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New full-height cabinets with glass fronts gave this remodel not only more storage but beautiful aesthetics too.

Featured Article

First Floor Remodels

A Fresh New Look for Your Home Starts with the First Floor.

Article by Mollee Johnson

Photography by Shannon Loud and Mike Kaskel

Originally published in SW Lake Lifestyle

Watch any of the countless home renovation shows and you’ll likely hear somebody say, “I wish it had more of an open concept.” And in non-televised real life, this trend has homeowners wondering about tearing down walls to create larger multi-functional spaces.

Whenever a homeowner starts to think of renovating an outdated kitchen it quickly becomes a question of creating more functional space, not only for cooking and dining, but more importantly the rhythms of daily life as a more open kitchen “spills into” the home’s first floor.

At this point homeowners tend to become overwhelmed with that “spill out” effect; they want the end result, but are unsure how to get there. (If only there were 30-minute magic wands in real life!)

In one of the comprehensive first floor remodels I’ve designed and managed, the changes were centered around a stunning kitchen overhaul. The design sought to integrate spaces for cooking, dining, and living while reinventing the heart of the home. This approach simultaneously enhanced the visual appeal and functionality of the first floor of the client’s home while fostering a more interactive and social environment, which perfectly aligned with a busy family lifestyle.

My goal for every first-floor remodel is to work closely with the client to understand how they use spaces, so that we can create a custom design that suits the individual needs of their family.

In my experience, every remodeling project begins with a candid conversation about needs. You need to be prepared to share how you use the space, including details about your family’s daily routines. As a parent of two busy teenagers, I know this firsthand. After too many episodes of “This is driving me crazy” and the realization that “This isn’t working”, we launched our own first-floor remodel that helped restore sanity to our everyday life.

After you’ve chosen your designer, the actual process begins: the diagramming, space design, contractor selection and bidding, material selection and ordering, and finally demolition and construction. A typical first floor remodel can run anywhere from $60,000 — $200,000 and most generally takes 6 to12 weeks depending on scope (those 30-minute shows are all TV magic!).

Families make the most memories on the first floor in the heart of the home. It’s absolutely essential to have a first floor that works for your family.

About the Author: With more than 20 years of experience as an interior designer, Mollee Johnson works with area families to create homes that suit each client’s personal needs. Learn more at

“The entire process with Style 1519 exceeded our expectations. Attention to detail was impeccable, and the entire process was a breeze. Our outdated kitchen and the first floor is now an absolute dream!" (Mark and Stacy Repkin)

  • This new kitchen with the living room wall removed now provides ample counter space for a busy lifestyle.
  • The old dining room wall is gone and this busy family now has a central island and tucked-away refrigerator.
  • Truly the heart of this home, the new kitchen spills into the living room and is ready for family memories to be made.
  • New full-height cabinets with glass fronts gave this remodel not only more storage but beautiful aesthetics too.
  • Reworking the entire first floor, now this family can spread out and still have an eat-in kitchen.
  • The command center — with today's technology, charging, and gadgets, every family needs an organized place for it all to land. 
  • We were able to get the micro and coffee station off the perimeter counter where they can be hidden away when not in use.