Transforming the Main Level with Interior Design

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Most of our residential interior design clients hire Audrey Kate Design Solutions to help with more than just one room. Most often, my clients’ projects entail the whole main level or even the whole home.

This home was built in 1977 and although some updates had been done since it was built, it needed updating again. The family has a very busy lifestyle with two young boys.

Beginning with the foyer, I created an interior design that is functional but also acts as an inviting statement to anyone who enters.

The built-in bench houses two drawers. The longer drawer has two slide out drawers that can accommodate flatter shoes, while the shorter drawer is deep to accommodate boots and taller shoes.  Adding bead-board up to the crown moulding makes it feel like it’s one large piece of furniture. The addition of hooks provides convenience for the backpacks and jackets.

Crown moulding was added throughout the main level. We also added a chair rail in the dining room. The floors on the whole main level were sanded and refinished.

Aside from the trim, paint and a few new pieces of furniture and accessories are all it took to the main floor of this home to the new traditional look my clients desired. We kept their dining table and china hutch/buffet, but changed out their chairs. In the living room, we kept their sofa and painted their existing coffee and side tables.

The dining room and living room shared a built-in room divider that was originally white. I painted it the same grey used on the window trims and fireplace surround in the great room which helps with familiarity and unification.

The kitchen was a major overhaul. The previous owners had remodeled it and installed custom-made cabinets. Be that as it may, the floor plan was lacking function.

The electric stove and tiny sink were put in angled corners, while the dishwasher was in the middle of the counter almost hitting the island when the door was open. I’m may have worked well for the previous homeowners, but it definitely wasn’t working for my clients.

Many times, we end up conforming to our house when our homes should really be planned with the way we move in mind. I redesigned the kitchen, keeping the same foot print but rearranging the appliances. We upgraded some appliances, added a large apron sink, changed the granite to quartz, saved as many cabinets as possible, and custom-built new cabinets to match where needed.

All the cabinets were painted what I lovingly call “Dinna White” because I use it all the time. The island was painted a contrasting grey. The backsplash is a hexagon carrara marble. We took the cabinets down from the wall between the hall and basement door, added the backsplash all the way up the wall and added an office system for their mail, keys and such.

We also moved a half wall back to open up the kitchen and family room. In the wall we removed, there were water pipes that we pushed back as well. However, there were other pipes above that would have cost too much money to move.

We disguised them with a beam. We added the faux beam to run across the ceiling mainly to hide a weird furr-down jutting out, but it also added interest and warmth.

In the family room, I completely redesigned the fireplace. It needed to be a focal point. The ceilings are average 8’ height, so I designed the millwork to bring height and placed the mantle higher than usual. Sight lines and placement of things are key to directing eye movement and visual perception.

The windows in the family room had a very small frame, not enough to balance the fireplace. If it were in the budget, I would have suggested installing larger windows, however, fattening it up with heavier trim and sill worked like a charm.

The hexagon carrara marble surround is the same as the backsplash, again supporting familiarity and unification between rooms. I lowered the hearth and made it flush to the floor. It creates more visual space. I picked a simple white marble tile for the hearth to brighten the area.

We added a ceiling fan and installed recessed lighting. This room hadn’t any ceiling lighting at all.

A new reclining leather sofa and two swivel chairs, coffee table, end tables, media console and accessories made for a comfy family-friendly room that is also great for entertaining guests.

The magic that happened in the basement! There was a giant white built-in bookcase that we removed and replaced with wall-to-wall dry stack stone. It is amazing!

New recessed lighting was installed with dimmer switches. We added a wet bar and reused cabinets from the kitchen, which helped with the budget. We also used the same dry stack stone for the backsplash and added slate tile under the bar and by the sliding doors.

With fresh carpet, new furniture and accessories, it all came together beautifully. It is a man cave, but it is elegant.

The baseball glove tufted leather swivel chairs, the slimmer more modern take on the wing back leather recliners, the industrial media console shelves, all convey this room to be upscale casual. Note: we kept the older sofa and recliner for the kids 🙂