Rustic Meets Industrial: A Lake House Remodel in Litchfield, IL

We expanded the living space and modernized the rustic, industrial look of this beautiful lake house in Litchfield.

Project Summary: Whole House Remodeling

Litchfield, IL is a quiet lake town in Montgomery County that offers residents a relaxing, suburban feel. It isn’t surprising that many people have their summer and retirement houses in this little town. With a population of a little over 7,000 people, Litchfield tends to be a low-key and conservative town, even in its house designs.

The whole house remodeling project in Litchfield involved an A-frame house design built in the 1970s. It acted as a secondary residence lake house for the owners who had inherited it from their parents. It’s the go-to gathering spot for all family get-togethers and holidays.

The Vision

The owners were looking to make this their retirement family home. They looked forward to hosting their extended family at least several times a year. This necessitated more living room space, a larger kitchen, and an extra guestroom and shower.

The owners also wanted to brighten up the house. The outdated 70s interior design (which included a lot of wood paneling, mismatched carpets, outdated cabinetry, and wagon wheel light fixtures) was dull and textured, which made the house feel dark and cold – and less homey.

Another major objective of this project was to make the house safer for kids. The owners had several grandchildren who would come over during the summer. There were a lot of safety hazards around the house, including a shaky spiral staircase that connected the ground floor to the upper floor, the staircase to the basement had ropes as balusters, and there were missing deck boards.

The Challenge

Since the house was passed down from a previous generation, it pretty much had everything the same from the time it was first constructed. These include outdated carpet flooring, metallic wallpapers in the bathrooms, and shingle crown molding on top of the kitchen wall cabinetry.

The kitchen was really small. Being the focal point of all the family gatherings, it didn’t serve its purpose well. Additionally, the kitchen cabinets were laid out badly, and this made it difficult to do layouts of the remodeling. The sliding doors in the house also leaked and needed serious repair or a complete replacement.

To create more space, the unused fireplace in the basement had to go. However, this proved to be a challenge since the chimney flue ran through the living above and into the roof.

The basement kitchen island had an annoying post running through it from the ceiling. The post wasn’t supporting anything. It was used to bring down the electrical wiring into the basement. We needed to break some concrete to remove this post.

One of the main things that the owners were adamant about was maintaining the “family home” vibe of the house. This meant that even though the remodeling involved incorporating a modern design, it shouldn’t erase the character of the original house.


The outdated 70s interior design that includes carpet flooring, outdated cabinetry, wagon wheel light fixtures, and shingle crown molding on top of the kitchen wall cabinetry.


The modern industrial designed kitchen.

The Transformation

To expand the kitchen space, the garage door had to be moved from the middle of the wall to the far end where the staircase to the basement starts. This gave extra room for a larger kitchen island. The wooden kitchen cabinetry was quite outdated and needed a complete overhaul.

We safely removed the whole fireplace system, including the chimney flue that ran through the living room. As a result, there was enough room for an extra bedroom in the basement. When we removed the chimney flue, the living room was roomier, giving out a sense of serenity.

The kitchen in the basement looked small and neglected even though it was actively used during the summer because it had a door to the lake. We updated the basement kitchen cabinetry, doors, moldings, and island to make it look more elegant and offer the much-needed storage.

The hallway bathroom didn’t come with a showerhead – it only had a bathtub, which wasn’t practical for a house that’ll be hosting guests often. We removed the tub and replaced it with a small shower space to make the space look bigger. We also took out the metallic wallpaper, carpet, and window and replaced them with modern ones.

Outside the house, we had to remove a tree to install the new deck boards. Besides the missing deck boards, the exterior of the house was pretty much intact. It looked quite modern with a touch of a rustic feel.

The concrete floor wasn’t affected mainly to save on costs. However, it also helped us maintain the original look and feel of the house as requested by the owners.

The Details

While the owners were looking for modern industrial interior design, we all agreed that we couldn’t keep the wagon wheel light fixtures (they were quite unsightly). We replaced them with dimmable panel lights to brighten up the whole house and make it look warm and inviting.

We also removed the shaky spiral staircase and installed a new one with beautiful small-spaced kid-friendly rails. The rope balusters on the basement staircase were also replaced with matching rails of the spiral staircase to give the living room a consistent, modern look.

The deck had strong frames that didn’t need any work. So, we only installed composite deck boards with black metal railing to match the interior. All the doors of the house were replaced with modern, white hardwood doors.

Additional Touches

The owners didn’t like the plastered finish of the ceiling because it came with a dull, heavy texture. We painted the whole ceiling to cover all the bumps for a smoother, refined finish. The owners loved the kitchen and bath remodeling and didn’t request any changes.

The New Space

All the materials used in the house (including the light fixtures, metal rails, and metal chairs) brought out the modern industrial look that the owners were looking for. The rich rustic elements, such as the wooden kitchen island and cabinetry, complemented the sleek, lustrous metal finishes.

The high ceiling, dramatic lighting, and open floor plan leaves the room open and embraces the rawness of suburban living. For the best results, consider a minimalistic interior décor for a similar house design.

Professional Kitchen and Bath Remodeling with McDermott Remodeling

Looking to revamp your home to meet your needs and style? Look no further than McDermott Remodeling. Our contractors are experienced, skilled, and dedicated to turning your dream home into a reality. We’re now offering virtual consultations.

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