Susan Yeley Homes
Life is too short not to love your home.

High-Level Bi-level

Two years before this photo shoot, a Bloomington couple came to SYH wondering whether to renovate their dated bi-level or upgrade to a new house entirely: the classic love-it-or-list-it dilemma. The whole house needed to be touched, really: bathrooms and kitchen, lighting and flooring and paint everywhere, not to mention new furniture to fill in and improve the living spaces. We spent a year with this family, considering options that were less transformative but allowed for the whole house to be upgraded, as well as options that dramatically changed the main living space but meant the rest of the house would have to wait. Meanwhile, they kept an eye out for better digs in town: a house at their price point, that met their family's needs and matched their aesthetic without major construction. 

After a year of hunting, hemming and hawing: they pulled the trigger. Give us the whole enchilada in the kitchen and main living space, they said. There's no other house for us. The bathrooms and basement can wait. Make this space, where we spend all our time, a place we love to be. 

Walls and ceilings came down; clerestory windows went in. A stunning 4-panel sliding door-cum-window wall replaced two separate doors in two separate rooms, and the sun streaming in now gives this house in Indiana a California-like access to the outdoors. The central custom screen does triple duty: displaying the client's objets d'art, hiding an HVAC chase, and holding up the ceiling. The gas fireplace is completely new, with custom shelving on either side. Of course, in 2017, the kitchen anchors everything. Family Central, it features custom cabinetry, honed quartz, a new window wall, and a huge island. Materials are earthy and natural, lending a warm modern effect to the space. The medium stain of the wood and overall horizontality of the design are a nod to the home's era (1967), while white cabinetry and charcoal tile provide a neutral but crisp backdrop for the family's stunning and colorful art collection. 

The result: an ordinary bi-level is now an extraordinary home, unlike any other in Bloomington.


Contractor: Rusty Peterson Construction

Cabinetry: Tim Graber Furniture - (812) 636-4992

Photography: Gina Rogers