In our first post for the new year, we wanted to review a project that we did in this past year, one that we’re very proud of.
Often we get called in to solve problems and discover that the solution was much different than our clients ever imagined was possible. In the case of this project, we transformed a home with a more traditional layout and separation of rooms to an open concept home with more flow and open sight lines.
Our clients were at a crossroads, they weren’t sure whether they should sell their home and buy a new one or renovate what they had to get what they wanted. They had lived in the house for some time and lived with things that they didn’t necessarily like. In some cases they tried to solve problems themselves but with mixed results. Although we only worked on the first floor, this project was a big renovation and one in which we were able to bring in a lot of the residential services that we offer to our clients.
The first order of business was to open up the space. The house was from another era and rooms were separated which didn’t allow for the kind of flow contemporary homes provide. This made it hard to entertain and to live a kind lifestyle people are accustomed to today. In this case, the kitchen and dining room were cut off from the living room by walls, walls with doors, but walls all the same. A fireplace was at the center of all these rooms and we decided that this was the place to start.
We proposed opening up the space around the fireplace so that someone could see the dining room and kitchen from the living room, and someone in the kitchen could see the other two rooms as well as anyone in them. At the same time, the fireplace, which after the renovation became a see-through fireplace—remained the central element in the house but didn’t dominate the space.
To do this we needed to take out the load-bearing wall which separated the living room from the dining room and kitchen. This is where the multitude of services we offer came into play and allowed us to provide a solution to what we proposed. Our construction crew installed steel beams to replace the wood headers which allowed us to take out the wall that blocked light and views and the sense of space found in contemporary homes.
The next step was to address issues in the kitchen. Like a lot of kitchens this one suffered from lack of light and a lack of workflow. Two key things helped remedy these issues. The first was to remove the wall between the back porch and the kitchen.
Previously, our clients enclosed the porch with windows which brought in great light but only for that room. By taking out the wall between the porch and kitchen, the space felt lighter and more relaxed, and natural light flowed into the kitchen to create a brighter space.
With the light streaming into the kitchen from the porch, we could now close off a small window that looked out toward a neighboring house and didn’t provide very good light. But by closing off the window, more space was available to work with in the kitchen and a new home for the stove and hood was found. We then placed an island with a sink and bar to gather around, sit and eat. The circulation in the kitchen became much better and the mood of the room changed, making it a more inviting space to be in.
In all the work we do with our clients we present options and information that allow them to make the decisions and this project was no exception. Many decisions had to be made about materials, colors, textures and about what stayed in place and what had to go. Working with our clients on this project, we pushed boundaries of space and comfort zones which created surprising and pleasant results. All in all our clients were thrilled with their new space. People who knew the house from previous visits, didn’t recognize it. Guests old and new visiting during the holidays loved the results and the feel of the new space.
What are some of the issues you’re having in your home? Are you at a similar crossroads and ready for a reboot? Or, are you looking to just freshen up the look of one or two rooms? In any case, we can help you with making your current or new home into a place that feels right for you.