Kitchen Design for Your Lifestyle

Refresh Your Kitchen and Bathroom

Learn More About HarrellCARE for Small Projects, Home Maintenance & Remove and Replace

In Silicon Valley, it can be challenging to find professionals who have the time or even want to take on smaller home improvement or maintenance projects. This often leaves homeowners with some less than appealing options: hiring an under-qualified person, taking on the projects themselves, or deferring needed home maintenance.

Project Manager, Marshall P, works exclusively on HarrellCARE projects. “This unique program was created because we kept getting requests from clients who needed work done but couldn’t find anyone qualified to complete it,” Marshall explains.

That’s where HarrellCARE comes in. A unique and separate service from Harrell’s Design + Build format, it provides the utmost in quality, exceptional customer service, and attention to detail for which Harrell Design + Build is known while focusing solely on the often-overlooked small project niche.

HarrellCARE is designed to fulfill the needs of two specific areas:

  1. Remove & Replace
  2. Small Projects

HarrellCARE Remove & Replace Division

This high efficiency, streamlined segment of HarrellCARE is specifically for kitchen and bathroom “refreshes” that update these spaces aesthetically within the room’s existing footprint.

Project Developer, Tammy W, works with all HarrellCARE Remove & Replace clients to help them choose new materials, fixtures, cabinetry, flooring, and the like to update the look of their kitchen and/or baths.

“The ideal HarrellCARE Remove & Replace client has a kitchen or bath that needs an update but the budget may not allow for major changes or the client simply doesn’t want to take on a major remodel,” shared Tammy. “The scale of the project does not determine the quality of service that is given. We have many return clients that feel like family.”


Any design aesthetic can be achieved, resulting in a beautiful, functional and efficient space without moving walls, plumbing, gas or waste lines. Tammy explains, “Recreating spaces has always been a passion of mine. I thrive on providing creative solutions within the boundaries of the existing walls and plumbing. You can truly transform the feel and look of a room by simply changing the materials. You just have to know how to apply the rules.”

Tammy suggests clients begin with a little homework by creating a Houzz or Pinterest profile and collaborating with her in order to understand the homeowners’ aesthetic goals. “It’s equally important to understand how the homeowner intends to use the space. We may not be moving walls but there may be an opportunity to maximize the existing space by adding an extra drawer or shelf that solves a need. It’s my job to understand what that need is.” 

All necessary permits will be obtained, and any needed code upgrades will be performed. Often times owners are unaware or don’t think they need a permit when they regularly do. It can be surprising for them to find out their small project fits that requirement. The HarrellCARE team arranges all the necessary trades and communicates with the homeowners, ensuring they are aware of what work is scheduled and when. If any issues, such as termites or structural damage, are discovered during demo, these will be also be properly addressed and resolved.

A typical kitchen project takes from 10 to 12 weeks and a bathroom refresh project takes from 5 to 7 weeks and involves two distinct phases: the design phase and the construction phase. Both have defined pricing and focus on quick turn-around with top-quality work. Clients get access to a designer to help them achieve the design they desire while the build team schedules all the necessary trades to keep the project on track, on budget, and on time.

HarrellCARE Small Project Division

The Small Project segment is a catch-all of sorts, a broad service that tackles that never-ending honey-do list that the majority of large companies or contractors won’t even consider. Homeowners often hire handymen but even they often don’t have the bandwidth, desire, or the ability to complete many of these small jobs with quality and code compliance.

“One of the things I hear most from HarrellCARE clients is that they’ve called dozens of businesses but Harrell is the only company that has called them back,” says Marshall.

Marshall clarifies the HarrellCARE Small Projects service as having one primary criteria: all jobs must require “zero to minimal designer involvement,” he explains. “Other than that, it can entail almost anything, from touch-up painting, installing new light fixtures, replacing a window, weather stripping doors, rebuilding decks, installing a shower door, a bathroom vanity, or even hanging Christmas lights. You name it, and odds are, it falls within the HarrellCARE Small Projects scope.”

Many small projects involve multiple trades such as electricians, plumbers, structural engineers, and painters as well as required code upgrades and permitting. Marshall’s dedicated HarrellCARE team handles it all to minimize homeowner headaches while completing each project in a timely manner and on budget.

Depending upon the type of project, a homeowner will pay either Time & Materials or, if the work can be defined, a Fixed Price will be agreed upon in advance. “We may also draw up a pre-construction services agreement if the job is fairly complex, entailing a lengthy timeframe due to structural work and permitting requirements,” says Marshall.

If you have a kitchen or bath that has a few decades under its belt and could use a refresh, or a honey-do list that simply never gets done, the HarrellCARE team has got your back. To learn more about HarrellCARE, give us a call. Marshall promises: he will call you back. To see photos of some of our Remove & Replace spaces, visit our HarrellCARE page.

A Menlo Park kitchen adds a pop of color with a beautiful blue stove.

Creative Kitchen Cabinet Solutions

Whether you enjoy baking, entertaining, cooking gourmet meals, or are a “heat and eat” family, every home needs a functional, beautiful kitchen.

Kitchens are the heart of the home. It’s where families gather and connect. Food has a way of bringing us together, and it’s much more enjoyable to create delicious dishes when our kitchen is designed in a creative, organized manner.

Harrell Design + Build Designer, Margarita Panchenko, confirms that a kitchen’s creative possibilities are endless, hinging on how the homeowners live and work in the space.

When digging into the details with clients, one of Margarita’s favorite questions is, “What do you hate most about your kitchen?” She stresses that when remodeling a kitchen, homeowners shouldn’t worry about designing it purely for resale value — design it for you.

Margarita offers a few creative kitchen concepts to get your culinary juices flowing.

Wide-Ranging Organization

Understanding how a family uses their kitchen is paramount to guiding a Designer toward flow and function that fits their lifestyle.

“I’ve been in many kitchens and have realized that most standard cabinets don’t allow for truly functional organization,” muses Margarita. She offers an example of cooking oils and sauces stored in high, hard-to-reach cabinets, frequently-used cooking utensils in a cluttered drawer in the opposite side of the kitchen’s cooking area, and spices in yet another far-reaching corner.

Thoughtfully thinking through what items are used when cooking on the range (or cooktop) allows for creating “functional focal points” — easily accessible, nearby storage designed for a specific use.

She suggests a stack of varying depth drawers flanking the cooktop. Plan for shallow drawers on top for commonly used spatulas, tongs, and other utensils, and deeper drawers for oils, vinegar, and non-perishable sauces, along with a dedicated drawer for organizing spices.

“Everything is at hand, which minimizes the need to reach up high in one cabinet, dig through a drawer in another area of the kitchen, and rifle through a sea of spices in yet another cabinet,” Margarita points out.

Appliance Lifts and Garages

There is an appliance for every culinary need, but who wants their counter cluttered with them? That’s where appliance garages and lifts come to the rescue.

The appliance lift is ideal for heavy machines such as stand mixers. The hinged lift mechanism is installed in a base cabinet. The mixer sits on a platform and, when needed, is pulled out and up, creating a mini-workspace.

The lift and mixer require dedicated cabinet space, but it’s a worthwhile investment for bakers and cooks who use their stand mixer frequently.

An appliance garage is a countertop storage center with doors that open (or roll) upward (or can retract as a pocket door, too) when in use, providing quick and easy access to frequently used devices, such as toasters, coffee makers, and air fryers. When not in use, the appliances are out of sight, the doors blend seamlessly with the rest of the cabinetry.

Cabinet Pantry Transforms into a Countertop

For kitchens with a compact and cozy footprint, a cabinet pantry can be reimagined to function as an “as needed” countertop.

Rather than a pull-out shelf with sides, install a flat and sturdy side-less surface that rolls out, extending three to four feet in length at typical countertop height. Also crucial, says Margarita, are pantry doors that open out and slide back (retract into the cabinet), creating an unobscured workspace.

Margarita stresses that the cabinet must be deep enough to conceal the retractable doors, although bifold doors are an option for shallower pantries.

This makeshift countertop isn’t for daily use but saves the day when multiple cooks are in the kitchen. “It’s also a fantastic space for mixing and serving cocktails,” she points out.

Making the inside of the cabinet and the pull-out “counter” visually appealing and installing electrical outlets adds functionality and design.

Microwave Magic

Microwaves are high-use appliances, which means they should be close at hand. But having them take up valuable countertop real estate is less than desirable. Having a microwave above the range is also not a prime location as steam and heat lessen the appliance’s lifespan. Plus, it’s simply not the most attractive option!

There are a myriad of ways to conceal microwaves, while still ensuring they remain accessible. These include under-counter built-in microwave drawers, or having the appliance sit on a freestanding open shelf, hidden in a cabinet, or tucked away in a beautiful built-in pantry.

Top to Bottom Bakeware

There’s nothing more cumbersome than digging through stacks of cookware in a cabinet or drawer to locate the mixing bowl, baking tin, frying pan, or stockpot you need.

Installing a tall, narrow pull-out cabinet next to or nearby your oven or range offers multiple “easy to see” shelves for pots, pans, tins, and colanders.

For those who prefer deep drawers below their cooktop, note that having a shallow drawer for lids up-levels organization.

Pull-out Pantries

Pull-out pantries next to the stove or oven provide quick and easy access to pastas, grains, and canned goods. Roll-out drawers equipped with sides and see-through fronts allow cooks to quickly find necessary ingredients.

These pull-out pantries can be segmented into specific storage areas. Margarita suggests having a tall cabinet pantry with multiple cabinet doors, each with a combination of different height drawers intermixed with shelves. “This creates intentional, organized storage for cans, bottles, boxes, and containers.”

Artful Open Shelving

Open shelving is another convenient and artistic storage option, working well for dishes and glassware, especially in combination with cabinets. They look stunning surrounding sinks, interspersed with upper and lower cabinets, and in walk-in pantries. Shelves also accentuate a countertop to ceiling backsplash.

Shelving should be thick, sturdy, and easy to clean, while recessed, built-in lighting showcases attractive plates, mugs, and stemware.

Island Extension

Islands are blank slates for creative functionality. Overhanging the countertop material creates an informal eating area. Curve it for a unique and organic flair, add legs or extend waterfall edges for support. Drop it down, and you have a dining table.

For wine lovers with a small space and limited storage, the vertical area below an island or peninsula can become an artsy wine rack by placing pegs underside of the island that allows bottles to “lay down” horizontally.

Are you ready to get creative in your kitchen? We invite you to connect with one of our award-winning Designers for a complimentary consultation. Or, visit the Portfolio page on our website to peruse our remodeling projects.

Woman Founded and 100% Employee-Owned, Harrell Design + Build has created distinctive homes in Silicon Valley and on the mid-Peninsula since 1985. Our Design + Build Team is here to help you reimagine your home inside and out.

The 4-1-1 on Flooring Options

Bathroom with green wave backsplash

The Beauty of Backsplashes: From Minimalistic to Artistic

Top Tech and Trends From KBIS 2021

Harrell Design + Build Designers Barb Wingo and Brooke Nicholson virtually attended KBIS (The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show®), the preeminent and highly anticipated kitchen and bath design event. In association with the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), KBIS offers an inspirational, interactive platform showcasing the latest industry products, trends, and technologies.

The topics and products presented at KBIS confirmed that homeowners seek to repurpose and reimagine the spaces in their homes. It came as no surprise that outdoor living, smart home technology, cleanliness and hygiene, and Universal Design continue to gain traction.

“Harrell has seen firsthand how spending so much time in their homes has clients exploring new ways to improve it inside and out,” affirms Barb.

“The environment and eco-friendly renovation was another hot topic,” Brooke contributes. “Luxury kitchen upcycling is a trend that is also gaining a foothold.”

Here’s a quick peek into our Designers’ top KBIS take-aways for 2021.

Taking Life Outside

The pandemic and ensuing stay-at-home orders have upped the ante for indoor-outdoor living. Travel restrictions have homeowners seeking to design memorable experiences in their own homes. Barb points outs, “Rather than traveling to resort destinations, the trend is to transform yards to create a multi-functional retreat atmosphere at home.”

Through expanding usable outdoor square footage, homeowners also extend the value of their homes. Families are looking for covered outdoor areas that offer protection from the elements with all the comforts of inside spaces. They want amenities that allow them to cook, dine, relax, entertain, work, study and learn al fresco.

Pergolas and cabanas expand outdoor space by creating exterior “rooms” that can be fully equipped with a myriad of conveniences, including outdoor kitchens, pizza ovens, surround sound, WiFi, lighting, and outdoor furnishings that rival their interior cousins in comfort.

Watching TV outside, participating in Zoom meetings and social hours, and family movie nights under the stars have all given rise to the popularity of projection. The anti-glare technology enables a vibrant, clear image even in full sun, and it rolls up and hides away when not in use.

“Outdoor living has been a hot trend for years, but the trend now is to design exterior spaces that serve as a destination, offering many of the luxury amenities of travel locations. Homeowners want a multi-functional area they can use as an office, movie theatre, learning environment, and staycation escape all in one,” Barb points out.

Smart Kitchen/Smart Appliances

Smart appliances that are part of the connected environment in a home bring additional value to the owner. With the ability to update wirelessly and customized with enhanced capabilities, this technology is a future-proofed investment, continuing to provide value over time instead of becoming obsolete.

In addition to dedicated displays on the appliance, many appliances can be voice or touch controlled by smartphone apps. “Your connected washing machine can notify you when the cycle is complete; your oven can ping you when it’s preheated; the dishwasher will alert you when the drying cycle is finished,” Barb elaborates.

Smart food storage technology helps reduce food waste and expense. These devices track what’s in your refrigerator and pantry and informs you when items expire. They can even suggest recipes with the ingredients you have on hand. Brooke explains, “Your smart phone can show you what is inside as well, so if you can’t remember how much milk you have while you are at the store, you can just turn on the camera inside your fridge and have a peek!”

Another top tech appliance touted at KBIS is the LG Washtower. This full-size, full-capacity washer/dryer takes up half the space, stacking neatly in a kitchen, closet, or other location, eliminating the need for a dedicated laundry room. The centrally located control panel for both the washer and dryer makes it easily accessible. Built-in artificial intelligence detects fabric texture and load size, automatically selecting the proper wash motions and drying temperatures. The turbo wash setting with five variable sprays thoroughly cleans a load in under 30 minutes. LG also has a Styler steam closet that fits perfectly tucked up against the Washtower. The WiFi-enabled steam closet is ideal for sanitizing and reducing odors in sporting and fitness gear, reducing wrinkles, and gently refreshing delicate fabrics.

The GE Kitchen Hub provides access to all Android-based devices from your kitchen microwave, including other smart appliances, lighting, etc. The Hub can access the internet, streaming services, email, and offers video chat capability. Oh, and it can help you cook, too! The Hub’s scan-to-cook capability reads package bar codes and programs the proper cook time and temperature. The touch screen allows users to search guided recipes, and a built-in camera tells you if you’ve missed a step or if what you’re cooking is cooked appropriately.

Bold Fixtures and Finishes

New offerings in kitchen and bath fixtures allow for even greater personalization of the home as a reflection of the homeowner’s unique lifestyle.

Kohler offers new hues from calming to vibrant for kitchens and baths. Kohler’s Iron/Tone sink comes in a dozen shades, including Lavender Gray, Black Plus, and Indigo Blue.

Stunning, statement faucets and plumbing fixtures are available in Matte Black, and Vibrant Brushed Moderne Brass as well as Vibrant Ombré effects in Rose Gold/Polished Nickel or Titanium/Rose Gold.

Hygiene and Hands-Free

COVID accelerated the popularity of personal hygiene toilet seats, both for cleanliness in the face of the virus and self-reliance from those infamous toilet paper shortages. The once separate functions of toilets and bidets have been combined into one fixture, sometimes referred to as bidet seat or washlet.

A bidet seat can be part of a new toilet or added to an existing toilet. Equipped with auto on/off and auto-select single or dual flush capabilities, these intelligent toilets offer a completely hands-free experience. Many people find this appealing from a cleanliness standpoint.

While most toilet/bidet fixtures require a nearby electrical outlet, some, like Kohler’s Purewash™ manual bidet toilet seat, require no electricity or batteries. The Purewash installs in minutes, connecting to the toilet’s water supply line.


Also in high demand are touchless or hands-free faucets. Motion-sensing and voice-activated fixtures, like Delta’s TRINSIC VoiceIQ™ kitchen faucet connects to voice-enabled platforms like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Homeowners can turn the water on and off, pour specific amounts, and warm-up with spoken commands. The TRINSIC also has a hand wash feature, providing the proper length of time pre-set for lathering, scrubbing, and rinsing, a great feature for households with kids.

Luxury Kitchen Upcycling

Sustainable and eco-friendly products and services continue to be on-trend. For homeowners who plan to remodel their kitchens, upcycling is a way to give kitchen cabinets, countertops, fixtures, and appliances a new lease on life. Organizations like Renovation Angel receives donated high-end kitchens and, in turn, upcycles luxury cabinetry and appliances in other homes. They have partnered with Miele, Sub-Zero, and Wolfe, along with numerous other high-end brands.

The Renovation Angel Upcycling process:

  1. Renovation Angel conducts an inspection
  2. They provide a net value estimate
  3. They carefully remove/demo the kitchen
  4. A third-party appraisal (Approximately $450) is conducted
  5. Tax deduction paperwork provided upon appraisal completion
  6. For those purchasing a upcycled kitchen, you’ll need to hire an outside party for installation

Brooke explains more about this unique take on upcycling, “Renovation Angel takes donations of kitchens and offers significant tax credits. People buying the used kitchens receive a deep discount on elegant kitchens and appliances while also reducing recycling and landfill tonnage.”

Universal Design

Universal Design is an evergreen trend that gained more attention as families sheltered in place. The process of creating products and environments accessible to people with a wide range of abilities, Universal Design applies to people of all ages and in all stages of life. Independent design principles and products benefit those who live in the home and to those who come to visit.

In addition to sleek and stylish Universally Designed products, voice-activated smart technology makes life easier for those with varying abilities. Voice commands turn on and off lights and appliances, including activation of a pre-set morning or evening routine. Verbal instructions or motion sensors activate faucets and fixtures. Water sensing systems monitor and send alerts regarding water leaks. Smart thermostats can adjust the ambient temperature with an app or via voice command. Smart keypads allow doors to be locked upon command and unlocked with an app. Personal hygiene bidet seats allow for independent self-care.

To discover more about the latest technology and trends for your home, we invite you to attend any of our complimentary virtual workshops.

To explore the remodeling possibilities your home has to offer, connect with one of our talented Designers.

Woman Founded and 100% Employee-Owned, Harrell Design + Build has created distinctive homes in Silicon Valley and on the mid-Peninsula since 1985. Our Design + Build Team is here to help you reimagine your home inside and out.

Cut the Clutter with Custom Kitchen Cabinet Storage

What’s Trending in Tile

Creating Contrast with Kitchen Cabinets

Your imagination is the limit when it comes to design. As the entertainment and gathering epicenter of every home, the kitchen is an aesthetic focal point where function and “fashion” join forces. Using two-tone kitchen cabinets or mixing and matching materials creates contrast and visual interest. Whatever your personal style preference, from farmhouse to contemporary to modern, choosing complementary hues makes a statement.

There are a variety of ways in which to mix and match cabinet colors, some of which have definitely fallen into favor among homeowners. One is by having the island a different hue than perimeter cabinetry. This makes the island a focal point of the space, especially when using a complementary yet different color countertop than the primary counters.

Gaining traction is having upper cabinets a different tonal value than lower cabinets. It could be light and dark grays, differing values of white or blue, or two completely different hues, such as gray and white, black and white, or navy and gray. This concept can also be applied to painting all tall cabinets a distinctive color.

blue cabinetry with orange oven colored appliance on left, kitchen with island on right

According to Harrell Designer, Sara Jorgensen, one of the hottest trends she is seeing is matte black. “Matte black is on the rise,” says Sara. “It is being used in fixtures, lighting, and hardware. It is simple, clean, and visually dynamic.”

Another way to incorporate the high contrast, rustic chic of matte black is by applying a black glaze on cabinets. “This ties in that black element in a subtle yet very distinct manner,” Sara explains. Using floating shelves in another way to add in contrast. Some or all of the upper cabinets can be replaced with shelves in any style from modern, traditional, or contemporary. Using wood or black hardware makes an impact. Open shelves do require more dusting but the visual punch is well worth it more with many homeowners.

For homeowners who love the look of wood, Sara suggests using open bookcases, banks of drawers, end panels, or other accent pieces, the natural wood making them “pop” against painted cabinets.

“The grain of walnut is very desirable but the cost can be prohibitive for large banks of cabinets,” Sara shares. “Another option is using walnut as a contrasting accent for a wine rack, bookshelf, or for another key element in the kitchen.”

Whatever your preference, mixing and matching cabinet colors and materials should be deliberate and purposeful. From a design perspective, less is always more, and a thoughtful approach will result in a truly stunning kitchen or bathroom.

Woman-founded and 100% employee-owned, Harrell Design + Build has been creating distinctive homes since 1985. If you are considering transforming your space, allow our award-winning Design+Build team help you create the home of your dreams. Reach out to us to set up your design consultation or sign up for one of our frequent and informative educational workshops.

A modern, gray universal design bathroom features a curbless shower and tile details.

Harrell Design + Build Designers Win Multiple NARI META Awards

Two of Harrell Design + Build’s Designers were honored recently at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Silicon Valley awards gala. Gloria Carlson and Debra Winston received coveted META Remodeling Awards for multiple projects that transformed the homes of three Harrell Design + Build clients. Both designers have received META honors in the past but, as Gloria shares, “A large part of the award is the fact that we’ve solved very unique problems, making dramatic and often life-changing transformations in our clients’ homes. Clients love to feel that their needs were met but in such a way that their home was acknowledged as an award-winner.”

META, short for metamorphosis, “signifies the transformation process and beautiful results that can be accomplished through a remodeling project.” The Silver, Gold and Platinum awards are categorized by project price point and include everything from interior redesigns of kitchens, baths and living spaces to residential landscape design to entire home remodels.

Designer Debra Winston won multiple META Gold awards for two projects within one residence, which incorporated Universal Design principles to enable the homeowners to age in place. The first project took a small, outdated master bathroom from “Blah to BLING” while the second Gold award winning project transformed the compartmentalized floor plan into a spacious and dramatic interior.

Blah to Bling

Two META Gold awards for Residential Bathroom under $100,000 & Universal Design Bathroom

“This couple isn’t afraid of color or of embracing their unique style and personality in the home,” Debra remarks. “This project definitely proves that Universal Design can be beautiful and functional.”

Dark, dated, and depressing, this original San Jose master bath was small and was not wheelchair-accessible. The corner shower was much too small for assisted bathing and had a high curb that created an entry barrier. Debra reconfigured the area, more than doubling its size by taking space from the hall bathroom. In its place Debra designed a stunning spacious roll-in shower with teak folding bench, grab bars, and a handheld shower to make bathing safe, easy and accessible. The wall-hung Toto Washlet toilet and white high-gloss floating vanity with Silestone quartz white platinum counters are functional and attractive. The “bling” comes from wall, floor, and backsplash tiles with burnished metallic finishes, glittering mosaics, and silver “ribbon candy” pendant lights that add sparkle.

Debra relates, “One of the wife’s guilty pleasures is collecting fragrances and nail polish. To display her collection in style while offering easily accessible storage, we added was a 16-inch X 5-foot Robern medicine cabinet.”

Dark to Dramatic

META Gold Award for Residential Interior $250,001-$500,000

The same homeowners also needed to convert the entry, kitchen and great room of their home to increase functionality and accessibility. The existing 1950’s kitchen was dark, narrow, and closed off from the living space by a 16-foot long wall.

Removing the entry coat closet and the dividing wall created an open floor plan, allowing ease of movement and linking the great room and kitchen together. The same glossy white cabinets grace the updated kitchen and are accented by vivid glass “wavy” backsplash tiles and matching pendants above the contrasting dark island. The kitchen is illuminated with recessed lighting and a skylight.

Luxury vinyl plank flooring extends into the great room, which had a dated brick fireplace flanked by built-in bookcases with scalloped wood trim, all which had been painted white. The space was transformed by applying concrete over the existing brick for an industrial look, adding metal mesh door panels to the bookcases, and matching the color of the kitchen island. Floating shelves and an edgy wallpaper transform the space into one that is functional, accessible, and captures the homeowner’s distinct style.

“The homeowners aren’t afraid to be bold with color, texture, and design,” Debra explains. “In their previous home, they used a small-run “stealth print” wallcovering and decided to continue this adventurous design aesthetic by incorporating a fanciful skeleton wallpaper as a feature wall in their new great room.”

Last but not least, all interior doors were painted a charcoal gray, and the home’s exterior was modernized, removing the dated scalloped facia and adding horizontal cedar plank siding. The stucco was painted a deep teal and the exterior entry door a bright orange, creating curb appeal with significant WOW factor.

Small to Spacious & Stunning

META Gold Award for Residential Interior Remodel $100,000-$250,000

Harrell Design + Build Senior Designer, Gloria Carlson, was a META award winner for her transformative design on a two-story Menlo Park home. The layout of the client’s home restricted her ability to age in place as there was no bed and bathroom space on the main level that offered the necessary accessibility.

To achieve a functional, accessible, and beautiful master suite, Gloria reconfigured the existing floor plan, which included a barely usable ensuite “micro” bathroom and small closet, with an adjacent sub-standard “bedroom” that was too small to be used as one.

By incorporating the footprint of the second bedroom, Gloria created a luxurious master bathroom and walk-in closet, both 3-1/2 times larger than their original spaces. The once infinitesimal closet was expanded to a walk-in closet, allowing the owner to store all of her clothing in one place whereas before, it was scattered in various closets throughout the home.

A large shower includes accessibility features such as a low curb, folding teak bench and grab bars. The client and Gloria worked together to lay out the shower tiles to mimic hot air balloons floating skyward, reminding the homeowner of one of her favorite getaways.

Gloria interspersed numerous other personal touches reminiscent of vacations including custom cabinet knobs made from stones found near the owner’s beloved mountain cabin on the double vanity and seated make-up area.

“The homeowner is a tall woman and she wanted the bathroom designed to comfortably fit her height,” Gloria explains. “Now she has a master ensuite bath that not only fits her personality but her stature, enabling her to comfortably and safely live in her home for years to come.”

Baker’s Dream Kitchen & Functional Garage

META Gold Award for Residential Interior Remodel $250,001-$500,000

Gloria designed a dream kitchen for another Menlo Park client, a close-knit family that loves to bake. Their adult son is a professional baker while the husband makes 1,000 truffles at a time multiple times a year. Their kitchen was attractive yet the confined space was not conducive to the cooking and baking functionality this family desired.

“This family is very unique and as such, had very specific requirements and challenges to solve in their home remodel,” Gloria states. “Not only were they avid bakers and chefs but they had a menagerie of exotic pets whose needs they also wanted to embrace in their remodeling project.”

Significant changes to the structure were made to create the dream kitchen that fit the family’s lifestyle. A load-bearing wall was removed, and a massive engineered beam inserted into the ceiling framing opened the kitchen and dining areas. It also allowed for a large island with seating for four, a lower counter area for the son’s baking while the husband used the large, higher portion of the island for making his truffles. With so many special baking appliances and accoutrements, storage was at a premium. Appliance “garages” were added for mixers and other large items while overflow storage was added to the home’s garage. The end result is an open, expansive space filled with natural and artificial light, colorful cabinets, plentiful prep space and storage, high-end appliances, and a mosaic backsplash, which is a nod to the family’s Spanish heritage.

The garage itself also underwent a significant METAmorphosis, transforming it into a fully functional space for laundry and overflow kitchen storage. Gloria also designed a secure location to store high-end bicycles in addition to a separate area for storing food for their tortoises, iguanas, snakes and other reptile pets.

Founded by Iris Harrell, Employee-Owned Harrell Design + Build has been transforming distinctive homes since 1985 in the Bay Area. If you are considering a METAmorphosis of your Silicon Valley or Mid-Peninsula home, Harrell Design + Build’s award-winning Design + Build team can make your residential dreams a reality. Explore our website to see more of our projects, learn about our company or to schedule a complimentary consultation.