The popular home design in the 1970s was to create a bunch of separate spaces, each with its own function. Today’s style provides a more open concept, with rooms blending together into flexible spaces. Our clients were looking to create this updated design in their Indianapolis 40+-year-old home, opening up the first floor into more user-friendly and modern space. The end result of this home remodeling project shows what can be done through good design and quality building.
Our clients’ house had undergone multiple transformations over its lifetime, culminating in a mismatched first floor. We have completed many projects for them before, but now it was time to tackle this large transformation. We brought Hoskins Interior Design in to help our clients create a design that suited their needs and vision.
The plan called for opening up the whole first floor while creating clearly delineated spaces. The existing footprint had a huge dining room far away from the kitchen with an everyday-eating space in between. The entryway felt cramped as well. To open up the first floor, we removed walls and widened doorways, and altered existing rooms to suit how our clients wanted to live in their home.
The original front dining room was to turn into a sophisticated entertaining space, however, the existing footprint was too large. We created a passageway from the entry to this new lounge that not only added an elegant look but reduced the square footage of the space to make it more intimate and proportionate to the rest of the home. We also added a wall of built-in storage and a dry bar with a countertop for prep and serving, as well as a dual-temperature refrigerator that holds wine and beer.
The original room adjacent to the kitchen was a poorly used, cramped space. We opened it up on three sides – removing a wall to the kitchen and widening the entry to the great room and the lounge. The opening to the great room was cased in cedar stained to complement the new flooring. This newly expanded area became the dining room, close to the kitchen and naturally flowing into the entertaining space.
All of this wall removal and entryway expansion meant we had to pay special attention to the structural integrity of the new design. The original home was built to support the second level; anything we removed or expanded needed to continue this support. Removing the wall between the kitchen and the new dining room required a 4000lb 20ft steel beam. Our first challenge was getting it into the house – steel beams do not bend! We ended up rolling it on pipe up the front sidewalk, spinning it around, and pushing it through the double front doors. Then we used dual crank mechanical lifts to get it up in the ceiling. It took us a tremendous amount of planning and expertise, as well as ½ a day, to complete the installation. Its challenges like these that make us love what we do.
The kitchen design called for the footprint to remain the same with reconfigured cabinets and appliance placement. Our clients purchased a Wolf steam oven for their second oven, a Wolf convection range and a Sub Zero flush-mount, built-in refrigerator. We have worked with the specifications of these high-end manufacturers plenty of times, but every appliance technology or design iteration comes with new installation specs and challenges.
Our client wanted a ship-lap wood backsplash on the wet side of the kitchen. Wood and water do not mix well, so we continued the soapstone countertop a few inches up the wall to keep cleaning materials away from the wood. The backsplash behind the range area is a stone tile, adding a new texture while complementing the cabinet colors.
On that note, we feel it’s important to say that just like all of our partners, Hoskins Interior Design presented us with a great design. The only way a great design is fully achieved is through a professional remodeler. The exacting details that elevate a room are ones you do not always notice – the bullnose on a tile, the miter joints in trim, the seams in a countertop. Yet, our eyes know when something is not quite right when we see it. Our job is to take those design plans and turn them into something perfect. Our years of experience with intense planning, on-site problem solving, and attention to exacting detail is why our clients keep coming back to us.