If you’ve watched an HGTV show in the last five years, you’ve probably heard about the “open concept kitchen”. It’s a trend in home design that many people think is here to stay. Just about every client we do a kitchen remodel with asks us if they can open things up more, and luckily, in most cases, we can answer with a resounding yes.
These clients originally had a dark, outdated kitchen with upper cabinetry that cut off the room from the adjacent dining area. On the other side of the peninsula there was a breakfast bar that turned into a space for clutter and wasted floor space between the two rooms. Overall, the kitchen was tiny, cramped, and did not provide the feeling of being a central area for the home. Nowadays, most of us view our kitchen and dining areas as the hub of our household, so it can be difficult to feel like your space matches your lifestyle when they are so broken up like this one.
In the case of this kitchen, it ended up being pretty cut and dry – we removed the whole wall of awkward cabinets and the counter that made the kitchen a U-shape. The end result pulled two adjacent rooms together to form a cohesive whole.
Our new design made this kitchen more functional for entertainment and cooking, along with providing more usable counter space, and most importantly enlarged the area by expanding the wasted floor space. We installed a new island to make the range top and former countertop seating more of a centralized feature instead of being an off hand side note.
Ultimately, these homeowners ended up with a much more open kitchen that really does feel like an exciting, fresh, central feature. People ask us all the time how much they can open their kitchen up, and in this case, removing some already awkwardly placed cabinetry went a long way. But even when you don’t have quite as easy a fix at your disposal, there’s a lot that can be done. Simply rearranging base cabinets and countertops sometimes leaves plenty of space without losing storage. Even going so far as to remove a wall isn’t as far out of reach as you may think. Many interior kitchen walls aren’t structural, which means they are easily removed. Those that are structural can often be replaced with a beam. You really do have a lot of options for opening up your existing kitchen!