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Publication Date: 2019-07-10

Design Insights

Designer to the Rescue: Kendall Wilkinson

When seasoned designer Kendall Wilkinson was originally called in to perform a partial remodel on a large contemporary home, the scale proved a challenge — so much so that Wilkinson eventually overhauled the entire house. Here, Wilkinson explains how, with help from Feldman Architecture, she and her team met the challenges of scale head-on, from layout to furnishings.

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The primary design challenge of this house was the sheer scale of it. What began as a partial remodel turned into a major overhaul resulting in a spacious, brand new home with high ceilings and immense windows. However, the challenge of dealing with an open floor plan made us more creative as we had to ground the space with furniture groupings and “moments” to create intimacy.

The first roadblock we ran into was the stairs and their orientation in the original plan. Initially the stairs were located directly in front of the entry — we repositioned them so the foyer now has an interesting focal point with dramatic art, and the stairs are to one side and seen in profile.

Another challenge we faced were the furnishings. The ceiling heights and windows in the home are grand and really bring in the outside world beautifully, but finding furnishings that would balance these elements was tricky. The client’s taste was very modern with a passion for Mid-Century furniture, which by design is typically lower and smaller in scale. So the furnishings were not “dwarfed” by the architecture, we used larger light fixtures that were tiered to fill the volume above, thus uniting all elements to create a well-proportioned whole.

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