My parents’ condo makeover — Before and After
My parents recently moved into an old condo that has been in our family for 40 years. It was long overdue for a condo makeover. My great-grandmother Ida lived there for many years — I have really fond memories of visiting her and my Papa Si at the condo as a kid, and being met with stuffed cabbage, matzo ball soup, blintzes, rugelach cookies and a whole lotta love from my Grammy Ida and Papa Si.
We chose the Alberta Ceramic Field Tile 13″ x 13″ in Blue/ Beige from Wayfair. The tile is designed to look aged and it automatically lent a feeling of history to the patio and that “old-world” feel we were going for.
Faith designed this built-in-bench seating and had it custom made. The bench doubles (triples?) as storage and an outdoor bed situation — because my parents like to sleep outside sometimes. I know, pretty cute. The pillows are mostly made from my fabrics and/or are from my Loloi collection. The rug is vintage. This has truly become the major gathering place of this home. At any given time you’ll find my parents entertaining out here, waxing philosophical, helping one of our kids with their homework, sharing a meal, reading, or yes snuggling and snoozing.
The living room basically stayed the same, but the floors needed refinishing, we had a new sliding glass door installed, and gave the room a fresh coat of paint. Then we brought in new furnishings.
My sis bought the portraits of the Hopi man and woman twenty years ago at an auction an they look so comfortable and striking here that we decided to leave them. We added my Mor sofa from my Living Spaces collection (similar), and had vintage chairs (similar) recovered in my Boogie fabric. Our goal for the room was to create a space the felt warm, chic and cozy while still feeling airy, light and modern. Not always an easy combo to achieve but I really love how it came together.
The rug is from Loloi’s Xavier collection. We added pillows to tie the colors together — the bolster is from my collection with Loloi. The coffee table and side table are from my Aries collection with Selamat.
For the wall color, we chose Navajo White by Benjamin Moore. It’s a color that changes quite a bit depending on the time of day, but has a very warm and soothing undertone. Plants we chose for the space include a schefflera, kentia palm, philodendrons, and caladiums.
The kitchen needed some serious updates.
We replaced the floors, and refinished the existing cabinets. We also removed some up the upper cabinets and replaced them with open shelving. We brought in new countertops and all new appliances.
AHHH THIS KITCHEN MAKES ME SO HAPPY!! I think it just exudes earthy, warm vibes but it’s still super functional and clean. We added a few arches where corners were squared off before to bring the mediterranean vibe and some architectural interest to the space. Our mama loves teal, so we put in a new backsplash that goes all the way up the ceiling which really helps to make the ceilings feel higher. The tile is Paseo from Fireclay tile, in Sea Foam colorway. The dishwasher is water and energy saving and runs silent which is really key in a kitchen that’s open to the living and dining room.
We used my “Nido” fabric to reupholster the bench seating. The fabric is from my collection with Inside Out Performance fabrics, so no matter how many spills it incurs, it’ll hold up really nicely.
In the eating area, paired the bench with a modern pedestal table (always better to go pedestal with bench seating so it’s easier to slide in and out without bumping table legs). The chairs we brought from their last place. We created a basket gallery wall and suspended a jute pendant lamp to tie all that jute together. The earthy vibes continue onto the floor with maybe my favorite aspect of the design, the floor tiles which is Porcelain Field Tile which has the look of weathered terra-cotta, which I love so much — but it’s very strong and durable since it’s porcelain.
You’ll also notice the our Cosmic Desert gold wallpaper peeking out from the corner, from our collection with Hygge and West. The countertops are Silestone.
The copper apron sink has my heart and I absolutely love how it looks with the tile. The Kyla wall sconces from Hudson Vally Lighting’s Mitzi line and I love how they feel both modern and traditional.
We were so thrilled to be able to get them all new appliances (thank you Wayfair!!) nothing makes a home feel shiny and new like a new refrigerator and stove. We chose this counter-depth refrigerator which has the look of built-in, but not the price tag of a built-in.
My parents both love to cook and this range is not only pretty but it makes my parents feel like cooking pro’s. Also…THAT BLUE INTERIOR!!!
Challenges we faced
Of course, like every big remodel, this project was riddled with issues and challenges, which I’ll also share–because I think there are some good takeaways. First, we started the project in late November of last year, which, I now know, is not a great time of year to start a big remodel project. Many items have lead time of several weeks (or more) and the holidays can delay both ship dates and availability of workers. My parents were planning to move into the condo the first of February, but the project took so long to complete, that they were couch surfing for months before we finished in early April. Also, condos have different rules for permitting and such, and there was a lot of bureaucracy and hoops to jump through before we could do what we wanted how we wanted for both the municipal permits and HOA permissions. Oy. Lucky for me, Faith dealt with it all, but it was quite a drag, and my mom, who suffers from COPD couldn’t move in until the project was totally complete because she can’t be in places with lots of dust.
Now that they are all moved in, however, they are THRILLED. And so are we. If feels so wonderful to know my parents are happy and comfortable and that my sister and I had a chance to give a little bit back to them after all they’ve done for us for our whole lives. They barely even let us treat them to a meal, so the fact that they let us do this for them means so much. Stay tuned for our next post where we’ll reveal the rest of the condo and all that went into it.
With a heartfelt thanks to Wayfair for working with us on this project.
Photography by J. Blakeney