For us, every renovation or remodeling project begins with a conversation. We sit down with the homeowners (that’s you!) and ask pertinent questions to get a better idea of your day-to-day lifestyle and how you are intending to use the space when it’s all said and done.
When we address the issue of connecting the living and dining areas, some of the questions we ask would be framed around finding out how you currently entertain and use your kitchen as these habits will have a major impact on the success of your open plan design.
Ultimately, we want to ensure you are making this decision based on your practical needs as much as for aesthetics.
Some things to consider:
- What do family gatherings, parties or events look like at your house when you have them?
- Do you have more than one cook in the house?
- If you both cook, do you tend to cook together, or is it a solo activity?
- Where do people gather in the home right now?
- Is the change largely because you want to change the dynamic of the space?
Open Plan Possibilities
We will also look at the viability of an open design, considering the current layout of the house. Issues such as where current walls are placed and the position of load-bearing walls will dictate how easily the job can be accomplished.
We will also need to look at what type of floor you have. What often happens is, when opening up the space, you may have two or three types of flooring that are vastly different from each other. While two flooring treatments are workable, the more convoluted this gets, the choppier it is going to look.
If this is the case, you may need to consider redoing the whole floor to give it a more cohesive look, feel, and flow.
Here, we opened up a wall between the client’s living room and kitchen area to create an expansive room with clean sight lines.
The discussion we had with the clients, Jen and Chris, went something like this:
- Why do you want to open up the space?
- What, exactly, do you want to open up?
- What are the issues that are driving this decision?
Based on our conversation, this is what we surmised in terms of their goals:
Chris sits in the kitchen area working at his computer quite a bit. While he is working, he faces a blank wall. They wanted to open up the space so that he could feel less awkward and separated from the rest of the house and so they could both feel like they were in the same room.
There was already an existing, large countertop where we expanded the two spaces, so we didn’t completely open it up. In this case, opening it up would have had to be at the expense of the cabinetry. If they wanted the space completely open, they would have had to sacrifice storage and they didn’t want to lose all of that. They wanted to see out of the kitchen, but they also needed some of that cabinet space.
Based on our conversations and their feedback, we determined that they wanted to accomplish two main goals:
- Make the view more prominent from any angle of the kitchen
- Give Chris the ability to work from the kitchen table so he doesn’t feel like he has to be crammed into a weird spot to get stuff done.
A Testimonial From Jen:
“J.T. McDermott proved to be the best decision we made for our St. Louis remodel. Our inspiration, vision, and suggestions were valued and encouraged during the envisioning process. Our desire for clean, environmentally conscious, low-maintenance products was honored, as was our goal for the project. The construction crew was professional every step of the way and excelled at their tasks. The overall experience and final product was even better than we expected. McDermott not only delivered, but they also exceeded our expectations and we just love the result.”
We chose to highlight Jen and Chris’ living room-dining room project as it is very illustrative of our process and methodology. We work closely with all of our clients to ensure that they understand their options and will always support their vision, budget, and timelines in an effort to meet their needs.
Are you considering connecting your living and dining room areas? Reach out today to schedule a consultation. We’d love to show you how we can help.
For Josh, it’s always been about relationships. As J.T. McDermott’s 2nd generation owner, he believes nothing matters more than the enduring friendships that are built with the homeowners he serves. “If I can help both our clients grow and the team grow, everything else will take care of itself.”