whole house remodel bungalow living room with schist fireplace surround
Photo: Alex Hayden
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Modern Family Space

Her answer was to pretty much take the first floor apart and put it together again, inserting storage in unexpected places as in a Japanese puzzle box.

Out came the front and rear staircases, making way for a key first piece: a smart-looking set of built-ins wrapped by a single set of stairs. The design-build team also altered the stairs to the basement, adding a landing halfway down with a door that opens to the side yard. Clements characterizes this new entrance as an experiment in behavior modification: a subtle architectural hint to incoming soccer players to dispatch their gear down below before surfacing to ask about dinner.

Shown: The dramatic schist fireplace surround and the whimsical ceiling fixture give the living room a fresh look. The new opening over the sofa brings in light while separating the reading-and-relaxing zone from the kitchen-dining-room-study-hall fray.

Ceiling fixture: Ballard Designs
Armchairs: Capers
Sofa: Pottery Barn
Coffee table: David Smith & Company
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