Design Portfolio: Modern Retreat Makeover


It all started with a simple swatch of grey paint.

The perfect shade—not too warm, not too cool, not too silver.

Just right.

It brought to life the subtle grey undertones in the beautiful new distressed, scraped hardwood floor. It was the unifying thread that tied the other greys in the space together with the rustic browns.

And then there was the effortless ease in which designer Julie Kanugh chose that perfect shade of grey in a matter of seconds when the homeowners had deliberated for weeks to no avail.

It was at this moment they knew they needed a designer’s help.

In the midst of a complete renovation of their ranch home of 20+ years, the homeowners realized this was a larger undertaking than they had anticipated. Starting with the kitchen, Julie worked with the couple to modify the existing kitchen plans to better achieve the desired end result. This included improving the flow of the room, reconfiguring the kitchen island, and providing guidance in selecting the lighting, paint colors, granite countertops, tile backsplash, and window coverings.

And from there, the project continued into the adjacent dining area. With the homeowners’ desire to bring a modern contemporary aesthetic to their entire main living area, Julie needed to ensure that each space would have its own distinct personality while working cohesively as a whole. Leaning on the appeal of mixed media to tie the two spaces together, Julie worked with the homeowners to incorporate a mix of metal and wood with a custom order dining table, seating, and counter stools.

To further create an open concept space, an adjoining wall was removed between the kitchen and living room. Prior to meeting Julie, the homeowners had recently purchased new living room furniture. The challenge, then, in this space was to make the living room feel consistent with the completely redone kitchen and dining spaces with existing furniture.

But as anyone who has ever worked with Julie knows, she loves a good challenge.

Starting with the arrangement of the room, Julie worked with the homeowners to maximize the space to its full capacity in order to create a more open layout. And then it was time to bring the room to life. In order to soften the masculine look of the furniture, Julie incorporated plenty of texture and an edited dose of color with a plush rug, metal drum table and vibrant accent pillows to start.

And then there was the fireplace. Julie’s input on everything from its design to the final tile chosen created a beautiful focal point for the entire space that achieved the contemporary look the homeowners desired.

“We can’t believe this is our house.”

From that first encounter with Julie back in November 2018 to the final finishing touches in the summer of 2019, the ’90s ranch house that had served as home for over 20 years was completely transformed into the modern retreat that the homeowners had aspired to. Balancing the perfect blend of a neutral color palette with contemporary details, Julie worked with the couple to design a space they now love coming home to every day.

And atop a single shelf in the mixed media etagere—the bridging gap between the dining and living room spaces—sits perched an unassuming sculpture of a bird. A last-minute incorporation and angled to just the right degree, it brought an unexpected surprise of delight to the homeowners upon discovery, and now serves as a daily reminder to smile. The perfect punctuation of joy to the end of a long-term design project.

And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

View the full Design Portfolio here.

Our designers are always here to help you with any design project you may have. Visit our Green Bay or Appleton locations today to learn more about our Home Design Services or to schedule your in-home design consultation.