First Floor Remodel - BeforeFirst Floor Remodel - After

The walls in this sweet and cozy 1990s-style home were closing in on our clients. As their family grew, the choppy floor plan felt more like an obstacle course for chasing children around than a place to relax while keeping an eye on everyone. It was time to re-envision their home for their changing lifestyle.

The Challenge: An Outdated Floor Plan with Odd Structural Elements

A two-sided gas fireplace divided the living room from the kitchen, making both spaces too small. Both the main floor hallway and the little half-bath were dimly lit and functional but bland. As with many homes, storage for All the Things was a problem, especially when it came to corralling the inevitable clutter that comes with raising kids. And while the pretty sunroom was a nice-to-have, its extra seating went mostly unused.

Although our clients knew they wanted an open floor plan, they needed help defining their vision for the space. We had the pleasure of partnering with interior designer Kathy Hoskins, who helped us guide them through that process. Soon, we were ready create an open concept floor plan that was beautiful, functional, and packed with personality.

Our remodeling goals:

  • Open up the first floor layout to improve flow and visibility
  • Create a welcoming, informal space for the family to share meals
  • Design custom cabinetry and storage options to hide clutter and maintain clean lines
  • Give the whole space a punch of personality and visual interest

The Solution: Transform Several Small Spaces into One, Cohesive Living Area

Turning structural challenges into design opportunities

The first-floor remodeling project hinged on removing the central fireplace and building a new one in the living room. Since the original fireplace was located on a load-bearing wall, we had to install a beam to the newly open space to keep the structural integrity of the home. As the space opened up, and awkward (and now very obvious) bulkhead on one side of the family room presented another challenge — the time, aesthetic. So we crafted a corresponding bulkhead on the opposite side and added beams in between to make the room look cohesive and draw the eye to the focal point created by the new fireplace and big-screen TV.

Once the barrier between the family room and kitchen was gone, there was room to expand the kitchen to support the frequent entertaining our clients enjoy doing with their large families.

Creating more space for sleek storage, entertaining, and enjoying family meals

Our clients wanted a light and bright kitchen, with white cabinetry, tile backsplash and paint. However, the style was not their only priority – storage and functionality were just as important. We installed custom-crafted cabinet storage solutions, from specialized hiding places for small appliances and a TV, to spice drawers and a pull-out pantry. Being able to close the cabinet doors to keep the spaces looking clean and clutter-free was important to the homeowners, even for their entertaining spaces. For example, we designed a beverage center with room for bottles, tools and glasses as well as prep space. We then custom-built pocket doors that could not only be folded away during use, but also pulled shut for a clean look. The added detail of the granite countertop peeking through the closed cabinet doors hints at something special just out of sight.

To make more space for casual family mealtimes, we moved the kitchen dining space to the adjacent, unused sunroom. This cleared enough floor space to replace the tiny kitchen island with a large one with a built-in oven and warming drawer, as well as room for storage, meal prep, and seating.

Making the living space more livable with carefully considered details

In the family room, we built a brand new fireplace on the far wall, including framing the new wall for the fire box and adding all of the functional interior and exterior components. Our goal was to make the fireplace and its stone hearth and surround look like they had always been part of the house.

Continuing the theme of clean, clutter-free spaces, we included hidden wiring for the audio/visual components in the design, as well as an outlet blended into the top of the mantle for invisibly plugging in seasonal decorations or other items. We also left open space on top of the tall, closed cabinets for displaying artwork or collections.

Small details like these make spaces more livable and flexible — and easier to clean!

Who says hallways and half-baths have to be boring?

Although most people think of hallways as just a way to get from one room to another, they can also add to the overall personality and utility of a home.

The original, dimly lit hallway ran from the garage entry to the rest of the house and included an unnecessary nook (which also tended to collect clutter). When we removed the load-bearing wall between the kitchen and great room, we not only opened up the cased opening between the front entryway and great room but also were able to enlarge the opening, which made the entryway feel more spacious and light-filled.

The new design for the hallway required us to move the laundry room door, eliminate the nook, and build a deeper closet. We then replaced the plain double closet door with a decorative, mullioned door that gives an enticing peek into the room beyond. We even backlit the new door to create an attractive visual feature at the end of the long hall. We gave the hallway another touch of style by swapping the outdated can lights with beautiful hanging lanterns, replacing the old vinyl flooring with warm wood, and sprucing up the walls with a fresh coat of paint.

To give the space a functional boost, we built a new, large walk-in pantry, making it easy for the homeowners to bring the groceries directly in from the garage and put them away — no piling them up on the kitchen counters or floor!

Finally, we installed a new vanity, lighting, and hardware in the half-bath off the hallway, punching up its personality with a bold, graphic wallpaper.

Details matter in home renovation, and our talented team of partners collaborated to make sure every piece came together seamlessly and attractively.