Our Desert Spoon Project is near and dear to our hearts because...it is our owner and lead designer Maegan Blau's personal home! This is the test kitchen for a lot of our design ideas and we are re-revealing the project because we have made some improvements.
This home reflects Maegan's modern southwest personal style. She paid homage to the desert in her material choices and color palette and added subtle details that create function and beauty in every niche. Oh and did we mention...of course it is perfectly accessible for Maegan and her family! Maegan has been a wheelchair user for 12 years and lives in the home with her husband Chris and dogs Odin & Luna. With Maegan at sitting height and Chris coming in at 6'4" tall, this was an interesting project for us to flex our adaptive design muscles.
We invite you to come through this home with us as we share some insight to the process behind the design. Follow along to future blog posts as we will be going into more detail on this project.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: LIFECREATED PHOTOGRAPHY
The heart of the home, and boy this is a good one! Believe it or not this was once a builder basic kitchen that Maegan had a big vision for when buying the home. This kitchen started with dark cabinets and dark granite, basic as can be. Our vision for this space was to create a light kitchen with lots of contrast and without the use of white cabinets. We chose to play and emphasize the element of line. Strong horizontals are broken up with subtle vertical lines and the unexpected use of curves brings the eye all around the kitchen.
Smart accessible design elements were added with opting for drawers on all the lower cabinetry, placing the microwave in the lower cabinets, adding a cabinet tower next to the fridge and opting for a slide in range. To be honest Maegan and her family are not keen on cooking so the focus of this kitchen was to maximize accessible storage solutions for both Maegan and her super tall husband. The best part about adaptive design is when our clients are not able to access certain areas we turn those into a great design moment. Hence these chunky and gorgeous open shelves! The open shelves give a really great opportunity to add a punch of style, act as storage for rarely used items, and really took this kitchen from basic to extraordinary.
"My favorite part of the kitchen is the cabinet tower next to the fridge. It offers so much accessible storage, really smart space planning and the best part there is an outlet in the cabinet so I can keep my ugly small appliances off the counter."
Drama, comfort, texture oh my! This homes living room design was a testament to accessible space planning. We wanted the furniture layout to allow Maegan to roll around the entire coffee table without any hindrance and all the furniture to be at great transferable heights. The push back recliners really redefine what a recliner could be. The leather sofa was a big wish list item and we are obsessed with the way this beautiful camel leather has patina. The show stopper is the painted black wall, simple and impactful. We wanted to push outside of a traditional TV built in and keep the wall restful. The wood accents really warm up the black and white contrast and the mix of neutrals really create an interesting color palette.
"Choosing a favorite part about this room is tough. I really like my oversize coffee table, I change up the accessories often and it is quite literally a styling laboratory for me. But I also really love my Samsung Frame TV. Having the option to have both art and TV is perfect and really makes me smile every time I am in here."
This is the area we focused more on blending, toned down the contrast & had fun with a mix of straight and curved lines. Space planning was important here to ensure Maegan's wheelchair could go around the whole table and access the credenza. Maegan sits in her wheelchair while dining so we always have a chair pulled from the head. This allows us to have a perfect little "chair in the corner" moment and functions as extra seating when family & friends are over.
"I love the way my dining room came together. The simple layers, the blended colors yet contrasting materials makes it really hard to choose a favorite part. I would have to say the light fixture really makes my heart sing though, I love the unexpected shape and style and the fact that it kinds looks like a UFO."
Where all the fun is had. We designed this space to bring the colors of the home together in a bold way. Our first piece of inspiration was this photo Chris took of Crater Lake. Chris spends a good amount of time in here as this is the room with the video games...so we wanted to incorporate elements that spoke to him. Crater Lake is one of his favorite National Parks. This sofa doubles as an extra bed for guests, and the custom TV console hides board games and movies. The rug packs a colorful punch and has an updated southwest motif.
"My absolute favorite part of this room is our vintage Arizona Highway magazine display. I found these in a thrift store and hoarded them for years until i had the perfect idea of what to do with them. When I pulled them out I saw I had 11 copies, one of every month except December. I quickly hunted a December issue down and completed the set. The covers are so gorgeous i wanted to display each and every one of them in an organic way. I was inspired by the idea of a community news board and decided to try just clipping them and pinning them to the wall in calendar order. The whole display including the magazines cost less than $30 and it flexed my creativity."
PRIMARY BEDROOM / BATHROOM
We love a good blue wall and we're not afraid to admit it. This blue wall is where the whole design plan started. The vintage rug made it behind the bed on accident really...we ordered it for another room in the house but it just wasn't working in that space. We loved the rug so much we really couldn't part with it so we came up with the idea of creating it into a tapestry and it totally worked. This rug hanger was a total DIY project involving rope and some copper pipe ad we love the texture and color palette it brought into the room. The soft ivories and taupes are repeated throughout the room for a calming effect and the basket wall is where we get our texture punch.
The bed is perfect transfer height for Maegan and was made that way with a lot of precision and a little elbow grease. We found a bed with a wood frame that we loved and sawed the legs down to the perfect height. We know that can be a little risky, but creating adaptive furniture is a game of creativity.
The bathroom was built to the inch with customized accessibility for Maegan. We took into account the sides she prefers to transfer on, the heights of everything, what she needs to be independent, the best ways to wash her face and not wash her hair etc. Every detail was planned to make her bathroom experience enjoyable, beautiful and completely independent. We expanded the shower and took out the existing garden tub to opt for a large his and hers shower. We expanded the water closet to allow for easy transfers and added a barn door for privacy. The roll under concrete sink is stylish and the angled trough sink is perfection. Built in cubbies were added opposite the sink for product storage.
"My bedroom and bathroom are an absolute retreat and I appreciate everyday how perfectly accessible they are for me. Every detail was perfectly planned to ensure I had the best possible set up for me and the whole space really speaks to my personal style. My favorite part of my bedroom is the gallery wall of Chris and I's wedding photos, I just getting a glimpse of those everyday. The favorite part of my bathroom is probably the metal wall the barn door is on. It actually happened by mistake but it turned out so well that it was the best mistake we could have made."