We introduced the Kalvakota Project in September, and it’s taken every bit of these last few months to make a decent dent in the makeover. Between supply chain issues (how tired are we of that phrase, really?!) and sometimes-decision-paralysis, we’re chugging along, slowly but surely. My hope is that you will find this makeover relatable, as none of us are immune to delays, pivots or uncertainty! This project is full of all of those things, and we’re approaching it one step at a time.
If you’re new here or simply catching up, we’re helping our friends Nithin and Rachel transform their first floor from dark + heavy into a space that’s a reflection of who they are – bright and upbeat. #YBHxKalvakota shows some progress updates, and you can see where we started right here!
Let’s take a look back on the list we made at the start of the project, check off what we’ve completed, and dive into the details that are slowly turning this house into a home!
Purge, donate and sell underutilized items
- Remove gloss brown wall cabinets and replace with a nook of cabinetry | IN PROGRESS
- Count, measure and assess what needs to be stored, and make a list | IN PROGRESS
- Shop for baskets, bins and dividers and give them purpose | IN PROGRESS
Wall Cabinets | Before
Wall Cabinets | Progress
Let’s talk about that L-shaped credenza! We paired two Article Dako sideboards to make an L-shape, instantly creating a nook for their girls to use as an open play area. One of the biggest concerns the Kalvakotas have about their home is how open and cavernous it feels! We’re working to create zones and nooks that offer comfort and function. Our friends at Norman Leigh are currently creating a custom oak top that will connect the L – eek, can’t wait to share with you! – and Rachel and I are working together to gather and contain all the toys that’ll be hidden away inside. We have plans to hide away the tangle of cords (on the left), and we’re also adding a floating shelf above to display family photos.
Paint all the walls one color Wallpaper the dining room and entryway Added: Tile a kitchen backsplash
Walls | Before
Walls | Progress
Paint and wallpaper changed ev-er-y-thing! The walls are Sherwin Williams Greek Villa, which is a creamy white with a yellow undertone, and it works so beautifully with the light they receive (mostly eastern exposure). The wallpaper is Rifle Paper Co. in Wildwood, and we tucked it in the dining room (back of the house) and entryway (front of the house) for a touch of symmetry. I’m itching to hang art, but we’re currently in the gather and frame phase.
Kitchen | Before
Kitchen | Progress
Initially we were going to leave the kitchen alone, but I couldn’t shake the idea of a tile border around the perimeter. We gave into the whim, and I am SO GLAD we did! This portion of the project was sponsored by our friends at The Tile Shop, and after picking up a couple dozen samples from our local store, we all landed on this slate blue subway tile! It adds the prettiest pop and ties into the nearby wallpaper – without feeling overly matchy-matchy. To top if off, we used the matching square pencil, and the warm-grey grout is London Fog.
We also put systems in place, from our favorite dish drying rack (it’s not just for bottles!), a sink caddy, and a duo of pumps for both hands and dishes. I will never tire of amber glass bottles with embossed labels. Never, ever.
Lighting + Electrical
- Swap every last light switch to a dimmer | IN PROGRESS / BACKORDER
Swap all bulbs for warm LED bulbs (2700-3000K for calm, welcoming light)
- Add lamps to tabletops and floor lamps to dim corners | IN PROGRESS
Replace the 3 main fixtures with large pendants (living room, kitchen island and dining)
Lighting | Before
Lighting | Progress
Proof that lighting matters. A simple fixture has the power to elevate a space or fade into the background, depending on your end goal. And the proper bulb temperature can make a room feel cozy and inviting – just as the wrong bulb temperature can make you feel irritable and cold. We had the Kalvakotas swap out every last recess light for retrofit lighting in a warmer temperature (the exact ones we used are sold out, but these are identical!), with a temperature of 3000K. We’re also upgrading every switch to a Legrand dimmers and plates from the Adorne collection as part of a campaign, but some of the wall plates have fallen into backorder. It’s going to feel like such a treat when they arrive, and we can check it off our list!
Furniture + Accessories
Order a modular sectional to invite more comfortable seating
- Replace coffee table with a trio of storage ottomans that double as a place to set a drink + snacks | IN PROGRESS
- Add large area rugs to define the different zones within this one large room | IN PROGRESS
- Add greenery, textiles and artwork | IN PROGRESS
Furniture | Before
Furniture | Progress
Nithin and Rachel have been using the same furniture from their single life, hodge podged together in a way that they could only describe as making them ‘grumpy,’ haha. I feel you!, I said. The IKEA sofa was replaced with this beautiful modular sofa in Fawn velvet, and we nixed the shag rug in favor of this larger wool + jute Loloi rug. I’m still hunting for some storage ottomans to double as coffee tables, and Norman Leigh will be adding a custom console (like ours!) behind the right side of the sectional which will solve three problems: 1) It will bump the sectional towards the left about an extra foot, 2) it’ll act as storage for their record collection, and 3) it’ll give them a place to set down a drink or snack.
Helping our friends turn their first floor into a dream space has honestly been so, so good for my soul. Not only do we get to spend more time with them, it’s been a joy to see them fall in love with their home again. Their current homework is to go through family photos and artwork that we can frame and hang, and there is no shortage to choose from – more on that as the updates roll out!