Light and bright transformation 

How to create the perfect space for family living

When you picture the perfect space for a young family, something bright and open probably comes to mind.

In fact, when I’m updating a space for family living, I’m almost always asked to create a more open concept layout that works better for everyday life as well as entertaining.

This main floor renovation for a wonderful family is a great example of how to transform a dark and dated home into a bright, welcoming space that is ideal for family living. Here are a few of my top tips for creating family friendly spaces that made this renovation a success.

Open Up Spaces and Sight Lines

Although the home was large, there was quite a bit of wasted space in the original layout. By removing several walls, I was able to open things up to create a more optimized floor plan.

Taking out the wall between the kitchen and dining room created enough space for seating at the new island, something that was a high priority for my clients. The expansive island has room for five stools and is perfect for casual dining, quality family time, and easy entertaining.

We also eliminated a wall between the kitchen and family room, creating a clear sight line to the TV from the kitchen. This allowed light to flow throughout the combined space.

Opt for a Light Colour Palette

For a bright and airy feel, we chose an off-white as the predominant colour for the custom cabinetry, the walls, backsplash, countertops and fireplace surround. To add contrast and depth, the island was painted in Benjamin Moore’s Iron Mountain, a beautiful soft black that coordinates with the dark cabinet hardware.

Incorporate Storage Solutions

The kitchen layout got a complete overhaul to make it both beautiful and functional. The stove was centered between the two windows, creating symmetry that is pleasing to the eye. Custom cabinets provide loads of storage space in the kitchen. I also added a much needed pantry and a functional front hall closet with the same custom cabinetry for a seamless look.

Use Kid-Friendly Materials

The flooring needed to be both family-friendly and coordinate with the beautiful renovations the clients had previously completed on their staircase and second floor. I chose durable luxury vinyl in a soft, light wood tone throughout the main floor, and fun, low maintenance hexagonal ceramic tile for the front door, mudroom/laundry room and powder room.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine the possibilities to make a dark and dated space work for your family. This dramatic transformation is an inspiring example of what can be achieved with careful planning, creative vision, and the right team to make the magic happen.

What my client said

Natalie Cox listened to our needs and transformed our dated main floor into a modern and functional living space that perfectly suits our lifestyle. Taking on a large scale renovation with a busy toddler was very daunting but Natalie and Amy made themselves available throughout the process to talk through concerns and find creative solutions. You often hear stories about long waits for materials or contractors not showing up, but with Natalie’s coordination of the entire project, we didn’t face any delays for materials and the contractors engaged through CPI (Sam and the crew from SL Construction) were reliable and responsive. We are thrilled with our finished space and we are looking forward to hosting friends and family in the years to come.

– Chantal Desjardins, Ottawa

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