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Open Concept Kitchen

Access Dining Room Space

An open concept kitchen can completely transform your living space. There are many ways to design an open kitchen but one of the more common ways is by removing the wall to the formal dining room. Most dining rooms are adjacent to the kitchen and are seldom used by many modern families today. Entertaining now is usually informal and incorporates the cook in the kitchen as part of the gathering.
Abundant cabinets, extra large island and dining room kitchen combo
The open floor plan is very popular because it creates space without going outside of the footprint of the home. This design also increases the flow and function in a home and especially the kitchen. Most modern interior designs incorporate this concept because it gives the perception of a larger space without the greater cost of a home addition.

Notice the additional natural light obtained by removing the dining room wall (see above) allowing the French Doors to create more light in the kitchen. Also, the added space provides this homeowner with more cabinet storage, a large seated island, and a commercial-grade double refrigerator/freezer by Sub Zero. They didn’t lose the dining room it was just incorporated into the kitchen space allowing for more interaction between the chef and the children doing homework or friends enjoying a cocktail.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
kitchen expanded into dining roomkitchen expanded into dining room

This kitchen was expanded by staying in the footprint of the home. Walls and bulkheads were removed . The spacious design changes the look of the home completely as you enter the front door. What a beautiful remodel!

To meet the family’s design requirements for this kitchen expansion the wall shared by the living room and kitchen was removed as was the wall separating the front entry from the living room.   

kitchen expansion throughout first floor living and dining roomkitchen expansion throughout first floor living and dining room
kitchen for the home baker with large islandkitchen for the home baker with large island

The formal living room was rarely in use, so the decision was made to create a new dining room in that space and expand the kitchen to incorporate the existing dining room.  By removing the dining room wall the newly remodeled area gained an additional 150 square feet! 

In our client’s home, the original dining room became part of the kitchen by removing a wall and enabling the addition of a new bank of cabinets.  To keep the area for dining that would be lost we designed space in front of the new cabinets for a table and chairs. 

kitchen and dining room in open conceptkitchen and dining room in open concept

Expand Kitchen With Open Floorplan

An open kitchen concept is family-friendly. The mom and dad can keep an eye on small children while preparing the family meal. This can be especially efficient for working parents to help with homework while getting dinner ready. Also, the floorplan works great if the chef is watching a cooking show while experimenting with a new dish!
To be fair there are a few negatives to an open kitchen concept. Walls tend to absorb sound so the open floorplan may create a bit more noise than previously experienced. There is also the elimination of private space when walls are removed. Overall the pros outweigh the cons for this type of home remodel design.
 
open concept kitchen and family, dining room

Entertaining

 A great option for entertaining the open kitchen concept provides homeowners to have larger gatherings at home. Also offers the ability to host and enjoy the company at the same time instead of feeling left out of the fun! The kitchen island can provide a natural division between the kitchen and family room and a place to display mouth-watering hors d’oeuvres or buffet-style dinner. The traffic pattern from the front door to the center of the party is easy and everyone can greet each other without awkward walls.
 
 
Families spend the majority of their time in the kitchen and family room. By considering an open kitchen concept you can improve the flow and function of the most used rooms in the house. By utilizing the formal dining room as extra square footage the cost to remodel is greatly decreased.
kitchen dining living room combination floor plan

Additional Things to Consider

  • Think functional first and beautiful second.
  • Natural light is an added bonus plan to utilize exterior walls by adding windows or French doors.
  • Consider transitions from one space to another. A great option is an island, peninsula, knee-wall, or varied floor material.
  • Choose a complimentary design. Now that the spaces are not separate have them integrate well.
  • Architectural elements can define spaces such as columns, pilasters, or coffered and lighted tray ceiling design.

Take a look at Bob Vila’s Open Floor Plan Ideas.