A Great Wide-Open Gathering Space

Photo by Greg Grupenhof


Two years ago, a client contacted Jill Koch, an interior designer with Designs on Madison, to ask her advice on how to tackle an addition to the back of a house. They had worked together eight years prior when the whole house was updated, which was a great experience for both.

“When we first started the planning process, it was clear that the issue was not inadequate space,” says Koch, who specializes in residential design and new construction. “They had plenty of square footage. The problem was that when the home was built 25 years ago, open floor plans weren’t common.”

Given that the homeowners like to host family for holidays, they wanted to redesign the space to accommodate the crowd. They hired Paul McAlpine, president of Heritage Custom Building Group, to renovate their beautiful West Chester home. The project included a room addition off the kitchen with Nano doors that lead to a screened-in porch with views of a tranquil pond.

“I suggested that we anchor the main room with an oversized table in the center of the space where everyone could sit down and enjoy a big, festive breakfast or a Thanksgiving meal,” says Koch.  Above the 160-inch dining table hangs a giant Ralph Lauren light fixture, and both sides have sitting areas that enable everyone to gather in the heart of the home.

“The whole family can be together in the dining room now without feeling like they’re running into one another,” says Koch. “And if it’s a warm day, they can open up the Nano doors and have access to more seating outside.” The porch includes an outdoor cooking area, a bar that opens to the inside and another sitting area in front of a fireplace.

The renovation also allowed them to convert the old dining room into a music room, complete with a baby grand piano. They also freshened up the space by repainting the red and gold walls with softer gray hues.

“It’s such a great house, and the remodel has made it a special place for gatherings with those they love”, says Koch. “We are so pleased with how it all turned out.”


Designs on Madison is located at 1743 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45206. For more information, call 513.321.0545 or visit www.designsonmadison.com/.