JASON BALL interiors has been getting in the condo remodeling business as of late. Compared to remodeling a free-standing home, condo remodeling is a completely different beast. There are different types of interior design challenges to consider, as well as all kinds of regulations and rules set by the HOA to work around. And, given the close proximity of neighbors (and potential clients), it's important to work with an outstanding remodeling team to manage the entire build process. I teamed up with Olson & Jones Construction this past summer to completely remodel a condo in NW Portland. The story: My client is a transplant from the U.K., via Amsterdam and decided to move to Portland to make a new home for himself (you've probably guessed that he works for a large athletic shoe company). He found a great condo in NW Portland that sits above a bustling neighborhood and is blocks from loads of great restaurants. The views from the unit are fantastic - Mt. St. Helens and the industrial area on one side and the West Hills from the back of the unit. The sheer amount of natural light in the space is amazing and will go a long way to keep the winter doldrums at bay.

While the unit was nice, it wasn't perfect. The fits and finishes were nice, but already showing age even after just a few years. There were some missteps in the selection of materials in the bathroom specifically. And, to further complicate matters, my client has some mobility issues and requires two canes to get around. You'll see from the "before" picture that the existing bathroom would be problematic for him to use on a daily basis. And, the kitchen was outfitted with an apartment sized refrigerator/freezer. Makes daily living less than practical.

So, based on a referral from a work friend, JASON BALL interiors was brought in to help with the overall design of the space. Once we started the process, it was clear that my client wanted a very streamlined, contemporary space. Our mantra was no clutter, no extras, no wires, everything must have it's place. The key in this contemporary design was to focus on textures, contrast and materials, with an overarching goal to increase the function of the space. Here are the before and after pictures to show how we accomplished these goals.

BEFORE: This is a "nice" unit, but lacks any real sense of design and character. The white laminate cabinets blend into the white walls. We focused on bringing in materials that would add dimensions and texture to the space.

AFTER: The walls were painted a sophisticated shade of blue gray, with the new, custom cabinetry gets a similar shade of gray (but a tone darker). Black granite and a stone mosaic are used for the main surfaces. Open shelving made from white oak complete the contemporary, European look.

The bathroom was a similar story to the kitchen - nice materials, but nothing to write home about. The floor and shower tiles were both grayish, but two completely different tones. One was bluish gray, other was yellowish gray. They completely clashed with each other. Plus, because of mobility issues, the tub was impractical, so that had to come out. The major problem in the space, besides the mismatched, was the wall between the tub area and the vanity. This wall blocked the light from flowing through the space and made the shower a dark "cave shower."

AFTER: Now, completely opened up, with a frameless glass enclosure around the shower, improved lighting, open vanity and consistent materials throughout, this bathroom is a study in contemporary design. We focused on warm tones in the hard surfaces with layered textures. The custom vanity adds an additional wood element and sits in front of an entire wall of tile mosaic, which reads a little like birch bark. Even though everything is open, we designed a space for all the necessary accessories you might want in a bathroom. Open shelving around the corner (in the left of the picture) adds additional out-of-sight storage. This bathroom is now set up perfectly for my client to make his new home in Portland.

JASON BALL interiors partnered with Olson & Jones Construction (website) and King's Cabinets (website) to complete this design. Visit JASON BALL interiors for more design inspiration (portfolio) or to contact Jason to start your next project.

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