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A Family’s Functional Remodel

A Family’s Functional Remodel

Patriotic farmhouse living room
Written by Amelia Carroll
Photography by Michael Hospelt

What do you do with children who are growing older and need their own space? This was the main concern a family had in their home in Marin County, California. Luckily, Heidi Richardson of Richardson Architects was able to rearrange their home to give their two teen daughters the space they needed in this functional remodel.

A bed with storage underneath and a functional chalkboard wall.
Each daughter got her own separate space in the remodel.
A laundry room with lots of functional storage space.
Functionality was a big part of this remodel. Heidi had to make sure the flow of the house worked well with the family’s lifestyle.

Separate Spaces

As an architect, Heidi reorganized the space so it fit the needs of the owners. This is a one-story home, and they couldn’t expand the structure’s footprint, so new spaces the owners wanted needed to be in a fairly condensed area. They wanted different spaces for their teen daughters, to entertain guests, and for the family to spend time together.

A white living room with red and blue accents.
The family wanted a TV room so they had a place to be together as a family.

 “We were able to separate zones for different activities and different members of the household,” says Heidi. “But they can still come together and have a feeling of community.” The parents like to entertain, but there wasn’t a good space for their daughters to call their own. Now, they each have a separate space.

A functional room with bookshelves, a blue couch, and a cowhide rug.
The parents wanted a place to entertain without encroaching on their daughters’ spaces.

Staying Connected

An open floor plan throughout the center of the house keeps different rooms connected. “The openness from the den to the hallway is an important design feature,” says Heidi. “Carrying the color from the den to the bar area so it feels like one room is important too.” Using similar colors makes the whole space cohesive. Wood floors were also carried throughout the home to make the different spaces fit together well.

An open bar area.
Wood floors and similar colors were carried throughout the home to create good flow.

Originally, the center of the house was a dark corridor from the front of the house to the back, but by opening up some of those doorways, it created more room and made the home feel brighter. When the front door is open, you see straight out to the back garden, but the space between is still open and welcoming.

A functional kitchen that opens into a hallway that leads to the front door.
The light colors and many windows make the space open and welcoming, perfect for farmhouse style.
A front door and table with an ornate mirror.
The entryway used to be closed off, but now it is open and welcoming.

Keeping a Functional Remodel

This home needed to be functional for family life, as well as for entertaining. The owners didn’t want something too formal, but rather a home that was comfortable. The solution? Farmhouse style, of course. Heidi was able to reorganize the space so it was functional for all of the owners’ needs.

See Also
Farmhouse dining room with gallery wall and farmhouse details.

A bathroom with wood floors and light gray tile.
Wood floors and light colors carry throughout the home.

“It was really a collaboration with the owners,” says Heidi, “They have an eclectic style, and already had a lot of wonderful pieces—furniture and paintings and things—I just needed to create a simple shell for the family to fill.” The owners did most of the decorating, and Heidi provided the farmhouse-style structure that would be both functional for everyday life, and welcoming to visitors.

A bathroom with a modern bathtub and exposed bulb.
The owners have eclectic tastes, but it works well within this modern farmhouse frame.

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