While this 1970s raised ranch technically had all the space this multi-generational family needed, the choppy rooms, dated kitchen, and dysfunctional floor plan made everyone uncomfortable and itching to move. However, a meeting with Divine designer Mariette Barsoum revealed that they actually loved the neighborhood that they lived in, they just weren’t enjoying their house. Barsoum showed them that a top-to-bottom renovation (or shall we say “gut job?”) would not only give them everything that they wanted, but could also be done on-budget and without stress.


The kitchen, entryway addition, and grand staircase were all part of the renovation, but if you ask the kids and the in-laws which area they like best, it’s the lower level. Too-small rooms have been replaced with an open, modern floor plan. An inviting family room complete with a fireplace also opens into an office area. When the children are finished playing games at the table, they can easily put them away in the toy/game closet added specifically to reduce clutter.


Many of today’s families are embracing multi-generational living. Some want to ensure that children have a close relationship with their grandparents, or they want their “snowbird” parents and other guests to enjoy a welcoming area to themselves when they visit. The in-law suite provides everything they need: access to the rest of the family, but peace and privacy when they need it.

The lower level is also more functional than ever with the addition of a mudroom and laundry room. Light pours into all the downstairs rooms thanks to new, larger, energy efficient windows. Radiant in-floor heating was added to warm the space while allowing for heating ducts in the ceiling to be removed. As a result, the ceilings are now higher, visually enlarging the entire downstairs. The popcorn ceiling is a thing of the past.

Mom and dad are happy. The kids are happy. The grandparents are happy. And no one wants to move…ever.

Home renovations can be stress-free and on-budget. Really! Lean how.

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"Mariette, you and your team have been a pleasure to work with. I am thrilled with my kitchen and my bathroom vanities and would highly recommend your firm. If you ever want to have people stop by my house to show them any of the cabinetry, I would be proud to show off my kitchen and bathrooms. Thank you again and best wishes for much continued success!"

- R.G. Sudbury, MA