Unified Front

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The remodel of this split level better integrates the home's upper and lower levels and opens up the floor plan.

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  • Better integrate the upper and lower levels of this 1980s split-level home; improve the flow from the front entry to the living spaces; update the exterior facade


The architects opened up the stairs to create a two-story foyer they call a “circulation armature,” which unifies the space vertically and creates horizontal connections between the levels.

The homeowners now have a smooth transition from the foyer via a half-flight of stairs to the reading room to the left of the entry, then into the main living spaces. The contractor removed the walls between the kitchen, and the dining and living rooms to create better sight lines. The architects specified new, enlarged aluminum-frame windows throughout the house, which flood the spaces with natural light.

Judges’ comments

One judge said that the open stair brings in light and “gives the whole house a lot of benefit for that one move.” —Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.

Spec List

Bathroom plumbing fittings: Hansgrohe

Bathroom plumbing fixtures: Toto; Lacava

Dishwasher: GE Monogram

Entry doors: Sherwood Doors

Fireplace: Heat & Glo

Flooring: Bella Woods

Garage doors: Overhead Doors

Hardware: Omnia

Interior doors: Simpson Doors

Kitchen cabinets: Elmar

Kitchen plumbing fittings: Hansgrohe 

Lighting fixtures: WAC; Viabizzuno; Sistemalux; Zaneen

Oven: GE Monogram 

Paints/stains: Benjamin Moore

Refrigerator: GE Monogram

Siding: Viroc

Skylights: Velux

Windows: Sherwood Windows

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