Down to the Studs: Kitchen, Dining Room & Great Room Remodel

down to the studs full home remodel kitchen great room dining room light bright fresh traditional

This full-home remodel in Mt. Juliet, TN is a transformation that will knock your socks off. From yellow spaces and a janky wall (just wait until you see it) to its fairy tale ending, this project has everything y’all could want. Grab some popcorn, and come take a look…

The Family

Mr. and Mrs. W. have two small children and one heck of a busy calendar. From sports to traveling for work to almost weekly neighborhood gatherings, their home is the hub of a very active lifestyle. However, when Mr. and Mrs. W. initially reached out to us, they felt like their home was doing more to hinder their daily routine than help it. And as y’all know…we always have a solution for that!

Before: One of the Strangest Wall Situations I’ve Ever Seen

Alright, let’s talk about their existing home for a minute. I’ve been a designer and GC for decades, and there’s not much that surprises me anymore, but when I walked into Mr. and Mrs. W’s home, quite frankly, it was something special…


Would y’all check out this floating wall situation?? 

The center part of the home contained the original great room (pictured on the right) and a kitchen with vaulted ceilings. This space was split right in two by this janky half-wall that only went about 10 feet up and then stopped. It was the strangest thing.

Well, I knew immediately that the wall had to come down, and Mr. and Mrs. W. were just as eager to say good riddance. (P.S. Here’s what you need to know about removing walls.)

We then orchestrated the design, took it down to the studs, and began the construction of their new kitchen and great room remodel…with a dining room refresh thrown in there for good measure. Several months later, the family (who was camped out in an apartment during construction) came home to this beautiful scene…

New Kitchen: Goodbye Wall, Hello Fresh and Functional


Left: Before, we had an obstructive wall and a lot of brown. Right: Now, the new space feels young, bright, open, and fun! Y’all, I could stare at this transformation all day — removing the wall created such a sense of openness and community, while making the home feel bigger and brighter. Now it’s a space where adults and kids alike can have a good time.


Here’s another great Before & After view. Removing the wall gave us a few extra feet of space to play with on the right, allowing us to create this spacious island with seating for 3… or 4, if the kids want to scooch up. It also ensures that the traffic through the kitchen doesn’t have to inconvenience the cook. There’s room for everybody.


We also updated the family’s appliances with this new hood, stovetop, and double oven. We paired it with a classic subway tile backsplash to keep the home functional and in style for many years to come. 

kingston brass apront sink kohler faucet z-lite pendants charcoal and white island fresh traditional kitchen

The mixed metals in the fixed elements of this kitchen are the icing on the cake. (See what I did there?) I love how the polished nickel on this stunning Kohler faucet mixes with the brushed stainless of the Kingston Brass apron front and the brass on the Z-Lite pendants. It’s all in the details of the mix. We also chose a charcoal grey color for the island, just for some contrast. Love it.

breakfast-nook-beverage-station-built-in-cabinets-window treatments-mt-juliet-tn

Next to the kitchen, we transformed the breakfast nook with built-in cabinets for storage, a self-service coffee station, and soft window treatments to raise the visual height of the space. It looks taller, right?? We also traded the rectangular table for a circular one to complement the home’s architecture. Young. Fun. Fresh. Functional. 

Moving out of the kitchen, we come to…

Great Room Remodel: Moving a Corner Fireplace


Before: Corner fireplace alert! I may or may not have previously mentioned my disdain for things on the diagonal. (I have, lol.) But it is one of my least favorite architectural elements because it takes up way too much real estate. No, Mr. Builder. No, Mr. Architect. Things set on a diagonal are not architecturally interesting. They are lazy. Here’s our solution for a great room remodel done right.


We moved the fireplace to a new, central location. We designed a custom built-in with a mantel, shelves, and cabinets for storage (who doesn’t want storage?). AND we made it a charming focal point in the room. Sooo much better. And would y’all look at all that space!


Bonus: The fireplace feature is also the proper scale now. Before, it felt tiny and insignificant in the room. Now, it commands attention and gives the whole room a cozy, comfortable ambiance.


Now, make a left turn and we come to…

Dining Room Refresh: A Beautiful, Flexible Space

Mrs. W. confided that they never really used their dining room. It was more of a catch-all, and they wanted to make it a space the family would actually use. After Covid hit, we upped our goals in this room to accommodate homework for the kiddos and a work-from-home office for Mrs. W.


Before and After: Once yellow and more of a drop-spot than a functioning room, the dining room can now accommodate plenty of different uses. It’s now a work-from-home space, craft space, homework area, or source of extra seating for guests. Plus, the bright design is so much more enjoyable to be in. 


We also added a sideboard for storage (for all of the previous functions), a desk with all the home office essentials, and topped it off with this stunning chandelier. Last but not least, we ensured there were entry points from the hallway, great room, and kitchen, so this room is open and accessible to the rest of the home—and more likely to be used!

Together with the new kitchen and great room remodel, this home now flows effortlessly for the W’s busy family…and all the neighbor kids, too. 😉

Next Up: Bedrooms, Bathrooms + Bonus Room

Surprise! We also redesigned three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a bonus room in this home…but since this post is getting long, I’ll save them for my next one. To be continued…

Until then, what was your favorite part of this renovation? Are you looking forward to starting your own home transformation this year? If you’re in Wilson County and looking for a team to manage it all for you, we’d love to help.

Until next time, I’m sending y’all my best wishes for a year filled with joy and a home you love.



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