We may be five minutes from chain restaurants, discount retailers, and a warehouse grocery store (by car, of course), but we’re determined to make this our version of the American Dream. We think the suburban split-level may be a house whose time is coming, and we want to tell you why–so you can get in while the gettins’ good.While a city neighborhood full of mid-century ranches and small, independent businesses would be cool and all, it wouldn’t get us the things we’re really yearning for. (And because if more people who like what we like join us, the community will change in ways we’d like.) No, there isn’t the kind of hipster cool we see in Portland: But there’s still a kind of cool.
The morning Lauren Liess moved into her Herndon home, she took a sledgehammer to the basement to demolish the drop ceiling.
Later that day, she and her husband ripped apart the kitchen.
Make sure the resulting home blends well in your neighborhood and landscaping.
This will retain your split-level's "curb appeal," the realtor's term for that first reaction from any home buyer. Split-level homes lend themselves well to open designs, especially those with low square footage, so removing walls is often a good starting point.
Updates can include pricey renovations, such as tearing down walls and building new room additions.
Or they can involve budget-friendly cosmetic updates, such as new paint and flooring.
We’re thinking the rage for mid-century modern has just about run its course, and something else will have to take its place. While we loved the idea of a small, vintage house in a great neighborhood full of old trees and great restaurants and independent bookstores and one-of-a-kind shops, we knew that just wouldn’t work for the lives we’re really living.
If it’s hard for you to imagine the big 70s split-level having the same kind of appeal, we get that. We’ve got two adults and a revolving door of three getting-bigger kids (with other parents who live about 60 miles apart from each other).
Try to blend the interior design with the exterior.
Look for inspiration in Arts and Crafts style decor (if you are unfamiliar with Arts and Crafts design, your best bet is to pick up a book at the library; this simple American style is difficult to define) and keep your home simple and flowing.
Print these pictures out and mark them up, noting the things you love and the things you hate about each of them.