This project in the Porters Neck community in Wilmington, North Carolina was an exciting full kitchen remodel and renovation of the main living areas. The homeowners were newcomers to the area and put out a call for an interior designer in Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, NC. Upon being referred, we quickly hit it off and I was excited by their can-do attitude and unique set of skills that would prove to be so helpful during their home remodel. David was a former architectural draftsman who could build just about anything and Michele enjoyed interior design and decorating, but they needed a little help with finishes and the layout of their space, as well as making the right connections with tradesmen and vendors in the area.

One of the major issues in the space were the floors, which involved three different types of flooring (tile, hardwood, and engineered wood planks) spread throughout the main living areas of the home. The homeowners were originally hoping to match the engineered wood flooring and carry that throughout the space, but I knew that with the different types and height levels of the flooring it would be difficult if not impossible to have it come out well. We called in my flooring subcontractor and instead settled on removing all the existing flooring and installing a 5″ white oak hardwood to be sanded and stained a light walnut brown color on-site.

Brandon Kitchen-Living Reno-8

Next, I got to work on their kitchen layout and quickly knew we would remove the wall between the kitchen and living room to open up the confined space and take advantage of the natural light from the soaring ceilings in the main living area. I planned for a floating island to house the sink and encourage gathering, and we settled on clean white shaker cabinets and a neutral palette with rustic elements of iron and natural wood. The walls were painted Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray to brighten the rooms and give them a timeless appeal.

The homeowners made it clear that they didn’t want the television to become the focal point of the room now that they had an open floor plan, but wanted to be able to entertain and enjoy their home together. With this in mind, we decided to completely renovate the existing dated fireplace and make it the centerpiece of the living space. In designing the fireplace we embraced the rustic, mountain elements of the area they came from and included a stacked stone surround and a reclaimed wood beam from an old tobacco warehouse that we cut down to use as the mantle. To keep a sense of place, we also added a little coastal charm for their new hometown of Wilmington, NC with just a touch of white shiplap on the fireplace wall.

The wood mantle was tied into the kitchen area with a stained cypress beam that acted as a header and additional support for the new opening to the living room. Oversized glass pendant lights with a rope-wrapped cord were installed over the raised bar, and we selected pitted pewter cabinet hardware in keeping with the warm and rustic feel of the space. A beautiful granite countertop was selected to coordinate with a handcrafted ceramic tile backsplash in a dark pewter grey.

Brandon Kitchen-Living Reno-10

A shared design vision between the homeowners and myself, coupled with great communication, project management, and a solid team of vendors and subcontractors, lead to an amazing outcome on this Porter’s Neck remodel. The transformation was incredible as you can see from the before and after photos.

Note: After photos provided by David Brandon

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Before Images

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