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New year, new digs!

Story by Kenn Gray Photography by ROK Studios

It's a new year, and you probably have some resolutions started. Go to the gym more. Eat healthier. Manage your debt better. Be less stressed.

But what about taking care of one of the biggest investments you've ever made - your home? Make a New Year's resolution to improve the place where you live. All of us have parts of our homes that we have never been happy with. In 2016, why not make your home truly yours by adding to the beauty and value of it? Don't know where to start? That's my job. I can help you sculpt your vision and guide you through the process.

One of my most amazing transformations happened on Jefferson Street. This third floor attic was a complete mess and completely unfinished. I wanted the space to have a boutique hotel feel for family and guests. I had my work cut out for me!

As the before picture reflects, it was a disaster zone. It had to be cleaned out, but it also needed new floors, all new electrical and plumbing, HVAC system and hot water heater, and wired for lighting. To keep up the boutique hotel feel, it had to have its own luxury bathroom with walk-in shower and claw foot tub. The eye-catching, smoky taupe tile seamlessly separates the bathroom from the rest of the room.

All the furniture and lighting came from my own home decor and furnishings line at kenngrayhome.com. The lighting is high-end based on historic classic design with a contemporary spin. The tripod floor lamp perfectly melds with the sitting area situated in front of the gorgeous arched windows. The carpeting is a Berber with a very subtle pattern.

One of the most unique aspects in this third floor was what was found during the initial renovations while pulling up the old floors. There were old whiskey bottles and a tattered letter from 1911. I wanted to preserve the historic quality of the space while giving it a modern touch. I had the letter framed and mounted in the room and the whiskey bottles on display.

Another complete makeover project was Rebecca Robinson's Buckner Lane kitchen. She is a fabulous chef and baker and needed a space to accommodate her culinary needs. Rebecca was "pinning" kitchen ideas long before Pinterest was a thing. She had lots of ideas online and cut out of magazines.

Being an avid cook and baker, Rebecca needed lots of space. She had a clear idea of appliance placement, and storage space for supplies and equipment was a must! Rebecca retired from Lee Company in June and started this project in May, hoping it would be done by the time she retired. The project lingered until August, but she couldn't be more pleased with the outcome or with my work.

"I had done several small DIY projects around my house. This job was just too big for me to handle on my own. Kenn put me in contact with a great contractor and got the ball rolling," Rebecca added.

"Kenn listened to me. He knew I had big ideas and how I wanted things to be."

"He was so patient with me. I'm probably not like many of his clients who just say, 'Just make it beautiful!' I wanted to be hands-on, and he always encouraged it from me. He got excited when I got excited."

As any good design should, the character of the historic home needed to be maintained, and we chose finishings that did exactly that. The stainless steel appliances pop with the white cabinetry. We decided to have several display areas in the kitchen as well to show off china and incorporate some color. The countertops sport granite, and the backsplash is detailed Carrara marble framed over the cooktop.

"I've wanted a new kitchen since moving in the home eight years ago. Kenn helped me make that happen. There was never a dull moment - it was fun, fun, fun!" Rebecca chimed. "I was without a kitchen for three months. The first thing I did was have a big party for friends and family. With that, I knew that what I had dreamed and waited for was well worth it."

I am very happy to help you create a new space of your own! Feel free to contact me at kenngraydesign@yahoo.com or call me at 270-933-0243. You can also see some of my work on houzz.com and my decor and furnishings line at kenngrayhome.com n

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