From Traditional to Transitional

By Candice Graham • Photography by Philip Slowiak

Teaming up with an interior designer for a simple paint consultation snowballed into a total home transformation for this East Brainerd family.

PL-15Built in 1998 and redecorated in ’06, the Badgley home was embellished in traditional style – maroon walls, dark wood furniture, and brass accents. But last year, when Ann called in a designer to help with a paint consultation, one thing led to another. “I was just planning on painting the kitchen. That’s all I wanted to do, and then it just grew from there,” Ann explains. “About midway through, my husband said ‘Maybe we should just completely redo our kitchen.’ Then we moved on to the next room.”

The couple settled on a transitional style for the home, and each room features new takes on old classics. The living room kept its original earthy portobello mushroom hue, but the sofas were reupholstered in a neutral moss shade to tone down the formality. Brown velvet chairs kept their upholstery, but fresh-toned piping was added to define each piece. Now a travertine-topped coffee table features sleek lines for a minimalist look. Accents of aqua blue and orange inject color into the space and Ann stepped out of her comfort zone with accessories. “I wanted to go more contemporary so I got sculptures that I wouldn’t have gotten 10 years ago.” Above the mantle, an outdoorsy tree painting injects more earthy tones and is a recurring theme, says Ann. “I realized through this process that I must be obsessed with trees, because so many things I bought have a tree trunk in them.”

PL-16Adjacent to the living room, the more casual family room is connected to the kitchen and features a distinctive midcentury vibe. Leather furniture was swapped for a modular chocolate brown sectional with velvet fabric. “We chose this fabric intentionally,” Ann says. “We let our pets get on it, and it’s almost indestructible.” A wood grain coffee table with modern metallic legs continues the midcentury theme, as does a brass martini table that serves as a simple place to rest a drink. A bold statement is made by the photograph hanging above the fireplace – a blown-up image of peaceful horses, a nod to the family’s pets and love for animals. Nearby, pottery made by their daughter is displayed on the window-flanked mantle. Tying the room together is a cream and tan shag rug, providing a soft cushion and an additional punch of mod flair.

The kitchen takes its color cues from sea foam and white clouds. The fresh green walls and bright white cabinetry are worlds away from the deep-hued kitchen that came before it. “We definitely wanted it to be lighter. The cabinets were pine and the paint was a really dark burgundy color with a light brown ceiling,” explains Ann. A two-tier counter proved to be an inefficient workspace, so the counter was leveled to one. Quartz countertops mimic the look of marble, but have the wear-and-tear characteristics of granite. Marble was brought in through the backsplash in soft gray and white tones. But the real gem in this kitchen lies within nifty hidden cabinetry features. What was once a cluttered kitchen desk, piled high with bills and receipts, is now a concealed prep station.


“I wanted to make a pantry cooking station where I could plug in all my things. Before, my mixer was in the top of the closet. Now I can keep everything in its place, close it up, and it’s nice and neat,” Ann says. A concealed microwave also helps alleviate the look of clutter and allows the functional piece to be tucked away when not in use. A large cook top with range hood and a 48-inch fingerprint-proof fridge help make cooking for a crowd a breeze, as do double ovens and sinks. “It’s a large kitchen, so there’s room for people to work in different areas,” says Ann. “To me one of the great things about this kitchen is that several people can be here at the same time.”

The formal dining room retained its chocolate brown walls and wallpapered ceiling, but got a fresh spin with lighter tones in the form of bright white dining chairs. “My designer said if we lighten up the things in the room, we could keep the walls the same. There’s so much light in the house from the windows that things really brightened up when light furniture was added,” Ann says.

Going from a traditional selection of china cabinet, buffet, and coffee table, Ann got items that leaned toward contemporary, but stayed more in the transitional realm. To do this, the room features new updated classics, such as the existing dining room table that was stained darker for a more current look. Contemporary upholstered chairs flank the table, and although they’re white, there’s no fear of spaghetti sauce stains. “I said the only way I’ll do white is if it’s indoor/outdoor fabric,” Ann says. For extra precaution, round pulls on the back keep hands from dirtying up the upholstery. The existing chandelier pulls the room together and mixes well with a capiz shell buffet, marrying the worlds of old and new.


Ann calls the master bedroom her sanctuary, saying it’s the perfect spot to read, relax, and watch TV. “I purposely made this room more traditional. I wanted to lighten it up during the renovation, but I wanted it to still have the same feel,” she says. Red oak floors and light blue walls keep the scheme muted, while natural woven blinds and linen curtains bring an earthy feel. Two matching oversized side tables rest on either side of the bed, creating a sense symmetry in the space. A drum-shaded light fixture casts an overhead glow, which echoes the warmth Ann says is prominent within the home. “I think the house feels warm. It’s not so fancy that people are afraid to touch anything,” she says. “My goal with the renovation was to make it comfortable and casual. We want to be able to really live in our house.”

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