All Posts in Interior Design Service

October 25, 2019 - No Comments!

Full-Service Design Case Study: Tiny Kitchen Overhaul

When a young father came to us wanting help updating a small house in an older neighborhood in Omaha, NE we jumped at the challenge. And it was certainly a challenge since the kitchen was one of the weirdest layouts we've seen!

It's a little hard to tell the odd configuration from the before photo below, but the stairs to the master bedroom (formally the attic) are right off the kitchen and adjacent to the dining room. (Catch a peek of the stairs in the photo above.) Oh, and the kitchen is also a pass-through to the basement stairs and garage because the Universe really wanted to throw us a curve ball. So two deep, freestanding appliances right in the walkway was another issue. The budget did not accommodate for a major structural remodel so we had to get a little crafty trying to maximize the footprint as much as possible.

Our design plan included reconfiguring the space for better functionality, selecting all the finishes, procurement of those finishes, and then also coordinating construction and installation for the kitchen and dining room. The project moved fairly quickly thanks to a very organized and motivated homeowner who actually did all his own tile work under the supervision of his grandfather who was a master tile layer for decades. We're still impressed with how handy our client is!


  • With a mini "butler's pantry" in mind, we recessed the counter to widen the doorway area just enough that it didn’t feel claustrophobic anymore. And we chose to do floating shelves instead of an upper cabinet to keep the space more open.


  • The pass through now has a countertop island with seating and a little bit of extra storage carved out of the living room.
  • The refrigerator is in built-in cabinetry to the right of the sink.

  • We added better scaled, counter-depth appliances and took cabinetry up to the ceiling for extra storage and to make the space feel bigger. (In small spaces, the key is to go vertical.)
  • The previous layout had no real place for meal prep so we snuck in a couple of feet of countertop next to the cooktop.
  • A good place to add a little wow factor is in your cabinet hardware, especially if you don't have to get a ton of it. We selected real brass (heavy) decorative knobs and pulls to give the petite space an elevated feel.

  • Though our main focus was on function we didn't overlook style and sourced a printed porcelain floor tile reminiscent of cement tile but with more durability for the heavily trafficked area. Then we coordinated the look of the small dining room to the finishes happening a few feet away.

Before Images

This chandelier was NOT real crystal and not the right vibe.

Interested in learning more about the process and average budgets for Full-Service design?Get a better understanding HERE.

August 22, 2019 - No Comments!

Design Consulting Case Study: Kitchen and Powder Room Refresh

Updated kitchen and breakfast area for a Design Consulting project in Omaha, NE.

There is a lot of confusion about what interior designers offer to projects and why you should hire them. What do we actually do?

I see why it's a little tricky for potential clients. Like a lot of creative services, each firm or agency might offer something different. Some designers might only do full-service, large-scale, new construction projects and would never take on something like a color consultation. Others might only focus on small projects, or "e-designs."

At the beginning of every project we discover all the design needs and wants of our clients, consider overall budget requirements, and examine the quality of existing elements in each space. Then we move forward developing a plan and decide the best service option for each potential client's needs.

We offer several different service options: Design + Build, Full-Service Interior Design + Project Management, Digital / Remote Design, and Interior Design Consulting.

Breakfast nook with new overhead light, freshly painted walls, and custom roman shades.

Let's chat about how these options work. First up, Interior Design Consulting.

We recently worked on a kitchen and powder room revamp. Our clients purchased the home from one of their parents. It's a beautiful old home in a fantastic neighborhood in Omaha. They didn't need a complete overhaul of their space since all the cabinets and large elements were still in really good shape (we try to reuse if possible) and they weren't really in the market for a large budget renovation. But they still wanted to freshen things up and make the areas feel more like their immediate family.

Our clients also needed a little help coordinating contractor installation schedules, and ideas on how to maximize their budget in a way that made the most sense with their goals for the space. For example; they really didn't like how low the ceilings were in their kitchen. We suggested getting rid of an outdated lighting system, smoothing out the ceiling and installing less conspicuous recessed can lights, and brightening the wall color to a clean, crisp white to make the space feel more cohesive. And therefore bigger, and taller.

This project involved several design concepts from Birdhouse. But a huge portion of it was focused on random project management and coordination bits. We have the ability to speak the same language as vendors, delivery companies, and contractors. Plus we understand how to put the puzzle together - where the pieces go and what order they should get installed.

A little more info...

Powder room update with new wallpaper, lighting, hardware, and window treatments.

Who is this service for? 

Clients who need interior design “coaching” on misc. concepts throughout a new construction build or remodel when Birdhouse has not been hired as the Design + Build firm.

How does it work? 

  • Discovery process to review client aesthetic, lifestyle, and understand overall goals for project
  • Help with design concepts 
  • Finish + materials selections
  • Communication with contractors / builders when the idea of managing so many design decisions sounds overwhelming  




What does it typically cost? 

  • Minimum of 15 hours block at $150/hr
  • We develop a plan with blocks of hours so you know what role Birdhouse will play and where
  • Clients can add on hours if the scope of work increases
  • Hours are tracked and communicated to client





Before photos: kitchen with outdated lighting system, powder bathroom, and breakfast nook.

Check back as we'll share case studies for our service options over the next few weeks. After photos by Dana Damewood Photography.