Losing Meant Gaining
Losing a dining room meant gaining more kitchen space for this growing family.
By Carol Moulton, Saginaw, Michigan
My husband, Ron, and I have enjoyed living in this house for over 14 years, but we felt our kitchen was getting a bit small for our growing family. And since we liked the neighborhood, we decided to renovate rather than move.
Our two-story home had a typical layout, with a formal dining room next to the kitchen. Since we only used the dining room about twice a year, we decided to use that space to expand the kitchen. We began by removing the wall between the two rooms…and nearly doubled the size of the kitchen!
Our new layout allows Ron, a mechanical engineer, and me, a part-time registered nurse, to fix meals comfortably together and to be able to spread out when cooking and entertaining.
Another goal was to have our computer in a convenient place where we could keep an eye on our computer-crazy children, Zachary, Emma and Lydia. So we incorporated a desk/computer space into our new kitchen.
The desk area also includes file drawers, which are handy for storing important papers and bills. Now I can pay bills while keeping an eye on dinner.
Since the window from the old dining room is lower than a standard countertop, it was a perfect place to put the desk-high countertop. That way we eliminated the big expense of moving windows.
A peninsula in the center of the kitchen breaks up the long line of the room. It also separates the main work area from the desk/computer area.
We selected beautiful oak cabinets and decided to alternate the height of some of the upper cabinets to give the ceiling line interest…and to allow extra space for seasonal decorating.
Losing the dining room also meant losing my dining room cabinet, which showcased my china and glassware. In the new room, we incorporated a built-in hutch, where I now store and display my good dishes.
Other handy features include a narrow utility closet to store mops, brooms and the ironing board. In the small space next to the stove, we installed a narrow drawer for spice bottles. And a large pantry with pull-out shelves gives me plenty of storage space for my "mini grocery store."
One corner cabinet holds a "super Susan." This heavy-duty lazy Susan holds all my small appliances and keeps them within reach and organized. An appliance garage hides the toaster oven and breads, and above it is another beautiful glass-front cabinet for displaying other dishes.
Since the space above the refrigerator is often wasted, we installed racks to store cookie sheets, pizza pans, etc. A small accessory sink between the stove and refrigerator keeps us from having to travel across the kitchen to the main sink and dramatically reduces drips on the floor. Both of the sinks are durable stainless steel.
For the floor, I chose an easy-to-maintain ceramic-look laminate. I had not been pleased with our previous vinyl floor…and I didn't want the upkeep that goes with tile and grout.
I decided on a neutral light taupe for the floor and countertops—that way I can change accent colors from time to time. At present, my navy blue accents coordinate with our family room, which faces the kitchen. There's blue in the valances on the windows and in a spatter-paint border along the ceiling. The chairs at the peninsula are the same striking hue.
We love our roomy new kitchen. Thanks for stopping by to check it out!