I promised that I would keep you posted about the remodel of my dream home, so here are some photos, as well as a tip. This home is 11 years old and well maintained. The size, location and “bones” (structure) are exactly what we want, but I’m updating the style and a little bit of the layout to better suit our needs.

Let’s start with the kitchen. As you can see from the before photo, it was closed off with access on the left and right. Like many homeowners these days, I wanted an open-concept space. I decided to create a large window to open up the kitchen to the living area.

So here’s the tip: Before you tear down or open a wall, consider what other function that wall could serve.


I wanted to add another layer of dimension to the overall design. Instead of simply putting a window into the drywall, I decided to create a facade to add architectural interest and depth. The entire surface will be clad in a wood veneer that will warm the space, and the niches flanking the opening will provide form and function.

So, before tearing down or opening up, look on the other side to see if your wall has the potential to be something more.

Cathy Lee is a home style expert, speaker, president and designer of Cathy Lee Style. For more info and inspiring photos of design projects, visit www.cathyleestyle.com. And keep up with Cathy’s dream home makeover at her photo blog, Homefront.