nervous in the beginning that we wouldn’t get much of a say in how the ultimate design turned out, but Joanna and her team really listened and took our preferences into consideration. The Magnolia designs were obviously above and beyond what we could dream up, but I was so happy to see so many of the details like the stainless farm sink, the fireplace, and the island pendant lights turn out exactly how we’d hoped.
Q. Fans often ask us how your things fit in with the design of the home once you’re all moved in. How did you incorporate your personal things into the home without losing the style that Joanna has set?
A. It hasn’t been hard at all! My husband has commented that he feels like the furnishings we’ve collected and built and repainted over our 20 plus years of marriage belong in this house. Joanna set the backdrop and we couldn’t wait to fill the built-in shelves with our books and the rest of the spaces with our own personal items.
Q. What was the deciding factor that attracted you to choosing this home over your other two options?
A. We chose this house because it had the most potential for what we wanted in a home. It had the location and size, and we knew that the space could be transformed to work for our family.
Q. What was your favorite part of this process?
A. I think the peak of this entire process was finally sitting down for our design meeting with Joanna. I loved seeing all the small ideas come together in a way that was going to make our mess of a house into our custom renovated home! It made waiting to see the final outcome more tolerable. I am not normally a patient person, but it was worth the wait to see the way Clint turned my family’s bowling lane wood into our amazing kitchen island and Joanna’s beautifully designed built-ins for the office!
Chip and I loved designing this home for the Severns family and dreaming up little places for them to retreat and enjoy. This may be the first home we’ve done where the focus was specifically on creating these little hiding spaces for the family to sneak away and read a good book or get a little extra work done. Thank you, Severns, for letting us fix up your beautiful colonial cottage!