Small design changes, big impact

You don’t need to take down walls or build a big addition to make your home more functional or get the storage you need. There are often hidden areas or spaces that can be reworked to give you the desired result without breaking the bank.

My clients’ home was flooded during Hurricane Florence and it has taken 6+ months to put it back together. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to make some changes to the home that would not only enhance it aesthetically but also give it better functionality.

We did a lot of work to this home; in fact, too much to fit into one entry so I am going to do it as a 4-part series. This post will be about the design changes made to the home. We did not add on to the original footprint of the home but we did fine tune a couple spaces slightly to make it work better for the homeowner. Nothing drastic, just a couple things they were not happy with but did not know how to address it while living there. Since the home had to be taken down to the studs this gave us the opportunity to make these changes.

Many of us have storage issues in our homes, this home was no exception. In fact, the first thing I wanted to address was an odd solution to a common problem. They were living with this issue for so long it just didn’t seem strange to them. Off of the living room was their laundry room which also housed the husband’s clothes. There was no room in the master closet so he put his clothes a whole house away near the front door. Since I looked at the space with fresh eyes I naturally asked the question, “Do you get dressed in the living room?” This wasn’t even on their radar to fix but it was on mine.

I took the husband’s clothes out and with the extra space we gained we were able to install a half bath next to the laundry, the plumbing was already there so this was an easy decision that did not cost a fortune. Now we had to find a place for the extra clothes in the master closet. They had an adjoining office on their master bedroom so we took about 20 sq ft from the office and added it to the master closet. Problem solved! Believe me, the office did not suffer from this and now the husband can get dressed in the bedroom.

The next item on the list was the kitchen. It was a long room with an eat-in area that was completely cut off by a peninsula. The peninsula had cabinets over it so it really closed off the space. They knew they wanted a redesign of this space but their contractor gave them plans for the same kitchen design they had. That’s when I came in.

All I did was take away the peninsula and cabinets above to give a better sightline. This visually enlarged the space and made it feel bigger and brighter. We also moved the HVAC system that was housed in one of the walls and that gave us room for 2 large pantries. New cabinets, new appliances and a new floorplan makes this kitchen look fabulous!

Below you will see 2 before pictures, the second one shows the aforementioned peninsula.

And after, in the first photo you can see the new eat-in space after the refrigerator which was where the old peninsula was.

And this is looking back the other way at the other side, as well as the new coffee nook between the 2 pantries.

Last redesign on the list was the hall bath. The original home had a tiny hall bath and an even tinier bath off the daughter’s room (which used to be the master). When it was clear we could not give them 2 functioning bathrooms we decided to combine the 2 to give them a larger, functional, well-appointed space. Yes, they gave up a bathroom but what they got in return works much better for their family and remember we did add a half bath off the living room, value saved!

These were not big changes; we did not add on to the home (super costly), and we did not remove any load-bearing walls. In fact, we hardly moved any walls at all, just a rework in the master bedroom and front half bath and cabinet redesign in the kitchen. Sometimes having a designer come in and look at your home with fresh eyes is all it takes to gain a new perspective. It is well worth the investment if you want to make your space work better for you.

Nancy Bradley photo

Nancy bradley

I consult, design, and remodel spaces that reflect the homeowner’s lifestyle and budget by getting the cost question out of the way and really listening to what my client wants and how much they have set aside for their project.