When Kristen Pawlak, owner of KP Designs/Decorating Den Interiors, met the owners of a certain East Louisville home back in 2011, she was told they wished to renovate and modernize their four-bed home one space at a time.

“They wanted to kind of progress through their home,” she recalled. “In other words, they didn’t want to attack the whole house all at once, but rather wanted to do one to two rooms at a time, and then come back sometime later … and just kind of progressively update their home. They were empty nesters at the time, so it was just time to do that.”

a living room with a blue seat sitting in a chair: The tea room makeover incorporated the East Louisville homeowner’s existing purple chair and ottoman.

© Courtesy of KP Designs/Decorating Den Interiors
The tea room makeover incorporated the East Louisville homeowner’s existing purple chair and ottoman.

Pawlak reflects back on when she took their traditional-but-dated style and gave it a fresh update over a nearly two-year period, bringing hotel-like elegance into the master suite, as well as a little bit of bling throughout the space.

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Time for tea

The remodel of the four-bed, three-and-a-half-bath home started with the space just off of the master bedroom, a room Pawlak refers to as “a woman cave,” but is most often called the tearoom.

“(The homeowner) loves purple, so she (already) had the purple chair and ottoman,” Pawlak said, explaining that she incorporated existing furniture — including the purple set and wooden antiques — and added other pieces to make the room a more functional and comfortable place to enjoy tea and coffee while reading a book or simply relaxing.

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She also brought some sparkle and decadence to the room in the form of a chandelier, draperies with lace overlays and crystal details on the pillows and lamps.

“It’s just really pretty,” she said. “It’s a really fun room.”

Bringing the bling

The tearoom isn’t the only space where Pawlak added hints of shimmer and shine. In the upstairs hallway, she transformed a formerly utilitarian space with mirror frames, a silver-painted chest and a mercury lamp.

“(The homeowner) liked anything blingy,” she said. Even the wallpaper has crystal detailing in the fleur print, bringing a touch of glamour to the space.

a room filled with furniture and vase of flowers on a table: The dining room in this East Louisville home boasts a Swarovski crystal chandelier.

© Courtesy of KP Designs/Decorating Den Interiors
The dining room in this East Louisville home boasts a Swarovski crystal chandelier.

In the master bedroom, Pawlak was tasked with creating an elegant, hotel-like feel.

“As we did with several rooms, we were working with a lot of things that were already in place,” she said, explaining that the homeowners kept their existing furniture but wished to refresh bedding and window coverings and incorporate new art.

“I got them used to big art — clients aren’t always used to that,” she laughed, referring to the large floral painting that she placed above the bed. “They’re used to smaller pictures, and they can be kind of fearful of big art. I remember putting that canvas up and them being kind of concerned about it but really liking it.”

Selective shakeup

Like most home remodels, the kitchen underwent the biggest revamp. “(It) was a fun challenge,” Pawlak said, “and I do think that if this had been a different time … they would have taken this kitchen out and redone it. But when I worked on this home (almost 10 years ago), it was a time when people weren’t doing a lot of full renovations.”

Rather than completely gutting the space and installing new cabinets and countertops, the homeowners opted to simply reconfigure a bit, removing the U-shaped counter space and utilizing the existing Corian countertop for the top of a new island. 

“We took off the peninsula, refabricated the countertop, put in a new island (and) actually used one of the base cabinets and refabricated it and made it (into a) plate holder on the end,” Pawlak said. “There was a whole lot behind the scenes, that unless you knew what it was like before, (you) couldn’t fully appreciate it. Whenever I look at this kitchen, I remember all that went into it.”

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While the island was being built, Pawlak also designed a bar cabinet with shelves. The built-in piece makes use of a narrow space, providing a place to store items for entertaining and keep the homeowner’s cookbooks on display.

Gradually, Pawlak enhanced room after room, moving through the house to update the dining, laundry, guest, baths and family rooms, too.

“You can work your way through your home systematically,” she said. “It doesn’t have to all be done at once. The great thing about forming a relationship with whichever designer you choose is that they know you, and they know your home and even your family — so it’s easy to go from one room after another and have it all make sense and be comfortable.”

Know a house that would make a great Home of the Week? Email writer Lennie Omalza at [email protected] or Lifestyle Editor Kathryn Gregory at [email protected].

nuts & bolts

Designer: Kristen Pawlak, DDCD, owner, KP Designs/Decorating Den Interiors.

Home: This is a 4-bed, 3-and-a-half bath, 2,600-square-foot, traditional-style home in East Louisville that was built in 1993.

Distinctive elements: Crystal Swarovski chandelier in the dining room; handcrafted wallpaper as ceiling treatments in the powder room and dining room; custom window treatments throughout; renovated kitchen with refabricated countertop and new island; built-in bar cabinet.

Applause! Applause! KP Designs/Decorating Den Interiors and their contractor and installer alliance partners.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Room-by-room renovation in East Louisville home yields glamorous, modern results

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