For years my husband and I have been toying with the idea of knocking down the wall between our kitchen and our dining room. We find we rarely use the dining room — instead squeezing into the tiny breakfast nook at the end of our kitchen. As much as we love having a formal dining room we also love the idea of opening up the space. In addition to concerns about the cost and chaos inherent to any kitchen renovation, there is the question of how to merge a very modern, sleek kitchen with a very old, traditional and antique-laden dining room. We have not met with an architect so ideas for the new layout are vague at best. But we do know that we do not want to drastically change the existing style of either room. I do not want to build traditional or even "transitional" country-style cabinets in the kitchen to better blend with the formal architecture and decor of the dining room. I love stark modern kitchens. Nor do I want to ditch all my beloved antiques for a sleek, minimalist dining room. But clearly we would need to do some serious tweaking to ensure cohesion and continuity between the two rooms.
Some ideas we have considered:
• 1 An island/counter made from antique wood or simply bringing the dining room table right into the new expanded kitchen (Images #6 and #8)
• 2 New parquet wood flooring (to match the dining room) and an oriental rug in the kitchen (Image #7)
• 3 New, modern dining room chairs (our existing chairs are past their prime)
• 4 A modern light fixture in the dining room
• 5 A more contemporary rug in the dining room
• 6 New paint color in both the kitchen and dining room to create a flow between the rooms
• 7 New lighting in the kitchen to soften the space.
Do you have any suggestions for melding two such contrasting spaces without completely abandoning either style? The first five images shown are of our home. The second five are examples of open kitchens that have given us hope that bridging the modern/traditional divide is indeed possible!