Knock down Kitchen/dining room wall?

patrice607April 5, 2014

Trying to convince DH that this would be an improvement. I have a 3 br ranch with an L-shaped LR/DR. The problem is I don't want to change the trim in either room, so i need some kind of transition.

Has anyone done this? Pros and cons appreciated.

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We just removed a 20-foot load-bearing wall that separated our kitchen and LR (25 foot steel beam installed). We have large windows and good views, and with the wall down, its bright and will be beautiful. For us, it made sense not just for the ambiance, but also because the kitchen shape and size was awkward.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 1:07AM
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Here is the transition between our rooms. There is a covered beam across the ceiling and a wood decorative piece separating the two rooms on the wall that goes all the way to the floor.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 8:11AM
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Kathy Rivera

We kept the wall at the top so we would not have to worry about what to do with the crown molding in the DR. Then we put the pantry on the end and turned it into the DR so it looks a bit more like a piece of furniture. I painted DR/Kitchen same color (however, my opening to the LR isn't completely open - it was a formal DR so there is a little wall on either side.

You can see the LR wall separation a bit at the top of this photo:

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 12:33PM
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Kathy Rivera

Ah, I just realized after re-reading our followup posts, you are talking about the trim around the windows - one being paint one wood...Truthfully, I think it might look a little odd - especially since they will be so close together. But when researching taking to wall down, I did realize I liked a little bit of separation and saw some pics where they left a bit of wall on the outside wall (so between the windows in your case). That might help your transition...
This isn't the best picture, but see on the far side of the peninsula there is a little bit of wall left? Even if you don't do a peninsula, you might be able to leave a little bit of wall - so it's more of an 'opening' instead of completely open?

Traditional Kitchen by Ottawa Cabinets & Cabinetry Laurysen Kitchens Ltd.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 12:47PM
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Thanks GW'ers for all your help!
This is the view from my kitchen table now. The kitchen tends to be dark. I replaced the 6 ft sliding doors with 8 footers but it faces north. Taking the wall down will allow us to "borrow" sunshine from my sunny living room which has an eastern exposure.

This post was edited by patrice607 on Sun, Apr 6, 14 at 15:45

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 3:26PM
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This is what the view will be like if we tear down the wall. The fixture will go and we are going to repaint and get new carpet.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 3:41PM
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Maybe an arch like this between the room?

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 7:43PM
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Kathy Rivera

So are you going to do any other renovating? Or just remove the wall? If the latter, you'll just have one dining table? And where do you plan for it to be? If you did an archway/opening with small side walls, the table would probably span that opening and that would seem a bit weird I think...

What about taking it to a half wall and using the kitchen side of the wall as a bench for a banquette area? Sort of like the picture below, but your half wall would be the longer (same length it is now) and your seating only against the wall, not in front of the window? And you could maybe make the wall separating the two smaller than what is shown here - maybe more like the size of a column or a little bigger?

Traditional Dining Room by Marblehead Architects & Designers Michael McCloskey Design Group

Another pic similar to what I mean:

Traditional Living Room by Excelsior Design-Build Firms Lake Country Builders

This one the LR is set further left than the kitchen, but general idea...

Contemporary Dining Room by Edina Design-Build Firms Great Neighborhood Homes

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 9:24PM
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Kathy -

Beautiful pictures! I have thought about doing a half wall but one of the main reasons I want to take it all down is for entertaining. Whenever I have a lot of people over, everyone is in the kitchen. I'm thinking of keeping a table where the DR table is now and having a counter height island with a breakfast bar in the kitchen area instead of a table. The wood floor would come out to the end of the dining room. I'd carpet the living room again.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 7:59AM
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I have nothing to contribute, but I love your piano! I long for a grand piano in my house. Just have an old upright. Do you play?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 2:55PM
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Kathy Rivera

Ah. So then a large opening like Patrice mentioned above will likely be your best bet. You'll still get spill over sunlight, but there will be a bit of a wall between the two windows so you don't see the trim so much.

Traditional Dining Room by Chicago Interior Designers & Decorators Michael Abrams Limited

OR, you could find a cool hutch type piece to go between the two windows - maybe to hold your 'bar' or display serving pieces or something? One like this is low enough that it won't block the light from the white-trimmed window.

Traditional Kitchen by Minneapolis Design-Build Firms TreHus Architects+Interior Designers+Builders

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 3:19PM
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EDB2N - Thanks. No, DH plays ...and sings! He has a voice somewhere between Fogelberg and Garfunkle. Lucky me! :)

KathyNY - Yes! I was originally thinking of putting a cool hutch that would have some hidden storage and have open shelves and a wine rack. It would be a great place to hide stereo equipment. I think it would have to go from floor to ceiling to look right. Maybe a built in or a hutch with a large picture or mirror over it that would extend to the ceiling?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 10:05PM
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I'm no interior designer, but the idea of two very different trims in adjoining rooms, open to one another, does not sound appealing. It doesn't look attractive to me on your photo, either.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 2:00AM
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Could I make this work by using a transition piece that is both wood and white? Maybe a shelving unit with white vertical boards and wood colored shelves?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 3:15PM
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The windows can be re-trimmed and stain matched to the dining room trim or trim could be painted the same color. We replaced all window trim when we replaced windows; the stain was custom matched and the new wood trim did not cost that much even though we did not DIY.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 5:09PM
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I might have missed this...but what color are your kitchen cabinets? If you're planning to have white cabinets, the white trim will look fine :)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 6:29PM
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Yes, we knocked down the wall between our kit and living room and made the living room a dining room. The wall was load bearing. We created an arched opening and added a peninsula across half of the opening. We love it :) Can't believe the difference it makes in opening up the area.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 6:43PM
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monicakm, can you share more of your kitchen and the 1st floor? Is your LR in the old DR?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 8:11PM
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