A home's true potential is revealed.

It's not unusual for the problems people have with their homes to originate from prior renovations. Sometimes it's clear that prior renovations were ill-conceived. Other times it seems that prior renovations may have made sense at the time but that they have collectively culminated in a confusing floor plan and cumbersome traffic flow. In either case, we may have to strip away some or all of the prior work to create a functional layout.

At this home, prior renovations had resulted in a cramped kitchen and an oversized three-quarter bath, while leaving the laundry in the basement down a narrow flight of stairs. The original small dining room had been turned into a small family room, and the dining room had been relocated to large, open space between the kitchen and the garage. But the dining room could only be reached by a circuitous path, and it was finished with dark surfaces that made it feel gloomy and dim.

Yet our clients, new homeowners, knew that this house had potential and were prepared to make major changes—and undo former reconfigurations—in order to realize it. 


Creating Purpose and Flow

Byggmeister's Solution

Architectural designer Bill Harper worked closely with the owners to reimagine the uses of the first floor spaces. An obvious first step was to combine the kitchen with the separate (and too-small) adjacent family room, creating a more functional kitchen as well as an informal eating area. Another pivotal change was to eliminate the first-floor shower and take advantage of the freed-up space to relocate the laundry from the basement. 

The prior living room was awkwardly shaped for a living room (too long relative to its width) but was perfect as a new formal dining room. We moved the living room to the former lower-level dining room, connected it elegantly and conveniently to the kitchen via a short, straight stair, and finished it with warm yet light tones. We also added a balcony overlooking the new lower-level living room, affording a wide and welcoming path from the entry foyer to the kitchen.

The end result is an entire first floor with clear purpose and flow and a series of airy spaces that work well and feel good to be in. 

Project Location

Newton, MA