21730    Non Addition

CREATING SPACES tm           by Marcia Lyon21730 AFTER21730 BEFORE

We really don’t need duplicate living spaces.  In the old days, we wanted a ‘formal’ space for visitors that was always tidy, and a family room that could be chaotic and no one would see it.  Our lifestyles have changed and many people opt for one larger space that would accommodate both functions.



The front of this ranch home had a narrow concrete porch (A), with the front door (B) on the side, not visible from the street.  This door brings people into an entry (C) that is essentially a hall.  The next path is typically through a narrow passageway into the breakfast room (D). The other option is to go into the living room (E) which is around the corner and not seen from the entry.  The living room has a niche for the dining room (F).  A small deck (G) is visible from the dining room but is only accessed from the family room (H).

This family room (H) is about the same size as the living room (duplicating spaces) but it is difficult for furniture because a huge fireplace (I) is in the corner with sliding glass doors on the opposite wall.  Next is a deep closet (J) and a long counter (K) which separates it from the kitchen (L).  It is most certainly open to the kitchen, unfortunately the kitchen is poorly laid out.  It has a tiny island that is not much bigger than the range in it.

The kitchen is a straight shot form the garage (M).  This family entry area is crammed with too many things.  There is the door to the basement stairs, a tiny coat closet and an “To Go” shelf.  We also have the washer and dryer right there in front of a cramped half bath (N).

The homeowners decided to have a larger living space and a big kitchen that is oriented to the outside. They entertain frequently and desire a layout with a great flow pattern.



I started to un-scramble their space by re-orienting the front door (A) to the front, and bring people into a real foyer (O).  This foyer is open to the expanded living room (E).

I improved the family entry (M) by relocating the laundry to its own room (P), closer to the bedrooms. This freed up space in the family entry for a bench and place for shoes.  I expanded the closet and added one for cleaning supplies (Q).

The kitchen (R) was relocated to the back of the former family room (H).  It is aligned properly to enjoy the fireplace (I) while cooking or hanging out at the island. The closet (J) is converted to a pantry with a door activated light switch, and it stores food and the bulk items we all buy now.

The dining table (S) is in the kitchen with ample space around it. That way, more people can hang out in the kitchen and the table will actually be used now.

A larger deck (T) was constructed, all on one level.  The outdoor access is a pair of French doors (U) and is centrally located.

Lots of windows in the living room [including new windows (V) on either side of the fireplace] fill this area with light.


MARCIA LYON is a professional remodeling designer and freelance writer, producing projects locally and several other areas across the US and Canada. Like Creating Spaces on Facebook! Reach Marcia at; or phone 515-991-1300.   Her website is



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s