Kitchen Remodel Unifies a 1950s Texas Ranch House
Ryan and Erin McLaughlin are slow movers. When they bought their 1950s-era ranch home in 1998, they understood the kitchen would require renovating, but could not settle on a plan of action. “Our method of doing things involves 99 percent talk and one percentage action,” Ryan says.
“We tinkered together with our kitchen for 12 years, painting the plywood subfloor, changing out hardware,” Erin adds. ” We really tried to make it work.” Then, two decades ago, they decided to go for it and create an open-concept kitchen and living space. “We pretty much had it gutted and took down a wall between the family room and kitchen,” Erin says. They also built a mudroom entrance out of their garage and included a laundry room. The end result is a brand new, modern and compact space that makes more of their home’s square footage.
at a Glance
Who lives here: Ryan and Erin McLaughlin, their children Kate (10) and Owen (5) and their pets Lemon, a parakeet, and Scout, a terrier mix
Location: Lake Highlands neighborhood of Dallas
Size: 1,600 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
The formerly closed-off kitchen became a much more vibrant space as a result of white cupboards, bright windows, multiple lighting fixtures and modern metal seats. A kitchen wall has been removed to make room for a large island and breakfast bar.
“I have always wanted a breakfast bar, therefore when we made the kitchen, that has been a priority,” Erin says. “Having the children ingesting, coloring and doing homework right that makes me happy.”
Bar Condominiums: Overstock.com; overall contractor: Jeff Van Buskirk, Heritage Construction
The McLaughlins had dwelt together with the previous kitchen for 12 years before remodeling, therefore they were quite clear about their needs for the new space. “It was such fun to make choices about where to put outlets and how to put out the cabinets and drawers,” Erin says. “Forget lower cabinet doors and proceed with drawers rather.”
The couple’s largest splurge from the kitchen has been the farmhouse style sink and lighting fixtures. “I knew I wanted light fixtures out of Schoolhouse Electric along with a farmhouse sink before we’d actually decided how we wanted the kitchen to seem,” Erin says.
Hardware: Nob Hill Hardware
Erin created this makeshift Roman shade in the dining area employing a fabric remnant and thumb tacks. “I am drawn to antique items and antiques,” Erin says. “And I adore deals. I don’t think there’s any decor that I paid full price for in our house.” Erin is proud of this kitchen table, which she found at a neighborhood sale for $10.
Ceiling lighting: Otis, Schoolhouse Electric
The kitchen currently shares space with an upgraded family room where relaxation reigns. “I only expect that everything I bring in the home will get used and played. I don’t find the importance of having things if they are off limits. This is something I have evolved into, but it makes for your comfortable, family-centered home life that we have now.”
Along the back wall, a classic credenza provides extra storage. They maintain art supplies in trays for simple access.
Paint: Mega Greige, Sherwin Williams; carpeting: Ikea
Erin created the “Home Sweet Home” wall with mismatched letters. “A few of the letters, such as two of the Es, are made of old books cut with a jig saw,” she says.
Slipper seat: Home Goods
An upcycled beverage crate tucked close to the hearth keeps children books clean and convenient.
The family room remodel included adding a built-in amusement center and shelving unit onto the back wall. The new installation matches the kitchen cabinetry to get a cohesive flow between the two spaces.
The laundry area, which was formerly from the garage, was also part of this remodel. It features a laundry sorting channel, magnet board, chalk wall, clothing rack and overhead cabinets. “Although the kitchen has been the major attention, that small bit of additional square footage included so much work to our little space,” Erin says.
The back door opens into a mudroom that lies opposite the laundry area. Hooks, baskets, shoe cubbies and drawers keep everyone organized. “That is my favourite area of the home,” Erin says. “It serves as our dropping zone also helps to keep all the stuff corralled.”
The McLaughlins utilize their formal dining room as a shared office space. Erin is the owner of Perfect Sentiment, a custom made paper goods firm, which she runs out of home. “My husband and I really like our ‘dueling’ computers,” she says. A black shelving and desk unit produce a sensible and striking background for your couple’s classic green vinyl seats.
The most recent addition to the office is a wooden postcard carousel Erin utilizes to inventory her supplies. “I discovered it at a roadside flea market somewhere between Commanche and Stephenville, Texas for $10,” she says.
Another half of this dining room is used as a conventional parlor. The spinet piano, a family room, lies opposite a painted black table flanked by two classic seats waiting to be reupholstered. Gold letters, symbolizing each member of their family, hang together from the foyer.
Paint: Library Pewter, Sherwin Williams
The principal bedroom combines a calm taupe and yellowish color palette with warm hardwood flooring. A gallery wall of frames that are open, photographs, heirlooms and jewelry hangs by the back door, which opens onto the backyard.
Paint: Mega Greige, Sherwin Williams
A wood desk serves dual duty as a bedside table and vanity.
The furniture in daughter Kate’s bedroom is hand-me-downs or classic finds from local garage sales. A buddy gave her the pouf covered in a geometric print. A cascading gallery wall of art, frames, mirrors and ephemera hangs above her headboard.
Paint: Reflecting Pool, Sherwin Williams
Kate, an avid reader, enjoys spending quiet time in her bright bedroom. Festive paper pompoms float above the parakeet cage.
Make your own paper pompoms
Owen’s journey themed corner bedroom appreciates lots of natural lighting. His bedroom has been cleverly divided into areas for sleeping, playing and reading. A map of the planet hangs above his headboard.
Paint: Hopsack, Sherwin Williams
Owen enjoys his well-appointed bedroom almost as much as he enjoys jumping on the bed. Erin hung magnet boards and license plates above Owen’s Trofast storage system out of Ikea.
Initially, “There clearly was ’80s country blue and mauve wallpaper with floral borders in each room,” Erin says. “After we shot down the wallpaper and painted, it started feeling like home.”
Homeowners Ryan and Erin with their children, Owen and Kate on their Dallas porch.
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