Making a Space Usable and Bright

This remodel from Michael Nash Design Build shows how good design can transform your living environment.

For this NARI Capital CoTY Finalist Award Winning Kitchen Remodel in Arlington, Michael Nash Design Build took a small, dark first floor and transformed it into a modern, open and well-lit living area suitable for family living and entertaining.

“The homeowners were looking for an updated look with lots of daylight and open first floor plan,” says Sonny Nazemian, master designer/remodeler at Michael Nash. “A formal dining room did not mean much while living with a non-functioning kitchen space.”

Before the work, the first floor was divided by a narrow staircase in front of the front door separating the living and dining rooms. Just behind the dining room, was a very small kitchen, a nonfunctioning kitchen space with a small window, and just behind it, a storage room that served no purpose.

“When we take on a project, we are looking to create a living space that can grow with the homeowner,” says Sonny. “This process requires feedback and learning about the end goal. Then we go to work to create the perfect renovation that is both usable and beautiful.”

With older homes, this often means doing structural work, so in order to achieve this design, three bearing walls separating kitchen and dining room, kitchen and storage area, and the kitchen and living room were taken down, and new structural supports were added. This completely opened up the first floor. A major amount of plumbing and duct work were also relocated to allow for this open space. A new double window was cut to bring light into the kitchen.

The ceiling was raised over the unused old storage area. Then the space was converted into a mudroom, closet space with tile floor, and a much-needed powder room, which was decorated with flowered-design floor tiles and a restored furniture-style vanity cabinet. Back windows were installed to bring even more light.

“If the bones are there, all we need is a vision and we can make it all work,” says Sonny. “Often space is unused for a reason and it is our job to create a home that works for the owners.”

To complete the new kitchen space, a large Island with prep sink was placed in the center of kitchen and old dining room, and a butler area with wine chiller and glass cabinets were installed just steps away from new dining and living room space. The old wood burning fireplace was converted to gas log with new marble heart to add heat and a cozy focal point. Upscale stainless-steel appliances, exotic soapstone counter tops and subway tiles add more pizzazz to this comfortable yet welcoming kitchen.

Another great feature of this design is the new sliding barn door that connects the kitchen to the adjacent study. Such a large, glass door serves to create openness and light while giving privacy in the office.

“I am more than pleased with the decision to open up and renovate our first floor and kitchen,” says the homeowner. “I can’t wait to throw more parties in my home as it is such a more welcoming space.”

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