ask a designer™ – redesigning a kitchen and dining room
Q. We would like your suggestions in remodeling the kitchen in our traditional ranch home which we plan to sell in about 5 years.
We are planning to remove a wall to make the space larger and use what is now the sitting room as part of the kitchen. That area was intended for the dining room, but it was so small, we reversed it with the living room years ago. The peninsula we have gets in the way of our active young children. An island is what we would like. We are looking for a clean style with high function, probably a white cabinet to go with our favorite grey paint. We are also wondering what we can use for flooring to go with the wood in the sitting area.— M.S.
A.Looking at the overall plan, the dining room and the kitchen were designed too small. Ideally, you should correct the proportions completely. I would work with a builder to remove one wall and move the other. Usually there is a way to move load bearing walls. If there is a need to add support in the exact space of the old wall, often a metal beam can be hidden within cabinets or by a decorative column. This is your best bet for resale, and kitchen remodeling is the most likely to return your investment.
The area that was sitting room should be an integral part of the kitchen including the same wood floor. The cabinet is open to the living room and centered with the opening, so it should be of the same style as the kitchen but made like a piece of furniture with wood top and legs.
If for some reason you must keep the narrow space of the original kitchen, consider a rolling island that can be moved as needed. In either plan, mount cabinets at the ceiling with a simple moulding finish to maximize height in your 8 ft. fall space. A few cabinets staggered in depth will add interest while keeping the overall lines clean.
Consider finishes that are grey glazes over white for your clean approach and a more popular look for resale. Foggy grey granite is ideal for high function. Avoid a great deal of pattern in the granite that would take away from the subtleties created. Complete the look with recessed lights near the cabinets and a simply-shaped pendant light or chandelier at the kitchen table.
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