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Bright and Cozy First-Floor Home Renovation

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

This Shelburne, VT family partnered with Lewis Creek Builders to redesign most of the 1st floor of their house. They had a laundry list of things that weren’t working, things they wanted to change, and goals they wanted to accomplish. An important part of the design process is prioritizing and distilling the ‘big list’ to get at a solution that provides the most value and brings the most joy.

The goals for this renovation were to:

  1. create a more functional and open space

  2. improve traffic flow and create more seating for entertaining

  3. achieve better heat flow and more natural light

  4. relocate the wood stove to a more attractive and functional spot

All of these goals needed to be accomplished with a design that harmonized with the home’s existing style.

One of the design challenges when renovating on a budget, or simply when trying to preserve a number of existing elements during a renovation, is that you’re going to have old and new side by side. There are creative decisions that can be made to blend the new with the old to craft a cohesive space. This renovation involved these types of considerations when thinking through layout, product selections, and finishes. One example can be seen in the new trim work in the kitchen and in the doorway and pass through from the den. In the kitchen, tired pine trim was replaced with a custom, modern white detail that tied the kitchen in with the updated living space.

New windows were added to take advantage of the beautiful Vermont backyard. Along with new windows, the back patio door was upgraded, allowing for even more natural light to shine in. The wood stove platform and surrounding area were tiled with a local Vermont slate in a color called “Dark Gray.” The slate look is so timeless and classic to Vermont, and is a versatile option with many size options, patterns and colors to choose from.

The wall between the kitchen and den was removed and replaced with a half wall between the living room and four-season sun room. Relocating the wood stove allowed for more seating.

Opening things up while still maintaining distinct spaces created a naturally bright, cozy space for family time, entertaining, or just to enjoy a good book.

We upgraded the peninsula to include more storage and a larger counter top, modernized the lighting in the kitchen, and integrated new wood flooring with the existing floor throughout the new space.

The granite used for the peninsula top is a honed granite from Brazil called Silver Grey. While it resembles the look of soapstone, as a granite it is very durable and easy to maintain. The honed finish (smooth but not shiny) maintains the natural and organic look of the stone.

This project is an example of a renovation that touched a number of spaces and areas, while keeping what was working and complimenting the existing style of the home. We believe that good design should make the most of life–natural light, open spaces, cozy corners, and your personality woven throughout.

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