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Home Styles: Split Personality

When my husband and I bought our house, our property representative remarked that we were her first clients to inquire specifically for split-levels. I am not surprised — that the split is one of the most polarizing house designs, and many people simply can not get beyond the Brady Bunch connotations. Personally, I think they provide some of the most livable and family-friendly layouts around. Love’em or despise’em, they are here to stay for some time: Split-levels are flood the marketplace as their original baby-boomer occupants downsize or trade up. Here are a few smart tips for bringing them into the 21st century.

Quezada Architecture

Too frequently, split-level stairs look awkward and laborious. These appear to float, underscoring the restful lines and serene sense of this space.

Normandy Remodeling

It is fun to get a look at the way the simple footprint can be expanded. This version takes on the sense of a bungalow, thanks to upgraded colors and materials and an expanded layout.

Modern house architects

And now for something completely different: that the split created modern. Even though you can still get a sense of its original DNA should you look hard enough, the geometric design feels natural to the setting.

Joel Eckstein

Spare blond wood and wash, pristine white give this split layout an almost Scandinavian sensibility. The low ceilings might have made this space feel packed were it not for the pale palette; since it is, it functions beautifully.

Jennifer Weiss Architecture

What a smart way to make use of the strange niches of distance that splits tend to have. These floating shelves are right at home in my foyer, which will be far too little for a freestanding piece of furniture.

Susan M. Davis

Among the things I can not wait to change within my split-level is that the outdated wrought-iron railing that divides the middle and lower floors. I have been scratching my head over how to upgrade it, and I really like this approach. The glass panels preserve the identical openness since the rail, but seem slick and sophisticated.

Rossington Architecture

All these stairwells also include glass panels, but the heavy black railings give them a very different spin. The dark color can help to specify the expanse of space.

John Lum Architecture, Inc.. AIA

Here’s one more trendy railing therapy. The metallic spindles are subtle enough to not stop the eye, which is vital if you want to blur the boundaries between two spaces.

Inform usWhat do you love in your split-level house?

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