Historic By NaturePublished on October 4, 2023


  • Photo by: Justin Van Leeuwen

  • Dining room fixture from Pottery Barn
    Photo by: Justin Van Leeuwen

  • Photo by: Justin Van Leeuwen

  • Kid’s bathroom wallpaper from, Anthropologie
    Photo by: Justin Van Leeuwen

Updating older homes can come with challenges; however, if done right, it can provide all the modern comforts while maintaining the historic charm. This balance is what designer Marina Medina achieved for her clients in their 1930s Glebe renovation.

“The home was very quaint and had a wonderful energy; however, the layout was not very well suited for the life of a busy family,” Marina explains. Her clients wanted to open up the main floor to allow more space for the family of four (plus their pets) to enjoy their home. This meant removing almost every wall on the ground floor.

Even though Marina was opening up the main floor, the overall footprint of the kitchen would remain relatively small. “Our challenge was maximizing storage and counter space within a somewhat small area while also optimizing the aesthetics and creating a beautiful and balanced space,” Marina shares. This was achieved through a few critical design choices, including a panelled fridge to create a cohesive look and built-in millwork on the back of the island for additional storage. Floating shelves magically add more storage without blocking any natural lighting. These details all made a significant impact on the space.

Although Marina wanted to modernize the space for her clients, it was still important to everyone to maintain the home’s original charm. “My clients and I agreed that the renovated space should feel fresh yet timeless with some classic features and elements to reference the home's historic nature.” One of these features includes the stained-glass window reclaimed from another part of the home and hung as a window screen in the kitchen.

In addition to the kitchen renovation, Marina helped her clients renovate the living and dining rooms. “The homeowners wanted to create an open and spacious common area they could enjoy as a family or while hosting friends. They wished to keep the living room, dining room, and kitchen in their existing locations while improving the flow between these spaces, creating a feeling of openness and connectedness between them.”

Planning was vital to ensuring all the different spaces worked together while maintaining enough elements to stand strong on their own.

Olivia Taggart

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