Inside the modern home of Kate Arends Peters through the lens of her popular blog.
Spring 2016 Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase Feature
KATE ARENDS PETERS has a minimalistic aesthetic, a penchant for modern design, and a large audience of devoted followers. You may know her as the authentic and wonderfully talented writer behind the popular lifestyle blog Wit and Delight or through her 2014 design collaboration with Target, where she launched a custom collection of home-inspired products for entertaining.
Kate’s many talents often lead to collaborations with major companies throughout the world, though her St. Paul roots –and a recent renovation of the house she shares with husband Joe Peters and dog Winnie– keep her grounded at home.
We’re excited to show you the inside of Kate and Joe’s newly renovated historic Tudor by McDonald Remodeling, as told by the perspective of Kate Arends Peters on her blog Wit and Delight.
Finding the Right Remodeler
One could say selecting a general contractor is something akin to looking for a great mate. You spend time dreaming and planning and saving and waiting and pinning (if you’re anything like me) until you’re ready to hand the keys over to someone you trust.
This is not something that came easy for me. It’s a decision with huge financial impact and if you’re not careful, things can end badly. I worried about ill advice, inflated rates, our creative vision being compromised, permits— about all of the unknowns. On top of all that, Joe and I watch wayyyyyyy too much HGTV. Ever notice how the general contractor is always the bearer of bad news? Turns out, it’s not at all like that in real life… if you find the right GC.
Wit and Delight blog excerpt // Can’t DIY? How We Found the Perfect General Contractor
Improving Flow & Function
Before we get into the nitty gritty, I have to preface this post by saying there was plenty to like about our kitchen as it was before we tore out the cabinets and repurposed them elsewhere. The woodwork was beautiful. We had a cute little breakfast nook in the corner. There was some decent subway tile installed.
Yet we didn’t buy this house thinking these pros would outweigh the cons: no counter space, awkward layout, outdated appliances. Joe couldn’t even sit comfortably in the breakfast nook. After airing our grievances and deciding renovation was the best way forward, Jim McDonald and I sat down one day for a few hours and decided on a layout that would do the following:
- Increase our workspace in the kitchen. By opening up the wall between the kitchen and dining room, we gained a huge amount of prep space with a peninsula.
- Improve the overall flow of the house. By closing off entry ways and opening walls to create more defined spaces, [the] house would feel bigger than it actually is.
- Honor the time period the house was built in without compromising on modern living. We kept with traditional cabinetry and finishes so [our] house maintained its character. We injected modern touches through light fixtures, which can easily be updated and swapped out for something more traditional.
Choosing a Color Scheme & Making Selections:
We liked white because it’s universally classic, but doesn’t bring a whole lot of personality to the space. Color is more fun, but because the house is so small, we were hesitant to choose a color that would define the look of the entire first floor. Then there was the idea of going all black. It seemed like the best of both worlds – the boldness of color with the neutrality of white. Our biggest concern was if it would make the space feel way too dark. So we pulled some images of small kitchens that used black in a big way for inspiration.
I love how sharp and moody these spaces feel, but I was still missing a little bit of color and the warmth of wood. To further aid in preparation, I collected some pieces we knew we wanted in the kitchen and started pulling swatches that complemented these focal points.
Wit and Delight blog excerpt // W&D Renovates: DIY Kitchen Upgrade with BEHR
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