Cosmetic touch

While keeping costs down in a remodeling project requires a firm hand on the reins, the results can still be impressive
Overview of dining area with Timber Table ceiling, dining room, floor, flooring, interior design, living room, property, real estate, room, window, brown
Overview of dining area with Timber Table

When the owners bought this house it was in dire need of remodeling. Since they spend much of the year out of the country, they wanted a house that could be a home base. The designer, seeing the size of the remodeling budget, realized that all changes to this home would need to be decorative rather than structural.

Interior designer Jean Foster of Foster Burke says although the house was poorly appointed and old-fashioned, it was structurally sound.

"I could see that with care we could improve the home without the need to move walls, which was lucky, because structural alterations substantially increase your costs," she says.


Lounge are featuring Leather furniture. ceiling, estate, home, interior design, living room, property, real estate, room, orange, brown
Lounge are featuring Leather furniture.

The owners wanted an expensive stained oak floor, so costs were saved in other areas. An existing built-in gas fireplace was cleaned up and the brass trim replaced with a black and chrome fascia to give it a modern appearance. To make the fireplace more of a focus in the room, it now sits on a raised hearth and a chimney breast was built above it, which is covered with imitation stingray skin wallpaper.

Foster sourced off-cuts of good quality carpet which, trimmed with leather, form carpet squares to add warmth to the living areas. Narrow baseboards were replaced with wide ones, making a dramatic difference.

Because the home is close to ski resorts, Foster wanted to create a warm, cozy ambiance, so the living room walls were painted in a rich, warm chamois color. Aluminum curtain rods were then spray-painted to match the walls.

Close up of Lounge & kitchen area ceiling, home, interior design, lighting, living room, room, wall, orange, brown
Close up of Lounge & kitchen area

Dismantling and relacquering the kitchen cabinetry and adding new handles, baseboards and lights, transformed it at minimal cost.

"With a cosmetic remodel like this, you need to look at what is there and make the most of it," says Foster.

May 11, 2010
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