NASHVILLE RENOVATION 4- Getting creative with your floor plans

Now for the nuts and bolts of a Renovation.  Floor plans!   This project was quite a challenge being on the Historic Register which means we had to basically keep the footprint of the home.  All the charm of these older homes kind of sucks you in on your first visit and makes it hard to resist. So you buy it!  Then you have to figure out how to make it work for today’s family.  That’s the fun part!

The porch and swing got my husband at “hello”.  I fell in love with the house when I walked into the entry with beautiful 115 year old hardwood floors.  The deal maker was the POCKET DOORS leading into the living and dining room.  How could we not be overcome by the charm and history of the house?





We easily overlooked the fact that the rooms were fairly small because the soaring ceilings made them feel larger.  The living/family room was not adjacent to the kitchen.   We all know that doesn’t work for the modern family.  No worries.  The hub of the party is always in the kitchen, so we flipped the living and dining room to make the family room flow into the kitchen.  Without being able to open up walls (due to a mysterious hidden staircase) we were still able to make the floor plan flow.



First up was remodel the floor plan of the kitchen.  The original owner informed us that the kitchen area had at one time been three small rooms: cooking, laundry, and breakfast nook. It had been opened up some in recent years but there were still all kinds of doors, awkward angles, andindented nooks prevailing in this kitchen.  We were able to eliminate two doors and push out a small porch in order to create a straight and even wall that would accommodate a very large Boulangerie baking counter that we imported from France.  Great idea and beautiful piece, but at 115″long it could only go in one or two places due to all the windows nooks and crannies. This wasn’t an easy feat.



This picture is only part of the zig- zag of a floor plan before we started


We ended up with a great FINAL floor plan by making the Boulangerie counter into a pseudo- butlers pantry area.  We

created custom cabinetry around the Boulangerie in order to make a display area for dishes and glassware.



The Grande Dame Boulangerie table



In progress showing a straighting the sightline of walls and removal of 2 doors


With a quirky, angled, 115 year old coal fireplace and an existing window bench, we chose to make the breakfast dining area a comfy spot to people watch out on the street and enjoy a cup of jo.


THE BATHROOMS- Large master bath created, bigger closet and ensuite laundry

You can imagine that the bathrooms left a lot to be desired.  The master bath was the size of a postcard in which you could literally sit on the toilet, wash your hands and hang your foot in the bath tub all at once.  We knew that no one in their right mind would keep that bath and it would certainly stop someone from buying the house.



                                                             Master bath when we purchased home



The second bath was quirky with a tiny sink placed at an angle and a door that led from the hallway into the secondary bedroom.  We knew we would have to tweak both of these bathrooms and come up with space to add a powder room.



With Linoleum flooring and this tiny corner sink, this would never work for guests.  There was not even a wall to place a mirror above the sink???


We created a master suite by taking a rear bedroom and making that into a beautiful master bath.  The closet for that room we added to the master walk in closet.  We repurposed the two original window and created one large window above the tub. The original mini bath we made into a laundry room.  It all works beautifully now and we managed to stay within the confines of the original house.



rear bedroom that now is master bath



Master Bath in progress


From a small vent closet in the Hallway we created a jewel box powder room.  I’m so happy with how it turned out and it is now one of my favorite spaces in the house!

Upstairs we moved the entire original bathroom to the opposite side of the house in order to create a hallway and a private bedroom.



original upstairs bathroom complete with linoleum floor and formica countertops


ATTIC SPACE- created home office, bunk room,new bath and bonus room






Attic Space that is now the kiddos bonus room



Before I bore you to death, I do want to point out that there is NO STORAGE in these historic homes.  The people of the early 1900’s  must have worn the same outfit everyday because the few closets hold only a handful of clothes.  Coming from a new custom home with lots and lots of storage, I was stretching to come up with storage spaces.

To love an old house you have to trade storage space for Charm.  That’s the deal.  We love our house and it feels like home.  While most of the house is finished, I’m still tweaking the rooms, but that’s ongoing and fun!

Hoping you got some inspiration to tweak your floor plans,