Living Room Decorating Ideas Split Level
Raymond R. James
October 16, 2021
Design & Décor Ideas
Our living room is the first thing you see when you walk in.The only natural light that we get in this whole living/dining space is through the window, which is northern-facing.Here are the problems I’m having with this space and things to consider:.– The rooms feel dark and gloomy for 97% of the day since there’s just one northern-facing window in the living room, so I need to consider supplemental lighting.Bonus if I can configure a layout that looks good, flows and can break up the living room and dining room.To show you how much space I have to work with, here’s a rough floor plan:. .
A PLANBOOK OF REMODELING IDEAS FOR SPLIT-LEVEL AND
i Brooklyn Park Burnsville.Hennepin County Maplewood Mounds View New Hope Plymouth Ramsey County Roseville Shoreview Washington County.Dakota County Community Development Agency 651.675.4400 www.dakotacda.org City of Golden Valley 763.593-8095 www.ci.golden-valley.mn.us.Hennepin County Department of Housing, Community Works and Transit 612.348-9260 www.co.hennepin.mn.us City of Maplewood 651.770.4526 www.ci.maplewood.mn.us.Ramsey County Community and Economic Development 651.266.8000 www.co.ramsey.mn.us City of Roseville HRA 651.490.2281 www.cityofroseville.com City of Shoreview 651.490.4625 www.ci.shoreview.mn.us Washington County Housing and Redevelopment Authority 651.458.0936 www.wchra.com.City of Brooklyn Park Economic Development Authority 763.493.8059 www.brooklynpark.org City of Burnsville 952.895.4400 www.burnsville.org.SPECIAL THANKS TO Executive Committee: Stacie Kvilvang, Chair (Ehlers & Associates) Jenni Tovar (City of Burnsville) Marjorie Mangine (City of Brooklyn Park) Cheryl Bennett (City of Coon Rapids) Cathy Bennett (City of Roseville HRA) Ken Doresky (City of New Hope) Barbara Dacy (Washington County HRA).Modern Homes, a Sears & Roebuck planbook published in 1935, included several houses with all the traits of the contemporary split-level: living spaces a half-flight of stairs up from the garage level, bedrooms stacked over the garage a half-flight up from the living level, and a half-basement level with daylight windows.From their modest beginnings in Chicago, splits spread rapidly across the Midwest and other northern states, though the house type is also found throughout the United States and Canada.Because they were built on different levels without a full basement, they cost less to build than ranches.Splits also offered a unique separation of social space, with bedrooms perched a half-story above the formal living space, and the informal living space found a half-story below.Splits are unique for the way in which they divide the living spaces into multiple levels, shaking up the traditional American housing pattern of formal rooms on the main level, with bedrooms upstairs and a full basement below.And because it’s only a half level away from the living levels, it seems more like part of the house.For example, the garage and family room are on the lower level, with the private bedroom area directly above it.The front entry, however, is located at the halfway point between the two levels, hence the term “split-entry.” Any house where the main entry is on a separate level from the rest of the house is a split-entry.The three types of splits featured in this book—split-entry short-faced, split-entry longfaced, and split-level traditional (see photos below)—are the most common variations built in the Twin Cities area.However diverse, splits share some similar characteristics: they’re built on two or three levels, have simple hip or gable roofs, are found on standard suburban sites (rarely on city lots), and have front doors and garages facing the street.For each type, we first introduce the basic design, then show ideas for how to expand the entry, improve the facade to increase curb appeal, open up the main level, redesign the basement, and better connect the house to the yard.Wherever possible, we show ideas for remodeling the existing house rather than adding on.In the final pages we discuss how to start a remodeling project, including tips on how to survive the remodeling process.the website we asked people to answer three specific questions about living in a split.The bedrooms are in one area, the living room, dining room, and kitchen are in another area, and the family room and utility rooms are in still another.The open entry also adds to this feeling.• The front entry is too small.The bedroom closets are too small and there is little general storage.• Add windows and more natural light to the kitchen, dining room, entry, bathrooms, and basement.WHAT IF MY HOUSE IS DIFFERENT?A ranch house, for example, is a type of house in which all living is on one level.So if you can find a house in the photographs below that looks like the type of house you’re familiar with, then you should concentrate on that house type in reading this book, as the design ideas in that section will be most applicable to your house, usually with only minor changes.SPLIT-ENTRY SHORT-FACED This short-faced home is the most contemporary of the three homes chosen as models in this book.Homes like this one are still being constructed today because the design is so economical to build.What makes this home type unique is that all social spaces–living, dining, and kitchen–are at the back of the house, while all the bedrooms face the street.This home has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a two-car garage.6 The garage is set back from the front of the house, but the huge garage door still dominates the facade.There is only one window per level on the sides of the house.Green architecture also works to minimize energy use.However green architecture is defined, its most important idea is to use and re-use existing buildings for as long as possible.Therefore, any remodeling project is inherently green, since it uses resources from the original construction.Extending the roof provides shelter for some chairs and creates a welcoming front porch.Removing the existing front entry wall allows for a larger foyer and mudroom.Placing the front door on the driveway side of the new entry creates space for a front porch and for a large front window, which allows more light into the new mudroom.Extending a new front entry and a new front porch toward the street makes the front door, rather than the garage door, the focus from the street.Adding a mudroom onto the existing entry creates space for a bench and storage cubbies, as well as more room for greeting guests.Adding a new entry and a front porch switches the focus from the garage door to the human door.Opening up the wall between the dining room and kitchen allows people in the two rooms to talk, and gives kitchen users views of the backyard.Adding a beam and opening up the wall between the kitchen and living room connects the social spaces, allowing family members to talk with each other.Adding a kitchen island creates a gathering space in the kitchen as well as more storage and counter space.Adding windows on the sides of the house increases the amount of natural light inside.The materials used to build decks have also changed in recent years.Cedar is increasingly expensive, while pressure-treated lumber, the miracle material of the 1980s, is used less often today because of concerns about its leaching hazardous chemicals (such as arsenic) into the ground around the deck.Adding skylights and windows and opening up the wall between the kitchen and living room creates a bright, open, and exciting space that flows out toward the deck and backyard.Just as important as the deck’s materials are its uses.Now is the time to make any design changes.Moving back the existing family room walls provides that room with enough space for an entertainment center and a sitting area overlooking the backyard.Wherever possible, align new windows in the basement with existing windows above.Moving the closets to the outside wall creates a great spot for a window seat.It also frees up the side wall for a new window.Cottage Grove Resident Adding a shed for extra storage and a covered patio creates a great “away place” in the yard.FRONT PORCH.Adding trellises for vertical gardens is a simple way to put an interesting face on a blank garage wall and add some architectural detail to the yard.SPLIT-ENTRY LONG-FACED This home is one of the larger of the split-entry types.This particular home has four bedrooms, three bathrooms (two are also common), and a two-car, tuck-under garage.The front door, which is unprotected and stuck on the front of the house like an afterthought, leads directly to the stair landing, which is in turn halfway between the upper and lower levels.Gable roofs are also common on this type of split-entry.The large window in the living room overlooks the front yard.The large two-car garage is tucked under the bedroom wing and the huge garage door dominates the front facade of the house.The front entry is on a separate level from the living and basement levels, and is unprotected.The foyer is just a stair landing, too tight even for two people standing side by side.IDEAS: EXPANDING & RETHINKING THE ENTRY Adding a new front entry makes the front door more prominent than the garage door.Projecting a glassed-in front entry from the house’s otherwise flat facade makes it much more inviting.Burnsville Resident.Adding a new front entry and a bump-out over the garage breaks up the flat facade and roof line.Replacing the windows and adding trim dramatically changes the front of the house.Adding a four-season porch off the dining room extends the house into the backyard.Adding a deck off the four-season porch creates an outdoor space overlooking the backyard.Adding a master bedroom sitting bay centered above the garage door creates a special focus for the bedroom, and helps relieve the flatness of the facade.Remodeling the kitchen and adding a peninsula makes the work space more efficient, and also makes the kitchen more social by creating space for people to gather.Adding a double window in the dining room allows more light into the kitchen.Adding windows to the sides of the house will make the bedrooms feel larger by adding more natural light.ADDING A PORCH OFF THE BACK Adding a porch off the back of your split is one of the easiest ways to make a house feel more spacious.Porches come in three types: screen, three-season, and four-season.A three-season porch has windows, but no insulation or heat.A four-season porch has windows, insulation, and an optional heat source.Removing part of the existing wall between the kitchen and the dining room and adding a peninsula with glass doors on the upper cabinets makes the two rooms feel larger, lighter, and more connected, while providing ample storage space.Remodeling the bathroom provides more toweling-off space.Creating a bedroom off the family room provides one more room for guests, teenagers, or a home office.Adding windows on a second side of the room increases the natural light in an otherwise dark room.Adding a four-season porch, deck, and stairway connects the house to the backyard, and creates a series of different outdoor spaces where friends and family can gather.Adding a retaining wall and a row of plantings along the driveway creates a visual link between the street and the front entry.Adding a front yard patio, defined by a pergola on one side and a stone wall just high enough for sitting on the other, creates a shady front porch, a perfect place from which to watch neighborhood life.The entry is on the same level as the social rooms, which makes it unique among the three types.This allows the stairs to be located in the middle of the house rather than near the front entry.This particular home has three bedrooms, one-and-a-half baths, and just a one-car, tuck-under garage.The large window in the living room that faces the street is a triple-wide double-hung in this particular house, but most often is a huge picture window.The bedroom level sits above the single-stall garage and cantilevers over the lower level toward the street.The entry is on the same level as the living, dining, and kitchen spaces.There is no protection from rain or sun at the front door.Each type of window commonly built into splits has its own problems: Casements, windows that are hinged on the side and open out like a door, can warp if left open in the rain.A single-glazed window will have an R-value of 0.80.Adding a hip roof over the front entry and a pergola over a front patio creates a porch, a place to hang out with friends and family and watch the neighborhood roll by.Adding an airlock, however small, separates the front entry from the living room.Adding a small front porch with columns creates an inviting covered entry that reaches toward the street.Adding a new front entry, a pergola, and family room windows makes the facade more interesting.Adding a gas fireplace transforms an otherwise bland living room with no focus into a great gathering space.Adding a patio extends the living space of the house into the front yard.Opening up the walls between the kitchen and dining room allows the fireplace to be visible from throughout the main level.Building the new garage in the backyard means this will become the most commonly used entrance to the house.Building a new two-stall garage on the rear of the site (see p. 29) allows you to convert the existing garage into an extra bedroom and an expanded family room.28 Adding a large triple-wide window provides more light and echoes the living room window pattern.Adding a new front walk connects the house with the street, and provides a more inviting path for guests.Burnsville Resident.Specifically, the open stairs that run between three or even four different levels make it almost impossible to keep the temperature even on any given level.In the winter, warm air rises from the basement to the bedroom level, making the bedrooms hot and the basement cold; in the summer, cool air sinks to the basement, leaving the bedrooms hot and the basement cool.Doors between levels will also help limit the flow of unwelcome sound between levels.Houses with bedrooms on different levels require smoke alarms in the halls on each level.there are bedrooms on that level.Not surprisingly, one of the most common sources of carbon monoxide within the home is from automobiles running in attached garages.Carbon monoxide detectors, like smoke alarms, should be placed near the bedrooms in a house, as well as on every level.If a carbon monoxide detector sounds an alarm, move outdoors immediately and dial 911.*Information on carbon monoxide detectors is compiled from the City of Roseville fire department web site www.ci.roseville.mn.us/fire.Splits are defined by their many different levels.Stairs are necessary to connect the levels together.While constantly running up and down these stairs can be frustrating, changing the stairs is both difficult and expensive.In the two split-entry houses featured in this book, the garage is on a different level from the kitchen.“As long as the builder is here, shouldn’t we replace all the windows?” But this kind of scope creep (as it’s called in the building professions) inflates the project budget, expands the construction schedule, and contributes to the project spiraling out of control.The more the remodeling work spreads throughout the house, the more disruptive it will be.Estimating remodeling costs is a chicken-and-egg dilemma: You can’t know the real cost of your project until you’ve prepared final working drawings (also known as blueprints or construction documents) and obtained a detailed estimate from a builder, yet it doesn’t make sense to complete the working drawings if the project will cost too much.Talk to builders and architects who have recently built projects similar to yours.Also be aware that construction is more expensive in Minnesota than in other parts of the country.In other words, prices for projects built elsewhere in the country probably won’t be applicable here in Minnesota.Circle Pines Resident FIND THE MONEY.In the past, construction loans were the most common tool for borrowing money for a remodeling project.In return for the loan, however, the bank would impose strict requirements about construction cost, payment schedules, etc.You also begin paying back the home equity loan immediately, not after the project is complete.Before beginning any design work, take the time to research zoning restrictions on your lot.This individual will design your remodeling project and complete the working drawings necessary to get bids, pull a building permit, and start construction.An architect also works for you, not the builder, and brings the knowledge and experience of having gone through the process many times before.Design/Build is a process in which the builder either designs the project directly or has a designer on staff do so.Look for job site signs in your neighborhood to see which builders are working on projects similar to yours.STARTING A REMODELING PROJECT Educate yourself about the remodeling process.Typically the builder applies to the municipality for the building permit.A building permit is required for most construction.Burnsville Resident. .
14 Awkward Living Room Design Challenges + Solutions
The living room.Awkward living room layouts come in all shapes and sizes—from slanted walls to tiny spaces, we’ve designed it all.Read on for some great living room layout guides and awkward living room design solutions!To make the most of this awkward living room design, we went with a double sofa layout.In a space like this, if you want a comfortable room with plenty of seating for watching TV, the TV will probably only fit on one wall, which limits your layout options.We found a large comfy sectional that fits perfectly against two walls for an extra cozy feel.It’s an awesome set-up for those who love entertaining but this unusual space can also be an awkward room to design.And the sofa and facing chairs make for easy conversation while the bench against the partition wall maximizes that tricky wall space.We needed to maximize the space to make room for chilling out, entertaining, watching TV, functional storage, and more.The sofa has a built-in side table so you can skip the extra piece of furniture, and the wall-mounted desk and bookcase combo offers plenty of convenient storage to free up more floor space.With windows on every wall, landing on a furniture layout is extra difficult.This open-flow space is long and airy—but there’s so much space you might not know where to start, especially if you want to create distinct spaces for lounging and dining in a space like this.When creating this open living/dining room layout guide, we wanted to make sure the space also had adequate seating and functional traffic flow to get the most use out of the space.The sectional sofa offers plenty of seating and the back of the sofa acts as a partition between the two “zones” of the room.When you have a small living room, it can be challenging to find a layout that gives you all the functionality you need in this type of space.And, if you’re looking to maximize storage space in your small living room, try wall-mounted bookcases.See 3 Small Room Layouts.An Awkward Living Room With Angled Walls.A Small Living Room with a Fireplace and Five Walls.This modern living room design makes great use of a small space, with tons of hangout room and lots of comfy seating.This space also has a small fifth wall!This design works because it features a cozy sofa and extra comfortable chairs that optimize TV viewing but also make for easy conversation.The awkward living room design challenge here was working with a funky, narrow room with an awkward, slanted corner.Maximizing a small, narrow space can be tough—especially when you want both a living room area and a separate dining space.The large, three-piece sectional grounds this living room and, along with the area rug, defines the TV viewing area.To further fill out the space, we placed a console against one wall for storage and decor and created a reading nook by the fireplace on the opposite wall.We used furniture to create these distinct zones, but we kept the style and colors cohesive throughout so the room feels like one space rather than multiple disjointed rooms.But that can leave a lot of extra wall and ceiling space when you have 10-foot or vaulted ceilings.This living room doesn’t have many solid walls that you can put furniture against, which can make creating a functional layout feel daunting.This helps the space feel less open and awkward and instead feel more cozy and purposeful.Need help with an awkward living room design? .
How to Modernize a Split-Level Home to Match Your Style
Your home’s exterior (including faux brick or other type of lower façade) is giving away its age.New siding, lower façade materials and paint are simple split-level home renovations, but they have a huge impact.When you update the siding on the taller half of your home, you can get a more modern look without overspending.When you update the siding on the taller half of your home, you can get a more modern look without overspending.One of the best ways to modernize a split-level home is to avoid a roof color that’s too light or too close to the house color.One of the best ways to modernize a split-level home is to avoid a roof color that’s too light or too close to the house color.Get new garage doors.Your garage takes up a lot of frontage, so it’s a large portion of your guests’ first impression.Search for unique, contemporary garage doors to change your home’s entire look.The following split-level renovations will work for most homes in this style:.Exterior: Add trim under the soffit.When you add trim underneath and paint it a color that contrasts with your siding, it has a bold highlighting effect.When you add trim underneath and paint it a color that contrasts with your siding, it has a bold highlighting effect.Painting trim a lighter color is a great way to modernize.Does your entryway feel cramped inside and too deep-set from the outside?Add a small porch.If your entryway is small, you can make it more practical by building in storage.If your entryway is small, you can make it more practical by building in storage.Here are some excellent tile tips to fuel your split-level entry ideas.Many split-levels only have one small window per room, and the sides of the home may have no windows.Replace and add windows.Solar tubes are a modern solution that brighten a space without taking up a lot of ceiling space.Lighting is one of the best answers to “how to modernize a split-level home.” Hire an experienced professional like Mr. Electric ® (if available in your area) to help you plan and install modern lighting that’s both beautiful and energy efficient.Lighting is one of the best answers to “how to modernize a split-level home.” Hire an experienced professional like Mr.
Electric (if available in your area) to help you plan and install modern lighting that’s both beautiful and energy efficient.Use light paint colors.Light paint colors make small spaces appear larger.Light paint colors make small spaces appear larger.Whether your kitchen is next to the dining room or the living room, you can create a roomy, social space by knocking out part of the kitchen walls.Whether your kitchen is next to the dining room or the living room, you can create a roomy, social space by knocking out part of the kitchen walls.Inviting home service experts into your home is serious. .
The Best Decorating Trends From the 70s
The 70s—it sure does seem like it was a more laid-back, dare we say more mellow, time, doesn't it? .
A Split-Level Home Reimagined
Wisconsin designer Jordan Gottsacker had a pretty good idea about what her clients wanted in their forever home.Brian and Rose Gottsacker were building the house Jordan would ultimately grow up in, and the family took frequent drives around Sheboygan, Wisconsin, looking at homes and visiting the nearby Kohler Design Center showroom for kitchen and bath inspiration.Jordan Gottsacker home and shop Jordan Gottsacker with her parents, Brian and Rose Gottsacker | Credit: Mike Huibregtse.Rose adds, “We really took our time with Jordan, trying to decide how we were going to use the house and what we wanted to see when we looked out the windows.When visitors enter the home, they climb a staircase to an open-plan loop of living room, dining room and kitchen, with intimate seating areas tucked in every nook.Jordan Gottsacker home and shop Living room | Credit: Mike Huibregtse.It’s a little bit of farmhouse, industrial, mid-mod, Scandinavian … and a whole lot of whimsy.Few items match, per se, but midcentury silhouettes thread through every space.Jordan Gottsacker home and shop Kitchen | Credit: Mike Huibregtse.Jordan Gottsacker home and shop Kitchen | Credit: Mike Huibregtse.Mismatched stools and galvanized light fixtures evoke an old farmhouse; speckled wallpaper adds pep inside glass-front cabinets.Jordan Gottsacker opened Honey and Ace a year ago in downtown Sheboygan, combining her interior design studio with a boutique, art gallery and performance space for live music.Jordan Gottsacker home and shop Honey and Ace | Credit: Mike Huibregtse.Jordan Gottsacker home and shop Honey and Ace Sheboygan | Credit: Mike Huibregtse.When In Sheboygan. .