Space or uniformity?

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  #1  
Old 02-07-01, 05:36 AM
troedel
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My wife and I are having a disagreement on how to design our kitchen/dining room. Currently, the two rooms are divided by only two small half walls protruding from the sides. However, the placement of our stove and frig will be next to these two walls. So , since they are only half walls, sitting in the dining room you will be able to see half the stove and frig. I want to build up the walls uniformly on both sides to completely block the frig and stove when looking from the dining room. However, she wants to keep it the way it is because the kithcen is already small and this would make it appear smaller. So the question is, what is more important, the size of the kitchen (this would shrink the large opening by 2 feet) or the view when sitting in the dining room.

Thanks for all your help - Tom
 
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  #2  
Old 02-08-01, 11:14 AM
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space or aesthetics

When your right your right. Small areas can be handled, but a view of appliances is the last thing I would want to see. Besides, with the extra wall space you can use it to hang useful items for the kitchen creating more storage space.
 
  #3  
Old 02-08-01, 11:41 AM
Resqman
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Depends on what you want.

Here are a few things that you can use to hide the appliances but still give an open feeling to both rooms.

Hang a stained glass window from the ceiling. You could use track lights, recessed can lights or a picture light to highlight the glass. It would appear as a painting/picture from both rooms but would still allow you to see between the two rooms. Couple of eye hooks in the ceiling joists and a few feet of chain and you are good to go.

Instead of stained glass you could use beveled glass or etched glass. They would distort the view of the dirty dishes from the dining room but still pass light. They are also neutral in color so would not interfere if you changed the color schemes in either room.

Install cabinets with glass doors on both sides suspended from the ceiling. Move all of grandma's china, your fine china, and decorative glasswear to these cabinets. You gain more storage space in the kitchen, a place to put your fine dining stuff so you can remove the china hutch from the dining room making more space and you still have the ability to see between the two rooms so they share space. The 18" between the bottom of the cabinets and the countertop allows easy passing of food and wine between areas. Maybe the cabinets near the fridge are glass doors on the dining room side and opaque on the kitchen side to help hide the fridge.

Build glass block walls. They will become a giant kilaedascope allowing the light to pass between rooms. Maybe you could glue colored paper scraps to posterboard, hang on fridge with magnets and shine lights on the block wall. Then when you look at the fridge from the dining room, you get neat colored block. Of course you could just use colored track or recessed lights to add visusal interest to the otherwise clear blocks.

How about open shelving units with no backs? You could put objects on the shelves for intersest. The space between the objects allows the rooms to share each other. I would recommend using fire retartent objects near the stove. No candles, cloth, wood, feathers, books, etc. Also consider choosing objects that can be cleaned easily since they will be getting a coating from the cooking grease.

Maybe a large plant would hide the fridge. A ficus tree or larger palm in the dining room would disquise the large metal box and add some softness to a normally hard room.

How about moving the china hutch or buffet to the "wall" the fridge makes? The back of the dining room furniture would be agaist the fridge so would not be noticable. Typically they are about the same height as a fridge so you would still have the open ceiling sharing space.
 
  #4  
Old 02-09-01, 08:28 PM
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I don't know exactly what the setup is, but we just bought a new fridge that is bigger than our old and have a similar problem. First, I can tell you that you do NOT want to look at the back of your appliance...it is ugly. (I'm lookin at mine now!)

We solved our problem by hanging curtains. Our "half wall" is really just a large window-like cut-out, so hanging curtains works just fine. It is still mostly open, but the curtains hide the ugly parts pretty well. You can arrange them to *just* hide the ugly parts if you need to. I used a semi-sheer silky fabric (from fabric store) and am going to drape it. (Waiting for paint to dry in that window right now.)

--Leslie
 
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