The owner’s of Martones Market in Essex, VT, worked with Lewis Creek to remodel the first floor of their home. The client’s primary goals were storage, floor space, and beauty. We came up with a design that aligned with their goals and included details to complement and enrich their lifestyle.

The existing first floor layout caused the clients a lot of pain…

They were professional cooks living with a tiny kitchen and a large, and underused, living and dining room.

Their primary entry from the garage put you immediately in the kitchen. There was no mudroom which made for chronic chaos. We were tasked with designing a holistic first floor solution for a busy family with three daughters, three dogs, two cats, and an iguana (admittedly, the iguana didn’t factor much into the design).











After hearing all their goals and learning the ways that their current space just DID NOT work for them we went to the drawing board.


We came up with a design that incorporated a “storage island” along the stairwell to the second story. Rather than downplay the role of storage as an architectural feature we chose to amplify its influence on the whole design. Better storage can be beautiful too! This island also allows for buffet style dining when hosting their extended family (which they do every Sunday).

We then used the storage island as an axis around which to build a spacious and organized mudroom that is both casual and attractive, and perhaps most importantly, could absorb the chaos of a busy family with three kids involved in lots of sports and school activities. Another challenge was that there was no bathroom on the first floor of the house. Through the construction of the mudroom we were able to nestle a half bath opposite the coat cubbies.

We also developed a design for a custom dog door that would disappear when not needed but could easily isolate the dogs from the rest of the house during mud-season. It works like a charm!

The kitchen was shifted to the previous dining room area and a large booth transformed the old living room into dining space for up to ten people.

An expansive kitchen island provides generous workspace and serves as the centerpiece and hub of casual family gatherings.

Corner windows were added in the kitchen to take advantage of the fantastic woodland views in the back yard.

The kitchen backsplash became a patterned point of interest, compelling in texture and color. The play of light on the backsplash makes its color variable from grey to moss green.

Overall, this first floor remodel is a great example of how embracing utility as a key design element can have lovely results. Extra storage, ample kitchen prep space, and a custom doggy door…gorgeous and functional.