Renovations – The First Step

blog 1 before floor plan

There’s nothing better than the start of something new – the possibilities, the dreams, the visions!

I met Nina last month during our initial design consultation at her vintage apartment on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Her excitement was contagious as we toured the spacious 3 bedroom, 3 bath home that included a sunroom with stunning views of  Lake Michigan.

Nina loves her home but is not enthusiastic about the current kitchen design. Her kitchen is outdated, dark and closed off from the rest of the house. Her dream is to open it up to the dining room. She enjoys cooking and entertaining and would love to have a kitchen island so that she can talk to her guests while preparing food.

She also hopes that the large dining room will be able to accommodate lounge seating areas so that the entire space can be transformed into a great room. My head was spinning as I immediately began imagining the possibilities for her new kitchen design and living area with as much enthusiasm as if it were my own.

The apartment has many beautiful vintage details such as curved doorways, built-in bookcases, high ceilings with crown molding and original hard wood floors. Nina wants a modern kitchen design but one that complements the building’s timeless and classic architectural style.

The first challenge is the kitchen layout. We will need to connect the kitchen to the dining room. Currently, the two rooms are separated by a wall and a hallway that leads in from the back door (see the original kitchen layout above). A column and doorway located between the kitchen and hallway should be removed, if possible.

As I left the apartment of infinite potential and said goodbye to Nina, I hoped that we would soon be working together. That evening I fell asleep with visions of tiles, fixtures and cabinets whirling in my head.  Below are the ‘before’ photos…


About Norma Zeiger

Norma S. Zeiger, ASID is a professionally registered interior designer with more than 10 years of experience. Her firm, Entwine Interiors, focuses on urban living spaces with a specialty in kitchen and bathroom renovations, space planning, fireplaces, custom built-ins and home offices. Ms. Zeiger stresses the importance of improving the function of a space along with making it an inviting, comfortable and beautiful sanctuary. Her kitchen/bathroom designs have won several ASID Design Excellence Awards, and have been featured on HGTV’s Bang for your Buck.