i am interested to know how many of you have removed the wall between the family room and dining room. I would like to maintain the layout of our house as it is almost completely original; however I must admit that eichlers that I have seen without the family/dining room wall have a much larger, open, and modern appearance. Could the removal of this wall be possibly considered as an improvement/update to the house, much like some new kitchens remodels are considered updates?
We created openings in the wall between our family room and dining room. We certainly feel that the openings are an improvement. The openings make the dining room not feel so cave like.
The openings allow us more views through the house and make both the family room and the dining room brighter and makes the house feel bigger.
We are not rigorous about keeping our Eichler original, but we do feel that the improvements we make are in keeping with the Eichler aesthetic.
We removed ours and feel it makes a big difference. Given how these houses are set up to blur the boundary between indoors and outdoors, I am sometimes puzzled by the fact that the interior rooms are often not allowed to flow in a similar manner.
Related to this, I am also cutting down the wall separating the kitchen from the living/dining room. In the 50's, when our house was built, I think it was more the norm to separate cooking from entertaining, public from private. Nowadays we all tend to gather in the kitchen and the "great room" concept of an open kitchen/dining/living/family space is popular today. To me, Eichlers are ideal for this and take it one step further by extending it to the outside.
So IMHO I think it's an improvement, unless you feel it's more important to preserve the house as an original example or you want to count it as another potential bedroom in a real estate listing. :wink:
Our house has had this wall removed (it was done before we moved in). I would just note that they put in a cross beam to support the roof...and in this way eliminated the post supports that were in the wall. It looks great and really opens up the place. The cross beam is very large and is perpendicular to the existing beams which are attached to it with joists (i think that is what they are called). This is definitely NOT a do it yourself type job...unless you are a contractor.
I would also like to remove the wall between the kitchen and living room. My biggest concern is losing half of the upper cabinet storage. How do you get around this? I am considering leaving some of the cabinetry but can't figure out how to do this while making it look OK. I am considering an Ikea kitchen. Thanks, Lynn
In our house, the family room wall was parallel to and underneath a beam, so we didn't have the condition jzbarnes is referring to.
Lynn, off the top of my head, you have several options:
1. Just do without it, and learn to live with less. (Probably the hardest.)
2. Try open shelves instead of cabinets. (For nice-looking things.) If you have structural posts in that area, (which I do) they could maybe span between them.
3. Try upper cabs with glass doors & backs that you can see through. (Not a stock Ikea option.)
4. Keep a few feet of wall & cabinet, like at one end, and remove the rest.
5. Span across with upper cabinets, without wall, high enough that you can see beneath them. (Also not a stock Ikea option, and dependent on your ceiling condition. You also wouldn't want to access these all the time, since they're up high.)
For any of these, you'll have to remove your cabinets to do the wall work.