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1960's House Need Help
January 6, 2013 in Design Dilemma
First off...I just found this site recently, Wow.

We just purchased this ranch home on huge lot in Chicago suburbs. The Family/Kitchen/Dining Table area is pretty tight and Dark.
Fireplace is nice size but old school red brick...ugly

The walls are ceiling wood planks and ceiling has dark brown beams.

I am looking for ideas on what to do with Kitchen & Fireplace area. I could make the wall between the Kitchen and Fireplace a half wall with stools ...but then I would be sitting in front of fireplace, and have no room for couch, I also don't like the way the kitchen is boxed in now.

Also, should I paint the Dark Brown beams white?
My other delima is how do I fit larger dining table when company comes.

Look for all ideas here.

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...should I also get rid of dark wood in first picture (front room) and replace with Drywall?
January 6, 2013 at 8:40AM   
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How much remodeling do you want to do? At first glance (and with a large budget), I would tear out the whole kitchen area and open it up to the family room. It looks like such a nice bright space and there is plenty of room. Is there hardwood under the carpet! If so, I see the walls either painted or dry walled. So much potential! Have fun and keep us posted. Very cool house.
January 6, 2013 at 8:51AM   
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I plan on replacing all carpeting with hardwood. I have 45 days to remodel and about $25K budget. Family is in trades so I get labor at cost or less.
My delima is the other side of left kitchen wall is a hallway down to basement and into powder room. I assume i would have to keep that wall so I could have some upper cabinets.
January 6, 2013 at 9:00AM   
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Cancork Floor Inc.
I'm sorry to say, but the fireplace MIGHT BE the elephant in the room! If you like it, then it will be the star of the show. If you are not very keen about keeping it (Iet's face it, fireplaces are big open money pits that suck out heat during the winter and are inept at heating a space - even when lit) I would spend a good amount of money ripping it out. Your issues of "kitchen space" would be solved.

Sorry, that's my personal opinion about fireplaces. From an insulation stand point, they draw out so much heat that they would have to be lit the entire winter just to save on heating costs.

Other than that, you have a really interesting space. Have fun. If you wish to save a bit of money on flooring, have a look at cork...there are some amazing colours out there that will turn everyone's heads and NO ONE will guess it's NOT HARDWOOD! Until they walk on it, that is!
January 6, 2013 at 9:08AM   
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I would remove the 'box' that is enclosing the kitchen and here is one option for painting the ceiling panels white and keeping the current beams as they are.

January 6, 2013 at 9:21AM     
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You would definitely need to keep that left wall for cabinets.
What is your style? That will drive other decisions. I personally love the fireplace and it would be well worth it to consult a kitchen designer to come up with a plan to open up the space and, if you choose to keep it, how to incorporate it into the design.
Lucky you to have a talented family. Your $ will go so much further.
January 6, 2013 at 9:32AM   
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Tammy Sprinkle
Hi John,
I love the space and the view and light from the windows is great! I would start by removing the curtains and wallpaper first. Next, I would remove the ceiling of the kitchen, this would make the boxy feeling go away, also allowing for taller upper cabinets. Then I would remove the upper cabinets and create a knee wall along the sink wall there so the kitchen now is open to the family room. I would also extend that knee wall at an angle back towards the dining area creating a sit at bar and more cabinet space beneath it on the kitchen side. See pictures below of angled bars/knee walls.

Since you are not fond of the fireplace wall you could do several things, remove it completely, paint it, tile over it, drywall over the upper half or the whole thing.

I would drywall or paint the walls in the other room to blend with the large space you are working on.

If you wanted to, you could always paint the beams to match the wood color on the walls so they blend in.

Good luck! It's going to look great when you are all done. Congratulations on a new home!
January 6, 2013 at 10:25AM     
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Remove the box and put your table on front of the fireplace with some comfy chairs. That would be nice to have a fire while you dine and linger over dessert and conversation.
January 6, 2013 at 11:57AM   
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Creatively Yours Custom Inc.
Hi John,
The first thing that strikes me is that the kitchen is so boxed out and does not follow the angles of the ceiling in the rest of the space. It is disconnected to the eye. I would raise the walls on both sides of the kitchen right up to the ceiling letting it follow the angles of the ceiling, Can you take off that top front piece that appears to be about 12 inches deep? You would be all around much more cohesive and less boxy.
I would get a drop leaf table that can be put in the other corner of the area where the large windows are and used daily as an end table, craft table etc. When you need it for a bigger dining area, it can be moved out to the center of the room and the leaves raised as needed.
The wood beams appear too dark for the wood that is on the rest of the ceiling. I would paint them a different color more compatible with the rest of the ceiling. You can use white if you will also have some white painted surfaces some where else in that space.
January 6, 2013 at 5:39PM     
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