What's would you suggest for kitchen/dining room transition?

nap101February 10, 2013

My house is very small (about 800 sqft) I'm redoing my kitchen and taking the wall down between the kitchen and dining room.

Here is a picture of the existing wall/space.

Here is the rough plan for the new area (new to google sketchup so not quite accurate, but gives a good idea of the space)

Here is the current plan for the new kitchen:

Issue 1: How do I transition the ceiling. The kitchen ceiling, which will be gutted probably has different needs. in that you don't want a textured matte surface for cleaning reasons. The dining area, which is open to the living room as one space has a ceiling texture of this (and consistent with the rest of the house):

Can't say I like it but a lot of ceiling to retexture.

Issue 2: The floor has old hardwood that is also seamless into the living room and would be hard to match.

Issue 3: Figuring out the best way to design ending of the cabinets and the continuous wall between the kitchen and dining room so that it feels right. As much as I prefer cabinets going to the ceiling the latest person I consulted with suggested not doing that so the space looks more continuous. I have to say I agree with him on principle. But concerned that with a small galley kitchen how do I make it not look cheap.

And please don't suggest shelves instead of cabinets. I love love the look but very impractical for my lifestyle and storage needs.

Thanks for your input. I feel like I've been living on this forum for almost a year.

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Not as expert by any means, but your space reminds me of what my neighbor did. But, she opened up both walls and added a small peninsula to one side.
Then she added two short walls on the dining room side to define the kitchen/dining area from her living room. I am assuming that your living room extends from the dining area?
You really don't need the extra little walls, she also added columns for interest.
I don't understand not having cabinets to the ceiling makes things continuous.
You might not be able to match the wood to your old wood, but you should be able to match the color. Something thing I have seen in an old renovated home is the kitchen having entirely different planking that the living room. But, the color matched. It defines the two spaces and doesn't look like you tried to match but missed the mark.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 2:34PM
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Walls aren't a bad thing here. And it's what you need in order to not have the proverbial snowball going downhill in escalating redos. Make the opening a much larger cased opening. That will give you a stopping point for the "kitchen" and dining areas. Yes, even if it means going smaller on the cabinets on that wall. It will at least mean getting rid of that small awkward open shelf. You're not going to be able to have a flush ceiling there anyway without a lot of expense to recess the beam into the attic space. Go cheaper, and keep a visible beam.

If you then need additional storage, I'd look at doing a built in banquette in the eating area and have either drawers in it or have the seating be lift up with storage underneath.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 2:53PM
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I agree that taking down the wall is probably not the best plan here. Make the opening as big as you can: 28 or so deep to cover the side of the counter run with the sink on it and maybe raise the door height. But in this case while you get a bit of extra storage and counterspace, it's not counterspace in a prime spot, and I feel the extra width of the drawers is offset negatively by the kind of awkward way one run of the kitchen extends into the dining area and the other doesn't. A doorway would make the best transition here, just make it bigger. That's probably not what you want to hear but I think it would look better and it would solve all your other transition problems in a much simpler way.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 3:17PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Yes, keep the wall and just trim it back. And I like the idea of a storage banquette for the space as well. And I'm glad to see that you are keeping the built in!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 3:23PM
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Thanks so much for the feedback. I think your idea of keeping the wall but making it more open makes a lot of sense. The transition has alway felt wrong to me as it is now.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 5:04PM
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robo (z6a)

...and that way, your kitchen cabs can go to ceiling. Which you will enjoy.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 5:42PM
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So this is approximately how that wall would look if I keep the wall and just make the opening bigger.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:15PM
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Are your ceilings 99" then? Because you aren't showing the proper heights for things if your ceilings are 96". You would need to do 39" tall uppers in order to have 3" of molding at the top. And it would be better to do a compound molding that would allow the top molding to "float" in case you have unlevel ceilings. Do a simple light rail too for your under cabinet lighting.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:34PM
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My measurement are off, I know. I've been going back and forth with different cabinet brands and options and adjusting the drawing too many times. I have to fine tune it. Just looking to get overall feedback on the layout.

The ceilings are 98.5. I added an extra 1/2 to the molding at the top and forgot to compensate. I agree with you completely about the compound molding. And I do plan on adding the light rail under the cabinets.

Do trash pullouts come in 15" width? I know the one brand I was looking at only makes it in 18", but then that end cabinet would get really small.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:28PM
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To piggygack onto GD's comment, yes all those things add up to a ceiling height of 99" PLUS 7 rows of tile means each tile is about 2.069" high, not the "timeless" 3" (x6" high) subway tile.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:32PM
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Here is the corrected version with more accurate measurements.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:09PM
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nap101, can you draw on your plan approximately where the banquet would go, if you decided to go that route? Just looking at it from a layman's view, I think the banquet built next to the cabinet wall would look nice without a wall there. I'm seeing someone sitting and talking to you while you work and the openness would seem more practical. I wouldn't want a bench ending at a kitchen wall closed off where you couldn't see in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:29PM
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Thanks for your feedback. I really appreciate it. Can you site a visual example of what you or others are thinking? I'm curious because I don't think I know exactly what a banquet is.

If you look at the table in the original photo of the existing space it's only about 3 feet from the opening to the kitchen. Someone sitting at that table is pretty close to the kitchen already. It's a very small house.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:54PM
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