Custom Design for a Custom Built Home

Who here likes chevron? How about custom molding? Maybe a bit of glam with your lighting as well?

Oh yes, I’m raising my hand with all the rest of you. And guys, I’ve got a great project to share that will definitely get you oohing and ahhing.

This was a full interior design project that I completed on a newly constructed home in Kirkwood. I was hired by the builder, Renaissance Living LLC, to help with all of the material selection and design work, both before and during construction.

New build by Renaissance Living LLC

This company, which you can check out on Instagram, has some incredible custom builds. They also have a unique design and construction process that favors today’s busy but discerning homeowners. So I’d highly recommend you give them a look. 

Now, back to this specific project that I worked on. Because I am really, really excited to share it. 

Custom All The Way

Every once in awhile, I get to indulge myself and create a design that is 100 percent what I am feeling in the moment. And this is definitely one of those cases.

Given that we were starting from scratch, I had a lot of freedom to wave my design wand in any way I wanted. So, of course, I did! 

Design by Ellen Kurtz Interiors

I picked out all the flooring, countertops, cabinets, lighting, paint, finishes, molding and more. 

The overall look is clean and crisp in a transitional design style. And the beauty of the home really shines through in some of the smaller, custom details that are sprinkled throughout. 

From the chevron fireplace and surrounding built-ins, to the circle inlay details on the kitchen island. This home has a casual elegance that I’d love to bottle up and repeat with some of my other projects. 

It was a blast being able to brainstorm and execute a comprehensive design plan for this construction team. And if I do say so myself, the results are stunning!

The home sold before it was finished. And I have a hunch the builder will be getting requests to replicate some of these design elements in future builds. 

So let’s take a closer look. 

Chevron and Gold: Ooh La La!

Now, I can’t stop talking about the chevron fireplace in this home, so let’s start there.

I wanted to make a bit of a statement in the great room. But it had to be in a way that didn’t shout “different” too loudly and risk scaring away any potential buyers. 

I decided the best way to strike that balance was to introduce patterns and texture in a visually stimulating way.

Design by Ellen Kurtz Interiors

Shiplap is so big right now that it seemed a natural fit for the fireplace surround. But I wanted to take it up a notch, so I came up with the idea of the chevron design. 

It is understated and unique at the same time. And I just LOVE it! 

The surround is set off with a mantel in a natural wood. Natural wood is very popular right now and also offers a touch of texture. 

Shiplap and natural wood. It could be beachy, it could be farmhouse, or it could be casual contemporary. This leaves a lot to the imagination and bends to the whims of the eventual homeowner. And that was the goal.

But the bottom line is it is also comforting and beautiful.

More About That Great Room

Design by Ellen Kurtz Interiors

The built-in seating that flanks the fireplace rounds out the look and adds to the custom feel.

The other part of this room that I just adore is the coffered ceilings. They add texture and elegance, and are definitely something to write home about. 

Contrasting the greige (greyish-beige) ceiling color with the white beams adds depth and draws the eye upward. This makes the room feel even more expansive. 

Now, I knew both the fireplace and coffered ceiling would be a big draw to potential home buyers. So my next step was to make sure they were properly highlighted.

Well, the best way to do that was to add a little bling. And that’s where the light fixtures come in.

I went with gold, which is very on trend and adds a festive flair to the room.

The geometric shapes in the chandelier echo the square patterns you see in the ceiling and the windows framing the fireplace. I really like how that creates some continuity in the room. 

And the sconces on the fireplace surround have a vintage look while also being edgy in their overall design. This blends for a classic feel, which is perfect for our transitional style. The black base ties in nicely with the fireplace tile and inner surround.

Lighting the Way

Design by Ellen Kurtz Interiors

You’ll notice, by the way, that a lot of the lighting I picked for this home has a similar presentation. Gold, with black accents and Edison bulbs.

It’s definitely a unique look, and thus was a bit of a design risk. But I am really proud of the way it turned out. 

And from what I hear from the builder, a lot of people who toured the home raved about the lighting. So we’ll absolutely chalk it up as a win!

I have to give a lot of credit to Light Brite  in Trenton, Illinois, which is where I shopped for the lighting. Their great selection definitely made my job easier!

A Custom Kitchen 

The kitchen also contains some scene stealers, as every good kitchen should. So let’s talk about some of those details. 

I was on a chevron kick after designing that fireplace. So I decided to replicate the pattern in the backsplash over the sink. 

Design by Ellen Kurtz Interiors

The colors of the mixed stone marry beautifully with the paint on the cabinets and trim (Sherwin William’s Repose Grey, a warm grey that is very versatile).

For the other wall, above the range, I went with the same stone but shifted to an arabesque pattern for variety. 

Bringing the cabinets, from Beck Allen, all the way to the ceiling contributed to the upscale feel. 

Now, one design move that is very trendy right now is using a different paint color on the center island than that used for the surrounding cabinetry.

While I don’t follow every design trend, I do think this one is spot on. That's because it turns the island into a focal point, which also helps anchor the space. 

I think it certainly worked to that effect here.

Design by Ellen Kurtz Interiors

The blue color on the island is to die for. And it draws the eye to the circle inlay detailing, which again adds to the classy, custom look. 

For the hardware and fixtures, I brought in more of those gold tones that added so much punch to the great room.

The flooring, here and throughout much of the rest of the home, is a nice wide-planked hardwood in a lighter color from Ambassador Floor Company.

Dreamy Details in the Master Bath 

The great room and kitchen set the tone for the rest of the home, which includes three upstairs bedrooms, a main floor master, and a lower level that doubles as a fitness space. 

I won’t walk you through ALL of those details, because we all lead busy lives. But I will mention one more highlight in this home: the dreamy master bath.

Design by Ellen Kurtz Interiors

This bathroom is an inviting retreat with its crisp white marble flooring with grey veining. I loved this surface so much that I continued it up the walls in places and also used it in the shower. 

The molding behind the tub acts as a framing tool, practically inviting you to take a soak.

And the pair of sconces on the wall above the tub, along with the chandelier, follow the same lighting scheme that I applied to the rest of the house. 

Once again, I carried the gold tones into the fixtures and used a bright blast of blue to showcase the cabinetry. The hexagon mirror adds a nice decorative touch.

Design by Ellen Kurtz Interiors

In this room, and several others, you’ll again notice that custom millwork, which is such a huge draw to homeowners who are looking for a more elevated home design.

Do You Need a Custom Design?

That's the end of the tour!

Now, I talked in my last blog post about how design work doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. With some of my jobs, I play a more minor role and can hopefully still have a major effect on the overall look in only a couple days of work. 

Design by Ellen Kurtz Interiors

This job obviously falls on the other end of that spectrum. This was a big project for me with a lot of time and effort, but also a lot of satisfaction. 

The lesson here is that there are a range of ways that I can help you with your home.

I can honestly say that no project is too big or too small! So whatever your design needs may be, consider giving me a call. I’d love for your home to be my next project.

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