This project involved our first floor open floor plan. It includes our living room, kitchen, hallway, and small half bathroom. Its all in good condition, but boring. Part of that is because we havent decorated a lot, but part is just that the place it a little plain. We are looking to change that without spending a small fortune, but we are willing to spend a good amount of money on this (around $6000 is our budget... unless there is a design that blows us away so much that we have to have it).
Husband likes modern, and wife likes rustic. Wife also likes something cottagey or japanese influenced (I say "influenced" as in it should be a bit more subtle... I dont want people to walk in and feel like they are in Japan or anything... but just subtle design influences)
In the half bath, the florescent light can be taken out of the half bath and the ceiling raised a bit in that location if needed. I would also be open to getting rid of the huge mirror. We will probably also replace most of the bathroom hardware and fixtures in the process. The flooring is nice and must stay.
In the kitchen, we cannot get rid of kitchen island, we cant replace the countertops (because of the cost) and we are not looking to replace the cabinets altogether (although we dont like the look of the cabinets, so we would like some ideas of how to change the look of them without replacing them).
We would like additional storage and additional seating. Things that mix the storage/seating into a single element is a plus.
My wife wants a fireplace. We have looked at electric fireplaces, so the designs dont have to be limited to locations that would allow for a chimney.
With regard to paint very loud/bright colors. Avoid any extremely feminine or masculine decor. We have entertained the idea of an accent wall... but thats not a requirement.
Any rearranging of the whole space is fine.
Most everything is fair game, although the winning entry is going to be the one that will make the biggest change for a reasonable amount of money. I am fairly handy, so I will be able to handle some of the work (such as painting, changing the fixtures, and removing the part where the florescent light (in the half bath) is now.
Other than that, it has to be something that my wife and i both like (see first line of design considerations).