Melrose House: Our latest remodel rethinks layout to add sunlight


Our newest residential project, is a remodel of a Southport Corridor / Lakeview house, which we transformed from a disjointed series of rooms into a light-filled, cohesive and comfortable living space. Our renovation began with a rethinking of the layout of the existing building, which made the unit feel too much like an apartment. The kitchen and entryway were cordoned off from the main room—and access to natural light.

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We privatized the side entry door, and opened the stair to the unit. The existing kitchen was relegated to a corner with a wall and mechanical ductwork obstructing it from the central living space. We tore down the wall, moved the ductwork (no small feat) and joined the kitchen with the living room, which enhanced the open effect of the new entryway, allowing the windows to spectacularly illuminate the space. By moving the kitchen wall and ductwork, we were able to relocate the powder room (which we outfitted with a vintage door from a 1920s Reid’s pharmacy) into the stairwell, leaving just enough space for a mini-garage to stow children’s toys.

melrose house web 03bookshelf (after)

blog post stair entry bookshelfbookshelf (before)

The shelving that lined the stairs was a work of 90’s pop-architecture with glass shelves and random light wood. We simplified the layout, and toned down the color to complement the staircase. The floor and main staircase are composed of reclaimed shipping crates, originally of Tropical hardwoods, which lend a beautiful variation in color and pattern to the flooring—and influenced a monochrome palette for the rest of the house.

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With two small children, open railings on the staircase weren’t an option, so we installed a removable hanger and glass rail that would be taken down when they got older. The second floor remained largely in tact. We remodeled the kid’s bathroom so that the tub wasn’t awkwardly placed at the entrance, and also added a laundry room in the hallway. The master bathroom was resurrected from an unappealing miami vice aesthetic, and converted into a spa-like bathroom with softly hued ceramic walls and stone floor, the perfect place to unwind, membership and commute free.

The new bathroom now has a free standing, canoe-like tub (oars sold separately), which is adjacent to custom-designed walnut shoji closet doors (pictured above, with the children’s bathroom), keeping clothes and suitcases serenely tucked away. Other materials of note include salvaged pendant lights from architectural anarchy, and a dining table from Gathering Moss in London.

More before & after photos: 

reclaimed phone booth door (left) and sconce (right)

before bathroom tiling

master bathroom (before)

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master bathroom (after)

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salvaged light shades

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master bedroom (after)

custom shoji door (left) and kid’s bath (right)

master bathroom (after)

hallway (before)

kitchen and family room picture

living room (before)

kitchen (after)

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kitchen (before)


Structural Engineer: Rockey Structures
General Contractor: Helios
Photography: moss
Wood Flooring: Viridian, Jakarta Light Sort
Kitchen cabinetry: Custom design by moss
Salvaged kitchen pendants: Architectural Anarchy
Reclaimed Powder Room Door: Urban Remains
Recessed Downlights: Halo / Juno
Sconces: Schoolhouse Electric
Master Bathroom Pendant: West Elm
Living Room Pendant: West Elm
Dining Room Pendant: Schoolhouse Electric
Kitchen counters: Carrera Marble / Black Granite
Shoji Closet Doors: custom design by moss
Dining Table: Gathering Moss