I wanted to devote this post entirely to the kitchen – I think it deserves it – but the floor plan is so open that approach doesn’t really make sense. So get ready for a monster of a post!
I’m going to walk you through the living spaces from the front door, but first here’s a little teaser of the kitchen. :)
But let’s get back to our tour. Here is the former view from the front door – bam, a wall right in your face, making the house feel sooooo much smaller than it actually is.
We made some changes to the layout that enabled us to open the wall straight ahead so that you can see straight from the front door to the back of the house. Seeing all of that extra space from the get-go is great because it makes the house feel bigger and it shows off some of the awesome features of the house from the very beginning (can you say kitchen??).
Back when we bought the flip, you entered the house through the formal living room, and the formal dining room was that little nook with the bay window on the right-hand side. The kitchen and huge den were hidden behind that wall on the left.
Since the den in the back is SO huge, we thought it would be a better use of space to turn the tiny dining room into an office (adding a large cased opening) and the formal living room into the dining room. By making these changes, we were able to close up the original door between the now-office and the kitchen and create the large walkway that you can see on the left-hand side in the picture below.
The front room is the perfect size for a large table and a buffet or hutch, and I love the capiz chandelier centered in front of the huge picture window at the front of the house.
The view looking back at the front door was equally uninspiring.
But it improved considerably once we brightened it up and added a pop of fun color on the back of the (new) front door.
It was very awkward having the kitchen jut into the living and dining rooms…
…but framing in the cased opening for the office got rid of that strange bump out.
Hello, happy front door!
The bay windows in the former-dining-room-turned-office are such a cute feature, but they were lost behind heavy drapes.
Now, those bay windows will bring in tons of light into the office.
Now we’re heading back to the kitchen – you can see here how we closed up the doorway between the hallway and kitchen which became unnecessary when we added the large walk-through from the front of the house to the back of the house.
The old kitchen was…old. And had an extremely strange layout interrupted by 3 doorways.
Closing up the doorway to the hallway gave us a long, uninterrupted wall for the stove. We moved every fixture from the original layout, but it was worth it for the improved function of this kitchen.
The washing machine and water heater also used to take up precious space in this kitchen.
We moved the water heater to the attic and the washing machine to a closet in the hallway, freeing up valuable real estate.
Even though the kitchen and den were technically “open” before, the support columns between the two spaces and the low ceiling in the den made both spaces feel dark, cramped and really separate from one another.
A new support beam allowed us to remove the columns and truly open up the two spaces to each other.
You can see the low ceiling that the den had previously – it was a covered patio converted to living space and it had a flat roof – the whole original conversion was done pretty poorly.
There was no choice – the roof had to come off and be completely redone.
But now the den has an awesome vaulted ceiling and feels like a true part of the house. And it’s huge! (Like 18×30!)
Before, the fireplace looked completely out of place in the den, like it was just stuck in there as an afterthought.
After a lot of debate, we decided to go for a simple mantle that would give it more presence in the room.
Our tile guy did such a great job, and I’m in love with how the fireplace turned out!
The floor guys did a great job framing out the hearth with the hardwoods.
You can see below how the den used to have rickety sliding doors and a tiny window:
The sliders weren’t in good shape, so we switched them out (along with the tiny window) for a run of full-lite slab doors. We had the center two doors hung as French doors, and the remaining 3 doors were hung as windows (meaning that they weren’t morticed for hinged and they didn’t have holes drilled for door hardware). Oh, and we also added a door between the garage and the den!
The den is easily large enough for two seating areas, and the kitchen counter has a nice overhang for bar stools. I’m pretty sure I could live in just these two rooms. :)
And that’s all, folks!
It was our first time using Home Depot cabinets AND venturing away from a white kitchen, so we were nervous about how it would all turn out – but I must say that I’m really thrilled with the results.
How do you think the kitchen turned out?
Sponsorship Information: All of the beautiful glass tile used on the backsplash and the fireplace surround was provided by the awesome people at Subway Tile Outlet. The gorgeous kitchen faucet was provided by Kohler. We feel crazy lucky to have the support of such awesome companies!