The Skipper Project: Charming Shaker Heights Kitchen & Dining Room Renovation

Imagine this… You and your spouse have finally reached retirement. After years of devoted work, you’re ready to focus on what you love most — spending time with your favorite people, hosting, and gathering. But…you suddenly realize that your space lacks the functionality and effortless flow you need. This is exactly where our Shaker Heights clients found themselves…

Meet this Distinguished and Social Couple

Our wonderful couple (let’s call them Theresa and George) reside in the conveniently located, well-established, and highly sought-after area of Shaker Heights. In fact, their historic residence once accommodated the president of Cleveland State University!

Theresa and George needed their home to support their current season of life. They enjoy hosting regularly, but their existing kitchen was outdated, closed off, and lacking storage space. However, the last thing they wanted was a home that screamed “new kitchen.” Balance was required. To accomplish the couple’s goals, my team and I:

  • Redesigned a brand-new layout
  • Guided them through design selections, marrying old with new
  • Completely refreshed the adjacent areas
  • Selected and sourced all materials, fabrics, and furnishings
  • Created a customized lighting plan
  • Managed the renovation — gutting the entire space!
  • Blended their extensive art collection with their new design
  • Styled the renovated spaces to perfection

With thoughtful collaboration from our clients, we were able to create an entertainer’s dream kitchen and dining room while ticking every box. Now, it’s ready for all to enjoy. Come step inside…

Custom Kitchen Designed for Entertaining

Shaker Heights OH Historic Home Interior Design Renovation

Can you imagine George putting the finishing touches on a sumptuous lobster bisque in this beautiful space? Meanwhile, Theresa can refresh guests’ beverages on the spacious island. Ahhh..the perfect layout for being part of the group and hosting well. What could be better?!

During this full kitchen gut, we were also careful to maintain the classic style of their home by blending the new spaces with the adjacent areas. Plenty of natural light, a timeless color palette, and custom cabinetry created the light, bright kitchen our clients desired while still staying true to the age and original character of the home. Let’s take a closer look at these stunning details…

As you step into the cooking corridor, you’ll find a seamless Sub Zero refrigerator that blends perfectly with the cabinets. But the main focal point? The jaw-dropping, full-height porcelain backsplash behind the cooktop. Not only does it bring a fantastic pop of color into the space, but the smooth surface makes cleanup a breeze. Beautiful and practical…yes, please.

This newly added island and entertaining area is rich in style and practicality — and Theresa’s favorite feature! Before, this space featured an outdated peninsula that made the kitchen cramped and closed off. Now, this island creates a natural flow of traffic, additional storage, and a vital gathering area that isn’t under the chef’s feet.

For effortless entertaining, we chose a small, custom copper sink for the island. It is intentionally positioned at the end to maximize countertop space for hors d’œuvres and delicious pre-dinner cocktails.

Just behind the island, you’ll find one of my favorite features in the space… a beautiful, new custom designed cabinet to showcase a cherished collection of antique crystal. We utilized a custom glaze and interior lighting to make this built-in space look like custom furniture.

This elegant, impressive, and perfectly practical storage adds a beautiful focal point, warm lighting, and a conversational element to the kitchen — not to mention it makes our client’s spirits soar daily. Because that’s what home is all about.

To complete the kitchen space, we created a sweet breakfast nook with custom, built-in window seating for the couple to enjoy their morning coffee. With no intention of moving from their beautiful home anytime soon, Theresa and George wanted their kitchen to feel timeless and livable. I believe we succeeded, don’t you?

Colorful and Conversational Dining Room

While all adjacent rooms did not receive complete renovations, we did refresh the dining room with a new color palette and furnishings to create a cohesive space that flowed from the newly updated kitchen and bridged the rest of the home…

Shaker Heights OH Historic Home Interior Design Renovation

By naturally extending their home redesign into the adjacent entertaining spaces, the couple created additional seating, more places to mingle, and a beautiful room they are proud to share with their friends. Theresa and George have exquisite taste, and this continues into the colorful dining room, where we drew from their artistic inspiration…

Compared to the more neutral kitchen, playful and happy colors abound in this dining room, where they will inspire conversation and keep spirits high. We utilized the couple’s extensive artwork collection and the unique, custom-made floral light fixture to bring a surprising, cheerful twist into this home.

For seating, we kept things sophisticated yet intriguing with a custom dining banquette, stunning cobalt blue upholstered chairs, and beautiful floral throw pillows. The furniture design is traditional yet timeless, with nailheads and classic curvature.

Now, Theresa and George will be comfortable lingering with guests at the table, sipping their wine, and enjoying laughter and conversation long after finishing their meal. What a delightful and relaxing way for the couple to end a fun-filled evening with guests.

A Home for Entertaining in Style

If you think this home is breathtaking now, you should see it during the holidays — it’s absolutely spectacular! Theresa and George are eager and equipped to fully embrace the retirement they’ve always wanted — one surrounded by friends, enjoying good food and conversation, and all within their beautiful updated home.

Are you considering a renovation to better align your home with your lifestyle? I’d love to support you in designing a space that feels like you. Reach out to me here. We’ll discuss your goals and create a plan for bringing them to life.


Clevelan Ohio interior design

I’m Ingrid Porter. As a designer with 30+ years of experience serving Northeastern Ohio, I specialize in personal and detail-driven design for families building or transforming the home of their dreams. If you’re ready to take “home” to the next level, we can’t wait to work with you.

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