East Hill Kitchen Renovation by Lauren Bradshaw

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On New Year’s Day I got an inquiry for a kitchen renovation in East Nashville and I instantly had a good feeling about it. Maybe it was the good luck meal we had with family that day or maybe it was the client’s sweet email; either way I knew it was going to be a good one.

Our initial meeting was great and I learned that the main jumping off point for her and her husband was this gorgeous kitchen that I loved. One of the reasons they hired me was because I incorporate modern and handmade elements into timeless design. They wanted their historic Tudor-style home to have a mix of both.

One of my favorite characteristics of Tudor houses are the arches and curves that are usually featured in multiple places throughout the home. In this case, their front door is arched, and they mentioned wanting to bring that feeling into the kitchen. We ended up nixing a new arched entry but I used this as a basis for a lot of my decisions. You’ll notice subtle curves in a lot of the design elements.

I spent time with the floor plan to create a new layout for their kitchen that eliminated an awkward peninsula with less than two feet of clearance to the pantry (crazy!). I wanted to push back a wall to open up the space and create a row of full height pantry cabinets to maximize storage. The clients were on board and we moved ahead with that plan.

After some convincing of the husband (all good-natured!), they went for the striking black and white floor pattern. Demo and framing was finished and then it was time for tile. Installation happened so fast and in one day the space was transformed; I knew everything else was going to be amazing on top of that gorgeous graphic floor. And thankfully the clients loved it!

In the early stages of our planning, I had designed a custom island for them, meant to look old but have new convenient features like large drawers and storage. I got some quotes but the clients and I all searched one night for anything vintage that might meet their needs. We ended up finding and loving the same ones, so I measured and confirmed the one we should get. You’ll see in the photos that it has beautiful old brass drawer pulls and turned legs.

The final major element of the kitchen was the marble backsplash. We had a few challenges to contend with—mainly the really uneven old plaster walls, and the height changes between the upper cabinets and the window casings. Rather than have a straight across marble backsplash under the hood, I knew I wanted to incorporate curves into the design (along with the beautiful curved oak banding on the range hood). I ended up mimicking this curve to the right of the sink, to account for the height change from the uppers to the bottom of the window casing. It’s a subtle feature but it’s one that allowed us to have a full height splash that felt natural from any vantage point. And my amazing contractor solved all of our old plaster wall issues so it installed perfectly!

Once it was all finished, the clients said they felt like they were on vacation every time they were in their kitchen. I love that we created a fresh and open space, with modern and graphic elements that still feel classic and timeless in their historic home.

Photographs by Joseph Bradshaw

Lauren Bradshaw Design East Hill Kitchen Renovation Rohl Faucet
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House on the Battlefield Bathroom Renovation by Lauren Bradshaw

Lauren Bradshaw Design Battlefield Custom Vanity

About eight months ago I got a text from our good friends saying they had just bought an old home in the historic 12 South neighborhood here in Nashville, and that it needed a new kitchen and master bathroom. I got together with the two of them and realized our timeline was very specific because the birth of their second baby was quickly approaching! It was clear after a few meetings that they wanted the spaces to feel young and modern, but timeless and appropriate for the home’s age. Their taste leans mid-century, so we used elements of that style while keeping the materials as natural as possible.

At the end of this post I’ve included some before photos to show where we started. The master bath was very closed off, with a walled shower and linen closet within a very small footprint. I knew immediately I wanted to get both of those out! The clients were so open to ideas, which made the whole process super fun.

After showing them a few concepts for the bathroom, I found this amazing tile and knew it was perfect. Along with the custom cabinetry and slat wall divider, the tile adds a handmade texture that I love. They told me it feels like a spa, and that the whole family ends up in there including their new sweet baby girl.

Lauren Bradshaw Design Master Bathroom Spa
Lauren Bradshaw Design Master Bathroom Basketweave Tile
Lauren Bradshaw Design Master Bathroom Custom Slat Wall

The large mirror opens up the space and brings in more natural light from the single window. I chose light fixtures that feel historic to contrast with some of the modern elements like the faucet and the mirror.

Lauren Bradshaw Design Master Bathroom White Oak Vanity
Lauren Bradshaw Design Master Bathroom Shower

The custom cabinetry is such a special part of this bathroom. I love white oak with its natural grain and warm tones, paired with the tile that has just the right amount of beigey pink lavender.

Lauren Bradshaw Design Master Bathroom Shower Basketweave Handmade Tile

Our tile installer was incredible, as we hand-selected every piece for this niche. The edges of this tile are not uniformly glazed, so we dug through the piles to find the exact ones we needed. The client and the installer FaceTimed me during installation so I could tell them which pieces to move around so that the pattern was 100% perfect.

Lauren Bradshaw Design Master Bathroom Tub

I made the decision to add a niche above the tub to mirror the one in the shower. Repeating the tile within the tub area of the bathroom ties it all together.

Lauren Bradshaw Design Master Bath Oak Slat Wall
Lauren Bradshaw Design Master Bath Tub Niche

Tranquil artwork helps the bathroom achieve that spa-like feel. (Artwork by my talented husband.)

Lauren Bradshaw Design Master Bath Tub Shower Renovation

The glass shower enclosure keeps the room feeling open. The knob on the shower door is a small detail I love.

Below are the Before / After photos of the renovation.

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Design by Lauren Bradshaw
Photographs by Joseph Bradshaw

Zephyr Designer Retreat 2018 by Joseph Bradshaw

Villon at the Proper SF // Photo by Manolo Llyera

Villon at the Proper SF // Photo by Manolo Llyera

I’m headed to San Francisco, one of my most favorite cities, to join the Zephyr Designer Retreat and stay at the amazing Proper Hotel. When Zephyr reached out with the invite, I was excited to tour their showroom and check out how all their products work. Fu-Tung Cheng has designed a new line for them, and I’m excited to hear him talk about the inspiration behind it all.

I’ve been spending a lot of time talking appliances with clients lately so I can’t wait to check out this wine cooler, and this wall hood. Also fun is the ability to have ventilation above a kitchen island without having a range hood come down right in the middle of it! Below is the Zephyr Lux Island.

I’ll be posting photos from the tours so keep an eye out!

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Interior designing a children's book! by Joseph Bradshaw

Lauren Bradshaw Magnolias Magnificent Map Author

I'm so excited that the second book in my Walnut Animal Society series is out! It's called Magnolia's Magnificent Map starring Magnolia the Bunny. It's the follow-up to my first book, called Henry's Bright Idea

As a little backstory, my husband and I renovated and designed a 1925 Craftsman in downtown Orlando in 2009. We had our first son shortly after, when I decided to take time off work to be with him. I created a sewing pattern for a fox stuffed animal, called him Henry the Fox (after my son Henry), and started Walnut Animal Society. Our home and the whole Walnut crew were featured in Country Living, where my publisher, Cameron Books found me and asked to write a children's book about my characters.  

Writing the text for the first book, Henry's Bright Idea, was pretty surreal. I had thought about these characters for so long in the process of creating them, so to put their stories on paper was incredibly fun. But I had no idea how fun the next part would be—basically interior designing their world! Our lovely illustrator Wednesday Kirwan sent back some initial sketches for the book. I reviewed those and thought—wow, I get to build their treehouse, and all the furniture and palette within it. I sent over a super long list of inspiration links to the publisher; but most importantly I sent them over one of my very favorite homes I'd ever seen: Jens Risom's Block Island Retreat. It was the perfect inspiration for the Walnut treehouse. 

Image by Floto + Warner via Dwell

Image by Floto + Warner via Dwell

Magnolias Magnificent Map Lauren Bradshaw
Magnolias Magnificent Map by Lauren Bradshaw Interiors Book

In addition to sending along the treehouse idea, I sent a ton of links to amazing mid century furniture from 1st Dibs, and Wednesday was so receptive to all of it. She incorporated some of my favorite pieces and painted the Walnut world so beautifully. We were so careful with the palette to feel vintage yet fresh, and I'm so proud of what we created.

I hope you'll add it to your children's book collection!