Before and After

Denver Renovation: Carving More Space for Family Time

The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest. – Thomas Moore

Time with family – not the kind of unforgettable fun trip or special dinners, but the practical time spent at home going through the everyday rituals – this is the honest time spent that doesn’t always feel valuable or special, sometimes it feels a chore.  I think it is the more important time spent with your loved ones and it is truly a luxury.

I’m working on quite a few “opening up” homes right now.  They’re a lot of fun mainly because of the dramatic impact it has on daily life.  I thought I would share a few photo’s and sketches from a renovation project in Denver that is in progress right now.  This is a young family who had lived in the home for a little while and knew that they wanted to knock down some walls and open things up to create a more usable, enjoyable and stylish heart of their home.

Dining Before
Here’s a Before photo from the dining room looking towards the family room and the kitchen.  It’s dark, isn’t it?  It’s also a dining room that feels more like a hall than a room you would want to linger in over coffee.  The kitchen is almost completely cut off from the family room and the backyard.
Dining Room Removing Wall
Here’s a quick sketch I did to show the client how the space would look after the renovation – removing walls, updating the kitchen with a peninsula, adding skylights – these are things that have a tremendous impact in the look of the space and in how you use it.


renovation process
I took this on a site visit Tuesday – note the steel beam that has been put into place to handle the new opening. You can already see the changes in the natural light – we are adding two skylights that will also dramatically change the look of the space.  This should go without saying, but make sure you hire a structural engineer before you open up!

I love seeing homes in progress like this, but generally, it does make my homeowners nervous.  I totally understand that it is a distressing thing to see your home ripped apart as if by a natural disaster and know that you are paying large amounts of money for this to happen.  Just keep in mind, it’s temporary and it’s a necessary part of the process to make your home what you want it to be.

Steel support beam
Here’s another view toward the dining room, kitchen and living room from the family room. We are going to wrap the steel beam in wood and then add accents of wood in other places as well such as a barn door and a fireplace mantel.

Renovating a home that you’ve been in for a while is stressful.  You have to move out temporarily, your home starts being called “a job site”, things happen unexpectedly to it (just today I had a call that a plumber had accidentally turned water back on at a home I’m working on and started a minor flood) – but just remember that it is worth it to carve out more of that valuable, personal space for yourself and your family.  Keep your sense of humor at the ready and hire people that you trust and who you don’t mind talking to every single day (this last bit is more important than you would think).









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