Project Description

Like many homes in Charlotte, this 1960s era brick ranch had a traditional, boxy layout that worked at the time, but was in need of a serious update to better reflect the lifestyle of its new owners, a couple in their 30s.

Palmer’s Project Goals and Challenges

  • The traditional, compartmentalized layout of this brick ranch was in need of an update.
  • Since we were removing some of the home’s original features, we wanted to add architectural interest and style in every possible area.

Solutions

  • The original layout of the home had a separate living room, dining room, kitchen, and small family room with a massive fireplace divided by a front foyer. We began by removing the structural walls surrounding the foyer and between the living room and family room. We then removed the brick masonry fireplace. What once had been an exterior wall had a screened porch on the other side of it. We removed that too and turned the screened porch into a sunroom with graciously sized windows. The result of these changes was basically opening up the entire downstairs. To support the home, we added structural headers in the attic so that the homeowners and their guests don’t see any visible beams. The result is a gracious open space that is large enough to house a baby grand piano.
  • The changes also allowed us to bring natural light into the space. Once the oversized fireplace was removed, the view to the backyard opened up, which we reinforced by adding large windows and a back door for access.
  • In what was the screened porch, we raised the level of the floor by building a sleeper floor, which enabled us to continue the hardwoods out into that area. We patched and refinished the floors so that the new wood blended seamlessly with the old. Now, you can’t tell where the old walls used to be.
  • To replace the old fireplace, we added a new low-profile, direct vent gas fireplace on the exterior wall of the sunroom.
  • To add architectural interest, we left a portion of the exterior brick wall and whitewashed it to create a subtle focal point similar to the industrial chic look of an old mill converted into a restaurant.
  • We moved the washer and dryer around into a laundry room to create a more efficient space for it.
  • In a small cutout between the walls of the old living room and family room we added floor-to-ceiling cabinets and put in a wine rack to create another focal point.
  • Lap siding on the walls in the new family room area was added to create another architectural feature.
  • In the kitchen, we removed a raised bar to create a continuous counter surface with a functional overhang and added practical features like USB chargers that are built into the wall outlets.

Overall, this was a wonderful makeover for a house and took just 10 weeks. The value they received for their investment is one they enjoy everyday.