When you need to create a specific space, try to do it in such a way that the next homeowners can repurpose it.  We crave large spaces, but the new space should not ‘dwarf’ existing spaces and throw the floor plan out of proportion.  Existing spaces ideally will get modifications to improve flow throughout, resulting a balanced and pleasant over all house.



This vintage home had some great, light filled rooms and decorative amenities. Starting with the spacious foyer (A) that has windows on two sides and a beautiful staircase.  The living room (B) is unusually large.  There are windows on every wall possible, detailed woodwork including a beamed ceiling and a fireplace (C) on an angle.  A traditional solarium (D) served as the art space for this artist until it became too small. Also, the homeowners wanted a visual separation from the living room.  The kitchen (E) had been remodeled in the early 80s’ and now seems confining.  It is open to the dining area (F) and enjoys the windows beyond.  This space is also confining since the bar stools back up to the dining chairs.  In the corner is a desk (G) which seems to work well.  The beautiful angled fireplace (C) is open on this side, but it no one really has a view of the fire from this side.  An expansive deck (H) is used often for grilling out and entertaining.



In our planning session, we determined that it would be wise to add two stories and create an up to date master suite [not shown].  This will look well balanced on the exterior.

A 16-foot addition (I) was designed to provide lots of work space and storage of art pieces.  It has a glass door (J) to the new deck (K) for fresh air breaks; a counter with cabinets and a large sink; and shelves.  The art space (L) is not closed off with a door but takes advantage of the fireplace (C) by building a bench (M) opposite from the hearth as a transition space resulting in a pleasant little nook. The windows (N) in the back of the living room are fitted with stained glass panels, sharing light and art for both spaces.

We also extended the dining room (F) 4 feet (O), adding windows and a built-in cabinet for a coffee bar and dish display. There is a new door (P) for access from the kitchen (E) to the new deck (K).

We took this opportunity to reconfigure the kitchen (E) to enable more than one cook.  There is a narrow and long pantry (Q) next to the relocated door.  The new island is larger and reoriented so that not only can people back up the stools but can gather around it when it is used as a buffet counter.  All the appliances are within the L shaped work area.  We added a window above the relocated farm sink.

Looking at the floor plan as a whole, it looks as if it should have been designed like this originally and each space compliments the next.


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


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