The Light + Airy Hangout

This family felt as if they had outgrown their home.  They went from a family of four to now hosting 10 people for regular family dinners now that their kids were grown, married, and had kids of their own.

You’ll see in the video the before pictures and just how cramped the space was before the transformation.  She had almost NO counter space to cook large family meals and they were never able to all sit together.

What we were able to do with some smart floor planning was tremendous.  Now all 10 of them can sit together for meals and hang out in the living area easily.  Everything is grandkid friendly, light and airy, and will work well for them for decades to come.


Do you want to see how we transformed this itty-bitty kitchen and the surrounding living and dining rooms to fully feed a growing family of 10? Let’s dive right in!

Oh my goodness. I cannot believe that as this family is expanding and these guys have grandkids now and their kids and their grandkids come over for dinner and, all of a sudden, they’re trying to feed like 10 people in this teeny space, and I do not know how this super woman does this because I can not imagine cooking in this kitchen, let alone feeding everybody in this kitchen and the teeny tiny dining room that accompanies it.

Let’s take a look at how we transformed this space into something that’s going to be so much more comfortable for them and their family, and feel really updated, feel really fresh, modern, but also still classic.

Let’s take a look first at the kitchen. The sink wall didn’t change a whole lot, other than where we’re removing the bulkhead here so that we can bring the cabinets right up to the ceiling. The ceilings are low inside of this space so we want to ensure that we are maximizing the height all the way around.

Now, this is like so many homes in Windsor. We have three or four friends all with a same layout inside of their home and kind of that same look, and so all of them are a little bit cramped, a little bit small. They are very much reminiscent of that fifties and sixties-style build. So what we definitely wanted to do here was add a dishwasher. We don’t want to be cooking for that many people without a dishwasher.

Transforming all of the lower cabinets mostly into drawers to allow for more functionality, adding in some really great lighting in here because it was a little bit dark, and keeping everything white and fresh. Now you guys know that I love colour, I love texture, but in some spaces, white is the right choice, and this is definitely one of those spaces.

Now let’s take a look at this wall right here. This is the wall between the kitchen and the dining room, and you can see their dining room is really tight. They have the table currently pushed up against the wall, kitchen appliances are spilling out into the dining room. The grandkids are taking over that we need storage for toys, for sure, inside of this space. So we’re going to take out this wall here to make room for a lovely, open kind of island peninsula inside of this space.

Then the other wall that we removed was this one here beside the refrigerator. There was a slight bump out here. So this just allows us to shift the refrigerator open, and get a couple of cabinets on either side of the range so that they have a little bit of working space there. This is going to help so much with prep. Having this nice long run of prep space here is just really going to create so much more room, so much more function. And the extra three stools here means that if their family grows any more and they can’t all fit at the huge dining table that we were able to create, they can kind of flow people over into this island that is right there beside it, too.

We also added a couple of open floating shelves here on this wall. We don’t want to really touch anything here because this is all load bearing. This wall, no problem. It’s not load-bearing. But with the load-bearing wall, just in order to keep costs down, we wanted to keep that piece of things so that we didn’t have to bring in a giant beam or anything like that. So that gave us a really nice place to add a couple open shelves. That way when people want a drink or something like that, or they just need a cup or a bowl, it’s right there, and they don’t have to come into the kitchen space to interrupt the chef. Adding in a little bit of blue in here, too, is a great way to add some visual interest. The island here was a great place to do it.

Then on the other side of the island here, you’re getting a little sneak peek of what we did in the dining room, but lots and lots of drawers, and also bringing the microwave down here as well. So that if the kids need something heated up, then they can walk right in here, but not be interrupting the chef maybe who’s prepping by the sink or over here by the range.


As we look into the fridge wall here, see, this is where you can see this other little wall here that we removed. This is in a lot of homes of this style build and typically there’s not a lot inside of these walls. It was just really built in, in order to incorporate the kitchen. And in some cases there may be some duct work or something like that running up there. In this case, we’re pretty confident that there’s not, but as soon as we get into construction, we’ll handle that as we go along.

You can see here how we solved that. Now they just have this teeny tiny little cabinet, and that’s it, besides their stove so there’s nowhere to really put down your prep materials, your spoons, your bowls, all of those things as you’re cooking. And we’re not getting a whole lot of exhaust through here as well, except for what the microwave can handle, which usually is not that great in terms of exhaust. So bringing in a hood vent here, depending on the design that they choose for the hood vent, we may be able to add in a couple little small uppers in this kitchen. But again, just keeping everything crisp and simple inside of this kitchen is key to really maximizing the space.

Now the dining room is where we had to get a bit creative because as you can see, definitely the grandkids are taking over. There are toys everywhere and we wanted to build in as much storage for the kids as possible, as well as getting a great big table in here. Well, because of the footprint of this space and if we want to be able to have stools at the island that push back, we really needed to build in some sort of banquet bench seating in this dining room so that we could fit a nice long table. I believe this is a 96-inch table that we did in here, and these storage benches all the way around so great for the kids and the grandkids to sit on and all of the tops lift up so that we can store so many toys in there. It’s going to be so good. The kids can kind of crawl under there, Rob and Jane get their toys, all of that kind of good stuff, and a nice big piece of artwork really grounds this space.

You can see that we’re really mixing a lot of different styles in here so we’re bringing in more of a rustic- style table with some contemporary chairs, the mid-century style lighting, and then some nice modern artwork. That mix of styles was what really gives it that kind of hangout type of vibe. Nothing feels overly stuffy. It feels very relaxed and pulled together just like this family.

Looking into the living room, you could tell that it’s time for a little bit of an update. The drapery hasn’t been done for a while, these guys have been focused on their family and their growing family, and they really wanted to put in a fireplace and some built-ins inside of this living room.

What we did was remove this little glass block window here to make room for wall-to-wall storage on this wall here. I’m so excited. So the fireplace elevation here, beautiful contemporary shelves, a fairly simple styling, nice linear fireplace, a basket weave tile. Then we added a little here, carrying that blue throughout the space to the backs of the built-ins here with some wallpaper. So this is a really pretty kind of striated wallpaper. There’s no heavy pattern, but it’s going to set a really amazing tone for this space. There’s going to be a spot for the TV above, some lighting to really light up this feature that they’re investing in inside of their space here as well.

On this side, so we’re going to knock out these little rails, but keep the pony walls so there’s a little bit of separation here. Sometimes they’ll take out these pony walls completely, and use a console table to separate out the entry from the living room. In this case, though, we didn’t have quite enough room. A console table is going to be about 12 inches deep, whereas a wall is going to be closer to four to five and a half inches deep. So, we’re going to keep the bottom part of this pony wall, taking out the top pieces of it in order to really still have that separation between the door.

As you can see here, again, we’re keeping things really light and bright and airy, bringing that blue into the sofa. We’ve got an amazing textured rug coming in here with a very subtle pattern, bringing in some sort of open frame chair, and we’ll probably mix in a little bit more of the silver, rather than the wood in this case, just creates a ton of seating in here. I mean the sectional alone can sit, two three, four, five, six, about seven people. So all in all, if we pull the ottomans over, we can see all 10 members of the family in here and then even a couple more in the bed here as well, because when they kind of play with their toys on the bench, or maybe be playing on the rug, there is plenty of seating for everybody inside of this small living room.

Going in here to just some of the selections that we’re proposing so that you guys can get a sense of that. Bringing in a sofa here with a bit of an open return on this chaise just helps keep that place open. I’m loving the rug. I’m so excited about the rug. It’s just soft and subtle, bringing in the chair, but in a silver frame, I think would really compliment this well. It’s a chair that we’ve used before, and everybody always loves it. A lot of texture you can see. Just bringing in texture upon texture is the key to creating a lot of interest within a white space.

I’m not going to go through everything here, but I hope that you guys enjoy the light and airy hangout. We hope that you come back and check out when it is all set and done so that you can see the final reveal because drawings never do it justice. It’s always even way better in person, and we cannot wait.