conley6.gif (2529 bytes)


Cooking up a makeover
The kitchen in the inspiration for Mequon redo



Chocolate CaesarStone countertops, antique-green painted cabinets and a colorful Mexican, handcrafted tile backsplash are the focal points of Pollard’s newly redesigned kitchen. The colors here can be found throughout the house.

With an abundance of outdated oak woodwork and a 1990s style, Kim Pollard knew her home desperately needed a fresh, new look to bring it up to speed with 2008.

"It was outdated," says Pollard, who bought the home in Westchester Lakes subdivision in Mequon four years ago. "I wanted a different look."

The home, which was featured in the Parade of Homes in 1991, the same year it was built, needed a face-lift.

"It was clear it was a beautiful home, it just truly needed a makeover," says interior designer Kelly Neumann, owner of Vyolette Interior Design Consulting.

For the past year, the two have worked closely together to give the home an updated look. Work began in the hub of activity for most homes — the kitchen. "She had outdated, very worn oak cabinets," Neumann says. "It’s a big thing to change cabinets, and it can be a big thing to paint them."

Neumann and Pollard chose chocolate brown countertops — a perfect match for the cabinets, which were eventually painted an antique green, with a chocolate brown glaze. "When she did it, she knew it put it over the edge to what she really wanted," Neumann says.

The other highlight of the room? The colorful backsplash made of handcrafted Mexican tile. "There are numerous colors on the backsplash — all kinds of bright colors, a lot of which are driven from her artwork that she’s gotten from all over the country," Neumann says. "That’s how the whole color palette was born — in the kitchen. It branched off to the other rooms because of the multicolored backsplash."

Kim Pollard’s great room was updated using bold reds and golds and elegant Tracy Porter chandeliers to turn the natural, outdoorsy feel of the room into something chic and elegant.

The room was topped off with Tracy Porter lighting fixtures. Then Pollard and Neumann were ready to tackle the rest of the house. In Pollard’s great room, an impressive space with a vaulted ceiling, fireplace, bar and natural, outdoorsy feel, Neumann was again able to work her magic.

"I was going for ‘elegant lodge,’ so I didn’t want big Paul Bunyan wood chairs," Pollard says. "But I wanted that feeling ... more Aspen, more upscale — very livable."

One of the biggest 1990s design elements to overcome in her home was the oak woodwork, Pollard says. And this room was full of it. "I had overpowering amounts of oak," Pollard says. "Different things we did brought the oak under control." Neumann says the best way to handle oak is to contrast it with rich, dark colors to make the woodwork "pop."

The existing furniture was used, but the walls were painted gold and red, and contrasted with leopard and foliage prints throughout the room — even a hint of turquoise in the curtains and a bowl on the table — playing off the colors in the kitchen backsplash to create continuity.

Once again topped off with Tracy Porter chandeliers — this time including pheasants, crystals and hand-painted metal — the fixtures provided the piece de resistance to the room and adding a chic, swanky feel to the outdoorsy mood of the space.

Pollard’s living room was also updated, and given an ’80s-ish, artsy look.

"I played off the bright green and red of the current furniture and went with vibrant green on the wall," Neumann says. "I brought in metallic gold and fun colors. Instead of seeing green and red as an obstacle, I used it and worked with it and it turned out to be a fun but elegant room," she says.

The dining room was updated without losing touch of the things that really mattered to Pollard. "She had things that meant a lot to her … Hummels, and those are pretty much timeless," Neumann says. A muted color palette was boosted up a few notches, Neumann says. She had the walls painted vibrant shades of turquoise, once again playing off the colors in the kitchen backsplash.

Various shades of turquoise were used to boost the color in the dining room, while Pollard’s heirloom Hummels were kept as a focal point. The vibrant colors in the upholstery, as well as the walls and carpeting, are also found in the kitchen backsplash, creating continuity throughout the house.

"It’s funny because we did not look at the Mexican handcrafted tile in the kitchen and say, ‘We’re going to use those colors.’ It just ended up that the color that worked in the dining room was turquoise."

Work is still continuing at Pollard’s house, as she and Neumann finish up other rooms in the home.

Overall, Pollard says she’s thrilled with the results of the project, and has a hard time finding a favorite space in her home. "My favorite room is the room I’m in (at the time)," she says. "Each one turned out so great."

Pollard says the color scheme achieved the continuity she wanted throughout the home, and the various lighting fixtures helped add scale to the rooms, drawing the eye upward.

"I was going for the ‘wow’ factor," Pollard says.

Lighting was a whole new area for her, and she credits Neumann for talking her into what she describes as one of the single most important things she did for her home — lighting fixtures by Tracy Porter of Ripon.

"I wasn’t even going to do lighting," Pollard says. "I never look up. I didn’t even know that could be part of the deal."

For those wanting to give their home an updated makeover, Pollard highly suggests working with a designer. "If I added up all the mistakes I’ve made on my own — you more than pay for a designer," she laughs.

Neumann says more people should take the time to update their homes. "It’s like your little domain that supports you and I think more people should put an emphasis on getting their home to the level that they want," she says.