The existing floorplan had segregated rooms that created a maize-like traffic pattern through the home. Their main entry into the home was from the garage, through a small laundry area that had no storage. In addition, with small children and a love of entertaining, the closed-in rooms were less than ideal for accommodating both.
They also wanted to update the spaces to match their aesthetic and style. The kitchen had the typical dark cabinets and counters reminiscent of the aughts and the clients wanted to lighten up and modernize the spaces.
Lead Designer: Melanie Grabarkiewicz
Project Manager: Jason Albring
Photography: Sean Carter
In evaluating how the family used the home, our designers saw loads of potential for reconfiguring the spaces to make the home more open and airy.
The existing living room/dining room area was being used solely as a play area for the kids. This was a very large space that took the entire one end of the first floor from front to back. The eating area in the kitchen took up the bulk of the family dining needs and it wasn't large enough to handle larger gatherings.
The kitchen didn't have the storage our clients needed plus a pass-through window to the sunroom was not used and took up valuable kitchen wall space. Finally, the laundry room had a sink, but the clients had their primary laundry elsewhere and thus the laundry room sink stuck out like a sore thumb and took up space that could be better used.
Our client's design goals included:
The underutilized dining room was the obvious choice to look for ways to optimize the function of the first floor. Our designers "pushed" the kitchen into the dining area and utilized the living room space for a large walk-in pantry and a cozy playroom space for the kids.
The existing dining room window was reconfigured and creating the perfect vehicle for natural daylight to flow into the kitchen and also to provide a view to the beautiful backyard space.
This solution also removed the awkward pass-through window into the sunroom and allowed for a larger formal/informal dining area in the kitchen and a larger opening into the sunroom. The larger opening into the sunroom also brought more natural daylight into the kitchen and created an easier flow to the outdoor space.
Light and bright finishes in the kitchen along with painting the the traditional brick fireplace surround brings the overall aesthetic into the 20's.
Site-built shelving and cabinetry in both the pantry and laundry room areas provide much-needed storage.
Finally, our clients took advantage of having the remodeled areas stripped to the studs and installed closed-cell spray foam to make the home more comfortable and energy efficient.
With better utilization of the first-floor space, our clients now have an open and airy kitchen and great room area that is perfect for both family and friends. A clever redesign of the mudroom space with the addition of customized shelving creates the perfect transition zone from the garage into the kitchen.
Enlarging the openings between the rooms and utilizing lighter finishes has transformed the home into a welcoming space for all who enter.