Main Floor Makeover

Urban touches bring a touch of the city to the suburbs.

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Steven and his partner, Alan, had just made the big move from a small urban condo to a suburban bungalow, but once in their new digs, they started to worry. The house needed much more work than they first thought, and they were worried that living so far from the city meant their downtown friends wouldn't visit. So I got my crew together and brought a bit of the city to the 'burbs.

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The space was in rough shape — outdated, tired and dingy¾so we started from scratch. We knocked down walls to open up the area and put up new drywall. We put in hardwood flooring, installed a central vacuum system and put up new ceilings with wiring for flat-mount stereo speakers.

When the groundwork was finally done, I divided the space into three zones: a living room/lounge, a small dining room and a new kitchen.

In the living room, I created a focal point that people will see as soon as they walk through the front door: a bench seat covered in a striped fabric of calming blue, green, taupe and beige, and a 46-inch television that acts a mirror when not in use. I also created a larger seating arrangement comprising a comfortable couch and two chairs with stainless-steel accents. And I put down a cool rug of carpet tiles in the same colors used on the bench.

In a small dining area next to the living room, the "wow" factor is a new gas fireplace featuring polished black stones inside and a surround of stainless steel with floating glass outside. In this zone, I also put in a gorgeous round, black pedestal table and some funky Lucite chairs.

On the living/dining room windows I put up some stylish curtains made of a neutral-colored silk with a woven pattern, and I put some woven grass blinds behind the curtains for privacy and light control.

Adjacent to the living room, I set up an ultramodern kitchen with all the bells and whistles, including lots of dark cabinetry, two glass-tiled backsplashes and beautiful quartz countertops. I then installed a roomful of stainless-steel appliances, including a new side-by-side fridge and freezer, microwave, induction cooktop, oven, warming drawer and sink. For added zing, I put up a cityscape mural at the far end of the room.

To lighten things up, I put in recessed ceiling lights, floor lamps and some pendant lighting.

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