My DH and I are closing on a new house next week and plan to have some renovating done before we move in. Originally we were going to wait and live in the house for a while before doing any work, but as we consider the mess and hassle involved we've decided it's better to do it before we move in (Especially since we have 1 and 2-year-old boys. And I'm telling myself this is the silver lining of our current house still being on the market... ) I'd love to get some feedback on our ideas!
Here's the floorplan. Missing from this is a small half bath between the foyer and the garage (which takes space from the large closet off the master bath).
This is looking to the right as you stand in the foyer. I dislike how the flooring skips from yucky carpet in the dining room to the left to tile in the hall and then back to yucky carpet in the open living space to the right.
Idea 1) Replace all the carpet and tile with hardwood that flows from the foyer into the dining room, living room, kitchen and hallways. The existing tile woulds remain in the bathrooms and laundry room. We would also replace the family room and bedroom carpets with new/nicer carpet.
Idea 2) Eliminate the wall that separates the living room and family room (the big white blank you stare at as you enter). The ceilings are 12 feet in this part of the house, and I think eliminating all or part of the wall would obviously open the space up, but also allow the light to flow throughout better. So along the right side you would see have two large windows and the slider to the patio, and you would see the fireplace in the far right corner. We intend to use this as one large family living space anyway, possibly with a pool table.
This is taken from the family room; the wall to the left is the one I want to go. (We've already had a preliminary meeting with a contractor and it is possible.)
Idea 3) If we do this, we are also considering shaving back the right side of that doorway to gain some space in the kitchen...
Idea 4) ... because I want to rebuild the island to be larger, one level, and possibly include a wine fridge.
Idea 5) Paint cabinetry light/medium gray
Idea 6) Replace countertops with something white/light and with complementary backsplash
Idea 7) Replace appliances with stainless (probably just the fridge and dishwasher to start
Idea 8) Rebuild desk in kitchen (you can kind of see it in the shot from the family room) to be nicer/more custom. I think I'll use it a lot.
Idea 9) Add skylight to kitchen to let in more light
Idea 10) Close in the foyer a bit. Eliminate columns and drywall that part in to emphasize the roundness of the entry more?
There's so much potential in that house, it's got a great plan!
Instead of removing the wall between the nook and the dining room, I'd probably do an archway or something, if you want to keep it separate. If you want to incorporate the space into the kitchen, then I'd remove it.
I'd put all one kind of flooring down, probably hardwood, and I do think the columns look strange...I'd close them in, but I'd then do a skylight in the foyer.
Instead of having "answers" on a math test, they should just call them "impressions," and if you got a different "impression," so what, can't we all be brothers?
Right now there's a tall narrow-ish doorway between the kitchen nook and the dining room (it's just to the left of the desk). I think widening it to an archway would be worth looking at; I want some separation but that would let more light into the kitchen from those big dining room windows.
looch- Thanks for saying there's potential; as this renovation list grows I keep wondering if we made the right decision choosing this house! The lot and outdoor spaces are amazing though, and those really sealed the deal.
Congratulations on your new house Semily! Such a great floor plan!! Looks like a lot of space too!
I was looking at your front entry way & your floor plan. Do you have 2 front entryway Doors? Do they both lead out to diff. areas?
The colums are diff. & I'd probably close them in too or close in w/some shelving or nooks.
I guess it depends on what you do in the kitchen, but I think the desk area would be fine to leave alone - what kind of upgrades were you thinking for the desk part & how often do you really plan on sitting there & using the study area?
I would definitely replace the flooring with a more cohesive look. And I'd also eliminate the columns in the foyer. I'm not sure I'd close it off though unless you change out the front door for one with a window to allow natural light in. I'd also try to do something with the fireplace to make it more visible/focus vs fading into the wall.
If you are going to be doing significant work in the kitchen anyhow, I'd also look into a few cabinet changes. Even if it is just adding glass fronts to a set of doors or pulling off two sets and either replacing them with taller ones or simply re installing higher to provide some stagger up top. And since you are talking about a new fridge anyhow, look into one with counter depth. I think it would fit better in the space.
I'd be hesitant to remove the wall between the family and living rooms though, at least for the time being. With your kids being so young, they are going to play where ever mom is. So assuming you were going to use one of the extra bedrooms for a play room, unless you are in there, they won't be playing in there. My guess is that you will end up with 90% of their play time in the family room. Even if you don't have toy storage in there, I'd feel like it was still serving a purpose for the kids. Keeping the living room separate for the time being gives you a place to have nicer furniture with no toys. Maybe it's just me, but I do much better at night when I don't see kid stuff LOL. I also don't like my kitchen visible to all main rooms of the house. I like that I can stack dirty dishes in the kitchen until the evening activities are over and not see them while we chat, play, etc. But that again might be my OCD tendencies.
Now, all that being said, you could also consider changing the function of the rooms themselves. If you want a large open great room with seating and room for pool, etc have you considered using the dining room/living room combo for that and re purposing the family room into the dining room? It would give you more leeway with how you do the island.
I like that I can stack dirty dishes in the kitchen until the evening activities are over and not see them while we chat, play, etc.
I do this, too, and one of the things about having a two-level island (since your sink is on it) is that you can hide all that clutter behind the raised portion of the counter. I definitely prefer the single level thing in model homes and on TV, but in my own home, it's impractical just because of all the clutter we have (constantly) on the counter.
JLRenheos- Thanks! The door in front of "covered entry" is the front door. To the left of that is a coat closet. The door to the right of the covered entry is the door that connects the garage to the house. Great idea to include shelving/nooks if we close in the columns!
For the desk area, right now it's a continuation of the kitchen counter and backsplash materials. I was thinking of having a different surface for the desktop, eliminate the backsplash, and create access for any wiring to be out of sight. We're not going to have a separate home office, so we'll use this space for the household computer, my grocery list-making, work DH and I may do from home, etc.
boilermaker- Thanks! Great idea about highlighting the fireplace and cabinet changes. I could even look into moving the microwave and adding a hood to break things up. I hadn't even thought about a counter depth fridge- adding that to the list for sure.
As for not removing the wall, I totally see your points. But I still want to open the space, and I love the kitchen being open to the main rooms of the house. My husband has extreme clean-OCD that means we never, ever have a dish out on the counter or in the sink, and we have no countertop clutter. My real estate agent brought up loving her two-level island because it hides dishes and my husband was shocked at the idea. He literally cleans behind me as I cook, so by the time we sit to eat 85% of the cleanup is done!
I also want the TV to be visible from the kitchen, so I don’t think I’d like it if the family room was kid central and the living room had the TV and nice furniture. And because of the aforementioned DH-OCD, all toys are put completely away at bedtime, so we don’t see kid stuff after they go to bed. I guess I like having all the live/play space as one (and the kids’ big toys like their play kitchen will be down the hall in the middle bedroom which will be their playroom).
I think it might be awkward to change the function of the rooms, but that’s a really interesting idea, especially if you opened up the walls that create the corner of the nook. But the family room would be too large as a dining room, and we’re already limited on the island changes because of the hallway- it’s hard to tell from the floorplan, but if we extended the island much more toward the family room it would feel like it’s jutting into the hallway.
maniach - See my response above to boiler about my insanely neat DH… The man is freak of nature! ;-)