Below you will find an excerpt of our client’s interview published by Architectural Digest, November 2022:
- Where is this home located? What’s the neighborhood like?
We live in the Midway Hollow neighborhood of Dallas, which has a history dating back to the early 1900s. It’s a friendly neighborhood with young families and well-established families living in single-family homes of 1-5 bedrooms. It’s been undergoing a bit of a face lift over the past ten years, as homes from the 1920s are being replaced with newer, more modern, and more stylish homes. During the holidays, everyone puts their best foot forward. We all decorate festively for the families that walk about the neighborhood all day long with their children and/or pets.
- What drew you initially to this property? What did you like about it?
We loved the location, the proximity to good schools, and the convenience of grocery stores, etc. The neighborhood is not fussy or pretentious. The house itself reflects all of this. It is stylish, but does not attempt to be gaudy or showy. There is quality in the build, which is demonstrated by the custom metal roof, the abundance of natural light, the hardwood flooring, the oak and dwarf magnolia trees thoughtfully planted in the back and front yards respectively. It is a contemporary home with clean lines and a wide open floor plan that allows the dining, living, and kitchen to flow together, making gatherings and entertainment all the more enjoyable.
- What were some of the kitchen’s challenges?
The original build left us with a grossly undersized island. It looked almost miniature in such a wide open space. There was also an abundance of cabinetry, towering from floor to ceiling, painted stark white–it was overwhelming. The Shaker cabinets, basic hardware, and drab gray granite counters left us wanting for something visually interesting and appealing in the kitchen.
- What did you envision for this kitchen renovation?
With white and gray being the dominant colors at the outset, I was ready for something more organic, something warm and inviting. I wanted a little drama and a lot of style. And a much bigger kitchen island.
- What aspects of the original space did you want to keep?
The overall layout was functionally fine. We also liked our original appliance package and didn’t feel the need to replace it. But we were ready to say goodbye to all the rest!
- How would you describe the style you were hoping to achieve?
Organic, elevated, warm. I wanted the outcome to be beautiful but unexpected.
- What problems arose during the renovation, and how were they solved?
90+% of the problems were anticipated by our design team and contractors well in advance of construction. If something went awry, 99% of the time it was handled magnificently before the question even came to me. But in all honesty, supply chain issues felt the most pressing. Small items here and there would suddenly become available or would be back-ordered even longer than the original promise date by months. Urbanology was extremely nimble in managing it. They would immediately present me with 3 beautiful alternatives that were readily available. But what can I say? The process was remarkably easy! Ginger’s and Botond’s team took care of everything and communicated so beautifully that I didn’t have to break a sweat the entire 10 weeks!
(An example of a problem that I didn’t have to deal with: the vent hood makeover was a challenge, because there were load bearing beams in the way of the vent line. MHM had to create a new housing to protect the vent line in the attic and create a new opening for it to vent to the outdoors. They maintained functionality in the attic, safety with the load bearing beam, and everything remained visually appealing. There were no out-of-place patch-ups.)
- What was the biggest splurge?
I splurged on Urbanology and on MHM LIVING. The expertise, style, professionalism, and care were most important to me and I willingly indulged.
But if you’re asking about materials, it was probably the giant soapstone quartz countertop.
- What was the sneakiest save?
We didn’t have to buy new cabinets! The team was able to refashion the cabinetry and expand upon it, replacing the Shaker doors and painting it such that they were completely transformed! Also, the pendant lights over the item were so unexpectedly inexpensive for the impact that they lend to the space.
- What part will you never do again?
I can’t stress enough how fun and easy this was for me! I want to do it again with at least 3 other rooms in the house! If I win the lottery, I’m building a home that will be an Urbanology x MHM LIVING collaboration, no question!
- What do you love about the kitchen?
I love everything. It is truly hard to choose one feature. I’ll tell you my top 3. First are the colors (gorgeous green, organic natural wood, and a creamy plaster-looking vent hood?? Come on! The wood and brass hardware are the icing.)
Second, I am gaga over the oversized kitchen island with its dramatic contrasts and butcher block cutting board. Lastly, the vent hood that anchors the whole kitchen is absolute perfection.
- How do you mainly use this kitchen?
The kitchen is the focal point of our downstairs. We are in and out constantly, hydrating, snacking, prepping, and cooking. The kids help me prepare lunch, breakfast, dinner, and dessert. It is a hub for our family, made warmer and cozier after our remodel.
- When did this renovation start and when was it completed?
It started May 17, 2022 and finished August 3, 2022.
- What were your major takeaways from this renovation?
Invest in designers and contractors you trust. There is such a thing as a remodel that happens on schedule. It is possible to have a remodel without a hitch. It is possible to enjoy the process. In my heart, I trusted Ginger fully. She led me to Botond, whom she also trusted fully, and I had the same gut feeling when I met him. I already knew Urbanology would give this project the utmost care, and I was at ease knowing that Botond and Warren would do the same.
- Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Our remodel takes my breath every day. I love being at home. It feels like I’m cooking a modern, clean, elevated kitchen in the Tuscany countryside. Walking into my bathroom (also remodeled by the same teams) feels like I’ve stepped into a 5-star Moroccan hotel. My husband and I love to travel. Which makes it even more special to feel like we have the whole world in our corner of Midway Hollow.