Miller Pelaez after remodel
Photo: James Carrière
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Creating An Open Floor Plan

Yet, "even with all the dark woodwork I could tell the house had lots of natural light," says Jenna, who mainly envisioned converting part of the porch to a breakfast nook and painting everything white. That was before the couple realized the one working fireplace needed a new flue and the furnace needed replacing. Instead of redecorating, "we spent that first year stripping wallpaper, pulling up carpet, replacing sash cords in the old windows, and repairing cracks in the walls," Jenna recalls.

Help arrived in the form of general contractor William Hom, joined by architect Julia Lui, who agreed to translate Jenna's ideas into applications for building permits. All agreed it would make sense to create the new kitchen in the old cooking space and open it to the dining room. Then, in one-thing-leads-to-another fashion, they hit on the idea of tearing off the back porch and grafting on an open family room where the kids could watch TV under the eye of whoever was at the sink.

To shorten everyone's steps, they would wiggle in a first-floor powder room and dispatch the washer and dryer to the second floor, near the kids' bedrooms.

Shown: Stripped maple floorboards and pale fabrics keep the living room airy. A stack of wine boxes with label holders serves as an end table.

Bed, curtains, pendant, and bath sconces: Restoration Hardware; accent pillows, Target; faucet, Rohl
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