Dining room or living room?

littlelizzy123November 5, 2013

Hello all!
I have got a design dilemma. I am in the process of remodeling a 1970s split level home. Here's the layout of my problem floor. You walk in the front door and can either go up to the main floor and turn left to a small living room, kitchen, with a wall in between the two. I cannot take away any space to make either kitchen or living room larger. The kitchen is small and rectangular shaped, with a sliding glass door to the yard and deck. There is no pantry, and if I take the wall down, and put up an island with bar stools, the storage will be even less. There is no room in the kitchen for a pantry, an island, and a standard size dining room table and chairs. There is already a living room downstairs with a fireplace. I am very tempted to turn the upstairs living room into a dining room with a half wall between it and the kitchen. What would you all do?

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Most people prefer a kitchen open to the family room rather than a dining room. You might want to explore leaving the wall in place and opening up a different wall if possible. Or an addition at the entry level that bridges the two levels, which can create a tri-level rather than a split entry.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 5:10PM
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My initial thoughts:

Do you need a dining room? That is, is there no other eating place in the house, so that you need to designate an eating space? Or would this "new" DR be a more formal one, for holidays and such? Would you really use it as a DR? (I have a DR area and never use it.)

Island - my mother had an island with bar stools on one side, but the back side had lots of storage. A bit inconvenient in that a person has to bend down, but still, in a small area, one has to make do.

Is the living area by the kitchen too small to be an informal "den" or media room? I don't know how small/lg your family is, but is it possible that some would want to hang out in the den area watching a movie, while others chat or watch something else in the LR? It's okay for a media area to be small and cozy.

I have a combo den/kitchen. It presents its own set of problems (noise), but all in all, I LOVE the combo den/kitchen. I think a lot of people like that combo. I can do things in the kitchen & still watch the tv or stay connected with people in the den.

I have a small house. I have a peninsula instead of an island, but close to the same thing. The kitchen half of my peninsula houses my DW, a SKINNY cabinet (for cookie sheets & plastic bags), and a deep drawer with a shelf on top. I keep my small microwave on the shelf, and big skillets in the drawer. Efficient use of space.

Do you know the dimensions of the living area by the kitchen?

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 6:50PM
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Thank you for your ideas and responses! I have a lot to think about! I just don't have a proper space for a family of four to eat together. I guess if I just can knock out the wall separating the two rooms, and put up a bar with bar stools. Then I can have storage on the kitchen side and seating on the living room/dining room side. We are planning on selling the house, so I guess that room could be anything! :) It's not a bad sized room, we use it now as a living room while we have the basement tore up for remodel.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 11:09AM
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