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Almost all they did was take out walls.

Reworking existing space instead of adding more can be an effective and comparatively inexpensive way to remodel. "Most houses have unnecessary walls and corridors, and removing them makes such a difference," says Portland architect James Oliver.

When asked to expand Billie and Charles Majnarich's ranch-style house, he found the interior dark, cramped, and cluttered with poorly related rooms. He enlarged the entry hall slightly but solved most of the problems by taking out walls.

The resulting space incorporates the entry hall, living room, dining room, and kitchen into a single open area. With floor-to-ceiling walls gone, rooms are suggested with varying ceiling heights and flooring materials and a partial wall of bronze-tinted glass.

The 8-by 10-foot pice of 1/4-inch-thick tempered glass separates the entry from the living room but doesn't block views. It fits in grooves routed to the floor, the oak 4-by-4 posts, and the 2-by-4 cap.

Pushing out the entry wall 5 feet made room for a coat closet and provided space for skylights in the entry's new sloping roof. New oak flooring, set diagonally to the front door, starts in the entry, runs along the edge of the carpeted living and dining areas, and continues to the kitchen.

A dramatic skylight well and bold use of color make the open kitchen a showplace. Burgundy plastic laminate covers the counters, backsplash, and appliance faces, with 2-inch front edges giving the counters and island a massive look. The wedge-shaped skylight well adds height and light above the island.
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Title Annotation:home decoration
Date:Dec 1, 1985
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