Sometimes a home renovation includes dusting off all the charming features that are already there.
Builder Kareena Gray, along with her team at Alair Homes and Karsen Hood with Mannings Design, worked together to create a practical space for their clients’ Myers Park home that is approachable and relaxing.
Who: Gray and Hood, who’ve become friends through working together, both share a love for design.
- Gray has spent about 25 years in commercial real estate, where she’s worked on builds for executive spaces. Hood has spent around 10 years in interior design but many years beyond that bonding through design with her father, who also works in design in Greenville.
- Both say their clients always become friends by the end of a remodel.
Inspiration: There wasn’t an exact style in mind when their clients, Preeti and Jay Matkins, initially reached out for a consultation. In fact, they initially only wanted a kitchen remodel.
- The clients had recently become empty nesters. They eventually warmed up to the idea of refreshing most of their home.
- Hood suggested “dusting off a few gems” to highlight some of the home’s natural beauty. The idea was to create a simple, refreshing style.
“Before it was dated and confined. Now it’s fresh and transitional,” Gray said.
Before: Similar to many homes built in the 1990s, the layout featured closed-off rooms, whereas open layouts have become more popular over the years.
- Originally built in 1997, this 5,225-square-foot home has five bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms.
- Prior to the six-month project, there was a large wall within the living room that blocked the natural beauty of the backyard and limited the opportunity for entertaining.
“Now, you can almost not have any walls on the first floor and all the spaces will actually flow together,” Hood said.
Living area: The wall facing the backyard was removed and replaced with a retractable door that allows the indoor and outdoor areas to flow together seamlessly.
- Hood uses calming colors like shades of blue and green to soften the spaces, incorporating the serene views of the yard.
- The spaces still feel intimate, although most of the space has been expanded.
- “Sometimes in these larger homes in Charlotte, you lose the intimacy,” Gray said.
Kitchen: The couple’s favorite room in the house now has the bright and clean look they’ve always wanted.
- Both Hood and Gray understood the need to maximize the space and understood the need for a look that wasn’t necessarily symmetrical.
- The addition of wooden beams on the ceiling added a rustic touch to the light and airy shades of blue and white applied to the kitchen cabinets.
- To increase free flowing space, Hood suggested chairs in the kitchen be tucked under the butcher block island.
Foundation: Transitioning from one look to another is a lot easier with a little bit of familiarity, according to the experts.
- Hood kept several pieces of furniture throughout the first floor of the home and mixed some of the Matkins’ favorite pieces with new items.
- This can be seen in the master bedroom, with a grand sofa that’s paired with refreshingly bright walls, or new two-toned chairs against the longstanding dining room table.
Extras: Every newly renovated space in the home aims to embody charm and utility.
- New windows above the kitchen sink open for the owners to cut herbs growing right outside.
- The office space adjacent to the kitchen was widened to allow Preeti, who now works from home, to have enough breathing room for tending to business and personal phone calls.
“Totally changed the feel of the house without overdoing things or changing the character,” the Matkins said.
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