Designers’ Own Home: Jillian’s Renovation Part 1

This blog post was written by down2earth’s decorating consultant, Jillian in our summer series, “Designers’ Own Home.”

A few years ago, my husband and I embarked on a large home renovation project. It started simple enough — ” hey, what if we add on an office”. Then there was a “wouldn’t a larger family room be nice” and a “you know, our garage has room above it…a guest house would be amazing”. And so, as often happens in renovation projects, our project got bigger and touched on more areas of our home. After months of discussions and ideas, we started working with our architect, Howard J. Maresch, Jr., RA, NCARB.

having a plan image 1

Seeing the architectural drawing was wonderful but we quickly realized that to ensure that the size of each room would work, we needed to determine where our furniture would go and how the cabinetry would fit within it. I wanted to be confident that the spaces we were creating would be just the right size. I didn’t want excessive square footage, but rather exactly the right amount of space so we would have ample storage and rooms that felt comfortable yet cozy.


I’ve been decorating rooms and making interiors prettier for years, but knocking down walls and building custom cabinetry was new for me so I turned to down2earth’s owner, Amy, for help. The interior vision we developed was a collaborative process. We reviewed all of the spaces and made furniture floorplans. Cabinetry layouts were drawn and details of what would go where were plotted out. I found that working with an interior designer early on in the renovation process was the best way to work! It helped to tie all of our ideas together and have a plan that we were working towards. Developing the interior design early confirmed that our new room sizes would be the perfect size for us and even helped inform small decisions down the line (like where the heating vents and outlets would go).  Check out Amy’s two part blog series on the importance of master planning: part 1, part 2


Before, elevation sketch laundry area



After, final result laundry area
Looking for inspirational photos on Pinterest and Houzz also helped me to hone in on what I wanted the finished spaces to look like and helped inform design decisions. I fell in love with the gray cabinetry in this kitchen so I incorporated it into my pantry.



                                               Inspiration image, pantry



Before, elevation sketch pantry



After, final result pantry

Our home renovation project took two years from architectural drawing to final completion. A lot of planning and thought went into it and we are loving the results! In the coming weeks, I’ll show you photos of how everything turned out. Stay tuned…much to see!


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