Creating an open floor plan can make split level homes feel more spacious.
Split Level Homes were in vogue during the 1970s — not so much today. With a little remodeling, you can transform your outdated, split-level home into a place where you’ll love to spend time. 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. Setting a remodeling budget you feel comfortable with can help you avoid overspending.
How to Update Split Level Homes
Increasing a split-level’s curb appeal can go a long way toward updating a tired exterior. Build a stairway leading up to a new, covered front porch, portico or canopy to create a warm welcome for guests. Break up a continuous roofline by adding dormers to create visual interest. Replacing old siding with fiber-cement siding provides a low-maintenance, new look to mimic natural wood, stone or brick. Removing or trimming overgrown bushes and trees provides a fresh, manicured appearance. Add stylish, solar path lights along a walkway leading to a front entrance. Inject new life into the back of a split-level home by replacing or enlarging an outdated deck or patio. Add built-in bench seats, decorative iron rails and colorful pots of blooming flowers to revamp a tired appearance.
Open Floor Plan
Traditional, Split Level Homes are often separated by interior walls, resulting in numerous small, boxy rooms. Create a modern, open floor plan by removing existing walls dividing the living, dining and kitchen areas. This open concept provides a more spacious, airy feel, as well as better traffic flow patterns. You can add drama and the illusion of a larger room by raising low ceilings on the top level of a split-level home. Tear out an existing ceiling to create a vaulted appearance with exposed beams. Knock down walls between two small bedrooms to design an open master suite with a spacious sleeping space, sitting area and bathroom. Exchanging traditional wooden railings between staggered floor levels for transparent glass panels helps to eliminate a “boxed-in” feel.
Natural light can help to brighten a dark, split level homes. These homes were typically built without any windows on the ends. Adding windows to both sides of a corner brightens up the interior spaces. You can also remove small windows and modify the existing window openings to accommodate larger replacement windows. Bigger windows allow more natural light to stream inside, making an interior seem more open and cheery. Installing ceiling skylights and solar tubes also helps to brighten interior spaces with more natural light. Apply a fresh coat of paint in a light color — soft white, light gray, barely beige — to interior walls, resulting in updated rooms with a stylish, neutral background. Lighter paint colors tend to reflect more natural and artificial light to help brighten interior spaces.
Expand and update your home with a new room addition. Build a guest suite, teen bedroom or sun room onto an existing split-level home to accommodate a growing family. Replacing wall-to-wall carpeting, typical in split level homes, with new hardwood or bamboo flooring adds an upscale, modern look. Exchange old lighting fixtures for stylish replacements, and reface dated kitchen cabinets to give them a fresh look. Installing a new vanity, sink, toilet and bathtub can help to update a ’70s split-level bathroom with modern appeal.