4 Ways to Upgrade Your Dated Home


Bobbie & Marty had been in their home since the early 1980’s and decided it was time for some updates. We focused on the kitchen, two bathrooms and a powder room.

“We chose TKS Design Group for our kitchen and bathroom remodeling based on reviews, personal recommendations, and attendance at special events sponsored by the Studio. From our first consultation through final inspections and tweaks, our projects proceeded smoothly and with minimal stress and disruption. Susan is a highly creative designer with great ideas and experience. She leads a talented team of designers, project managers, and support staff who were all helpful and patient throughout. The main crew who worked daily were skilled, prompt, clean, hardworking, and very considerate. They completed the carpentry, tilework, cabinet installation, and drywall with high quality workmanship. We were pleased that the projects were completed on schedule, and we attribute this to the Kitchen Studio’s high standards of organization, professionalism, and customer service. Minor problems were corrected in an efficient and responsible manner. Best of all, we love the results! Our kitchen and bathrooms are beautiful. The improvements are especially striking given the small scale of our rooms. The colors, textures, finishes, and overall design have greatly enhanced the look and value of our home. Each team member has been invaluable, thanks to all of you”

— Bobbie R.

How do you update an older house?

The existing kitchen layout was functional for them, so we kept that pretty much as is.

Here are a couple of before shots of the kitchen.

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1. We allowed the space to breathe

The soffit and the pantry really closed in the space, so we removed both of those. We encountered a couple of surprises in the pantry wall, but after a few stressful moments, we figured out a plan to relocate those items. We also eliminated a desk area which now houses a “drop zone” for mail and additional storage.

Also, Bobbie had a clear vision for their kitchen style — nice clean lines with a gray and white palette. When it came to cabinet hardware, careful selection added both functionality and a subtle charm. Aside from that, there was contemplation over marble countertops, known for their timeless elegance. Light gray kitchen cabinets with a slightly darker gray subway tile keep the northern exposure light and airy.

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2. We showed off their personal style

Along with the changes in the kitchen, we also introduced some modern furniture pieces to their breakfast and adjoining family room, adding even more ideas for a style update. Now, the whole house has a fresh, modern feel. The light fixtures are staggered and give a nice rhythm to the otherwise serene setting.

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Here’s the little powder room off the kitchen that we also remodeled. They were not 100% sold on the flooring choice when we first showed it, but now they think it is one of the most interesting features of the design and we agree! We always try to “push” clients a little bit because that’s when things can get really fun and this is what you are paying for after all, ideas that you may not come up with on your own.


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3. We put a personal touch throughout the house 

We also worked on the two upstairs bathrooms. We started first on the hall bath which was basically just in need of a facelift. The floor is porcelain tile made to look like carrera marble. The vanity is white Shaker doors fitted with a white quartz top. We re-glazed the cast iron tub which was a bit of an adventure as the first time the “new guy” from the reglazing company stored the materials in his truck overnight in the cold causing the finish to bubble after it was applied. Company number two to the rescue and 2nd time’s a charm – now we were looking at what we were expecting.


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4. We brought a dash of opulence to their bathroom setting

Last but not least, we remodeled the master bathroom which was a tub to shower conversion. To capture the essence of traditional hardwood floors, we laid down porcelain planks with a wood design and complemented it with a stylish Kohler Tailored vanity. The custom shower has a barn door shower doors, and vinyl wallpaper in the sink area gives a rich textured look to the space. Overall, we think this looks pretty sophisticated for its smaller footprint, don’t you? 


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Should I renovate room by room or all at once?

Often, when people think of home renovation, their minds go straight to their priority list and the big-ticket rooms like the kitchen, bathroom, and living room. But each little detail contributes to the charm, feel, and overall look of the house. Bobbie & Marty, initially focusing on specific rooms, soon realized the importance of a well-rounded upgrade. That’s why they decided to bring the dining room into the mix. 

We focused on several key areas:

Creating an accent wall

Thinking about jazzing up your space? This may be the ticket for you. It’s like giving your room its own unique fingerprint. Not only does it grab attention and set the mood, but it also sprinkles in a dash of elegance and character.

Take a good look around your space and identify walls with standout qualities or unique architectural details. In case you’re still unsure or have no ideas on where you want to place it, the wall right behind your dining table or the one greeting you as you walk in usually makes for a great pick.

Replacing furniture

Recognizing that their existing dining set was dated, we introduced Bobbie & Marty to contemporary alternatives. The new selection not only refreshed the room’s ambiance but also effortlessly mirrored the modern touches we had incorporated into the kitchen and bathrooms.

We always put comfort at the forefront of our choices. Especially in tighter spaces or those challenging corners, a built-in banquette can be a lifesaver. However, when picking out chairs, think about the room’s vibe and how often they’ll be used; it’s all about blending form and function.

Setting the scene

When it comes to creating that warm home feel, lighting takes center stage. You’ll want overhead light fixtures that you can dim to set the right vibe, so investing in a quality dimmer switch is key. And if you’re hanging pendant lights over the dining table, make sure they’re low enough to feel connected to the space but high enough so everyone can see each other clearly across the table.

Uplifting the ambiance 

Walls have a big impact on the atmosphere of a room. For this reason, we not only applied a fresh coat of paint in a carefully chosen color palette but also introduced some curated art pieces. This approach transformed the walls from mere partitions to lively design showcases. Truly, a thoughtfully designed space – whether through painting or artwork – will breathe new life into any area of your home.

Perfecting the look

While the room’s wood floors were already in great shape, we felt a carefully chosen area rug would perfectly tie the space together.  

When picking out a rug, it’s not just about the looks – you’ve got to think about the shape, how big it is, and how tough it’ll be. And a little tip: make sure it’s big enough so that even when you pull the chairs out, they stay on the rug. It’s these thoughtful touches that add to the home feel and charm.

What are the things designers can do to maximize natural light?

If you’re looking for tips on bringing more light into your home, modern light fixtures aren’t the only option. For instance, white paint on window frames can work wonders. And if you’re considering painting your house walls, lighter shades have this knack for reflecting light, making the whole space feel more open and radiant. 

One of the game-changers in Bobbie & Marty’s home makeover was tackling how light flowed through their space. It’s funny how, over time, homes can get a bit darker without us even noticing – be it from shifting around furniture, new decor choices, or even just different window curtains. So, we got creative. We placed mirrors in just the right spots to bounce light around, suggested lighter, sheer window treatments, and even thought about enlarging a few windows, especially in places like their living room. The result? Natural sunlight flooded their home.

Where can I find experienced interior designers in Naperville?

How do you feel about all the changes we made in Bobbie & Marty’s house? Need some remodeling tips for your own place in Naperville? Whether you’re on the hunt for interior design ideas, proven strategies to spruce up your home, or ways to boost your curb appeal, TKS Design Group is here to provide you with a wide range of comprehensive services. 

Thanks to years of experience, we developed a design-build approach that ensures quality, meticulous planning, and exceptional craftsmanship. You can rely on an experienced design team to plan every phase in accordance with your requirements to create a comfortable, functional, and accessible living environment.

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