Your blog is fantastic! I love your style and how sweet are you to share your designing pearls of wisdom :)
We just bought a new home, a 2 story center hall colonial on a cul de sac. (I attached an exterior pic just b/c I'm a big nerd and I love it! Just imagine the front door red - my first of 439 projects). It needs a TON of updating and renovating but we are up to the task. One of the first orders of business is the kitchen. The house was built in '88 and I don't think anything has been updated since then. It needs quite the overhaul. I am going to attach a few photos of the kitchen as-is now (before renovations) AND a few photos of a kitchen we found that is almost exactly the same layout, cabinets etc. - just updated.
The original plan was to bust out the soffits (sp?) and add crown to the existing cabinets; paint them all white. Add a double oven on the wall w/the fridge and desk (we would move these down a bit on that wall) and add a range top and hood where the existing standing oven is. We would get a new island and granite counters throughout. Seems totally do-able and this is the budget-saver option (minus the granite splurge). We're having hardwoods put down throughout the house before we move in so the kitchen floor is included in that as well.
Here is the new idea (as proposed by the Hubs ;) He wants to knock down the wall in the kitchen (14 x 22) that divides the kitchen from the family room w/fireplace (14 x 18). Problem is, that with the current setup the kitchen portion is actually between the eat-in/informal dining area and the family room so if we lose that wall, we'd need to do a range top somewhere else; island maybe? and the dimensions of the entire open space would be 14 x 40 (my fear is it would feel like a bowling alley!) It's a very tradional center hall colonial and the rooms are distinct but not choppy; it has a nice flow despite not being an open floor plan. I'm curious what you think about the proposed idea. I just can't picture it... Plus, we both really like the Plan A idea and I feel like it's totally do-able for us w/o spending a small fortune to end up with a functional kitchen we love.
OK - I'm wrapping this up I promise :) Here is also a link to the slideshow if you want to get a feel for the layout of the house: http://www.3dvirtualvisions.com/merion/slide.htm Basically, I can't decide if "opening things up" is always an improvement? I don't want to take down the wall and feel like we took a step backwards... We do have 2 little girls (2.5 yr and 1) that it would be nice to watch play in the family room from the kitchen if that wall was open but this house has a TON more room than we have now and they will have a few other areas of dedicated 'play space' so I don't feel like they'd always need to be playing in the family room as much as they need to be under my eyes now...
thanks in advance for your advice. I look forward to hearing what you think!
- Focal Point
The first is for the same concern that you had. If you were considering opening up the room on the wall with the refrigerator- we might have a longer discussion, but the long way??? You are correct- 14 x 40 is not the most pleasing shape. Would you like to watch your kids while your work? Sure- now- but after a few more years- you just might want to run and hide occasionally like I would, but cannot because of my open floor plan.
The second reason I give for not wanting to lose that wall- is that you would be losing the focal point wall of the room. Even if you left the cooktop where is it, and only lost the uppers- you still lose the wall above your stove, which, in my opinion, should always be the focal point of the kitchen. Check out the kitchens I posted- they are all examples (exaggerated examples in some cases)- of this.