From Cramped to Spacious – A Main Floor Transformation

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Last updated on January 14, 2021

Nina Schmidt had the opportunity to work with an awesome family to completely transform the main floor of their split-level home. We will be sharing this spectacular transformation and the awesome before and after pictures over the next two weeks.

The Before

The family recently located back to their favorite neighborhood after moving away ten years ago. While their new home was large enough for their family of six + seven furry companions, it was outdated. The cramped living space on the main floor made it difficult for them to spend time together as a family.

The home’s main floor was divided into four small living spaces consisting of a living room, formal dining room, kitchen, family room, along with the entry. They rarely used their formal dining room even though it was right off of the kitchen. Instead, they preferred to gather around a small table in the eat-in kitchen for family meals.

The family room was separated from the kitchen by a tall peninsula cabinet which had once housed a built-in TV. It provided no storage for the kitchen and was used only as a surface for their microwave and mixer. The kitchen also lacked countertop space for food preparation. In addition to the lack of space, the existing cabinets were inadequate for storing all of their cooking and baking supplies.

Kitchen BeforeKitchen Before








The Dream

The homeowners’ dreamed of having a chef’s kitchen with a gas cooktop, double ovens, large island, and a place for their professional espresso machine. The existing kitchen footprint just wasn’t large enough. While working through the design process with Nina, it became clear they needed to open up the entire main floor. The challenge with opening up the space was how to support the roof load across a thirty-foot span. A structural engineer determined a support column was necessary. This column became a design puzzle within the floor plan.  Nina and the homeowners chose the column location based off of furniture layout and the location of the kitchen island. The column’s shaker design help tie in with the inset cabinet doors.

The Kitchen Design







The kitchen was the primary focus of the renovation. The new kitchen design had to be large enough to accommodate a double wall oven, wide gas cooktop, refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, along with a professional espresso machine.

The kitchen design closed in the old angled bay window. The design also relocated the sink to the island. While a bar sink was added where the existing sink had been located. The water supply for the kitchen sink was already there so it worked perfectly to tie into it for the espresso machine. A trash pullout was also added near the coffee bar for easy clean-up of coffee grounds. The homeowners selected a drawer-style microwave unit to be installed below the countertop.

The gas cooktop, refrigerator, double wall ovens, and island were moved to what was previously the dining room. Two new pantry cabinets were added for additional storage. The new nine-foot island houses the dishwasher, undermount kitchen sink, trash pullout, and a custom-built paper towel holder. It also comfortably accommodates five bar stools and has storage along the back for seasonal dishes.

The family loves to cook and bake together so creating enough space to accommodate multiple people in the kitchen was important. The homeowners also wanted to make sure there was plenty of food prep space. The new kitchen design gave them plenty of uninterrupted counter space.

The kitchen design also included enough room for a round dining table in what was the existing kitchen area. Now they have room to fit all six members of their family around the table comfortably and enjoy family meals together.

Kitchen BeforeKitchen After

The Finishes


The family’s love of eclectic style influenced the selection of the handmade cement tile inlay above the cooktop. The tile became the inspiration for the new kitchen and is a striking focal point.

The quartz countertops are a low maintenance feature and will withstand many baking adventures. The navy-blue island features a light Caesarstone quartz countertop with large marble veining. The perimeter countertops in Honed grey quartz by Caesarstone provide just the right contrast. The open shelving at the coffee bar is a spot for the family to display decorative items and storage cups above the espresso machine. The white subway tile extends up to the ceiling behind the open shelves. The family was not afraid to mix their metals and chose aged brass cabinet hardware, polished nickel plumbing fixtures, and brass light fixtures.


The Transformation

The transformation is dramatic! The new kitchen is the family’s dream chef’s kitchen and provides plenty of space for their family baking and cooking.

Visit us next week as we take a look at the living room transformation of this awesome project.

Nina Schmidt earned her interior design degree from WATC in 2009. For over 5 years, she worked as an interior designer for a remodeling company in her hometown of Wichita, Kansas. She has won the hearts of many satisfied clients with her endearing personality, sense of style, attention to detail, and strong organization skills.