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Open Concept Overkill

Oct 04, 2017
When the open concept design gets to be overkill.

Written by Debbie Boggs, Staging Studio Co-Founder

Most of the time I am staging other people’s houses, but this year I got to play designer and remodeled my own home. We purchased an older home that had already seen several reincarnations. Over the next few weeks, I will share with you some of the stories and pics.

This Alamo Heights treasure started out in the forties as a typical clapboard siding, 2-bedroom cottage. Other rooms were added and repurposed over the years. At some point, the late legendary florist, E.B. Castro, added a Spanish colonial facade.

exterior picture of a luxury modern home

Bowing to the current trend of knocking down walls and defining open concept spaces, the previous owner removed the wall between the entry and the living room. The result was dramatic and beautiful…

 interior open concept living room design

…from one angle. However, in addition to making it impossible to place any usable furniture, standing at the front door you could see 3 toilets!

picture of two interior bathroom toilets

Two of those toilets were so close that you could hold hands while enthroned…That’s my daughters sharing a sister moment…

double toilets open concept overkill renoavation

 … I tell you all about that bathroom transformation in another post. For now, just know that was one of the big reasons to reconfigure the entry. Another reason was that the entrance to the guest room was in the public foyer, so guests had to parade through in their bathrobe to get to the bathroom.

This shows the entry opening before we moved in (and renovated).

living room open design concept with couch and lamp 

We closed the large opening that had been created and re-opened the original flow from the front door to the living area. This restored it to 2 separate areas. The one on the left became a library/sitting room, while the one on the right returned to being the formal entry.

living room extended design concept with bookshelf

interior open hallway with door design

Even though the open concept had felt grand, it actually took attention away from the beautiful details in the entry. Now guests linger for a moment there, appreciating the gravity-defying, herringbone brick ceiling.

picture of a chandelier

Reverting to the original Saltillo tile steps allowed us to add some fun Talavera tile that continued the south-of-the-border flair of the exterior.

 picture of a house wood interior framing


I love a mix of vintage and modern home decor, so I found an updated chandelier for the library that echoed the glam, original, antique, crystal chandelier in the dining room across from it.

    interior bedroom concept with dresser

interior dining room concept with dining table

If you love old houses and fun details, you can read about how I renovated our guest house and how Andress Eichstadt, our Creative Director (and my daughter!) renovated her historic New England home.

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