All Projects Newton, MA

Creating Purpose and Flow

Bathrooms Interiors Kitchens Whole House

It's not unusual for the problems people have with their homes to originate from prior renovations. Sometimes it seems that those previous renovations were ill-conceived. Other times they may have made sense initially, but subsequent renovations led to an awkward floor plan and cumbersome traffic flow. In either case, we may have to strip away old work to create a more functional layout.

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At this home, prior renovations resulted in a cramped kitchen and oversized three-quarter bath, while leaving the laundry in the basement. The original small dining room had become a small family room, and the dining room had been relocated to a large, open space between the kitchen and the garage. The route to the dining room was circuitous, and dark surfaces made the space feel gloomy and dim. Yet our clients, new homeowners, believed this house had potential and were prepared to undo former reconfigurations in order to realize it.

Creating that change....

Architect Bill Harper worked closely with the owners to reimagine the first floor spaces.

An important first step was to combine the kitchen with the adjacent and too-small family room, creating a more functional kitchen with an informal eating area. Another pivotal change was eliminating the first-floor shower, freeing up space for the laundry.The existing living room was awkwardly shaped for a living room (too long relative to its width) but was perfect as a dining room. We moved the living room to the former lower-level dining room, connected it to the kitchen via a short, straight stair, and finished it with warm, light tones.


We added a balcony overlooking the new lower-level living room, affording a wide, welcoming path from the entry foyer to the kitchen.

Now the entire first floor has clear purpose, intuitive flow, and airy spaces that work well and feel good to be in.