Split-Level House Decor

Design ideas for split-level homes are targeted at organizing and arranging the structure in a way that the original open floor concept layout is not lost. The designs allow and maintain a spacious, airy, and light-filled interior while ensuring a perfect structure finished with high-quality materials on the outside. 

The creative and unique design solutions offered by modern designers and architects ensure that the lifestyle of homeowners is portrayed. 

The anatomy of a split-level home isolates the private areas and offices in different sections while leaving a large opening at the center for the reception of guests, family recreational activities, and other daily activities. This open feature leaves a wide space for lots of furnishings and decor. Planning a gorgeous design in this space may be a difficult task but achievable anyway. 

Antique beautiful home

Best Tips To Design The Outside of Split-Level House


This structural design was innovated in the late periods of the 1950s into the 1960s and retained its popularity all through the 1970s. 

While this structure was appreciated for the extra room it offered to grow families, it lacked great appeal. The exteriors were finished with boxy-shaped building materials that had no fancy and creativity. These exterior finishings were also in heavy proportions. 

How To Decorate Split-Level House

Landscaping Solutions

  • Foundation: Be sure to create a space between the house and plants by moving trees and shrubs away from the foundation. The importance of this is to leave enough breathing room between plants and the house that could be used as a front patio.
  • Entrance: In place of the straight and sharp-edged concrete walkway, make use of natural materials, like fieldstone, to improve the entry of your split-level home.
  • Placement of trees: A split-level house is built on sloping lots which means there would be possible cases of erosion, poor drainage, and flooding. To prevent this, ensure that your walls are retained. Be creative and artful when planting, place your plants in a curved arrangement so they surround your house.
Beautiful House in Snow

Porches and porticos

Typically, this innovation does not include front porches. Instead, the overhangs are used as a shelter for the front door which leaves the exterior and entry exposed, uninviting, and unattractive. 

Including a porch or portico in the structure of your split-level home enhances its appeal, shelters the entry, and creates more space. Covered walkways on the side leading to the front door and lights during the dark are also functional and decorative elements that would contribute to the appeal of the curb.

Facade Facelift


As earlier mentioned, split-level houses originally had exteriors that were covered and finished with unpleasant, irregularly shaped, and incongruent building materials. For a change, you can make use of engineered wood paneling or deeply tanned wood. If your style is Industrial, you can also opt for corrugated steel with high durability. Furthermore, the lower levels of your split-level house could be enveloped with earthy materials like stone veneer. 

Architectural Enhancement

Since it has been long recognized that the exterior design of any home is as important as the exterior, the anatomy of houses is being enhanced with appealing additional features that are not just decorative but functional as well. You can adapt this in your split-level house by adding shutters, expanding the windows, constructing dormers, and incorporation of decks.

Staggered Garden


Although familiar with home exteriors, this theme can also be used to create a gorgeous entry. Your flowerbed can have a combination of different colorful flowers to obtain contrast.

Ungridded Windows

While enlarging your windows is a great idea, you can also leave your window panes without grids. This decorative pattern is quite common in homes, reflecting lush on the outside and making the walls seem longer than they are.

Brick Siding


To escape the plainness of wood sidings, brick has been presented as a more pleasant and noticeable alternative. Although quite expensive, it is worth the appeal it provides.

Split-Level House Interior Design Ideas

To achieve gorgeous and appealing decor in this large space, interior decorators tend to apply various methods of zoning. These methods include; glass walls, decorative partitions, arches, sliding partitions, pony walls, and so many others.


Zoning involves the strategic division of the open space. Floor materials, textures, and even colors can create this zoning effect which is more effective when a visual method is applied. 


Designs, like with every other building, are capable of concealing the flaws of the structure by correcting the spatial attributes and the relation of one part to the other. By doing so, a visually appealing and harmonious atmosphere is achieved. 

Before going into design ideas, let’s take a quick look at the advantages and disadvantages of the split-level house interior.

home with trees


  • Open concept plan
  •  Floor height difference can be taken advantage of to solve design problems
  • Correct geometry and proportion
  • Lack of physical obstacles that are capable of blocking light
  • More space for reception and entertainment


  • The open concept requires a constant need to declutter and clean.
  • Lack of soundproofing and easy transfer of noise.
  • A more powerful system is required to heat or cool the space.
  • Easy spread of smell

Choosing furniture and finishing materials

Style of interior design is important to decide on. This is because split-level houses are not like conventional houses – not all decorations can properly be adopted, and to create an appealing open-concept harmony, a few design styles are more practical and preferable than others. Accessories such as ethnic elements also have an edge over others because they enhance identity differentiation and character. 

The use of classic doors is something professional interior designers do not recommend. This is because the style would seem too refined and superior in an open concept floor plan

In any interior design, colors and materials are major determinants. When making this choice, be sure to take note of the following;

  • When it comes to the borders of the different zones, avoid choosing materials that have sharp contrast.
  • A unified look should be present on finishing materials.
  • Pay close attention to the combination of individual items and be sure to opt for materials that blend and harmonize with the entire design.
  • To avoid or get rid of visual discomfort, avoid making use of unsurpassed materials.

The best decorative styles to use in a split-level house are; industrial, Scandinavian, minimalist, or contemporary styles.

Split-level house architecture

Scandinavian Interior Design

This is one variation of clean design that would never go out of style. The tidy tendencies and convenience provided by this design make it popular and desirable in homes. It is a decor style born out of minimalism. It utilizes a blend of soft hues and different textures to produce a cozy atmosphere. The furnishings are supreme with beauty and functionality and the simple neat lines of every detail are carefully emphasized. 

How do you achieve a Scandinavian design?

  1. Have fun with light: natural light is essential in this design. The color palette, modern furniture, and warm accents all enhance the great in-flow of natural light.
  1. Choice of furniture: with Scandinavian Style, it is modern furniture or nothing. While making your choice of furniture, you can choose warmed-up accents with affluent leather tones. Swan chairs and tulip tables are also very good options.
  1. Include a contrast: it won’t do so much good if everywhere is just plain bright white or just a space filled with so much natural light. Add contrast. It is important to note that high contrast is a distinguishing characteristic of the Scandinavian Interior. The essence of this is to create an impactful statement and sprinkle a little drama on the gentle decor. In your dining room, you can use sculptural furniture in a nice tone of black or use pieces of historical or antique details. Since this interior is all about modern furniture, including a classic touch will be sure to create a conspicuous contrast.
  1. Use only muted colors: decorative accents should stay silently in the background while promoting the cozy ambiance of the decor. Olive green, taupe, sage, ivory, e.t.c. are examples of muted colors to use. Also, to accent the walls, you can put up a black and white photograph.
  1. Learn to mix textures: take advantage of the little elements of your interior and use different textures on them; a throw pillow with sheepskin material or pure silk, a kilim rug, an out-of-context photograph, etc. Just be sure that every color of every material blends.
  1. Multiple arts with colors: this is rare in Scandinavian interiors but when planned out properly, turns out to be elegant. Since the living room and dining room are connected in split-level homes, you can choose any wall to accent this display of art just be sure to blend tones so the Scandinavian Style is not dissolved in so much color. Botanical prints are a good option to go for.
  1. Wood tone: the Scandinavian design promotes coziness, so it is only right that your choice of wood is one with a warm tone and sepia hues, you can also blend with off-white.
  1. Sprinkle color: aside from colorful art, another way to introduce a little color in your decor is by using accessories to demonstrate – the rugs, wall pieces, throw pillows, etc. Always make sure you don’t overwhelm your decor with multiple bright colors.
  1. A little mix of decor: select beautiful ornate pieces from different eras and decorative styles. An Industrial pendant, oil painting, etc would do the job.
  1. Layered bedding: layers of woolen fabrics, linen, accent pillows, and more will make your bedroom feel comfortable and cozy.
split-level house graphic

Industrial Interior Design

This decor involves an aesthetic trend that makes use of elements and raw materials from Industrial spaces and old factories. These elements which include weathered-looking surfaces, stripped-back architecture, etc are incorporated into living spaces to produce an unfinished touch. It is flexible and includes the use of neutral materials and hues. This decor was birthed after the conversion of barns, churches, warehouses, and industrial buildings to residential or living areas.

Here’s how to bring this decor to life;

  1. Raw and open: all open-concept homes were built for this particular decor. The design elements used are very minimal, so the open space is properly enhanced, presented raw, and unfinished. Elements used include vintage pieces and rustic materials.
  1. Hand-crafted flooring: about popular Industrial options, hardwood and concrete top the list. Hardwood floors are mostly preferred, and this is because of the natural and reclaimed look. A combination of distressed and faded rugs gives the floor a bold statement.
  1. Metal and wood: this is a popular practice when it comes to Industrial Interior design. Metal with sleek, radiant finishes and wood are just the perfect contrast. 
  1. Unique lights: another aspect where Industrial design fits into the interior of a split-level house. High ceilings and unique lighting are common industrial trends. Wires can be used to hang light globes or Edison-style bulbs in filament lights. Elements or fixtures with creative details and rustic metals are recommended.
  1. Brick walls: this presents an industrial charm that contrasts with the modern details of your split-level house. This can be incorporated in the kitchen where the modern appliances will be conspicuously highlighted. 

Contemporary Interior Design


This simple and subtly sophisticated design is so versatile and flexible that it fits with every layout, including a split level. The contemporary pattern focuses on color, shape, and space and it has basic rules which serve as guides to achieving a sleek and fresh modern style. These rules relate to the use of colors and the arrangements of lines and space.

  • Use of color: black, white, and neutrals are the major contemporary style colors. When the walls are painted neutral, the colors of the accessories should be bold enough to give a good backdrop. Pastel-colored walls and windows should be paired with neutral trims. The grounding is often a defining black paint. When the walls are painted with bright colors, every other aspect and accessory should be neutrally colored. 
  • Contemporary spaces and lines: these two are the most defining elements of any contemporary decor and lines, in particular, are the most distinguishing. Very visible lines can be seen in contemporary interiors; curvy lines, horizontal lines, and vertical lines. These lines are detailed in the architectural structure, high ceilings, bold colors, sculpture, wall art, and bare windows. In regards to space, the contemporary style doesn’t just pay attention to the placement of objects, the bare spaces in between objects, in upper areas, and on the walls are crucial. Avoid using prints.

Now that we are familiar with contemporary rules, let’s how this decor can be achieved.

  1. Lighting: the right choice of lighting draws attention to every piece you intend to highlight, especially wall art. Spotlights are best for making the paintings and posters centers of attraction. Track and recessed lighting are also good options.
  1. Flooring: vinyl, tile, and wood are usually used. Texture and colors are introduced with patterned rugs.
  1. Furniture: the contemporary style furniture is without decorative patterns and curves. Furnishings lack clutter and complex components. They are usually neat with geometric lines and materials are linen, silk, cotton, and a few other natural fibers. 
  1. Art: sculpture and framed art are placed at eye level. Pieces used should lack excessive details. Frames are usually matte black, metal finish, natural wood, or high gloss. The arrangements of these frames should be in such a way that they form one piece and do not leave too much space in between.
  1. Plants and flowers: usually large in basic and plain containers. The contemporary style allows you to go out with plants accenting them with lights that focus upwardly. 
  1. Prints: Two-toned prints are perfect for this decor. Avoid prints with too much color and petty details.
white split level home

Minimalist Interior Design

Essentially organized, neat, and free of all clutter, are three simple ways to define this decor. It requires getting rid of a good number of common decorative objects and leaving behind only the essentials with which a simple design is created. Here, lighting, essential objects, and space are key role players. The limited number of objects used are detailed with enough character to create a bold statement.


Here are some minimalist decor tips: 

  1. Colors: minimalist interior allows all colors but in limits. Bright colors should not exceed one or two. 
  1. Essentials only: every furniture or object that does not play a very functional role should be stored away. 
  1. Decorations: unlike what some people fear, the minimalist interior does not place a ban on decorative items or art. However, it strictly only permits the use of these items as accents. Choose a particular art or decorative item and have it accented or make it a focal point.
  1. Texture and furniture: furniture is arranged neatly to create a space. The use of furniture is limited and more textures should be introduced to make up for little furnishing.
  1. Light: the windows are usually bare or with very thin curtains which allows in a good proportion of natural light.

It doesn’t matter whether views have been adjusted or whether the trend table now recognizes split homes. The structure has been flexible enough to fit in and adopt features of conventional homes. Split-level houses have been redesigned by architects and interior designers in such a way that they are gradually becoming part of the norm and serving great value to owners.

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