DO integrate natural light. When planning your open concept kitchen design, take advantage of exterior walls by adding windows and doors to help splash natural light into interior zones. By adding windows, or even better French doors, you can see the landscaping from the interior, which in turn makes your space feel bigger, while also providing some of the psychological benefits you would get from actually being outside.
However, the major trick was getting it out of the house! Once the wall was gone it fit well through the opening, but on the way out of the house there was only centimeters of space to fit it through our double doors. Let’s just say there were a lot of moments of shear panic as I watched 5 men man-handle the hot tub out of the house without assistance from machinery.
DO pay special attention to the transition zone. Once the kitchen is opened up, you can customize the opening depending on how you wish to treat the transition from the kitchen to the adjoining space. For example, if you remove a wall to connect the kitchen with another room, part of the newly enlarged space can be dedicated to food preparation and part to eating, socializing, reading, or watching TV – that’s the beauty of an open concept kitchen.
Now, I’m not saying that if you really love the hot tub life that this wouldn’t work for you. Me? I’m not really a hot tubbing kind of gal. Especially not in the middle of the house. The “spa room” wasn’t my speed and I knew I wanted to remove it. Much to the kids’ dismay, the ability to remodel this room was a make it or break it for me. Either the hot tub went or we didn’t buy the house. Thankfully, we made it happen and the story is quite remarkable!
DO direct traffic away from work areas. A common problem suffered by small kitchens is too many circulation routes, which, in turn, disrupts the primary activity areas, such as the sink, stovetop, and dishwasher. And with all that overly used space in the kitchen, the dining room suffers from lack of use. Combining the kitchen and the dining rooms into one spacious family room/kitchen is a much better choice for a formal lifestyle. Plus, by opening up the kitchen to the dining room, you can easily direct traffic away from high traffic areas in the kitchen, and maximize efficiency.
The open plan of this luxury dining room keeps the space bright and undeniably roomy. The polished marble flooring, white walls and numerous surrounding floor to ceiling windows, and brightly lit tray ceiling also all help with keeping the dining room feeling spacious. The choice of a long dark wood dining table and faux alligator skin upholstered chairs are also nice touches.