The Coastal Star

Designer's three approaches: Refresh, redesign or redecorate

Here’s a look at the three plans that designer Michele Smith of Michelesmith Design created for the Storybook House competition. Each has a budget of $10,000.

Plan 1: Refresh
She begins refreshing the house by brightening the interior with white or off-white walls.
The house has five different types of flooring, she says. But the den boasts original hardwood floors. Smith would try to refurbish the original wood floors she hopes exist throughout the house. But if that can’t be done, she’d replace them with dark or medium laminated wood. “I like the contrast,” she says.
And she’d add nautical lighting fixtures such as old bronze ship lanterns throughout the home.
Finally, outdoors, she’d give the house Key West flair by whitewashing it and adding new pale aqua shutters with pineapple cutouts as well as an aqua-and-green-striped awning over the front door. “I love these colors and their soft hues,” she says. “They reflect the water.”

Plan 2: Redesign
The first thing Smith noticed was that the house had a small living room at the front with a tiny den behind it. “The living room was dark and had no real purpose. The house had obviously been chopped and added onto,” she says.
She suggests removing the wall between the front and back rooms to open them up.
In the kitchen, she’d go for “light, bright, clean and uncluttered” by installing new white cabinets and wooden countertops. The upper cabinets would have glass doors. “That makes the room look cottage-y,” she says.
Then she’d “snazzy up” the kitchen with stainless steel handles on the cabinets. “I love to mix and match a cottage design with contemporary pieces,” she says.
In this plan, she’d also update the guest bathroom by adding a white pedestal sink with chrome fixtures and 3-by-6-inch subway tiles installed in a running pattern.

Plan 3: Redecorate
This final plan features painting the interior white. “I like flat white for its velvety appearance,” she says. The trim and doors would be in semi-gloss or high-gloss white paint.
She’d redo the sunroom addition to resemble an enclosed porch by adding two wooden porch swings hung facing each other from the ceiling.
“I love the look of them especially with the wonderful view of the Intracoastal right outside the window,” she says. “It’s the perfect place to sip a cup of tea and watch the boats.”
For one of the other rooms, the living room perhaps, she suggests white comfortable sofas with bright throw pillows to “give a punch of color.”
But no matter which of her plans you prefer, she says, “It’s a beach-y look I try to achieve.”
— Deborah S. Hartz-Seeley

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