I have always liked our kitchen, but the floorplan for the connecting dining room was awkward. The wall between the two rooms had a dead space on the kitchen side that really couldn’t be used for anything, and the dining room side had two panel doors that were taking up space that the room really couldn’t afford to give up. I knew if we could open the wall up between these two rooms, the dining room would feel bigger…… and the kitchen would get more natural light. Plus, it would just give the area better flow between both rooms.
BEFORE from dining room side …….(with dark cabinets- post on painting cabinets white coming soon)
The panel doors take up space on the adjoining wall and just don’t allow for enough room to move around the table. When there is a Captain’s chair placed at the end of the table, the doors bump into it which is highly annoying.
I first thought about putting a single or double barn door here to save space, but quickly realized that decision would solve only one problem- the “hinged door” problem.
If I was going to change this area and spend the money, I knew opening up the wall would give me the best option for both rooms.
BEFORE from kitchen side…..
Here is the dead space to the left side of the opening on the kitchen side. I have tried everything in that space, and nothing seems to work properly. I have used a rolling microwave cart, hooks for hanging functional items, decorative items, etc…. but there is just not enough room.
The rolling cart was functional so I could bump it up to the island to gain extra work space, but moving it back and forth got old quick. Anything that attached to the wall, only interfered with walking traffic. Plus, when the pantry door opens (door to the left), it would bump into anything new I tried. BRU-TAL!!
BEFORE from living room side…..
The kitchen floorplan is designed at an angle (at the bar area shown here) so that the area of focus nauturally directs the eye to the pantry door & dead space. Since the height of the panel doors was the same height as the pantry door, I knew something was lacking here.
This little area is also my “mama” space where I have my morning coffee and check emails. It was essential to my sanity that I had something more inspiring to look at than a blank wall.
SIDE BY SIDE PICTURES OF PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS
BEFORE ….. AFTER…..
PROBLEM #1 SOLVED. Taking out the doors completely changes the look and function of both rooms, and adds extra space to the dining area around the table. There are no longer doors bumping into chairs or guests.
PROBLEM #2 – SOLVED. The dead space is completely gone, and is now replaced with a view of the outside. The awkward wall area is removed creating better traffic flow between rooms and more light.
PROBLEM #3 SOLVED. The opening to the dining room is higher than the pantry door which allows the focus to be diverted into the dining room. The pantry door is still in view, but the lamp and buffet draw your attention away from it. The extra height also allows for more natural light to shine into the kitchen, and helps make the kitchen feel bigger.
***FYI- In this picture, the pantry door is still the old builder grade paint color, but has been changed. I’ll show updated pictures later when I do the post on painting the cabinets white. One project always leads to the next….am I right?
So, how does something like this come together? Let’s take a look at the process. Clear your dining room and kitchen as much as you can, and cover everything. It WILL get dusty.
First, the panel doors and frame come off. You (or your contractor) decide where to cut the wall, and move any electrical switches, plugs, etc… I wanted to keep the light switch, but removed the plug. I also asked that they make the opening the same height as the arch on the other side of the dining room opening. This will also help the room feel more balanced.
Then, they will cut out the frame and put in bracing boards on top and sides. They will add sheet rock, and begin the tape and float process.
Closeup of tape and float and adding texture.
Next they will add the trim pieces to match existing trim, or you can buy new trim for all of it.
At this point, I chose to prime and paint the trim myself to save the $300 painting quote. (no picture)
I also had them change out my chandelier in the dining room and the foyer, because there’s ALWAYS something new to add to every project. The dining room light pendant is by Regina Andrews from Horchow.
And the light pendant in the foyer is E.F. Chapman Darlana 6-Light Pendant, polished nickel.
Have a Great Day!! Love & Hugs 🙂