Split level kitchen remodel ideas for your house [2023]

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Looking for split level kitchen remodel ideas? Let’s start off with the split-level home floor plan became popular in the 1950s and ’70s and was recognized for its reasonable price, great livability, and excellent value. So far, so good, however, only the ones who have actually purchased a split-level house can tell you how challenging any structural renovation on such property can be.

split level kitchen remodel ideas

Remodeling a split-level kitchen can be a challenge due to its unique structure. I will give you the key points that cover everything you need to know to transform your split-level kitchen.

  • The split-level floor plan became popular in the 1950s and ’70s due to its reasonable price, great livability, and excellent value.
  • Remodeling a split-level property can be challenging due to its unique structure.
  • In some split-level houses, the kitchen is located on the upper level and is disconnected from the living or dining room by a small stair, while in others, the kitchen is divided by walls.
  • Some ideas include removing walls, adding a half wall, eliminating doors, and creating an open-concept kitchen.
  • Factors to consider before removing a load-bearing wall, such as whether it has electric outlets or plumbing and if a permit is required.
  • Add a centerpiece island, appropriate lighting, a floor-to-ceiling fireplace, or an extra wall for more storage space to modernize a split-level kitchen.
  • Use durable flooring like tiles or laminate, repaint with modern colors, and upgrade kitchen appliances.
  • Common problems include poor budgeting, lack of storage space, and incorrectly positioned electric outlets.

In some split-level houses, the kitchen is located on the upper land and connected to the living or dining room by a little stair. In other cases, the kitchen is separated or divided by walls and prevents people in the living or dining room from seeing what is happening inside the kitchen.

If you are here because you consider remodeling your kitchen and giving it a brand-new and modern look, you are definitely in the right place. In this post, we will solely focus on split-level kitchen remodeling and provide you with several split-level kitchen remodel ideas that you should consider before initiating your project. Moreover, these split-level kitchen remodel ideas will turn your split-level kitchen into a light and cheerful space for spending time with your favorite people.

Make an open kitchen by removing a wall.

If you consider making some corrections to the overall layout of own split level house, , removing a wall was probably one of your initial thoughts. Tearing down a wall is perhaps one of the most popular options for remodeling a split-level existing kitchen. Considering the fact that split-level houses have a pretty similar structure and were built more than 50 years ago, eliminating the barrier between the kitchen and social areas will result in a bigger space and potentially a more modern appearance of your room. Not only that, knocking down a wall allows you to have a better lit social area and enhances the sound on the floor.


Split Level kitchen wall removal

If you have already decided to go with the wall removal, here are some factors you should definitely take into consideration before proceeding further.

Is the wall load-bearing?

DIY projects can be so much fun, however, taking down a wall can sometimes be challenging. Before proceeding further, it’s essential to get familiar with the different types of walls. A partition wall serves as a division between different rooms and does not carry any weight. Usually, such walls are easier to modify or remove. On the other hand, load-bearing walls are the ones that keep the entire structure of the house together. They are usually placed in the longer directions of the building and carry the entire weight of the structure above them. Improper removal can result in structural issues, which can cost a fortune to be fixed in the future. If you decide on going with this idea, perhaps you should consider seeking advice from a structural engineer.

split level kitchen remodel ideas weight

Is there something in the wall? 

That specific wall you are planning to take down may be hiding a little more than just the house’s structure. If there are any electric outlets or cabinets on that wall, you will most probably have to deal with electric lines behind. You can use a volt detector to check if there is actively running electricity running through the wall. You may also run into plumbing or gas pipes as well. You have to strategically plan how to deal with these complications. Moreover, you can either hire a professional to deal with these structural modifications and successfully reroute them.

Is a permit necessary?

You may be wondering, do I need a permit for removing a load-bearing wall? The short answer is yes, any structural modifications of your house will indeed require you to get a permit from your municipality. As we mentioned above, electrical adjustments or plumbing rerouting are also considered structural adjustments, therefore, a permit will be indeed necessary. Make sure to conduct your research properly as permits differ from one city to another.

split level kitchen remodel ideas municipality

Maybe you don’t want to take the entire wall down. If that’s the case, cutting a hole through it may be the right choice. You can either create a breakfast bar or simply frame an opening between the kitchen and dining area of the living room. If you are dealing with a partition wall, that means that for sure the process will be a tad easier. However, if you need to cut through a load-bearing wall, we strongly advise that you consult with a professional.

Half wall concept

In a split-level kitchen, wall removal does not always imply that the entire wall must be removed. You can only remove half of it if you want to achieve a fantastic look. Moreover, if you want an open and light atmosphere in the split level kitchen ideas but yet want a barrier to make it appear that the room’s role is for cooking, this is a smart option. A half-wall can be a great compromise between a fully open kitchen and a kitchen with lots of storage space. Another thing to remember is that a design like this is ideal for use in medium to small-sized kitchens.

No-door design for a better flow

If tearing down a wall is not something you are looking for at the moment, a reasonable alternative is removing the doors and their frames instead. Depending on the position of your kitchen, a no-door design will be quite beneficial mainly because it will brighten your living room and make it a bit more spacious. A no-door design will create a better flow from one room to the other and make it easier for people to communicate effectively. What you may also consider is expanding the opening of the doorways. This action will first result in a more modern look, and secondly, you will spend less money than taking an entire wall down.

Open concept split level kitchen remodel 

Even though split-level homes allow for decent space separation, a significant number of walls can lead to a dark and clustered environment in your house. Many owners of split-level homes firstly take the kitchen into consideration when initiating a renovation project. Perhaps you have already opened up some space in your split level kitchen remodels, and now you want to take this project one step further. The ideas below will help you decide how to modernize and remodel your split-level open concept kitchen.

split level kitchen remodel ideas clustered

Centerpiece Island

The incorporation of a kitchen island in the middle is an idea picked by many when deciding to remodel an open concept kitchen. Depending on the size of your kitchen and dining room, a centerpiece island can serve not only as a spot to prepare your meals and eat but also as a social and entertainment point. Depending on your needs, there are various types of centerpiece islands you can consider. If your kitchen is rather tiny, perhaps you should focus on an island with less storage space but a cleaner design. On the contrary, a bold centerpiece island allows you not only to hide a lot of utensils in the storage compartments but also to include a built-in sink.

Choose the appropriate lighting.

Lighting is of huge importance in the kitchen, and picking the right light fixtures can sometimes be quite challenging. Centerpiece islands usually require bigger and more decorative lamps mainly because they draw attention to this particular element of the split-level kitchen.

Floor-to-Ceiling Fireplace for connecting a split-level kitchen with other rooms

A floor-to-ceiling fireplace might be a great idea if you have a split-level kitchen with no walls separating the living and dining area from the kitchen. Such interior addition in your home will not only create a warm and cozy atmosphere but will also be viewed as a bonus by a potential buyer in case you decide to sell your house in the future.

Wall Addition to Conceal Furniture in a Split-Level Kitchen

Suppose you already own an open concept kitchen. An additional wall will provide an extra storage space in which you can position either cooking utensils or your refrigerator, microwave, or oven without worrying that it will look out of place in the open floor design. In that case, wall addition can be quite beneficial because it will serve as a hiding spot for any additional furniture or items you may have in your kitchen. Extra storage is very useful, especially if you have a big family, therefore, more available utensils, tableware, and technology.

How do you modernize a split-level?

Split level kitchens two-level homes were popular from the 50s to the 70s, years which no longer match the design taste of many. There are various ways to make your split-level kitchen better represent the modern era, and below, you can find some ideas to consider before starting.

Re-do the flooring

The kitchen is the center of the home and the place where most people will come and go. Picking up a durable flooring for your kitchen and dining area is of huge importance as this area may be frequently exposed to spills and dirt. In order to properly preserve your kitchen, you need to make sure that the appropriate flooring is selected. Here are some flooring ideas that will guarantee both reliability and a modern look. Having two types of flooring can serve as a division of the different areas of your home.

 Tile flooring or ceramic

Probably the most classic and durable option out there. Tile flooring has always been the preferred option for wet areas, and if properly installed and sealed, tiles can last an entire lifetime. They are available in numerous shapes, colors, and textures, so make sure to get properly informed before narrowing down your options. Similarly, to the tiles, ceramic flooring has proven itself to be as popular and durable. They are available in various colors and shapes and can handle both spills and spatters. You can also get 100% waterproof ceramic tiles that can take any stain. However, keep in mind that these tiles can get quite slippery, therefore, we advise you to look for tiles with texture.

split level kitchen remodel ideas lifetime

Laminate flooring

Laminate flooring is an excellent option for those who want to have a wooden floor at a lower cost. The material and the installation price are significantly lower in comparison to hardwood floors, making the laminate a preferred option by many homeowners.


The kitchen should be a space that feels both inviting and relaxing, however, it also reflects your personal style and exceptional attention to detail. If you strive to achieve that fabulous modern outlook, perhaps you should consider re-painting your kitchen. Here are some modern colors we suggest to take a look at.

  • Warm Gray
  • Gray Blue
  • Washed Turquoise
  • Creamy white
  • Blue-Black

Upgrade your kitchen appliances

One of the critical elements of modern interior design is having an up-to-date kitchen appliance. Black and white-colored kitchen appliances with metail details can look relatively modern; therefore, these are the colors that you should target. We don’t necessarily talk about top-of-the-line tools, however, with the emergence of intelligent technologies, perhaps you should consider updating your gadgets, especially if you enjoy cooking.

Some Of The Most Common Split-Level Kitchen Remodel Problems

Poor budgeting

Despite how well you plan your kitchen renovation, there will undoubtedly be one or more issues when financing the project. Even the most precisely planned budgets have flaws and can be challenging to comply with throughout the renovation process. This is especially problematic when you’re halfway through a project and realize you don’t have enough money to finish it. Ensure to properly conduct your budgeting and get estimates from various contractors in your area to avoid issues throughout the renovation of your split-level kitchen. Unless there are some unexpected costs throughout the renovation, your initial estimate should be correct.

Not Enough Storage space

One of the most common kitchen design issues which result from improper planning is poor kitchen storage management. Bad planning can result in clutter, mess, and incredible frustration in the future. You want to make sure that you are careful when planning the organization of cabinets, centerpiece islands, and electric appliances. Also, make sure that everything is easily accessible and doesn’t create a small and claustrophobic environment. Should you wish to create a happier kitchen environment, perhaps you should carefully consider your storage needs and wants. Also, make sure that the location of everything is correctly planned, as you and your family will be the ones dealing with the lack of space in the future.

Incorrect positioning of electric outlets

Usually, you don’t realize that the electrical outlets are positioned poorly until the kitchen renovation project is finalized. Of course, everyone has different needs. You should make sure that all electric outlets are placed conveniently for you and your family. If you love to cook and have a lot of kitchen appliances, perhaps you should consider adding an extra socket or two. Plan this carefully, as the wiring process will be completed at a very early stage of the kitchen remodeling. Keep in mind that the arrangement of electrical outlets is subject to safety regulations. Your contractor should be capable of adequately advising you on these rules during the early stages of the renovation project.

How do you make your house stand out when selling?

There are various ways to make your home more appealing to potential buyers. From fixing up little things like damaged doorknobs to cracked tiles and broken blinds, it’s essential to pay attention to these things before you list your house to sell.

As we mentioned before, re-painting the house will be pretty beneficial before you list your place on the market. Ensure to re-paint the interior and exterior in a buyer-friendly color rather than a color you desire.

If you are a pet owner, make sure that the house is clean and that no pet odors are present. Smell is a sense that is very closely connected to our memories. Suppose you want to make a positive impression. In that case, you have to ensure that whoever views your house will remember it with a positive and inviting aroma.

Lastly, make sure the listing pictures are on a level. You want to make sure that the lighting is appropriate and the house is neat to attract many potential buyers.

How can I make my kitchen look expensive?

A massive budget is definitely not required to make your new kitchen look more expensive than it is.

Add marble elements

Marble shows elegance and expensiveness, and indeed everyone wants to have it in their kitchen. You don’t necessarily need to remove your countertops and replace them with marble; instead, you can add small marble accessories that will make a difference and make your kitchen look fancier and more expensive. Such additions can vary. From a marble fruit bowl to a marble paper towel holder, these accessories will make your kitchen design look a lot more expensive.

Include art pieces

Including an art piece in your kitchen is a great way to elevate any room and give it a more expensive look. From abstract compositions to classic pieces, art in a white kitchen will definitely make your room complete and give the illusion of a bigger space.

Include pendant lamps

One of the easiest tricks to make your place kitchen look more expensive is to increase the light and make it more bright. A luxurious glow in your kitchen can be achieved with the help of pendant lamps with modern bulbs that spread a warm and muted natural light. Moreover, pendant lamps are great for this purpose as they look both modern and classic.

When is the best time to remodel?

People tend to show the most interest in remodeling around January and June. Interest is on the low side during the fall months of September and October. This means you could get the lowest prices if you plan your remodel project so that you ask for offers in late September and October.

kitchen remodel trends 2017 2022

Find the best time and budget for your remodel project

There are various ways for you to remodel your split-level kitchen and dining room. From demolishing walls to increasing the lights and adding a centerpiece island, all these ideas will surely make your kitchen and dining room represent the modern era and connect your family together. Make sure to properly plan your remodeling project in advance, consider your budget and if you take the split-level kitchen ideas we have just discussed into consideration, your remodeled home will cheerful and fabulous.

Ariel Path

With over three decades of experience in food manufacturing and kitchen design, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. My expertise spans across various aspects of the culinary world, from kitchen appliances to cooking techniques, food selection, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. My ultimate goal is to educate and inspire you in creating your dream kitchen, where functionality meets aesthetics. As a trusted source, I strive to provide valuable insights and guidance to make your kitchen remodel an enjoyable and successful experience. Together, let's transform your space into a culinary haven that reflects your unique style and meets your specific needs. See more details here.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Avatar photo
    Emily Smith

    I have a split-level kitchen I want to remodel, but I’m worried that removing walls will compromise the structural integrity of my home. How can I make sure that my remodel won’t cause any problems down the line?

    1. cropped ariel path
      Ariel Path

      It’s understandable to have concerns about structural integrity when remodeling your home. To ensure that your remodel won’t compromise your home’s structure consult with a structural engineer before proceeding. They can advise you on the best approach for your situation and help you avoid potential issues. They may suggest installing additional support beams or posts to reinforce any load-bearing walls you plan to remove. This will provide additional structural support and ensure the safety of your home.

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