The owner of this 1950’s ranch house wanted to update and modernize the space for entertaining and more effectively utilize his back yard. For lead designer, Chad DeWitt, the most potential for this house was found in the shared dining area/living room and kitchen. The adjacent deck that was accessible through a sliding glass door had the potential to become a grand space which connected the indoors to the outdoors. The goal was to create a natural flow through all of these areas and create a new focal point outside.
PROJECT CHALLENGES: The original layout was compartmentalized and blocked views with hanging cabinets dividing the kitchen from the dining area/living room. The living room’s brick fireplace weighed the space down and pulled the focus away from an outdoor deck to a blank wall. The client knew going into the project that there would be some structural changes and did not have the budget to expand the house for additional square footage. Collectively, we wanted to be conscious of cost and materials and looked to salvage and re-use materials from the existing deck for a new deck.
PROJECT SOLUTIONS: Moving the fireplace to the wall that faced the outdoor deck gave us the opportunity to really open the room up by placing a door to one side of the fireplace and a bi-folding door system on the other. Making the wall disappear naturally brought the two spaces together and allowed more daylight into the house. The dining room table was designed with casters so that it could be rolled out onto the deck for easy indoor or outdoor entertaining.
Knocking out the wall that separated the kitchen from the dining area made the room feel more open. We decided that a classic L-shaped layout with an island would distinguish the kitchen area from the dining area/living room. The island serves as a prep area, the range was put back in the same location, and the refrigerator and pantry storage area was located in one leg of the L-shape with high cabinets along the entire wall. The island back used interior baseboard trim laid like lap siding to add texture and durability to the bar stool area. We solved the task lighting issue with recessed wall sconces in the backsplash, mounted upside down, to wash the countertops.
With just a few simple touchups that included patching the existing stucco and repainting the house inside and out, we were able to turn this common 1950’s ranch house into an entertainers dream and really bring the space to life.