Funky West Asheville Kitchen
Formerly L-shaped, this kitchen now extends into the dining room, and beyond that, to a patio for al fresco entertaining.
The open entertaining space was created by removing a wall between the kitchen and a bedroom, that is now the dining area.
Existing cabinets were re-purposed, and reconfigured, to extend the run of the kitchen. Originally oak, they were painted gray, and given updated hardware. Rather than buy more upper cabinets, open shelving fills in the blanks, and provides display space for the owner’s collection of colorful dishware and revolving art pieces.
A new island was custom designed and built for extra storage, seating, and serving space.
Bright tile, and a collection of local artists’ works, put the fun into the function of this kitchen.
“We hired Shawn to work us through the process of remodeling our new home. Extending our kitchen to incorporate our outdoor living space. She outlined several options within our budget utilizing much of our current kitchen cabinets. She introduced / referred us to reliable contractors who worked through her design to complete our dream kitchen. All within budget.
She was extremely knowledgeable about product options available to complete our kitchen and assisted with the selection which made this process very cohesive.
We would highly recommend Shawn.” -Bari G
The goal of this project was to turn a walk out basement into rental income for the owners. The space plan was reworked to allow the owners to maintain the back of the basement for their own use, while allowing access to the airbnb apartment by way of a storage area for the rental. The utility area was relocated to allow a bedroom with egress windows. All of the support columns, with the exception of one, were encased in the walls. The owners kept costs down by doing all of the demo, and building the sliding barn door, themselves.
“I have worked with Shawn while creating a 500 square foot guest suite in the lower level of my home. I needed a floor plan that would give a guest privacy while also keeping a separate space for a workshop.
Shawn came up with a great design concept, and provided my contractor with working drawings that he could submit to the city to obtain permits for the project. She made herself available if there were any questions. Once demolition was done, almost all dimensions she provided were correct which made my contractor’s job that much easier.
Shawn was great working within my budget. She was spot on with her estimate of the time she needed to create the floor plan.
The finished project is much better than I could have imagined. Shawn also worked with me on design and furniture finishes. Because I had a very small budget she would give me advice, looked for items on-line and helped steer me towards a cohesive finished project. The guest suite is beautiful!
I would highly recommend her, she is easy to work with, quickly understood my vision for this project, and worked well with the small budget that I gave her.” -Jean R.
Kitchen Makeover for a Single Man
This kitchen started as a cramped, dark, non-functioning room that was transformed into a smart, cosmopolitan, and efficient space. The water damaged walls and ceiling were repaired and the space was given a fresh coat of paint. Counter to ceiling subway tile was added in the cooking area, and a mirrored backsplash in the eating area was installed to reflect light from the adjacent window, visually enlarging the room.
Upper cabinets were replaced with custom built, open shelving made of black pipe and reclaimed wood, while hardware, and a new coat of paint refreshed the lower cabinets.
The electrical and lighting plan was updated and vinyl flooring was replaced with tile. A new fan, and pendant lighting were added to give the kitchen a polished, sophisticated edge.
Working with East Town Renovations and Timeless Arts Refinishing, this kitchen was turned into a congruent work space for it’s bachelor cook.
“Shawn has been very helpful in every aspect of this job from picking out paint colors, furniture and lighting fixtures to the actual general contracting of the project. She has a lot of great ideas and a very positive personality which makes her fun to work with.” –Dan F.
Integrated Cardiology – Holland
The concept for this Integrated Cardiology office began with a list of descriptive words formulated by the doctor who will practice here.
Words like reflective, natural, harmonious, non- sterile and “home like” drove the design. He was resolute on using environmentally conscious finishes and furnishings to provide a congruent foundation for his practice’s centripetal mission.
The attention to earth friendly choices and materials, combined with colors from nature is meant to assure patients that this is a place of natural healing.
“In designing our space we wanted to create a healing environment that brought in elements from the outside, while using ecologically sensitive materials, and creating an energy inside the space that was calming and harmonious. Shawn was able to beautifully tie these elements together using her knowledge of Feng Shui and personal experience in the holistic healing professions. The physical space was transformed both cosmetically and energetically into a healing space that allows one’s inner being to harmonize with the natural world despite being indoors. This was accomplished on a limited budget and in a timely fashion. Thanks, Shawn for allowing my vision to manifest. Patients continue to be amazed at how office design can bring about harmony in one’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual states.”-Dr. David J.M.D.
Weaverville Kitchen Update
This kitchen was only slightly reconfigured to give the owners more space to entertain guests in their newly, fresh kitchen. A large sliding patio door was partially walled in to allow space for a wall oven and a microwave.
Blue and yellow accents give this kitchen the beachy feel that the owner was looking for.
Cocadablu granite on the island, mixes well with the white quartzite countertops and blue arabesque backsplash tile, while bead board accents on the hood and behind the sink valance add to the beach vibe.
“Faced with a whole house remodel we really needed help! I am so glad we found Shawn online. She was able to come in and draw out plans after she got to know us and figured out what our style was. She was also helpful with selecting colors and kept us from making an expensive mistake in our kitchen remodel. I Found Shawn to be very reasonable and flexible, she responded quickly to email and was always prompt. I highly recommend Shawn!” -Donna M.
Historic Home Makeover
Sometimes all a home needs is a little vision and some TLC.
The owner wanted a place where he could both entertain and spend time with his children. This house already had great bones, so with a metropolitan concept in mind all it took was a little polish to be transformed into a welcoming space for family and friends.
The owner wanted to be surrounded by rich, dark colors so a palette of deep tones was chosen. Because each of the spaces opens up to the next, the color in each room, although deep, compliments its adjacent space.
The hardwood was refinished in a darker shade than it’s original color, grounding the areas and creating a luxurious feeling.
The living and dining room received a cosmopolitan makeover with new furnishings and sleek chrome accents, while the den maintained a more traditional look with primary colors and classic furnishings.
“Shawn has been very helpful in every aspect of this job from picking out paint colors, furniture and lighting fixtures to the actual general contracting of the project. She has a lot of great ideas and a very positive personality which makes her fun to work with.” -Dan F.
Updated 1980’s Colonial
A 1980’s colonial, with solid bones, got a “polish” by adding custom, architectural details, and a newly remodeled kitchen.
Located in a premier neighborhood, the outdated interior of this home was not on par with it’s neighbors. While still a solid layout, the finishes, appliances and fixtures were stuck in the 80’s. The oak floors were refinished to eliminate the yellow patina and the walls got new wainscoting and a fresh palate of paint giving the first floor an upgrade.
Custom millwork was designed to surround the family room fireplace, adding much needed storage, and giving it a sophisticated facelift.
A complete kitchen remodel was at the heart of the project. Custom cabinets designed by Align Design and crafted by Woodways in Grand Rapids, MI, gave the owner the gourmet kitchen she was desiring. Azul Aran Granite gives the kitchen a luxurious touch.
“I really enjoyed working with Shawn on this kitchen remodel. I know the homeowner is thrilled with the outcome. Having Shawn on board saved the day. It changed the project from being average to being outstanding.
I am looking forward to working with Shawn again.” –JR W. , Project Contractor
West Asheville Overhaul
The scope of this project was an entire home remodel and two, story addition.
The Original floor plan was a maze of tiny rooms, with poorly constructed bump outs on both levels. In the planning and concept phase, the existing floor plan was pared down to the original footprint of the house, making the two, story addition off of the back look more intentional.
The first floor was entirely opened up to create an open concept for the kitchen, dining and living area. Steel beams were added for structural support, and left exposed and incorporated into the design.
The additional space on the first floor added a mudroom off of the kitchen, a guest bedroom/office and a bathroom. The second story addition allowed space for three additional bedrooms, a bath and a laundry area.
The original master bedroom and bathroom were reconfigured to create a haven for the owners.
You can read about the full project & see before photos on our blog
“Shawn Merkel of Align Design is a true pro. She helped us with a complete reno project, tear-down to almost entire new build. Her ability to take the clients style/dreams/desires and manifest them into a visually/high functioning space, is unique. She is also a very strong project manager, and has the ability to manage builder, subs, orders, and juggle multi-dimensional project needs. A huge asset. If i did it again, I would have Shawn at our side. Thank you!” –Zach A.