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REally not very vital thread but help me with plans for kitchen/dining room - open plan or not?

(15 Posts)
Moomin Mon 29-May-06 22:31:14

i'd like opinions please about plans i'd like to be making for our kitchen which we will hopefully undertake next year.

we live in a long victorian house and we had a new kitchen out in 5 years ago when we moved in so that's ok. our dining room is the 2nd room in the house and is very dark. It has one window that looks out over the back and a door to the kitchen. the kitchen is long and much lighter. There is room in there for a small table that we mostly eat at and we have a bigger table in the dining room which we use when we have guests. we also have a tv and a little sofa in there and we store a lot of the kids' toys there.

Our front room is quite small and gets cluttered easily. My idea is to mostly use the front room for me and dh and try to keep it 'nice', so i want to make the dining room and kitchen more 'connected' and more of a family room. these are the choices:

1. replace the dining room window with french doors to let more light in but keep the two rooms separate
2. knock down the wall between the kitchen and dining room to make it totally open plan (although we will lose wall space)
3. keep half a wall between kitchen and dining room, as in half the height, so the dining room opens out into the kitchen but there's a low dividing wall between the two rooms.

pros? cons? experiences? ideas? opinions? ta!

CountessDracula Mon 29-May-06 22:33:12

We did no 2 and have not regretted it for a moment

CountessDracula Mon 29-May-06 22:33:37

We put a big table laterally between the two and it really is a great room now

jampots Mon 29-May-06 22:34:37

Your house sounds like my friends old house.

Is it hall down one side leading all the way to a large lounge at the end, dining room and kitchen off to one side with the smaller room at the front of the house in front of the stiars?

If so, I would knock the wall down and replace the window with french doors.

expatinscotland Mon 29-May-06 22:35:26

No. 2 all the way! I LOVE open plan and miss that about the US.

nutcracker Mon 29-May-06 22:36:15

I have an open plan living/dinning room and I HATE it alot.

It is much too noisy with 3 kids running around and stuff that you want to stay up one half gets spread throughout the whole room.

I am hoping (please please please), that my dad will soon come and put my wall back so I can have some peace.

PrettyCandles Mon 29-May-06 22:39:57

If you can get rid of the wall completely, and leave the bare minimum posts to support the RSJ, then you ought to have enough space to have a largish dining table (or an expanding one) pretty much where the wall was, or just on the kitchen side of it, and the table will provide enough separation for you to continue using the 'dining room' as a playroom/dayroom.

Wall space is usefull for storage, but many kitchens have a gap between the top of the wall units and the ceiling that is unused. Would you be able to use the wall space in the 'dining room'.

jampots Mon 29-May-06 22:40:00

My kitchen (galley style) has a doorway (no door) into our good sized lounge which is where everyone normally is I suppose. The dining room is separate. Apparently people like open plan right now.

PrettyCandles Mon 29-May-06 22:42:06

Nutcracker, I think it only works well if you've got an extra room to use as an 'adult' living room, and can keep most of the kids' stuff out of it. Then you have a relatively peaceful haven. We also enforce a rule of no toys in the cooking part of the kitchen, which makes quite a differenct.

JanH Mon 29-May-06 22:47:51

We have a similar layout, moomin - have almost-double-door sized opening between kitchen and dining room - it was supposed to have doors in but haven't done it yet in 20 years! I wish we had gone the whole hog and knocked it through properly - our neighbours did that, with a breakfast bar between the 2, and that works much better IMHO. (We do have separate sitting room at front.)

We have french doors to outside from dining room, that gave us a lot more space in kitchen by freeing up the corner that the back door was in but the french doors are very draughty, if you get them do get UPVC properly sealed ones.

Moomin Mon 29-May-06 22:59:57

layout of house is front door into hall that runs alongside front room, stairs off to left then door opens to dining room which is as wide as the house (ie no corridor). Only other thing is that there is a step down from dining room to kitchen which there is no getting round. If we knocked half a wall down it would create a breakfast bar-type thing but wouldnt be used as one (no need).

i just thought half a wall might give a bit of separation without going the whole hog of completely open plan.? We could also then put french doors into the kitchen where the little table is now as there's a window there. The kitchen is narrower than the dining room as the garden path runs down the side of the kitchen. don't know if this makes sense - it's hard trying to explain.

JanH Mon 29-May-06 23:10:38

That's exactly like ours, Moomin. Front room is about 13' square, back room (dining room) is about 14' square, kitchen is 12' x 10' (behind stairs and some of dining room); backyard is about 6' wide off dining room, and then full width beyond kitchen. (Understairs bit is a cupboard off dining room.)

I think if I were doing it again I would knock kitchen/dining room wall down completely - possibly put door to outside somewhere off kitchen in that case and free up wall under DR window. (Floor there is currently permanently littered with shoes, football boots, school bags, footballs etc, drives me nuts.) Could do with some kind of porch outside for all that detritus instead.

Ellbell Mon 29-May-06 23:12:27

Your house sounds very much like my old house Moomin. Previous people had knocked lounge and dining room into one, which was OK pre-kids, but just led to everywhere being a mess once dd1 was born. I would go the whole hog and do the open plan thing. I love open kitchen/dining rooms. You could get rid of the small table in the kitchen if the kitchen was open to the dining room anyway and that would give you some more space in there. And if there's enough space, you could still have a part of the dining room as a sitting/playing area.

Moomin Mon 29-May-06 23:13:21

we've got a kind of porch thing out past the kitchen which we had done last year. it used to be a skanky utility room but we had french doors put it and a skylight and downstairs loo. it's really opened the back up into the garden.

i'm just a bit nervous about going the whole hog with the wall between kitchen and d/room!

JanH Mon 29-May-06 23:30:02

That sounds lovely, Moomin - just what we need!

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