Has anyone here opened up their Eichler kitchen? I love our Eichler, love the open, flexible floor plan and feel claustrophobic in my closed off kitchen. I'm in the very early stages of thinking about opening up the kitchen to make more of a great room, with kitchen/living room all open with views into the back. It seems like it would look and feel better, be more practical too.
I'd be interested in hearing about how others approached this and would love to see any pictures. Also, if you have opened up your kitchen, would love to hear if you like the finished "floorplan" with everything opened up. I always wanted big open spaces so I can't exactly think of any downsides at this point.
Hi- I thought of this but decided against it. I wanted it mainly so we could enjoy the backyard view from the dining room. In the end, I couldn't give up the storage space that I would have lost (not having a bank of upper kitchen cabinets).
The way we have it now (the original floor plan) allows us to have two "separate" rooms even though the wall doesn't go to the ceiling. If adults are having a dinner in the dining room, another group (in this case kids) can be in the separate living room. It's a bit more private even though the sound is not entirely isolated. If you do open up the two rooms, you need to think about sound transmission. If you have hard floors, the sound can really travel.
There is a middle ground where you can possibly have openings in the wall like small windows that give a peak at the next room. It's a bit hard to describe but if you look at Sarah Susanka's book "The not so big house", there are several examples of this.
tziehm, it all depends on the floor plan. Last year our next door neighbor, who has a 1959 non-atrium plan, removed the partial height wall between the living room and the kitchen, moved the kitchen 15 ft. to against the rear garage wall, and created one continuous room from the garage back: kitchen, dining, living. I think it improves the house, and the traffic flow, immensely.
I just completed a remodel which included moving my kitchen so that it is between the dining and living rooms, and opens directly out to the rear patio. See http://totheweb.com/eichler/2006_remodel/new_floor_plan.html
You'd probably get more specific advice/experience if you were able to identify your current floorplan. I've seen some homes where the wall has been removed, shortened, or punched through that might work. But without a sense of your current layout it's hard to provide advice.
You say that you can't see any downside--I think Lynn's post indicates my feeling as well. Sometimes you don't want areas (of mess/distraction) in full view.
I saw a picture of one home that "opened" their floor plan, merging the kitchen, diningroom, and multipurpose room (kids room). My only thought was "they mustn't realize how messy this all looks". When you looked closely , it was really only the kids' area that was messy but because it was "open", it affected one's impression of the whole area.
On the other hand, I've seen (and done) more modified versions of "opening up"--such as punch through, lower to counter height, or remove the overhead "flying coffin" whcih preserved some visual separation (disarray) but still improved the conversation and sense of flow.
Let us know what you're dealing with in the way of floorplan and I'm sure many will pipe up with their own *relevant* experience.
I don't know the name of our floor plan. Is there a place they are listed where I could look it up? We do not have an atrium.
Did that eight years ago (in a cathedral ceiling Greenmeadow Eichler in Palo Alto) and replaced all lost storage (and more) with drawers in a central island, as well as two full height pantries.
We still love the result -- we had thought and planned for several years before doing it.
For pictures (or a tour), respond to email@example.com.
If you have the upper "flying coffin" cabinets, try replacing the masonite doors with glass or plastic. This will let light through and make the space feel more open.