Signature Series: Restoring Charm with Revival Designs’ Nicole Nichols

Kitchen by Revival Designs' Nicole Nichols with the Bellevue Bridge Faucet in Chrome, 30" Reinhard Fireclay Farmhouse Sink Kitchen by Revival Designs' Nicole Nichols with the Bellevue Bridge Faucet in Chrome, 30" Reinhard Fireclay Farmhouse Sink

The first time Nicole Nichols saw the brick exterior and quaint size, she knew she found "the one." Lovingly coined "The Norwood Charmer," the Cincinnati-area home had the potential to be a timeless, inviting space in the right hands—her own. In the first video feature of our collaborative renovation project, the Signature Series, the Revival Designs owner walks us through her inspiration and journey to update the charming retreat.

Taking Inspo from Homes Themselves

Rather than trying to turn older homes into something they’re not with a quick flip, Nicole has quite the opposite approach with her renovations.

“Honestly, most of the inspiration comes from the house itself. It’s very important to me that even when updating an older home, there are choices that are carefully made that look like they were there or could have been there in the era that the home was built."

With every new project, Nicole strives to maintain authenticity while pulling in modern elements when appropriate, achieving a balanced look that feels both old and new.

Living room by Revival Designs' Nicole Nichols

Embracing the Norwood Charmer

A red brick Tudor-style home, Nicole was drawn to the Norwood Charmer before even stepping foot inside. Not looking for an easy flip either, she was equally as drawn to the work this home would need to restore it to its former glory.

“It needed a lot of love and a lot of updating, but I saw the potential in it. And it had all those old house characteristics; it had this amazing curb appeal and interest.”

For the Revival Designs owner, it became a personal responsibility to pay homage to the original elements of the home, especially before someone else could come in and ruin its unique character.

“I want to save the house. I want to save it from someone else who might not do it justice or put the wrong style of things into it. To me, this house was screaming to be warm and cozy and more traditional just based on the style of the home.”

Tudor-style home remodeled by Nicole Nichols of Revival Designs

From Dated Kitchen to Selling Point

In the kitchen, Nicole sought to honor the character of the home while adding in modern-day conveniences and luxuries.

“I wanted to make this kitchen, which is somewhat small but standard for this era of home and what buyers expect, the thing that sold the house to someone. That they’d just walk in and they just fall in love with the elements.”

Despite its petite footprint, Nicole transformed the kitchen into a bright, open cottage-style oasis. She cleverly chose a light, airy color palette, spanning from the vertically installed shiplap to the upper cabinets to the marble countertops.

A bridge faucet with antique-inspired detailing serves as the focal point of the design, beautifully combining charm with practicality. Complete with a spacious, understated farmhouse sink, dark blue lower cabinets, and patterned tile flooring, each element came together seamlessly to create a refreshing yet timeless heart of the home.

Bellevue Bridge Faucet in Chrome, 30" Reinhard Fireclay Farmhouse Sink

Reviving the Full Bath

Modern takes on classic elements carry into the full bathroom, which features vintage-inspired fixtures from the shower trim kit to the bathroom faucet—but with a mixed-metals execution.

“It feels fresh and it feels modern and updated, but those elements look as if they could have been here since this home was built probably a hundred years ago.”

Faced with another small room to maximize, Nicole focused on highly intentional details: white floor-to-ceiling tiling, a recessed medicine cabinet, and a pedestal sink in favor of a vanity, truly making the most of the square footage.

“I really love how the full bathroom turned out in general. It’s a really small space; while that is a downside to a lot of buyers who want more space, my goal is to always just create something beautiful in the space to make it a selling point.”

Bathroom by Revival Designs' Nicole Nichols with Velouria Centerset Bathroom Faucet in Chrome

About Nicole Nichols & Revival Designs

Revival designs started in 2015 as a renovation design company striving to reimagine, renovate, and revive outdated and neglected homes to uncover their hidden beauty. Nicole and her team purchase, rehab, and resell or rent houses in the central Cincinnati area as well as offer affordable residential interior and exterior design services for homeowners and other real estate investors.

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