Our clients had purchased their Carmel home years ago when the odd layout and cramped space did not get in the way of how they lived. Now with a growing family, the double-sided fireplace dividing the kitchen and family room was no longer quaint – it was in the way. Steve Gray Renovations had been brought in to build an open floor plan, but our clients did not have a clear vision of what they wanted them to do. We guided the homeowners through the interior design process to help them define the home they were envisioning.
The placement of the gas fireplace made the kitchen quite cramped and separated it from the living space. An adjacent sunroom was being used as an unneeded second seating area and the family room had been designed with an odd bulkhead that made the room feel unbalanced. Our clients wanted to open up the first floor while making the kitchen much more functional. Updating the look from the original 1990s style was another goal of the project. All of the rooms had to flow together, creating a fresh, cohesive look for the whole first floor.
Open Floor Plan Interior Design Solutions
Cohesive Spaces: To open up the space, the interior design plan called for moving the fireplace to the far wall in the family room. This immediately created a more expansive focal point and enlarged the footprint of the kitchen. By turning the sunroom into an informal dining area, we were able to add a huge island with seating and plenty of workspace. We removed a vent wall that interfered with the visual flow from the family room into the kitchen, replacing it with an expanded entryway to the dining room and main hallway. The new kitchen design was focused on functionality and clean lines. To ensure a cohesive look throughout the main level, complementary cabinetry was chosen for both the kitchen and family room. Rugs in the new informal dining area, dining room and family room all work together as well. The placement of the clients existing furniture in the family room allows the newly open space to appear separate but connected.
Custom Details: Many 1990s spec homes came with generic details that usually made more sense for the builder than the homeowner. One of our goals for this project was to give the space a modern, clean, and custom look, removing any odd focal points or architectural details. Once the kitchen and family room were opened up to each other, the strange bulkhead in the family room really stood out. We balanced it with a beam on the other side of the room and then added additional beams to the middle. Not only does this design detail add tremendous personality to the space, but it also helps make the fireplace make sense. We removed trim from the existing columns to modernize their look, and added thick molding to the fireplace mantle and side cabinetry. The stair rails were painted to match the rest of the woodwork in the home and a fresh wall color was added. Finally, new flooring and lighting were installed on the whole first floor.
The hallway off the garage entryway is a great example of how small details can transform a space. We moved the laundry room door to the side, removing an unnecessary nook space. We also changed the end focal point from a plain double door to a single, mullioned door that provides a lovely view from the home’s formal entryway. Replacing the can lights with hanging lanterns added the finishing touch to this now beautiful hallway.
Continuing with the personality theme, we added a new vanity, lighting, hardware and graphic wallpaper to the half bath.
Usability: Inadequate functionality was a theme of the original layout and solving that issue was another goal for this project. Poor flow, lack of storage and workspace, and too much clutter were driving our clients crazy. Once the floor plan was opened, the flow issue was solved. Workspace was addressed by replacing the small, two-tiered kitchen island with a huge central piece that included cabinet storage and built-in appliances. Open shelving that our clients, like most of us, felt needed to be filled with knickknacks, was transformed into closed cabinetry to hide the clutter. The cabinets on either side of the fireplace were designed to solve the same issue. The periphery kitchen cabinets include specialty inserts for small appliances and particular storage needs. Finally, the fireplace was designed to offer a natural space for the latest visual technology.
Transforming a cramped space into a spacious open floor plan takes a lot of planning to ensure a cohesive look. Rather than being many separate rooms, the spaces are now visually connected and need to make sense together. The Hoskins Interior Design Team has a lot of experience is designing new open spaces. If you are considering a new project, send us an email or give us call at 317.253.8986.