First Floor Transformation in Melrose

Project: Multi-room remodel in Melrose, MA (#ProjectLevelUpKitchen)

The scope of work at #ProjectLevelUpKitchen was a tall order, involving a kitchen, dining room, laundry room and full bathroom remodel. In reimaging most of the first floor of the house, our goal was to improve the everyday flow and functionality of the major living spaces for our clients, an active family of six, with three kids still at home. After living in Melrose for many years, there was plenty of equity to invest back into the 1890 house.

Our clients had already taken out the central chimney in the home, so we started by removing a load-bearing wall between the kitchen and dining room. A small powder room was accessible off of the kitchen, which felt awkward and out of place, so we captured its square footage for the kitchen (now where the refrigerator lives), and a room off the dining room that housed the laundry machines and home office was turned into a laundry room and separate full bathroom.

Upon demo, Rob McGuire and our team found that the house was somewhat underbuilt, so there was a good amount of work to do to improve the structural integrity of the home (and hence, a big reason for the “leveling up” project name). We had a few different ceiling heights to contend with as well, but our team was able to achieve a smooth, even plane throughout the new open-concept spaces.

Lastly, our clients took full advantage of the remodel to add central air conditioning to the house – much enjoyed during stifling New England heat waves!

Take a look at our Before & After gallery to truly appreciate the amount of work achieved in this Melrose home. We really enjoyed working with this family, and appreciate their trust and willingness to invest in their home’s full potential!

Photography: Regina Mallory Photography

Melrose Kitchen Design Remodel
The lovely navy blue island spans the kitchen and dining room, where a chimney and load-bearing wall were removed to create an open concept space.
Melrose Kitchen Design Remodel
We narrowed and replaced the window over the kitchen sink, giving more room for access to the basement door to the left. The range and hood vent spread out too, taking over the main corner of the kitchen, with ample countertop space to the left and right.
Melrose Kitchen Design Remodel
The island’s orientation provides full view and enjoyment of both the kitchen and dining room, and gives plenty of clearance for the kitchen’s main “work triangle”: sink, cooking surface and refrigerator.
Melrose Kitchen Design Blue Island
The refrigerator and a tall pantry cabinet now live in a corner of the kitchen that was previously the powder room. The new full bathroom and laundry room are now accessible from the door near the dining table.
Melrose Kitchen Design Remodel
Design-wise, we accented the bright white perimeter cabinetry with a veined quartz countertop, icy blue glass backsplash tile and gold hardware. The paint color throughout the entire space is a light, cool blue.
Our clients did a great job of carrying the design palette throughout the space, with gold frames on the counter stools, gold and black details on the decorative light fixtures, gold-toned outlet and switch covers, and a pop of saturated blue art in the dining room.
Melrose Kitchen Design Remodel Blue Island
The island houses a beverage fridge, set of deep drawers, and a microwave. The oversized pendants make a statement but also blend seamlessly into the kitchen’s design.
Melrose Kitchen Design Remodel
The bank of floor-to-ceiling cabinets near the front hallway serves as a landing zone for the busy family’s jackets, bookbags and sports bags. Our team installed hooks inside the cabinets for easy reach-in storage.
Melrose Kitchen Dining Room Design Remodel
Although it’s an open concept space, we wanted to visually define the dining table and dress up the area with decorative, more formal details. A ceiling medallion and applied molding highlight the ceiling height and pay homage to the home’s age.

The contemporary pedestal table and light fixtures create a lovely balance of old and new.
Melrose Kitchen Design Remodel Details
Don’t be afraid to mix metals! Along with classic stainless steel appliances, we incorporated gold tones on the faucet, hardware, furniture and light fixtures. The navy blue island and the cool blue backsplash tile bridge the palette to create an overall successful aesthetic. 
Melrose Kitchen Design Remodel Cabinet Organization
Always, cabinetry accessories! In this kitchen we included a spice pullout next to the range, a cutlery divider and knife block insert in a central drawer, a trash and recycling pullout, and lots of drawer storage. We love that our clients devoted an entire deep drawer to grab-and-go snacks!
Melrose kitchen design materials
We love the bright, classic blue-and-white mix of cabinetry in this kitchen. The veined countertop, gorgeous apron-front fireclay sink, wavy glass backsplash tile and gold accents make the entire space feel clean, happy and fresh.
Melrose Black and White Laundry Room
From the dining room, you enter a spacious laundry room with plenty of utility storage. The room previously housed a stackable washer/dryer and a home office; we reframed it to create a separate laundry room and a new full bathroom. In order to make the layout work, we removed a window on the back wall where the washer and dryer now sit.
Melrose Black and White Laundry Room
We can’t get enough of the black & white palette in the laundry room and bathroom! The patterned floor tile creates a graphic, high-contrast foundation for the spaces, and the new side-by-side washer and dryer take center stage.

The bright white cabinetry from the kitchen is used here, but we swapped in black hardware instead of gold. The same cool blue paint color carries throughout, to unite the first-floor spaces.
Melrose Black and White Bathroom
Turning into the new full bathroom, we incorporated even more storage with a single sink vanity and tall linen cabinet. The black, leathered granite countertop feels amazing and adds a utilitarian element in both the bathroom and laundry room.
Melrose Black and White Bathroom
Black-and-white materials are carried into the shower, with a cute hexagon tile on the floor and oversized white subway tile on the walls, where the contrasting dark grout makes the tile pattern pop!
Melrose Black and White Bathroom
The mix of matte black and chrome fixtures and hardware is a sleek combination in the bathroom.

Our clients opted for a bidet toilet, complete with its own remote control of features.
Melrose bathroom and laundry room design materials
Crisp, clean contrast! We had so much fun with the classic black and white palette of the bathroom and laundry room, and are so glad our clients embraced the playful patterns and palette.

It was a big scope of work, but well worth all of the time and effort! Take a walk through #ProjectLevelUpKitchen with our designer, Jenni Jacobs.

See additional photo and details for this project on our profile at Houzz.

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