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Witty and Whimsical

Despite efforts to update their home through small remodeling projects with short-term goals in mind, our clients approached Meadowlark with a long-term vision that supported their growing family and a plan that incorporated elements of their unique lifestyle. Our clients knew thoughtful master planning would not only solve their current issues, it could ultimately save them time and expense in the future.

The Vision

Originally purchased in 2010, this home sits in close proximity to the downtown district with an adjacent lot available for gardening and nature preservation. The existing kitchen was a measly 150 sq. ft., with minimal storage options and almost zero room for more than one person at a time. The two-story cape-cod style home had a quite large living/dining room area and separate family room, but our designers quickly realized that the extra space they needed was there all along; it just needed some reconfiguration.

Additionally, the homeowners have a strong love for gardening and landscaping. Using the adjacent lot to the home, they wanted to incorporate native plantings and water management strategies that reflected their use of green features in their home.


The Team

Design & Architecture:  Jennifer Hinesman and Rachael McClain

Project Manager:  Meadowlark Project Team

Photography:  Sean Carter


Schematic Design

Understanding that the extra space they required was buried in the footprint of the home, our designers were determined to reconfigure the existing spaces to create a more functional layout. By keeping the traditional design aesthetic alive and well, how does one flip familiar areas of a home and make them bigger and more efficient? Let's take a look.

Our clients' wish list included:

  • Storage, storage and storage!
  • A warm traditional design aesthetic that stayed true to the original home’s style
  • Additional work surfaces and spaces
  • Sound proof downstairs nursery bedroom
  • More natural light and views to the beautiful adjoining lot
  • A more “open-concept” feel between kitchen and living areas
  • Better mudroom function
  • Open shelving for glassware and china
  • Wallpaper and “pops” of color including the client’s love of golden yellow
  • Utilize resource-efficient products and techniques where possible and improve the energy-efficiency of the

Design Development

The first step was moving the kitchen into the family room area. This gave them the use of the existing south and west walls for windows to bring in loads of natural light, plus an amazing view of their gardens and yard. While the clients hoped for the traditional aesthetic from the get-go, our designer's incorporated a more whimsical style of the homeowner's love of nature and the pop of color it brings.

The old kitchen area became a spare room that could double as a play pen for their children, or convert to a spare bedroom for overnight guests. By flip-flopping spaces, the home opened up and allowed for more functionality with a twist on the traditional design aesthetic.

Design Solutions included:

  • Using the clients' love of nature, animal-themed wallpaper was used in the kitchen, coupled with golden yellow cabinetry
  • Walnut "waterfall" breakfast counter divided the kitchen with the new dining room space
  • New oak flooring throughout gave the home a more welcoming feeling
  • Customized shelving was built into the new gathering room/bedroom for more storage
  • Other customized shelving, hooks and specialized racks were built in the mudroom closet for better organization
  • "Floating" shelving in front of the kitchen windows perform double duty as extra storage space without minimizing the natural light
  • Master suite retreat addition is in the books for Phase 2! Stay tuned.

The Results

A home once heavily lacking in space, functionality, and personality now thrives in a reconfigured layout. With a growing family and room to move a priority, the clients' made sure to meet these needs immediately. However, the current layout will not always suffice; the clients know the day will come when they need a master retreat addition as the years go on. As for now, however, a whimsical style, warm tones, reconfigured existing spaces and a new outlook on living comfortably is all they need.

When might the master retreat be complete you ask? That's TBD. All we can say is that it's waiting in the wings for when the timing is right for our clients. Stay tuned for more about this whimsical abode!

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