Need to decide what type ceiling for addition

marti8aJanuary 30, 2012

We are trying to finalize plans for the dining room addition. It will be the same width as the kitchen 10 feet, and 12 feet long. There will be a very shallow wall to wall china cabinets at the far end - no windows on that end because it faces north and overlooks the driveway. We'll enlarge the opening from the current kitchen to the living from from 3 feet to 8 feet.

The current kitchen again:

The dining room will be attached like this:

We want to add some character to the house and want the addition to be look like it was built with the house, not an obvious addition. Originally, we wanted an octagonal vaulted ceiling, but it doesn't match the style of the house. It's more the plain Victorian farmhouse shape. The dining room is also smaller than we originally planned so we ditched that idea.

The adjacent living room has a 16 foot vaulted ceiling which has beams now and we plan to put tongue in groove paneling on it.

So with this is mind, here are our choices for the addition

We like the dark wood vaulted ceiling but are leaning toward the flat ceiling for a couple of reasons, mainly because it would look like it had always been here.

Which do you think fits the house best?

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It will depend on what type of roof you use and how you plan to insulate it as well as your climate. I'm partial to the shed ceiling with the beams, but that may have nothing to do with how the roof to the addition needs to happen. Do you have an overall plan of the complete home showing rooflines as well as some external shots showing them?

And I would NOT make a wide door from the kitchen to the DR. You already have a bowling alley effect from the long and skinny kitchen and you need to break that up visually. The widest door that I would do there is 48" with french doors to keep the two rooms separate. In fact, I would explore other locations and other configurations for the DR.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 1:55AM
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I agree it depends on what is going on with your roof. I like the idea of the beams in the dining room. I'm inclined to agree that you shouldn't widen the doorway and love the idea of glass french doors that would keep the rooms separate.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 3:31AM
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The only suggestion I have is to not use the sloped ceiling. In my opinion when I see a sloped ceiling it looks like an addition. I know it doesn't mean that it IS an addition, but I think I have seen so many patios or rooms added on to the back of the house and the ceilings are sloped. It's just a personal thing for me.

I think if you can make it a peaked ceiling of some sort it will really set the dining room off and not make it feel like it's one long room.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 8:46AM
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I like the flat ceiling. It seems to disappear and you really notice the windows...and the view :)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 11:03AM
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live wire oak, it's not my preferred location either, but that's the only place, so we have to work with it.

The construction will be a single gable with gable facing north. Rafter construction with steep pitch, so any of those ceilings will work in the space.

We're in Texas, and even though there will be a porch shading the west windows here, it will still be hot. We have 18" blown insulation in the rest of the house and will do the same here, along with radient barrier, so it will have a high R-value.

Beekeeperswife, I agree that the sloped ceiling looks like a lean-to addition and for that reason it's last on my list. There are a couple of shed porches on the house though.

The reason I'm not crazy about the vaulted ceiling with the beam down the center, similar to the living room is that the north wall will have the built-in cabinet, and no windows and I'm afraid the wall above the cabinet will look odd.

Poohpup, I like the idea of wood beams too. It will give some color and character to an otherwise blank wall. But I wanted to make the cabinets white so again, not sure how the combination would work. Could just as easily make it out of oak to match the kitchen cabinets but I'd prefer not to have any more of those doors.

It will look something like the one in this photo, except no shelves in the middle. Dh wanted to put a flat screen tv there and I nixed that idea. I'm not adamantly opposed to it though, so I'm keeping that as a concession for our next negotiation. ;)

I don't think there is room for any French doors. The table will be a tight fit in there without leaves, and when we have company, the table will extend out into the kitchen walk area.

I agree that some kind of demarcation would be good, and suggested a beam between the new & old part, or even something with beams running the same direction as the living room like this

Or something a little more subtle, like one of these two (although the first one looks like a dust magnet)

The kitchen will have a beadboard ceiling like this

and we could do the dining part similarly or if there is a dividing header between the rooms, we could do something like this, but with a short slope on the sides before it could flatten out.

LL, that's what my dh says. I'm afraid though that no matter how well the foundation was tied in, that there will be some movement and cracking, and it would be good to have something to control the crack or cover it. We're in an area with a lot of movement.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 12:09PM
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What about orienting the room in the other direction? East/west gable instead of north south? That would lessen the long skinny effect and let the patio door that you've indicated be the logical focal point of the gable orientation. It would also make engineering the header for the patio door a bit easier since the loads on a gable end are minimal compared to the side wall load which carries the main weight of the roof.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 12:21PM
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I don't think so GreenDesigns. It's attaching to an existing gable end of the house. Something like the red lines on this drawing

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 12:42PM
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Dh just came by and I told him I thought the rooms needed a doorway, header, or something to divide them, and he said I was right. Since you don't know either of us, I'll tell you I should have had a tape recorder. He never tells me I am right. He didn't even put up much of an argument when I said it would be nice if the ceiling had some height to it so we could do darker wood on it.

I came across another picture of the kitchen with beadboard ceiling I like, and they have shelving between the rooms that I like. How would this look - or would a sheetrock covered header be better?

Also, considering the size of the room, would you do dark wood or white? Vaulted, stair stepped to 9 or 10 feet, or flat at 8 feet?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 2:48PM
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Have you ever noticed how many image searches lead back to gardenweb?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 3:09PM
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Sophie Wheeler

The reason that the wide opening works in your inspiration pictures is that the kitchens that are a lot wider than yours. Having a wide opening between your two spaces will only accentuate the long narrow feel. I think your idea of the bookcase covering the header could work, but if you do't want to narrow the opening, I would also suggest two sided glass shelves as room dividers on either side of the opening between the two rooms where you can store pretty china.

Sorta like this, but more traditional to go with your home's style. I'd personally prefer it to have glass doors on both sides too, to decrease the dusting needed.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 3:40PM
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Yes, I think that would work too. There was a tv show I used to watch that had open shelves on each side of a room opening, with more overhead. Even narrow, they would work to separate the two spaces,and what I think I'd really like - to put wood flooring in there instead of tile like the kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 4:08PM
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Unless I have misunderstood, your original post said you are widening the opening between the living room and the kitchen. That should make it feel less like a "bowling alley", I would think. I agree that a divider, like a beam between the kitchen and dining room would help define the space and I really do like the one in your inspiration picture above that has the display space. Is the beadboard ceiling going to be white or wood in the kitchen space? Whichever it will be, I think I'd keep it consistent between the two rooms. How high are the ceilings in the kitchen? In the photo, they look kind of low for an older house. If they are 8 feet, that would make me lean toward a raised ceiling in the dining area...
Good luck, your project sounds like a nice addition to your home!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 5:35PM
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The kitchen ceiling will be white, and yes it is 8 feet.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 7:15PM
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I like the flat ceiling myself. a beam between them would be good - and maybe tie in with the soffits? or make a slight archway with sides that have some shelves for display / cookbooks maybe.

I also like the idea of a wood floor in the DR.

The white cab at far end looks good to me also.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 3:58AM
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Congrats on your remodel

I am having difficulty fully understanding your end product/desire.

The first thing I would need to view is the exterior of the home & have the potential roof lines rendered - to determine the overall curb appeal

Next is what is the overall plan/scope/vision with new living/dinning - how many people in the household? Do you see this as a casual dinning or formal - that is critical in driving the overall design. You inquire "which looks best?" that is difficult to answer with what you have offered thus far.

If the kitchen is all white w/beadboard ceiling why not just mimic that in DR? It will be seamless look, once you start adding differing elements to flooring, ceiling - you will have a very broken effect in a room that really is one large room. If you desire that to be totally different, than it should be totally separate. If this is North facing w/o windows it will be a dark space - elements of wood, rafters, slopes etc will add to the "darkness" -All the pics you have posted are very light filled spaces - so the effect will be quite different in your application.

I am so effected by natural light that I would be willing to concede on other things rather than natural light - some creative ways to get light in that area would really help.

Pics of current exterior & interior rooms presently may render more creative solutions

Best of luck

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 9:48AM
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Thanks jejtvr. I'll try to answer your questions. I don't have a view of that side of the house. It's the side, not visible from the street. The house is a rectangle there with gables on each end. The dining room will tie in as in my drawing, and it will be the only dining area in the house.

We have 2 kids, only one living at home, and in-laws live nearby. There will be windows on the other two sides of the dining room, just not the north end. I couldn't put windows on the west side of that 3d plan because they blocked the view into the house.

I showed the best overall pictures of the interiors of the two rooms that will adjoin this dining room in the OP.

I'm not totally convinced beadboard on the kitchen ceiling is the best idea either, but I have been unimpressed by the drywall work we've had done in the past on both the living room and kitchen, and can see joint lines that should be smooth. That's probably why they used that popcorn texture originally.

It's so much easier to see things that don't work in the houses of other people, and I don't want to make this house so odd that it will be hard to sell down the line. I've seen other people, including my mother, do that to their homes, and they don't see it at all. After they've done it, there's not much you can say except "enjoy it". Meanwhile I'm thinking what a chore it's going to sell it and that it will probably fall on me to do it.

I'd like the dining room and kitchen to get a "Wow! this is great" reaction from buyers, not a "Whoa! how much is it going to take to fix this" reaction.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 12:27PM
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