In a Split Level Home, the boundaries between public and private space are less defined than in a traditional two-story home.
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Bedrooms typically coexist with the living room and kitchen on the upper level; the lower level may house a family room, rec room or storage space. This time-honored layout provides advantages as well as challenges. If your Split Level Home is beginning to feel a bit dated, spruce it up with projects that fit your budget and skill.
Tips to Spruce Up Split Level Home
When you enter a house and find yourself perched on a landing between two short stairways, you know you’re in a split level home. Begin your split-level’s redo by making this potentially awkward entrance warm and welcoming. Paint the walls of the entryway a light, fresh color, planning carefully so you know where the paint should stop on connecting walls. A textured sisal rug or an easy-clean indoor-outdoor carpet brings softness, color and pattern to the landing. Accessorize the space with a mirror, wall hooks and a pretty bench or stool to add function and personality.
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Fresh Floor Plan
As you focus your attention on the room’s upper level, consider how you can use the existing floor plan to better suit your family’s needs. After freshening the walls with a coat of paint, rearrange furniture into zones that accommodate your family’s activities, such as watching television, playing games and entertaining. By thoughtfully repositioning furniture, you can increase the home’s function while maintaining its open floor plan. Downstairs, keep the decor light and bright to compensate for small windows. To prevent the lower level from feeling like a basement, choose furnishings that match the style and scale of upper-level decor, and keep clutter hidden behind closet doors.
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In your split level home, it’s probably the details that are dragging the design factor down. By replacing or revamping fixtures that were part of the original construction, you can give your home a new look. Hardwood, tile or laminate flooring maximizes the space’s open feel, but if wall-to-wall carpeting is in place and must stay, have it cleaned professionally and top it with a few accent rugs. If replacing the railings that separate the home’s levels isn’t feasible, paint the existing railings a new color or refinish them. In the kitchen and bathrooms, update cabinetry with paint and new hardware. To soften the split-level’s angles and create architectural interest, splurge on crown molding throughout the house.
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The exterior of a traditional Split Level Home has a definitive, cookie-cutter design. While you can’t easily change the position of your front door or windows, you can use paint and accessories to update your home’s curb appeal. Camouflage dated brickwork on the porch and stairs with anti-slip paint in shades of charcoal, coffee or taupe. Paint the front door and garage door a color that’s complementary to your home but a bit unexpected, such as fiery red, bright green or sky blue. Finish the mini makeover with potted plants and simple seasonal decor.
Split Level Home