More questions on opening wall to DR

Kathy RiveraApril 25, 2013

I posted a couple weeks ago about finally taking my plans for some cabinet quotes.

I have one plan for keeping the kitchen 'closed' as it is currently. But I'm playing around with opening it to the DR. The issue is resale and trying to maintain some semblance of 'formal DR'.

Looking at houzz I realize I'm just not a big fan of the pony wall. I'll do it if needed to keep the kitchen 'contained', but I prefer looks like this:

I see that what seems to help is the sink placement - NOT on the peninsula (as I was doing in my planning). So I took a stab at moving it under one of the windows and instead of a small wall as the pictures show, I put a to-the-counter cabinet to sort of 'partition' the spaces (and give me more storage). Would this work? I realize it puts the DW in my prep space, but I still have a couple feet closer to the range that I will primarily stand in I think. I also realize there is 6" of filler next to the sink, but using a bigger sink base put the sink too far off center on the window and it bugged me more than filler!

My GC is coming Sat to chat and I'd like to give him 2-3 of my plans to get a range for his costs.

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I am also planning on opening up my kitchen to my dining room. My house is a 1925 bungalow, with a floor plan that is quite open for the vintage - living, dining, and sunroom are all connected through large openings. As far as resale, I don't think it will cause any harm - if anything, most buyers will prefer it. What I am doing to keep the "formal" feel of the dining room is to make the finishes in the kitchen match those in the rest of the house -- same trim style and color, painted cabinetry that matches the built-in hutch in the dining room and fireplace mantle in the living room, and an 'elegant' counter material (either marble, white quartzite, or jet mist granite - haven't decided yet). I am also paying special attention to the lighting in both the dining room and kitchen, to make the space feel 'dressier'.

Also, there are plenty of cabinet lines that have 6" cabinets -- you shouldn't have to use filler for that kind of space.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 12:18PM
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I have a very similar plan with the peninsula and stools overlooking the dining room. In the little area where you have your table, I am going to make a little sitting area with a couple of armchairs and a table. Then I am going to convert my living room into a dining room. I just don't need a separate living room and family room.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 2:11PM
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Kathy Rivera

Unfortunately, the neighborhood I live in is all center hall colonials with LR and FR. While my family might be able to work without it, there's no way it would fly with any new buyers. Well, maybe 1-2% wouldn't care, but this is a neighborhood of 'forever homes' so anyone buying here is probably a young family moving up from their starter home and would expect both a LR and FR (one probably to be used as a 'play room').

I wish I could see 5 years into the future to decide if we are going to stay put or move to be closer to family. It would make planning much easier! :)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 2:19PM
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michey1st_gw Zone 7

I'm planning on doing the same thing as ekbecker1 - take down the wall between the kitchen and dining room, replace with a peninsula, and then treat the old dining room as a lounge space. The "real" dining area will then be off the other side of the kitchen in half of the family room addition.

I'm not "technically" getting rid of the original dining room, just using different furniture for my purposes. When (if) it comes time to sell, I can just swap the dining furniture back in and voila, the dining room is back! I know it's not going to be quite as formal with it sharing air space with the kitchen, but I don't feel as if resale will be impacted too much, at least in this neighborhood.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 2:49PM
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I have a similar setup with a peninsula and the sink right next to it under a window with the dishwasher on the right. I would not put a hutch all the way to the counter to the left. I find that that area next to the sink tends to get wet and I often need to place dirty or wet dishes there during cleanup. (Dirty dishes on the left, rinsed in the sink and placed in the dishwasher on the right). I think an upper cabinet would be fine but I'd leave the counter free on that side.

I'm no expert but it seems the dishwasher won't be a problem in your prep space.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 3:40PM
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Kathy Rivera

Ah, thanks, IAATF! I hadn't thought about the work of the sink being that close to the cabinet. I'm sure it would get wet and dinged with plates and utensils as people move them from the DR table. Makes total sense.

I'm not sure I'd hang a regular cabinet there, though...Might seem a little lonely. Though the wall might look a little empty without something...Maybe some open display shelves? What do you have in your space there?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 3:59PM
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Mine looks like this....(this is a pic take when we were about 90% done with the kitchen).

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 4:06PM
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Kathy Rivera

See! Open shelves! :) Yours doesn't look lonely, but you have a beautiful big window next to it. Hmm, yours also goes to the door and mine wouldn't b/c it would intrude on the 3rd seat's eating space...maybe floating shelves. Or maybe just some artwork.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 4:32PM
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I was going through this same agonizing thought process and ended up deciding to open it up. I am SO glad I did! It looks terrific! We were worried about resale, too, but now that I see it opened up, I am 100% sure that it will enhance, not hurt, the resale. We are keeping the dining room side as an eating area. There is an island separating the dining room side from the kitchen side. The island cabinets are a darker color than the kitchen cabinets, designed to go with the dark dining room furniture. We LOVE the open feel and are extremely happy with our decision.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 5:54PM
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I posted pics of my kitchen yesterday. I took down half of the wall between the kitchen and the dining room. Like others, we have the peninsula with stools. The stools are in the kitchen and in the dining room area too. We still use the 20 foot long dining room, which we split into a dining room and a part-time bedroom/sitting room.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 6:43PM
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We took the wall down between our kitchen and D/R. Best thing ever! We are all so happy now - makes our small house much more livable. I love the peninsula counter being all one height - not "two step - because I have a nice big space for prep or serving. We have the sink in the middle, and switched our d/w and range sides so that the d/w is now in the peninsula. Works well for us. I had the contractor make an archway that looks like the other original arches in our 1940s home, to keep with the vintage vibe. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Dusty's kitchen

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 8:07PM
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When I look at your floorplan and see the opened design I seem to want a little more. The short wall between the kitchen and the family room-- if that were removed the sightlines and communication options would be fully open.
I'd consider that pretty current for resale.
Have you drawn a larger plan with all those spaces?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 8:41PM
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Kathy Rivera

Thanks, all. So aside from everyone thinking I should do it - what about that proposed plan in terms of function? I think opening will really depend on the budget...but I want to be ready a good plan if we decide it's worth it.

Dan: Unfortunately, that can't happen. There is a powder room on the other side and the wall holds the plumbing stack for all 3 bathrooms! And, truthfully, opening it only leads to the bath and the laundry room. You can see almost all the family room from the kitchen currently - it's a 6.5' opening there. We actually use our living room for the TV watching as the FR has a big fireplace and we don't like the look of TV over the fireplace. We use the FR for playroom/relax with a book/my desk. I have posted a floorplan many moons ago, but here it is:

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 9:28PM
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Does anything like this work for you, KathyNY76? It's my inspiration pic:

Here is a link that might be useful: Removing Kitchen Walls

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 5:28PM
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Kathy Rivera

Oooh, so pretty dc (I'm a curly, too!). I'm not sure have enough width to do something like that. It would make the space between end cabinets looks pretty dinky. But I can take the pic to the cab places and see what they think!


    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 8:30PM
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We are 80% done. We took down the wall completely between the formal DR and kitchen, and included an island and eating area in the new space. The home is a 1930s center hall modified Colonial. The "DR" is going to be relocated to the old oversized and underutilized formal living room, with the space now hosting both functions, although the seating area is obviously on a reduced scale (enough for a sofa and two chairs). Before proceeding, I checked with a local expert Realtor who validated the changes I was making would be valued by the local market.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 10:02PM
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Kathy Rivera

Yeah, I checked with our realtor (THE guy who knows our market) and his biggest concern was a true EIK! It is that now, but with a tiny work space. He said as long as we could stage a DR in another room - an end of the the LR or FR maybe, it would be fine and he could market it as 'huge EIK'. I'm sure we could stage it somehow - maybe not optimal, though. But I also have to remember, we have a giant entertainment center in the LR. When the time comes to sell, we can always store that, put a dining table in there with a buffet, and mount our TV over the FR fireplace. And I think a beautiful 'open' kitchen will impress people enough.

Watch, we'll probably never move and I'll be back here in 30 years asking for ways to update my kitchen to get it sell and all this stress will be for naught!!!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 10:20PM
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We also removed a kitchen wall 10 years ago. Never regretted it for one second. Our layout would not allow for a peninsula; our pny wall was capped with granite.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 10:27PM
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We got rid of the wall between our dining room and kitchen as part of a full kitchen remodel and I am so glad we did it! I was able to have 18 people comfortably in my kitchen at Easter time, and everyone was chatting and having a lovely time. I wasn't isolated in a small kitchen while people gathered in another room. Yay! Originally I didn't think I wanted to open it up, since then the kitchen could be seen from the front door, but the kitchen looks so nice now that even when there is a bit of clutter, I don't mind the kitchen being seen. It is so worth it! Another must: we bought a huge clean up sink (the Super Single Silgranit for us, with a draining insert which raises the level for scrubbing) and it hides the dishes quickly :)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 1:21AM
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Room size is my problem, too, Kathy. The designer of that 1st floor space shared some dimensions. It helped me visualize how it might fit in my home: kitchen - 17x14', island - 3x8', dining room - 13x14'.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 5:27PM
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I would love to see pictures from those of you who removed walls between the kitchen and DR. Anyone willing to post some here?
I would love to do the same since our DR is small and rarely used, but unfortunately it's also the wall where our pantry and fridge is. Remove it and I don't know where I'd put them! Think I'd need to swap my kitchen with DR, but that wouldn't be ideal either.
Always interested in posts like this to see what others have done or are thinking of doing.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 6:18PM
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