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Updating That 1970’s House

September 20, 2016Home Remodeling, Kitchen Remodeling

Updating That 1970’s House

Those of us of a “certain age” have a particular fondness for all things from the 1970’s. The avocado green, burnt orange and harvest gold color palettes of the era all strike a particular nerve in our psyches and take us back to the simpler times of our youth. This is exactly what happened to me earlier this year, when I first walked into our upcoming tour home prior to its renovation. Aside from the aforementioned color scheme, there were so many other features that made me smile and brought me back to the homes of my youth. Dark stained wood trim and cabinets, closed-concept rooms, drop ceilings with fluorescent lighting and the much-desired kitchen peninsula with the pass through into the breakfast area all were trending high at the time. Today, however, these features elicit a “what were they thinking ??” response from our younger designers.


Before: Powder room


Before: Classic ’70s kitchen


Our clients are a few years younger than I and did not have the same warm nostalgic feelings for their newly purchased home. Aside from the cosmetic touches, they really wanted to maximize the function of the first floor spaces and allow for better flow between the kitchen and the adjoining rooms. With a growing family and a love of entertaining, our clients envisioned a space that would accommodate large gatherings that could easily flow onto the back patio and the beautiful yard beyond.


Before: Family room. Door on the right was the only way to get to the patio!

Reconfiguring the space without blasting out all of the walls required some out-of-the box thinking. Our designers quickly concluded that tweaking the existing kitchen layout just wasn’t going to work. Instead they threw out the old layout and created a large galley configuration with a wall of sliders that provide easy access to the back patio and loads of natural light. Clever reworking of spaces also added much-needed storage opportunities and opened up the kitchen into the family room. Other areas, including the front entry, powder room, living room and mudroom were all reconfigured and updated to increase function and add extra storage space – all without adding any square footage or moving any major walls.

After: View from kitchen towards family room

After: View from kitchen towards family room

Are you thinking about updating your own home? Come see this transformed Meadowlark home, one of 13 homes at the Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater (BRAG) Ann Arbor’s Remodelers Home Tour on October 8 and 9, 2016. The homes will be open from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm on Saturday and Noon – 6:00 pm on Sunday.  Tickets are $10.00 for adults and can be purchased at the homes.

Tickets will be available at any of the home during tour hours. For more information about the tour visit www.bragannarbor.com.


By Susan Christian