Designing Small Spaces with Interior Designer Sarah Bernardy-Broman

sarah-bernardy-bromanCreating a beautiful and functional kitchen design in a confined space is a challenge, but it’s possible with the right team. When we began working with Sarah Bernardy-Broman on a home renovation for Marilee and Jack, we knew she would be a wonderful creative mind to work with.

We’ve known Sarah for three years, and she always impressed us with her style, professionalism, and efficiency.

Sarah has worked with Marilee and Jack in the past, which meant they already had a strong working relationship. With the tight space of Marilee and Jack’s kitchen, it was important to get creative while planning, something Sarah excels in.

We’re currently in the middle of this renovation, and we wanted to share what the process is like while it’s happening. One of our favorite parts about this project was working with an Interior Designer and a client who already had a working relationship.

Working with Sarah Bernardy Design, LLC

Sarah Bernardy-Broman is a Twin-Cities interior designer, and works with clients throughout the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. Sarah uses a timeless approach to bring each client’s unique style into their space. She believes efficiency is key in a working relationship, especially when it concerns major home renovation projects.

Sarah has built a network of professionals like Purcell throughout her career. This has helped her embrace each client’s vision and create a space that is truly unique and embraces their lifestyle.

Since graduating with an AAS degree in Interior Design in 1998, Sarah has worked in a number of areas within the design field. She has received multiple American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) awards, including First Place for the lobby design at The Whitney Landmark Residences in Minneapolis.

She also had one of her custom bathroom remodels featured in ASID’s 2009 Kitchen and Bath Tour.

We’ve enjoyed working with Sarah on every project we’ve partnered with her on, and appreciate her exceptional eye for color and detail.


Planning a Simultaneous Kitchen and Bathroom Renovation

Because Sarah had worked with Marilee and Jack previously on their living and dining room and knew their style, she could efficiently plan the kitchen and bathroom renovation.

As soon as Sarah and Marilee began discussing the dated kitchen and bathroom, Sarah recommended our team and we began planning the projects’ details and execution.

This was an extensive renovation, and there was a problem: this home had only one bathroom. Marilee and Jack chose to move into a temporary condo, and we began working as efficiently as possible to create their ideal space before they moved back in.

Because they chose to move out for the renovation, we were able to create a plan where subcontractors would complete their work on both the kitchen and the bathroom at once. This saved time and money, because each was only scheduled one time for two jobs.

The planning time of this project was shorter than typical projects of this size, but Sarah didn’t cut any corners or remove details. She brought Marilee and Jack three concepts, then blended two of those into the final plan.

Sarah appreciated the beautiful backyard and the kitchen window’s architecture, so she incorporated that into the plan and used the window as the focal point. The kitchen sink moved to overlook the backyard, and we can’t wait for Marilee to see the final result.

Tim Purcell and Sarah took detailed measurements of the kitchen and bathroom, and worked together to create a design that maximizes the space and is suited to Marilee and Jack’s lifestyle. While they reorganized the kitchen, the bathroom stayed in the same configuration.

Using a new layout for the kitchen helped create a space they can use efficiently, especially when entertaining.

Planning a Kitchen Renovation with Limited Space

Extending the kitchen into the yard wasn’t an option during the renovation, but that wasn’t going to stop Sarah and Tim from planning a dream kitchen. Instead, we focused on how we could turn this older kitchen into a functional and creative space.

The most important part of planning a home renovation in a confined area is to rethink everything. The current configuration can change, and often creates a better space.

Together with Sarah, we chose to relocate the sink and the oven. This lets us to place the sink overlooking the backyard, giving Marilee and Jack a peaceful place to watch while rinsing dishes. This provided visual impact and a focal point for the kitchen.

Due to the original design, we couldn’t modify the cabinet space as much as we liked, so we made sure to minimize blind corners. (It came down to 1/16th of an inch!)


This backsplash contributes to the home’s style and adds a statement piece over the oven. Sarah’s eye for color has helped create a cohesive and creative palette.

This process wasn’t easy, but we love a good challenge. This was a great way to work within the confines of a space but still create something beautiful the client will enjoy for years to come.


As you can see from Sarah’s sketch, this is definitely a confined space. She used the tile and other kitchen elements to create a space with Marilee and Jack’s style while maximizing the space they do have.

Choosing the Right Team for Your Home Renovation

The most important characteristic when choosing a contractor is trust. Without it, the process is less efficient, and the client won’t have an enjoyable experience.

As an interior designer, Sarah needs to trust those bringing her plans into reality. She explains, “You need to be confident in who you pass the project off to.”

Our goal with every project we take on is to be that trustworthy partner. Every project isn’t a means to an end; it’s someone’s home. This means we take the utmost care throughout the entire project.

The smallest detail can affect a kitchen renovation, which is why we take the time to perfect each design.

It was important to us that we began to build that trust as soon as we began working with Marilee and Jack. With the personal recommendation from Sarah and by coming prepared with an effective plan, we were able to have a great working relationship from the start.

The problem solving this project needed is one of our favorite steps of the renovation process. The creativity in designing a small space provides a different challenge than with a larger home, and we can’t wait for Marilee and Jack to see their finished kitchen and bathroom!

Working with Sarah Bernardy-Broman of Sarah Bernardy Design, LLC has been a wonderful process, and we always enjoy the challenge of creating a new space in an older home. A kitchen and bathroom renovation is a complex process with many different parts, but it has been an efficient experience because of our relationship with Sarah and our talented team.

Home improvements don’t need to be stressful. To learn more about how a detail-oriented and personalized approach can help your Minneapolis home renovation, call us today at (651) 748-1304.