Our client had raised three children in their split level home of 30 years. The kids have now grown into adults and have moved out of the house so their lifestyle needs had changed. They were not happy with the typical main floor plan of that era which consisted of multiple small rooms connected together by long, dark hallways. They wanted a more open floor plan that would better allow them to entertain frequent guests and visits by family members. Their lifestyle changes drove the design objectives to create an integrated kitchen/dining space with a separate reading/media space that was also separated from the living room. An additional design objective was to replace several windows and doors for improved energy conservation. We were engaged and charged with changing their spaces for their changing lifestyles.
The Process… in order to understand and meet the design objectives effectively, we guided the client through several iterations of the design process before the construction was started. The stated design elements were identified and implemented as follows:
• Kitchen Upgrade: The kitchen was completely deconstructed and redesigned with a new floor plan. It was originally separated from the dining room by a wall, which was removed to create a much larger open space. A new floor plan, lighting, cabinets, countertops, appliances and flooring plus the creative combinations of materials, colors, and textures came together to create a beautiful new kitchen.
• Open Floor Plan: The under-utilized dining room was seamlessly integrated into the kitchen space by removing walls and creating a large open and inviting space with much more functionality that satisfies the needs of this client’s new lifestyle. Strong lighting design provided more than enough light for a full range of evening or nighttime activities.
• Increased Interior Privacy: The half bath and master suite were plainly visible in the old plan. The new plan effectively increased the privacy of those spaces with a minimum amount of cleverly placed walls that included an art alcove.
• Increased exterior privacy: The view from the road below into the house was effectively obstructed by the design and placement of the windows and kitchen cabinetry without compromising the amount of natural light entering the space.
• Improved View: The view down to the lake was dramatically improved by the placement of several high performance windows and a patio door along entire wall facing the lake. The lake is now visible from throughout the new space.
• Natural Light: Achieving this design objective exceeded everyone’s expectations! Numerous large high performance windows and a patio door allowed natural light to flood the combined spaces during the day.
The Challenge… the key challenge for this project was managing and balancing the conflicting design objectives of openness and privacy. In the client’s own words, we achieved this and exceeded all of the design objectives by 150% of their expectations.
In the client’s own words, they are 150% satisfied with how we met their design objectives. They felt that we provided a lot of great ideas and options along the way and remained flexible in accommodating the typical changes and unexpected challenges during their project. They liked how we developed a theme around their idea for arches and carried that theme throughout the project, including the arched windows in the new spaces. They were also happy that we opened up the front entryway and installed larger windows that flooded the living room with natural light. They also appreciated the superior craftsmanship and fastidious attention to detail that is evident throughout the project.
One of the reasons this project was so successful was the active involvement and participation of the client. This is a discriminating client who understood what quality and craftsmanship meant and who knew exactly what they wanted. With that guidance, we were able to exceed their needs and improve their quality of life at home. The client was so pleased with the functionality of their new open spaces that they invited our entire company over for dinner to celebrate their project completion!