Over a year ago, Fatimah and Marco were considering their options on whether to build a new home for their young family or find a home that needed some updating. Lucky for them, they found an expert that specialized in both real estate and home design, Natalie Martinez. After deciding to buy instead of build, they settled into their Atlanta, Georgia home with their two growing sons ready to personalize it to fit their needs.
Fatimah was not a fan of the original dark outdated kitchen. “When we bought the house one and a half years ago, one of the things I promised her was that she could get it redone”, explains Marco. So they once again enlisted the help of Natalie Martinez and her team to help transform this once dim uninspired space into a bright and fresh kitchen reminiscent of the farmhouse kitchen Fatimah’s grandmother had when she was growing up.
Natalie describes the process: “Marco and Fatimah were first real estate clients who at first thought they wanted to build a new home and then decided they wanted to find a home that needed a little personalization and TLC. We helped them find a home and then worked closely with them to design a kitchen inspired by family history and farmhouse style. Collaborating with and listening to our clients is what we do really well. We strive to create spaces that bring people together and that feel personal and authentic. The way we do that is by asking a lot of questions and by understanding their everyday routines.”
Wall paint in Conservative Gray from Sherwin Williams | Pendant lights by Olde Brick Lighting
Fatimah and Marco explain their collaboration with Natalie: “We were introduced to Natalie Martinez through a mutual friend, and Natalie and her design team at Natalie Martinez Architecture guided us through the process. We met, took a couple tours of projects Natalie was working on so she could get a sense of our style, likes, dislikes, etc., and then sat down to make decisions on the space.We worked with her designers and did some searching ourselves in order to find what ultimately went into the space.”
Thankfully, Marco is very handy, and to keep costs low he took on most of the electrical and plumbing work, and the role of general contractor. “I am none of these by trade, but decently handy so the demolition, electrical, and plumbing portions were not terribly difficult. However, the GC part: getting the flooring/tile company, cabinet installers, and the countertop installers scheduled in an order that would work for everyone was pretty painful. We are fortunate enough to have a small but full kitchen in the basement, where we had our meals for almost 6 months while this process took place”, explains Marco.
Dark walnut stained floors refinished by Moda Floors & Interiors
“I love the open cabinets near the sink. I can display my special glassware there without any fuss”, exclaims Fatimah.
Countertop installation by Global Home Construction
The island with a built-in attached table is in a dried thyme green color and features a contrasting lighter colored quartz called Fusion by HanStone as compared to the darker quartz in Meteor Shower by Daltile in the surrounding counters. A perfect eating spot for kids, the island provides functionality and makes a nice statement in the space.
Sink: Signature Hardware Risinger Fireclay Farmhouse Sink found on eBay. Faucet: Single hole pull-down faucet with spring spout in polished chrome from Signature Hardware
Properly fitting the farmhouse style sink became a challenge as there were differing opinions between subcontractors. Marco points out, “If I had to do it again, I would just make sure that the cabinet and counter installers were the same people.”
Cabinets: Metro Colonial White Cabinets from Kitchen & Bath Solutions | Cabinet pulls and knobs in Venetian Bronze from Build.com | Tile backsplash: Nanda Acquarella 3″ x 6″ subway tiles in soft white laid in a 1/3 offset pattern from Moda Floors & Interiors
One of the goals for the project was authenticity. To support this goal, Marco and Fatimah selected products that had elements that felt handmade or were a part of history. For example, we ended up using an artisan tile that looked handmade. Hardware selections had a patina to look aged. Natalie Martinez
Stove: Whirlpool black on stainless 5.8 cubic feet freestanding gas range with center burner
One of Fatimah and Marco’s favorite new additions to the kitchen is the wall mount range hood by XtremeAir that they bought on Amazon. The original kitchen had an over-the-range microwave with a recirculating vent. With some outside help from a plumber to relocate a gas pipe, Marco cut a hole to the outside of the house to install their new hood. “We can cut onions and never shed a tear because the suction is so powerful!”, says Fatimah.
“The kitchen is filled with heirlooms, vintage pieces, and a plate collection from trips taken over the years. Decorating the space with these objects makes the kitchen personal and adds meaning and memories to an everyday busy life with kids”, says Natalie.
We love our new kitchen! It is definitely brighter, nicer, and more functional than before. Marco & Fatimah
Natalie makes a great point, “Why tear down a home and build new if all you really need is to renovate? This renovation will allow them to enjoy their space for years to come and will help them sell their home for top dollar if the time ever comes when they want to sell.”
Through design we have the unique opportunity to create spaces that fit the personality and reflect the values of our clients. My favorite part of the project is that Marco and Fatimah have a space that let’s them celebrate family through food and casual gatherings. Natalie Martinez