May / June 2013
Interior designer Kim Duease, owner of Notable Accents Inc. in Canton, is a pro at creating the perfect space for her clients – from a remodel or new construction – regardless of the age of the home or phase of construction. Duease recently had the opportunity to put her talents to the test when a longtime client contacted her about a potential home for sale in the Eastover neighborhood in Jackson. Originally, the couple planned to build a home to suit their family of six. In fact, Duease had already begun sourcing items for the new construction. However, the client knew that with Duease’s help, they would be able to transform this French-style dwelling into the home of their dreams.
Constructed in the late 1980’s, the original home had a look that was reminiscent of the era it was built. Duease got right to work combining modern day with Old World European. As soon as visitors enter the front door, they are greeted by four antique wooden pillars sourced from an estate in Lille, France. The homeowners fell in love with the four cherub faces depicted on each pillar as a representation of their four children. Instantly, the gaze is drawn into to formal living room, which features two separate and distinct sitting areas.
Two French antique armchairs are situated on either side of an antique dressing table in front of the home’s large front picture windows. Both chairs were repainted and reupholstered in Hazleton House fabric with a classic English chinois design featuring colorful Chinese vignettes. Matching pewter silk velvet couches are flanked on either side by antique French end tables and frame the showcase item of the room – a beautiful antique alter. Colorful floral wallpaper, with hues of silver, gold and turquoise, compliment the dominant color scheme in the room.
The living room provides the perfect spot for guests to mingle before being served dinner in the formal dining room. Duease loves to repeat accents throughout a design, which is evident in the large powder blue chairs situated at either end of the dining room table that pick up the blue from the living room. The rest of the room is decorated in a palette of purple and bright lime green. Eight side chairs upholstered in purple and lime green striped fabric complement the purple and silver geometric wallpaper and the lime green accent on the open buffet and hutch. A custom 9-foot-long dining table and mirrored buffet create elegant signature touches.
Just a few steps from the dining room is the heart of the home – the kitchen. The original kitchen featured a small island and breakfast nook, which was not functional for the family’s needs. Duease decided to revamp the entire space, by combining cozy with modern elegance. Neutral colored limestone tile is strong and durable, low maintenance, and provides an elegant look. Overhead, exposed wood beams and reclaimed wooden planks in the ceiling – sourced from Scott Gideon of Plantation Millworks – are reminiscent of a warm and inviting country cottage.
To prevent the large center island from overpowering the flow of the kitchen, Duease utilized three different countertop materials – walnut, granite, and green onyx – to break up the expanse of counter and avoid a uniform look. The most stunning feature, however, are the LED lights hidden under the green onyx that can be illuminated by a switch hidden in a kitchen cabinet. Modern colorful Venetian glass pendant lights overhead provide an additional light source.
The tiled backsplash also features a mixture of shapes, colors and textures. Staggered concave and convex antique tile give a unique basket weave effect and coordinate with the granite perimeter countertops. Stacked slate borders either side of the stainless steel gas range. The blue and gold hue of the faux finish in the slate complements the deep colors in the custom hand painted tile used behind the range.
Other great features in the kitchen include the “hidden refrigerator” masked by double mirrored doors that match the wet bar at the opposite end of the room. Bright printed fabric depicting whimsical chickens and wine bottles is aptly named “ro-coq-au-vin” and used in the gathered valance over the kitchen window and the long panels in the breakfast nook.
Just off the kitchen, the back hallway reveals a half bath and laundry room. Gold and aqua velvet wallpaper and a custom chandelier made from antique rosaries demonstrates that even the smallest touches in an otherwise inconspicuous space can have a huge impact. The hallway opens into a more casual living area towards the back of the house. Originally, the room featured built in open shelves along the wall. Duease didn’t want to eliminate the storage capacity that the shelving offered, so she opted to once again enroll the help of Gideon to create wooden panels that give the illusion of a solid wall, but allow the family access to items stored within. Gideon also found the wooden beam used as the mantle for the fireplace. Duease chose to use the same custom hand painted tile used in the kitchen as an accent around the hearth. Instead of traditional gas-burning logs, ceramic fire balls create a bold, artistic and distinctly attractive finishing touch.
A separate hallway off the formal living room leads to a suite of rooms on the first floor. Duease added a creative touch to the arts and crafts room by creating a custom chandelier from soft cast molded scissors, ribbon, and refurbished light bulbs. Down the hall in the library, a cozy daybed is an inviting spot to curl up with a good book on a rainy afternoon.
Serene light blue walls and muted colors create a relaxing solace in the master bedroom. A modern four poster bed with distressed white finish serves as an impressive focal point for the room. The elegant bed is outfitted with delicate hand-crocheted sheets and bed clothes accented in Venetian lace. The adjoining master bathroom features his and her vanities. Handmade iron sconces with removable glass plates allow the homeowners to preserve inspirational mementoes such as artwork or handwritten notes. The floor is inlaid with limestone tile and an intricate mosaic rug design. A separate shower area is outfitted with an open shower tiled in marble and cut glass subway tiles and accented by coordinating matchstick tile flooring. A porcelain soaking tub is the perfect spot for a relaxing hot bubble bath.
Duease also made sure that each of the homeowners’ four children had a place of their own that reflected each child’s personality. The upstairs bedroom, decorated with leopard print and pink accents is perfect for a little princess. Downstairs, Duease used bold patterns and colors for the three boys’ rooms.
Duease was able to complete the renovation just in time for the family to enjoy Christmas in their new home. Her talent for blending vintage with modern and traditional with eclectic works seamlessly, giving the homeowners a functional yet stylish space they can call their own.
Five Tips for Renovating a House by Kim Duease
- Know your house. Have either a qualified inspector, architect or structural engineer check out your plans before you begin any renovation of structural components. You must consider load bearing walls and how the weight of your house is distributed. Any structural changes could compromise the integrity of the homes structure and cause problems down the road. Better safe than sorry!
- Some renovation projects are fine for DIYers( do it yourself). But when it comes to electrical and plumbing, please leave it to the professionals! Take on some priming, painting even drywall and tile, but do not tackle the electricity and plumbing.
- Have a plan and make sure everyone in the house is on the “same page” as to what your needs are and the changes to be made. Consider how you live in your space and what would improve that experience for everyone. Expect to run into surprises along the way. As much as you plan and streamline those plans, there will still be bumps along the way. However, good planning makes them less painful and less time consuming.
- Have a budget and expect to spend more than you planned on. On average one will spend 10-20 percent more than budgeted. If you cannot afford to do all the renovations you would like to see done then get your priorities in line and tackle it in phases. But do it right the first time.
- Hire a great contractor and get referrals. The best names will come from family and friends. Have clear communication with your contractor about your expectations on everything from working hours and duration of the project. The contractor can inform you of anticipated time that your kitchen and or baths may be inaccessible. At this time you may plan to stay elsewhere for a few days.