Reviving Every Corner: Transforming a Main Floor into an Inviting and Cozy Home

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Last updated on September 26, 2023

Nina Schmidt initially met with these wonderful clients in 2021 to discuss remodeling their home. They shared how they'd like to update their home and make it feel less formal and more inviting. Initially, they hoped to tackle the entire main floor, including the kitchen, at once, but after initial discussions, they determined a two-phase approach would better suit their needs. Nina worked with them to hone in on their style during their kitchen remodel. Shannon Washam and Jeff Penrose executed it beautifully, and it turned out sensational; take a look.

The kitchen wrapped up in late 2021, and our clients loved it so much that we kicked off phase 2 immediately after. That's where this project comes in.

Existing Main Floor

The house, built in 1998, had ornate molding throughout, which changed from room to room. Our clients only got a little use out of their formal living room except for their very spoiled feline. The fireplace was two-sided but walled off, leaving the living room isolated. They ended up using it for their piano and Christmas tree. The living room and front staircase were both carpeted. Overall, the house felt quite formal, and a bit dark, and our clients wanted to make it less formal, cozy, and inviting.

Wish List

Our clients loved everything about their new kitchen with its soft white cabinets and rift white oak accents. They hoped to carry that look across their entire main floor, creating a cohesive home. Removing the stuffy feel and mismatched molding was at the top of their list. Opening up the living room to the family room was also a priority. If it were visible, it would get more use.


Nina loved working with the clients on this one! They have excellent taste and were excited to try a few new things. The footprint of each room remained the same, and they focused heavily on design, including flooring, ceilings, staircases, and lighting. They took nods from the kitchen and applied the same aesthetic of soft white and stained wood to the rest of the main floor. 

Once finished, we'd touched every surface on the main floor, including the dining area, family room, formal living room, dining room, library, two staircases, and fireplace.

Transformed Main Floor

When we arrived to take photos of the project, it truly felt like the home enveloped you. It is now so welcoming and cozy—a 180 from its former self. Stephen LaGue knocked it out of the park as the Project Manager, and Shannon Washam guided the project through as the Project Director.

Entry Stairs

Previously, the entry staircase had carpeted treads, a curved, snail-style bottom railing, and half-moon sides on the bottom step. We wanted to give the stairs an updated, clean look while presenting a grand entry. We removed the wood spindles, carpet, and rounded appearance to modernize the stairs. The new post is square, and the iron spindles are also squared. Fun fact: this staircase is a craftsman's masterpiece. Not only did Randy Shepherd yield his expert talents, but Henry Ramirez was brought in from out of retirement to assist. Every part was custom built, mostly using hand tool.s

Formal Living Room

Ceilings were a huge focus of this project. The home's two living spaces presented two different heights. The family room and kitchen have 9-foot ceilings, while the formal living room has 10-foot ceilings. They knew they wanted beams, but they decided to do something a bit different on the lower ceilings. 

After removing the walls on both sides of the fireplace, they gave the fireplace a new look. Stephen and the team removed the original fireplace, mantle, overmantle, tile, etc. The new fireplace has a limestone veneer, a wood beam mantle, and a see-through fireplace. We're huge fans of how the messy over grout turned out!

Family Room

Nina worked with our clients to find the right fit for the family room ceilings, which ended up being shiplap. We love the two different ceilings, which differentiate the two spaces! The dining area is delineated using a beam that matches the kitchen beam.

Back Staircase

We wanted to open up the back staircase and remove the triangle-shaped drywall. Nina repeated the materials on the rear stairs, which we used on the front staircase. You'll notice the post and railing are stained darker than the floors. This is because they're red oak while the floors are white oak. The subtle contrast works beautifully!

Dining Room

The goal in the dining room was to tone down the heavy molding and make it feel more inviting. To accomplish this, we removed the half-wall wainscotting, the heavy dental crown molding, the tray ceiling, and the heavy molding at the cased entry.


The library updates were primarily cosmetic. We replaced the carpet and updated the wall paint.

Powder bathroom

Our client was excited create a powder bathroom with a color pop! The powder bathroom also had the overly ornate, traditional design shown in the rest of the home. In addition to making it a bit more contemporary, our client wanted the powder bathroom to inject color into the otherwise neutral main floor. 

We are absolutely thrilled with the transformation of this main floor renovation. It has exceeded our expectations in every way! Stephen, Shannon, and the Schloegel team really delivered. We couldn't be happier with how this main floor remodel has captured the warm, cozy, and inviting essence our clients hoped to capture.