Here are a few pictures of our condo. When we purchased the place, it was very 70's with a sunken living room, mirrored floor-to-ceiling fireplace, faux-beamed ceilings, leaky atrium windows, and a very funky system of boxed-in skylights that in theory guided light to each of the five levels that are arranged as half-levels; basement, garage, entry/kitchen/living/dining, study and master bedroom. The space was organized in a very strange fashion, and thus we decided to deconstruct down to the studs and start over. We convinced local architect Mark Gerwing to accept the design - he had worked on a neighbor's unit and at first was reluctant. Then he decided that it would be a nice challenge to create something quite different in basically the same space. He took our fundamental desires - lots of light and air - and delivered a great design. We continue to be very pleased with the outcome, and recommend him to you if you are looking for an architect. We are also very pleased with Jeff Hindman and his crew at Cottonwood Custom Builders. Mark and Jeff made a good pair, balancing architectural flair with building within a budget!
Unfortunately, I did not take any "pre" pictures for comparison - but imagine in this area, a sunken living room with some shag carpeting and floor-level mirrors, the mirrored fireplace at the far end, a single sliding door on the right, beams and wooden ceiling, and a kitchen island on the left.
Here is a view of the galley kitchen, with the eating bar and dining area off to the right. The shutter on the left is one of the shutters used along the stairway to the lower levels, and as seen below, shutters were also used along the stairway leading to the upper levels.
This is probably the most dramatic change - the three skylights above the stairway were all previously completely enclosed in boxes. One box went to the lower level, one to the main level, and one to the mid level. The original stairways ran at 90 degree angles to the current stairs, and were switch-back. The current stairs are over/under with the upper stairs shown here going to the mid-level office and work area and continuing up to the master, with the lower stairs going to the garage and basement levels. Most of the shutters are moveable, allowing for control of both light and air.
A corner of the master bedroom on the upper level - this shows three of the six windows that were added to this level and the skylight that was enlarged. Again, there is plenty of light and air.