All in the Family

The makeover of a 1980s builder-basic family room to echo the style of a newly remodeled kitchen may not have been extreme, but it shows how a room can be imaginatively transformed without radical modifications. Not only is the renovated kitchen complemented by the new space, but vitality is given to a formerly drab, claustrophobic family room.

“It wasn’t a very inviting room,” says Sonny Nazemian, CID, CKBR, of Fairfax, Va.-based Michael Nash Design Build & Homes, commenting on the family room as he found it at the beginning of the project.

As part of the kitchen remodel, a wall was removed between the kitchen and family room, opening the space but creating a conspicuous disconnect between the look of the new kitchen and the dated family room. The two until then were joined merely by a standard-sized door.

“Openness was not the idea back in the ’70s and ’80s,” Nazemian says. “Now everything is open and we define rooms by the type of furniture each room has.

“We wanted to duplicate the look of the kitchen in the family room,” he continues. To achieve this, the fireplace and its dated hearth and brick facing were replaced with granite that matched the kitchen countertops. At the same time, the fireplace was converted from wood-burning to gas-fired. Custom cabinetry flanks the fireplace and matches the kitchen decor.

Brazilian cherry flooring is used throughout the first floor, further unifying the kitchen and family room, as well as the living space on that level.

The cabinets, granite countertops, granite-surrounded fireplace and new mantel at the far end of the family room are now the heart of the area, diverting unwelcome attention from a door to the garage that couldn’t be relocated and to which the eye previously had been drawn.