Monday, June 17, 2013

Creating an Open Floor Plan from a 1940's Ranch Home - Before & After

It seems like ages ago, when we first walked through this simple 1947 rancher and started talking about how we could update it.  Fast forward 6 months and we're still pretty amazed at how much it has changed.

We started with a typical post war home.  Small, separate rooms with a small kitchen.  You can see the Before Photos Here.

Since we were putting an entirely new second floor on the house, we knew that the engineered joist system that we installed would let us remove any walls that we wanted on the first floor.  We were also installing a new wall-hung, gas furnace which allowed the chimney flue to be removed.  That gave us lots of flexibility to design the new space.
View from front door - Before

The result?  Well, we'll let you be the judge!

Because we removed so many walls and doorways, it's probably hard to believe this is the same space (hint - the wall on the right with the antique table is the only one that stayed).  The first impression as you come through the front door is completely different now.  Instead of a maze of walls and doorways, now you see all the living spaces in this bright, open home.

View from front door - After, with all those walls removed
Living Room - Before
Living Room - After

 The 1960's brick fireplace has had a facelift with a new, yet traditional style, mantle.  We added sconces and a new gas firelog set.  Won't this be cozy during a cold Maine winter?
Moving the furnace was a big job.  But in this case, it allowed us to eliminate the flue and open up the space.  Once the flue and supporting wall were gone, we added the hand hewn antique beams to give this post war home some architectural character.  It also provided a great transition as we changed ceiling heights between the spaces.
First Floor - Before centre wall and hot air ducting from furnace was removed

First floor After - same camera angle, without the central wall

Living Room/Dining Room - Before

This is probably the best vantage point to see how many walls were removed.  The only wall that still remains is the one on the far left and part of the mirrored wall (which provides a closet as you come in the entry).
Living Room/Dining Room - After
Back Hallway - Before
The back hallway has had similar, dramatic changes.  We eliminated the closets on the left, opened up the stairwell wall, took out the funky, angled arch and raised the floor level to match the rest of the house.  Quite a change, don't you think?

The second floor is all new - click HERE to see how it came out.

So, next time you think that a dated floor plan has to be stuck in the past.  Think again.  With a little creativity, you can make it a wonderful, modern living space!

Want to see our latest project?  Like us on Facebook for regular updates!

Original Paintings - Cooper Dragonette
Dining Table & Chairs - Pottery Barn
Wicker Wing Chairs - Pottery Barn
Leather Sofa - Horchow
Kitchen Cabinets - Martha Stewart Purestyle

Pin It


  1. You did a wonderful job on this one, Laurel. I know the new owners will appreciate all of your thoughtful changes. Can't wait to see the next project!

  2. I love what you did with the fireplace! The entire layout is great, it looks beautiful.

    1. Thanks so much!!! It was a great project and we're thrilled with how it all came together!

  3. Did I miss the news? Has it sold? You did a great job!!!

    1. Yes! It sold to the first person that walked in the door for the Open House. Newlyweds that wanted a home to start their lives together :-)

      Thanks for reading the blog. I hope to get our latest project done soon.


  4. HI Laurel,

    My husband and I are headed in the direction of purchasing a 1950's rancher and adding a second floor. We have no clue about floor plans, renovations,etc....what we do know is that we got the property for a steal, in a great you have floor plans available for purchase? Do you offer any designing services? We would like to live in the property for 1 year while doing all the necessary leg work prior to construction. Is there a checklist available to get started......

    1. Well, it sounds like you're off to a good start - good price on a house in a great neighborhood! And living in the house for a year is an excellent idea. You'll be amazed at how much your plans will change as you see how you live in the house.
      Sorry, I don't have floor plans. We develop each one individually. Are you local? I could give you some suggestions on local resources!

  5. I just looked at all of your 4 home transformations, and they are fabulous! Great work you are doing!

    1. Thanks so much Nicki! We really love renovating these places - to make them beautiful and functional for modern families!!!


  6. I am looking to do something like this, i am interested in what he entire cost of the reno was so i can get an idea of what i am in for.

  7. Beautiful fireplace mantel and surround! My husband just finished building one that is very similar. He just looked at a picture I liked and said he could build it! I think he really enjoyed doing it and it learned a lot and bought a lot of tools. It was definitely worth it. It took quite awhile, he only does a project once and says never again! Though in all, we have done several parts of one, I can't imagine doing a whole house. Congrats on your beautiful renovations. I enjoy the finished result on our small project and can only imagine the pride you must have in doing a whole house.

    1. Thanks so much! Yes, it's a great feeling to create a whole house, but sounds like you all did a great job on your fireplace. And I bet your husband will decide to tackle something new as he hears compliments about his handiwork!!

  8. Awesome post! I am a strong believer that a ranch style home is the best style of home. Keep up the awesome work on this blog!

  9. Great post! I absolutely love this house, there are some amazing design ideas here. Thanks so much for sharing!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...