Home and Garden Businesses Reflect on Their Most Transformative Projects This Year

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From kitchens to backyards, these before and afters will have you dreaming of your next home renovation

By Sinclair Holian

Cederberg Kitchens + Renovations

Cederberg Kitchens + Renovations designer Jeamilette Marcano worked closely with returning clients on a kitchen update inspired by the organic architecture and natural materials pioneered by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Careful to preserve the feel and craftsmanship of the existing contemporary style home, the updated design evokes a fresh sense of balance and harmony. “The natural elements, the wood columns and beams, the stone and house trim helped to bring the design to life by creating a unique and timeless character to their house,” Jeamilette says. Designed to be as functional as it is stylish, the updated kitchen features new cabinets and a peninsula next to a raised bar area, all overlooking the backyard through curved glass windows.

Sophie Piesse Architect

With experience designing homes in Carrboro since 1996, architect Sophie Piesse knows that more is not always better; “Sometimes, it is just more,” she says. Her philosophy applied perfectly to a major two-year interior remodel in Oxford Hills, a project that kept simplicity in mind at every level. The clients wanted to completely modernize and brighten their space, making it appear clean and highly functional – all without adding any square footage. The kitchen, once dim and cluttered with appliances, was transformed using simple textures, colors and materials. The space now opens into the dining and living areas, making it appear and feel much larger. To further increase function and reduce clutter, Sophie created an appliance garage that blends into new cabinetry. “Renovating homes and helping them evolve to reflect our lives and families is fun and rewarding, as well as sustainable,” Sophie says.

Kitchen & Bath Galleries

Kitchen & Bath Galleries senior designer Kaylor Russell embarked on an eight-month process of updating a kitchen in The Oaks neighborhood. Approaching the design as a collaborative effort, Kaylor accomplished her client’s goal of opening up their space by removing the old peninsula in favor of a new focal point: a giant island. “It’s great for prep, serving and other household projects,” Kaylor says. “Multiple people can be working at the island, and everyone has space to spread out.” Drawing on her and her client’s shared fondness of the colors of Colorado, Kaylor brought warmth to the space with new backsplash tile and the island’s wood details. To finalize the design, Kaylor had the adjacent living room’s built-in cabinets redone to ensure the new look extended seamlessly into the rest of the home.

Amy Strunk Designs

For Amy Strunk of Amy Strunk Designs, creating a dream backyard for a single mom with a young son meant combining fun and function. With a playground nestled in a wooded area, the grassy yard was great for playdates but lacked space for the client to host family and friends. “Creating a cohesive space for her to entertain and have kids playing close by was the goal,” Amy says. The final result features an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit surrounded by a seat wall and a covered entertainment area. The space is complete with electricity for evening lighting and fans to keep pesky Southern insects at bay. “The whole space being finished really made the yard feel different,” Amy says. “I know this will be a spot for them to enjoy for many years.”

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