A whole-house makeover with a light-filled, open floorplan

Belmont Contemporary Prairie Style Second Story

As is often the case with a whole house makeover, our challenge was both a functional and aesthetic one. The homeowners had lived here for over twenty years and had recently seen their two adult children leave the nest. Our design approach was to provide our clients with a light-filled, open floor plan with better connection between the levels, as well as a design that would both fit in the neighborhood, and be of its time.

Functionally, relocating the stair to the center of the house created an efficient, light-filled path of travel that transformed the disjointed two-level house into a free-flowing five-level plan. Premanufactured trusses were used to create an open plan at the rear of the house, with a stronger visual and functional connection to the well-manicured back yard. Converting a rear bedroom to a dining area opened up a “great” room across the back of the house, which in turn opens to a large kitchen with plenty of opportunity for guests to interact with their hosts. A full seismic upgrade and major foundation retrofit stabilized the settlement that had occurred over time, while creating additional headroom for a wine cellar and storage. New balconies at each of the three living levels help foster a connection to the outdoors and take advantage of the sweeping views afforded by the site.

Stylistically, we explored many different styles with the homeowners, ranging from ultra-modern to ranch, finally landing on the modified Prairie style that seemed to be the best fit for the predominantly Ranch-style neighborhood and our clients’ predilection for contemporary design.

Our clients have reported that since the completion of construction, they have been able to host larger and more frequent gatherings at their new home, putting the lie to the “empty nest” syndrome.


  • Project Year: 2013
  • Project Cost: $750,001 – $1,000,000


Photography by Mark Pinkerton, VI360 Photography


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