[b]Please note a version of this write up has been uploaded with attached photo's for better clarification[/b]
My name is Robert Merchel, I would like to walk you through my concept for your home. I am attaching photo’s that go along with my explanation here but I would encourage you to print out the 11X17’s full size. First I would like to say that I applaud your decision to get rid of the wet bar, they are no longer a sought after amenity and the space can be better utilized. A few other items I saw that are contributing to the dated look and lake of flow are: the semi-circle arches, lack of defined foyer, and the stair case railing and “peak-a-boo” cutouts. I think I have found a way to solve these with relatively little expense.
[b]Furniture Layout, TV, Etc.[/b]
Starting at the front door when you walk in currently you don’t have a sense of arrival. By creating a seating group around the fireplace with a sofa with its back toward the front door allows for a sofa table to face the front door and creates a foyer without blocking views to the fireplace and cathedral ceilings. The seating group around the fireplace purposely does not include a television for a couple of reasons. First with a house this size there should be more of a sense of flow from more formal to less formal spaces and walking directly into the “family room” does not accomplish this. Second, with the removal of the wall separating the two main spaces it allowed for a large open plan that can incorporate multiple zones that flow together from foyer; to living room, to dining room, and finally to the family room. Placing the Dining room in the middle allows it to take advantage of the cathedral ceiling and it acts as a divider between the living room and family room areas. The family room area is now closet to the kitchen and under the lower ceiling making it feel more cozy and family friendly. Your idea about adding a banquette to the kitchen is a great idea and I show that on the plans as well. You may be concerned the Dining area is too far from the kitchen but turning the wet bar into a butler’s pantry helps improve traffic flow and I think adds more value to the home because this is an amenity home buyers are looking for.
[b]Banquette Family room[/b]
I took your idea about a reading nook into consideration and I think it would be better accomplished in the Office which I am now calling a Library. By adding built-in book cases you can add depth to the existing nook in the corner which will allow for a nice quiet nook away from the rest of the house with some large windows nearby. Having the nook in the library makes seems more logical than near the dining room and the layout still allows the room to be used as an office as well providing ample storage.
[b]Railing and Arches[/b]
The semi-circular arches are out of style and don’t go with the clean straight lines of midcentury modern that you mentioned. I would suggest making them flat/square arches. Specifically the stair arch could be modified to create a half wall instead of railing on the side facing the new dining area. This would allow for a wall to place furniture and at while still maintaining an open feeling in the stairway. I would also close off the strange triangle opening. Lastly replacing the rail with something more modern like the photo would really update the look and since we’ve reduced the amount of overall rail it should not be too expensive.
· A large drum pendant for the dining room would help to balance the mass of the fireplace.
· A multilevel drop chandelier with mimic the flow of the stairs and be reminiscent of midcentury lighting.
· Cable track lighting running the length of every other beam would give you the most flexibility without being too noticeable.
[b]Flooring and Paint[/b]
Since you are keeping the beams as is I think the flooring should be a high enough contrast so as not to look like you tried to match and failed. Mixing woods is quite common now. I think a dark to medium dark wood would look best then you can have a lighter grey background color on the walls similar to you existing sofa and make things pop with accents of white. Then you can add accents of color with throw pillows, objects, and art with your personal style.
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