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A Renovation Love Story


At KHD we love stories.  Happily, we get to live them with our clients every month! In celebration of Valentine’s Day, here’s a recent one.

This sweet couple had been married for about a year when we first met them back in 2016. They asked for our help to transform their master suite into a cozy hotel inspired retreat for two.

A few months ago, we were thrilled to be invited back to help them re-envision their main floor living area.  Like most later-in-life marriages, they had blended their furniture and the result was a bit chaotic. Delighted, we dove right into Design Discovery, the first stage of our design process, including documenting the existing space by taking measurements and lots of photos!

Here’s how it looked when we started:

Then the fun really began with our in-depth interview of our homeowners. Because we already knew this couple well, we had a foundational understanding of how they lived in their home, but taking nothing for granted, we worked through our complete Client Lifestyle Questionnaire. (If you are thinking about renovating, call us and we will be happy to share it with you. It may trigger some great ideas for your own home!) They shared with us their goals for the new space:

  • Seating for 6-8 for when they entertain in their sunken living room
  • Add a gas fireplace to warm up the space as it felt a bit cold and sad for them
  • Make the new fireplace the focal point in the room (instead of the TV)
  • Add comfortable and inviting furniture pieces for multiple purposes; watching television, reading and snuggling
  • Because their location is rural, easy care flooring was a must
  • Freshen up the kitchen, but keep the existing cabinetry, which was in great condition
  • Replace the microwave and add the right panel to finish the face of it
  • Replace the backsplash and add under cabinet lighting to make the kitchen more functional
  • New lighting throughout
  • Add triple-glazed energy saving windows to help with regulating the temperature both in winter and summer
  • Replace the tired-looking oak baseboard and window trim with fresh, painted material
  • Retexture the popcorn ceiling
  • Paint the walls a fresher colour
  • Replace the existing 6″ spotlights with 4″ warm LED lights
  • Add art lighting
  • Add new light fixtures throughout the home

I love this collaborative part of our process (well, truthfully, I love every part). Because we always bring two designers out for this intake interview, we toss ideas around during our drive back to the studio and compare our impressions of the space and potential ways to optimize it. This is SO fun and often leads to some really cool solutions. Inspired, we began to pull together a fresh new concept for their living room and kitchen. Then we developed a large selection of options for them to review at our design concept meeting and choose from, including:

  • Custom furniture pieces to maximize the seating in the space and to allow for beautiful, cozy, snuggly fabrics
  • A range of area rugs to ground and define the conversation area in front of the fire
  • A stain/shading proposal for the kitchen to unify it with the living area
  • A range of gorgeous lighting options to choose from; both lamps and fixtures
  • A proposal to lift the sunken living room floor (and the windows) to allow people to flow more easily between the spaces (and, most importantly, to allow for aging-in-place)
  • Multiple groupings of fabrics for the beautiful new furniture
  • End tables, sofa tables and an exquisite group of TV consoles to choose from
  • Bright, easy-care flooring
  • Various options for the gas fireplace: different fireboxes and types of stone

We are always excited to share our ideas and refine them with our clients in this first presentation meeting. Design concept meetings are like Christmas morning: imagine having your dream space coming to life in front of your eyes! Having made their selections, our smiling clients departed and we began the work of developing our budget and work plan to finalize the related renovation costs to bring this whole thing to life.  Additionally, this is where we develop our timeline for the construction stage. After meeting with our clients to review the budget and timeline, we were off to the races! While our clients traveled the world (literally!), we were busy transforming their home.


Once the construction was completed, it was time to deliver all the beautiful furniture pieces and place them carefully in their new home. This is the most fun day we have at KHD – revealing all our hard work to our clients. Voila! And what did our client say about their new space? “Our new fireplace has been working overtime keeping us cozy in this cold weather… just loving our new home!” At KHD, we love helping people fall in love with their homes.



Krista Hermanson Design is a Calgary Interior Designer that specializes in residential renovations. We have worked with many families in Calgary who have felt disconnected to a certain area of their home, and we listen just as hard when our clients talk about budgets and timelines as we do when they talk about their vision for the space. It’s this process that has enabled us to complete hundreds of renovations on budget and on schedule.

Want to get in touch with us in 2019? Lets Talk.

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