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Oh, the Possibilities

Written by Karen Marley
Imagery by Kim Smith Photo

The homeowners call it  “the grotto,”  when referring to their 15-year-old home’s lower level complete with a kitchen, fireplace, wine cellar, bathroom and family area adorned with impressive sports memorabilia. The moniker is owed to a walkout door leading to an expansive, covered, poolside patio.

Beautiful yes. But inspiring?
“There were granite countertops and nice cabinets. It was very typical. Very expected,” says Nicole Gavigan, Managing Partner at Gavigan & Gruppo Interior Design.
    Partner, Danielle Gruppo, agrees.  “It was well done and lovely. But it didn’t suit their lifestyle,”  she says.
Time for a Change
Eventually, the carpeting needed replacing. During the initial talks about new floors, Gavigan and Gruppo offered some practical ideas. The space-consuming fireplace was out of the line of sight and it made sitting at the kitchen island too hot, so why not remove it? With the fireplace gone, the possibilities became endless.
Setting Priorities
The homeowners wanted to condense the sports memorabilia and emphasize the wine cellar. Additionally, the lower level was not just a place to be near the pool, it was one of the home’s main living areas.
Exciting Spaces
The kitchen asserts itself with exquisite tiles and a jazzy Cambria® quartz countertop, engineered in a highly stylized pattern of thick, black rivulets against a grayish cream. The bold pattern caught the homeowner by surprise because the 6-inch by 6-inch sample did not reveal the detail.
    “I went in to see the sheets to make sure it’s what we wanted. It was so crazy wild, I thought,  ‘Why not!?,‘” says the homeowner.
    For the curved, peninsula base, the medley of neutral, gold, copper, iridescent, and metallic tiles created a mosaic that perfectly accentuates the countertop. The curve itself represented a mathematical challenge; it had to work proportionately with the room while accommodating the appliances below. The backdrop wall is an exhibit of tile’s

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