At Chambless Hall Design + Construction, when we remodel older homes like this one built in 1980, one of the things we place a strong emphasis on is optimizing the space layout by moving walls and repurposing spaces.
Why do we think this is so important? Because the way houses were designed in 1980 just doesn’t fit the way we want to live in our homes today. We know that by going that extra mile to give our remodeling clients a home where the functionality and flow work great for them, they’re going to be 1000 times happier living there in the long run.
Originally, this home had what was probably the craziest floor plan we’ve ever seen! Not only was there no foyer, but a prior remodel had placed the home’s front door in the primary bedroom (yep, you read that right!). Furthermore, an addition built onto the home over a decade ago was only accessible from the main portion of the home via a dark, narrow hallway more aptly described as a tunnel.
These problems and more resulted from past changes and remodels that lacked a master plan. Clearly, we needed to make major changes to the home to make it functional. But our goal was even larger than that. We wanted to completely transform how our clients experienced living in the home, taking it from cramped confusion and inconvenience to beautiful openness and peaceful functionality.
Big layout changes call for technical expertise
The complexities of reworking a home’s layout by moving walls around and completely repurposing spaces call for whoever is drafting up the design to have a deep working knowledge of two things: architectural design and construction.
The architectural design piece involves understanding things like how spaces need to flow from one to another and how big those spaces need to be in order to accommodate furnishings (you wouldn’t believe how often this is overlooked in remodels!).
Having an understanding of the construction side of things is always critical to ensure that what’s designed is structurally feasible. It’s important to know what you’re really taking on with each and every change. In this case, we knew (and we made our clients aware) that we would need to take the home down to the studs, remove the subfloor, and even take 100% of the plumbing and electrical out of the house to achieve the new floorplan we were creating.
Having a structural engineer on your team is crucial because the proposed changes need to be cleared for safety and structural integrity. Having a designer who understands construction means they’ll get the design right the first time, avoiding costly changes and delays with trips back to the drawing board.
Reconfiguring the home’s poor design
The house was originally a three-bedroom/three-bathroom house. Believe it or not, by changing it to a three-bedroom/two-bathroom house, we made it function far better than it did before our remodel.
We started the layout’s transformation by combining the laundry room and the adjacent primary bath to create a much larger primary bath. The tub/shower combo is now located where the washer and dryer used to sit.
We then turned a portion of the former living room into a new laundry room/mudroom and used the rest of the old living room space to create a bedroom.
We wanted to maintain the beauty of the 900-square-foot addition’s log construction while also modernizing the space. We painted the stained ceiling and trim of what we affectionately called “The Log Room” white, updated all the light fixtures, and completely remodeled the fireplace, which we’ve posted about previously on our Instagram feed .
The Log Room” after we painted the ceiling and all the trim white, updated all the light fixtures in the space and replaced all the exterior doors.
We made some structural changes to deal with the tiny, tunnel-like hallway leading from the main house to the addition. We were able to widen the hallway and create an opening that provides a sightline from the front door all the way back through the new addition. It was a major change that made a tremendous impact on the look and feel of the entire home.
This change also enabled us to create a new foyer for the home and move the front door from the primary bedroom to the other end of the house.
As whole-house remodels go, this was a particularly extensive project, but clearly, the 1980s-era floorplan had to go. All told, the changes we made not only completely updated the look of the home but also totally transformed how our clients experience living there. They no longer feel like they’re living in someone else’s house. Everything is well-thought-out and tailored to them for a home that looks, feels, and functions just the way they want it to.
What could be better?!
If you have a renovation project of your own (with or without a crazy floor plan and weird front door location!), we can help! Reach out to us here .
This is the new expanded Primary Bathroom. We incorporated an oversized tub and shower into this large wet space.
Hall Bath Before
Hall Bath After