Split-Level Home Owners: Show me your kitchens!

dccurlygirlMay 24, 2012

I have a split-level home (not a split entry), with LR, DR and Kitchen on the first floor. I want to remodel my kitchen, but would like to consider the entire first floor, in the process: maybe even take down walls between rooms.

If you are the owner of a split-level and have a fantastic kitchen, etc. redo to share, show me your kitchen! I'm out of ideas and feel stuck!

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I kept the L shape but just widened the door to the dining room and the kitchen entrance door. But, I can tell you what my neighbors did, sorry no picture of their kitchens.
One took down the walls that separate the kitchen from the dining room. Both sides now have cabinets and one has a penisula. She has stools there.
Another kitchen has half walls leading into the dining room. But they were not cut out up to the ceiling. You can now see totally into the kitchen from the dining room.
Another neighbor just moved the wall that butts into the living room to create a wider kitchen.
Yet another neighbor extended the walls of her kitchen a few feet. On the wall that was for a table she has a built in hutch and her fridge.
I don't know if you also have the third door that leads outside. Two of the above did away with that door for more cabinets. They have french doors from their dining rooms to lead outside.
So, when we were ready to think about our reno, I reviewed all the choices that our neighbors made to improve their kitchens. In the end, we kept the L kitchen and backyard door. By making the other doors wider, it gave the kitchen a bigger feel. A main reason we kept our layout was that my husband said, "I have been eating at a kitchen table all my life!' I too would not want to climb up on bar stools on a regular basis.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 5:35PM
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Kathy Rivera

This is my last house which was a raised ranch - I guess the same as a split? The front door was on the ground level and you walked upstairs to the main living area? It was an L shaped living space with the dining area on the short side. The kitchen had eat-in space, but we took the wall down to a half with a breakfast bar and make the eat-in corner more usable.

Before - standing in the doorway from dining area to kitchen. We also closed the door to the left in the pic and opened the dining area windows into french doors:


Here is the eat-in space before (we never used it):


I will say, our neighbor took down both the wall to the dining area and opened up the perpendicular wall (the wall my fridge was on) and it actually made things smaller. There was no wall space for cabinets so everything was smooshed into the opposite corner.

Oh! And we changed the mustard gold on the other walls once we opened it all up since it did NOT go with the new kitchen! LOL!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 7:53PM
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Split level kitchen remodel just finished. Here's a link to the pics. The thread takes a bit to load due to the heft of the pics.

But, we went round and round on what to do as the kitchen space is small.

I found a great website dedicated to remodeling split levels according to type. I will look for it later, but you might find it by searching for 'Split Level Remodels'.

Hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Finished KM

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 8:19PM
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We did the 18 x 10 kitchen in our split. Sorry, no pics yet. Also have living room, dining ell, powroom, foyer on the 1st floor. Dining room is 10x15, liv room is 25x15 so they are big enough rooms. There was a dining room pocket door, a pocket door to the foyer plus the back/side door. 3 big windows which face the street, one over the sink, and two in the eating area.

I would never give up my sep. dining room, actually an ell. We, too, always ate in the kitchen. I struggled to find a way that we could eat in. I would have liked to have read ellendi's post a few years ago. And I always wanted a big tv in the kitchen.

1. We replaced the 50 year old windows with Marvin casements. Made them less wide by 7 or 8 inches.

2. We had cabinetry made for the eating area wall which is perpendicular to the front windows. It's the outside wall.

The cabs consists of two floor to ceiling shelving units behind very tall doors. These two cabs are separated by 31 inches. So between the 2 cabs is an empty wall 31 inches wide. We had 3 shelves made bridging the 2 cabs and on the highest shelf is a big flat screen tv. Jutting out from the 3rd shelf is our kitchen table 30 x 60, The table is made from the same wood as the cabinetry. (I had planned to replace the table with something jazzier but it's just fine. Actually feels unified.)

3. Removed the pocket door to the dining room and have a 5 foot wide opening to the dining room. It feels open and still can't see any kitchen mess from the dining room.

4. Placed an undercounter fridge drawer unit in the peninsula dead corner, facing the eating area. Keeps fridge traffic out of cooking area.

5. Recessed the main fridge about 3 inches into the wall so no fridge traffic jam.

6. Have 2 15". wide pantry pullouts.

7. Have a cooktop and double ovens.

8. Custom cabinetry

9. Easily moved the basement heating ductwork so the heat registers are on each side of the peninsula toekick. It worked.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 9:55PM
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Thanks for your input and photos, guys! It's really hard for me to imagine what space looks like, so the photos are a HUGE help! The floor plan of my kitchen is a little different than most. You enter the kitchen in the middle -- U-shaped work space to the right, kitchen table to the left. There is a door to the backyard in the kitchen, just before you enter the dining room (pocket door to the DR). I do not have a split-entry (my front door opens right next to the living room).

Westsider40, I would love to see your photos, when you get to it.

Here is my current floor plan, for comparison:

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 8:28PM
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I don't have pics as my reno is underway. A word on taking down walls. First, it adds exponentially in cost. From the looks of your drawing, the walls on the interior are ALL load-bearing, so you would need HUGE supports to hold up the second story of the house. This is the #1 reason we nixed the idea of removing walls REAL quick. It doesn't appear as though you have a separation between the living and dining rooms which is good. We do, so if we knocked down walls, we would technically "lose a room" from a real estate standpoint.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 8:40PM
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Hi! We have a trilevel, not split. However, we had a total transformation of the three areas of living room, dining room and kitchen into 1 gigantic open space last summer. I cant figure out how to post pics here, so...if you send me your email, I can send you our snapfish photo collection. It is H720505@hotmail.com.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 1:32AM
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