Hi AT! My wife and I recently made the move from renters to owners and purchased a condo in Brookline, MA (these pictures are from the real estate listing and not our own furniture). The apartment is 1120 sq. ft, with 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom and will be for my wife, myself and our 3-year-old daughter. We are interested in knocking down the wall currently separating the living and dining rooms. The wall is around 13', give or take a foot, and has an existing doorway that's 4-5' wide. So, we have a few questions for all you fellow apartment therapy junkies...
First, does anyone in the Boston area have a recommended general contractor and/or engineer that handles residential work? The wall is quite possibly load-bearing and so we may need an engineer for this project.
Second, we're going to kind of start from scratch with a lot of our furniture in this apartment (the furniture pictured is not ours but from the previous owners), and we were wondering what you all thought about possible layouts based on the floor plan. One of our current ideas is to use the dining room as a lounge/dining room with a smaller round dining room table like this one from Room & Board and a few lounge chairs or a couch (in addition to dining chairs). We don't want to be forced to use this room only to eat in; we'd like to make it a place where people can hang out, have a drink and socialize with those of us in the kitchen preparing dinner. The big piece we'd like to have in the living room is a contemporary sectional couch, perfect for kicking back, relaxing, reading and watching a few films. We've seen a few at Boconcept we like, but we're still looking. Other than that, we figured we'd put a few chairs in the living room as we should have some space left, especially by the bay window. We feel that once we choose where to put the dining room table and the sectional, the rest of the pieces will fall into place.
Third, we're planning on painting the apartment, and we were thinking of using a very light gray, but we're not sure, and may be leaning towards some version of white. We're not big fans of the bold colors on the walls, and tend to like to let the furniture and art take center stage. We will most likely use the same color in the dining room, living room and hallway in order to connect the space.
Finally, does anyone see any disadvantage to tearing down the wall between the living and dining room? We really prefer open spaces, so it seems like an easy decision for us, but we're interested in possible counterpoints.
Thanks so much! Carey