A cocktail & Conversation

A “New” Dublin Home

A Cocktail + Conversation About the Latest Epic Renovation

We love the opportunity to enjoy the end result of a finished project, particularly when we can do it with the homeowner and designer who worked with us along the way. Susan recently had the opportunity to sit down with homeowner Megan James and Molly Croak, Owner of Couture Designs to discuss one of our latest renovations, some of our favorite features, and what it took to get it to completion. 

The Fireplace – This is really the third reincarnation of this fireplace, as it has already been renovated one other time since the James family moved in. The goal of the renovation was really to lighten up the room and make it feel more spacious without changing the footprint. 

  • What we changed: The mantle was very heavy, dark, and ornate and felt too much for the wall. While it is still what we would consider a heavy piece, the lighter color and less formal design make it feel lighter. 
  • What we kept the same: The limestone is neutral and is really timeless, and there was no need to do anything with it. 
  • What we added: It was actually Megan’s idea to add a shiplap all the way from side to side to connect the two windows that were very far apart. We also added brick to both the interior and exterior of the doorway to the sunroom in the back of the room. 

Flooring Decisions – According to Megan, “this was among the top three stressful decisions we made about this entire renovation!” 

  • What we changed: The polyurethane used when the floors were previously redone caused them to turn orange, which really darkened the whole house. 
  • What we kept the same: We sanded down the original hardwood floors but then found that there were mixed species of wood – both white oak and red oak. Although this is common, we had to consider this as we decided on a color. 
  • What we added: We added in red oak and used a mid-tone gray wash on the flooring, which will be timeless … and good with the dogs since it doesn’t show much! 

Kitchen Renovation – The footprint of the kitchen stayed the same, but this renovation still required that almost all of the fundamental operating equipment be removed.

  • What we changed: We brought all of the cabinets all the way to the ceiling to make the room feel bigger and more open even though the layout stayed the same. We also brought the backsplash all the way to the ceiling to draw the eye upward, as well. 
  • What we kept the same: We kept the cabinet boxes, which helped keep the cost of the project down, but we added new shaker doors. The island also maintained the same footprint, but changed the countertops and made it one level, as opposed to the original design of two levels. 
  • What we added: You can’t miss the installed gorgeous custom hood, along with a new sink and countertops. 

Revamping Basement – We call this a “lipstick” makeover since it involved mostly aesthetic changes. But even small changes can make a big impact on the overall feel of a space. 

  • What we changed: The biggest difference was bringing the brick wall down the stairs and then wrapping it around the wall. It adds an authentic feel to the space – the perfect feel for a basement bar. 
  • What we kept the same: We kept the layout the same and kept the countertops.
  • What we added: We added the brick backsplash and open shelves, painted the cabinetry, and changed out the hardware and lighting. 

Reflecting on the project – It takes a lot of teamwork to successfully complete a project like this from Epic acting as the conductor and then Molly as the designer working to figure out it all plays out. Of course, the homeowner is involved every step of the way. The bottom line is it takes a talented team of a number of individuals who add different layers to the project that really makes it possible. 

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