For Laura Greig and Sara Richards, organic, bright and livable design is their specialty. The duo, who met while working at a larger design firm in South Florida, quickly bonded over their shared aesthetic and goal of opening their own studio. “We really share the same brain when it comes to design, with Laura leaning very slightly more English traditional,” remarks Sara Richards.
The two formed The Habitat Collective in Miami in 2015 and have been creating warm, welcoming spaces for clients ever since. During COVID, they completed a remodel for a family of five in Coral Springs. The home, which was built in 2000, had never been remodeled and the client’s parents used to live in it before moving out to downsize. “They wanted to put their own stamp on the interiors and make the house feel like their own,” Richards says. They planned to redesign the main living spaces, making sure they were both functional and child friendly.
The project began in May 2019 and was finally completed in October 2020 after two pandemic-related delays. One of the biggest challenges was that “things came to a screeching halt just as the new kitchen was being installed due to COVID,” Greig says. “Fortunately, the cabinets, countertop and sink had already gone in, so it was semi-livable! Our clients were, thankfully, very patient and as soon as restrictions were lifted the general contractor was able to return and get everything finished.”
The family leaned toward a farmhouse style, wood tones, white kitchens and classic elements, thus the pair planned to bring in tongue-and-groove detailing, cozy texture, and clean lines for modernity.
The kitchen, which now features white quartz countertops, a honed marble subway tile backsplash, Emtek hardware, Rejuvenation pendant lights, a custom hood, Semihandmade Supermatte White Shaker cabinet fronts, and Chris Loves Julia collaboration Cove fronts on the island. The clients wanted the look of a custom kitchen, but at a lower price point, thus Semihandmade was the right choice, as it allowed the designers to “create functional interior solutions with a really polished look,” Richards says. “We loved the combo of white and wood to help us achieve the modern farmhouse look we were going for.”
But the kitchen wasn’t always as beautiful as it is today. The pair straightened up a few oddly angled walls, removed the existing peninsula and completely reworked the layout to allow an entire wall of floor-to-ceiling pantry storage.
The dining room was designed around some more awkward angles in the architecture and now includes a built-in bench below the window to maximize seating for the family. Bonus: The bench seat is upholstered in durable, wipeable vegan leather, while the oval table best suits the layout.
When it came to the large living space, the clients were lucky to have extra square footage just off the kitchen, so there was ample room for a cozy dedicated area for lounging and movie-watching, plus a more formal seating arrangement next to the patio door. They went for an extra-large deep sectional, a coffee table and accent chairs, plus a built-in media center for the TV and extra storage.
“We designed the custom media center and worked with a local millworker to bring it to life,” Greig recalls. Tongue-and-groove detailing tied it back to the custom range, plus bench seating under the windows and closed storage.
Overall, the home exhibits a hand-crafted nod to the popular farmhouse aesthetic, provides storage, seating and personal touches for the family and yielded a custom kitchen on a budget.