Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Knocking Down Walls (Halfway)

I get so much inspiration reading other blogs.  The beautiful pictures and tutorials are great, but snooping in other people's homes has to be my favorite.  An updated "Our Home" page has me in complete stalker mode.  Hmm, maybe that's why I've been so lazy slow updating my own "Our Home" page.

One of the blogs that I've been stalking reading is Lisa's Shine Your Light.  Lisa is a fellow Masstonian (I just made that a word) and she lives in a colonial style home that has pretty much the exact same floor plan as our home.  One look at this photo and I was inspired!

{Image from Shine Your Light}
Our den has the exact same configuration as Lisa's family room.  I call it a den, she calls it a family room.  Tomato/tomato (or is it tomatoe/tomato?) Nevermind.

You might remember (if you were actually reading my blog last March, ha!) that we remodeled our den and took it from this:


To this:


Serious improvement.  We've been loving our new space, but one of the things that still gets me is the lack of light in this room.  The only windows are the two windows facing the front of our house, and we don't get sun at the front of our house until late afternoon. For much of the day, this room is pretty dark.  Another thing that I don't love is how closed off this room is from the kitchen and other parts of our house.  Sometimes, it's really cozy, but other times I wish the space was more open.

Here's a quick floor plan of our downstairs to help you get a better idea of how things are situated (Oh and nothing's drawn to scale. Oh, and I accidentally put the / between half and bath and not half bath and laundry, but I'm too lazy to fix it).

We have a lot of walls.  A lot of unremovable walls.  This type of layout is pretty typical of a 1970s - 1990s colonial and it's a far cry from the open layouts that are so desired these days.  Once I saw Lisa's photo, I had hopes that we could add a a little more openness to our space.    See that wall in yellow in my floor plan, that's the wall that is a half wall in Lisa's family room.

{Image from Shine Your Light}
And that is soon to be a half wall in our den!

Like Lisa's house, we'll have to keep a support column, but I think it will really open up the space to the eating area in our kitchen (we might even be able to see the tv from there, whoop!) and it will allow more light to flow in (light from the sliders, bathroom window, and exterior door).  We're replacing the current exterior door with a new french door.

So I'm pretty excited for the wall to come down.  If you're wondering why we're not taking the whole wall down there are a few reasons:

  1. We just put it up.  No, but seriously, we did. In March.  We had all new drywall and crown installed in the den.  Womp womp womp.  This is a prime example of why it's a good idea to live in your house a while and feel things out before you go spending money changing things up.  But, we're not not tearing the whole thing down because we just put it back up - we're keeping the lower half because there's quite a bit of electrical down there that we don't want to mess with (pay to have moved).
  2. The half wall will serve as a divider between our tile floors and our hardwood floors.
  3. We need to keep a structural post there anyways.
  4. I think walking out of the half/bath right into our den might feel a little weird.  I like a little separation of space, thought it will be nice not to have to walk around the corner to see if the loo's free. :)


  1. Yes! I think this will be just the ticket for more openness and light but just the right amount of practicality and definition of space. Makes me want to knock out a half wall or two :) Can't wait to see the transformation!

  2. Yes, that is a great idea. The room will feel so much bigger and brighter! Can't wait to see it after it's done. Good luck!

  3. So cool! I love love love when I see someone else's house that is similar to mine, and I get totally inspired to change it up!! love the idea, can't wait to see how it comes out, I'm sure it will feel so much bigger :) ~Bre

  4. Oh my gosh - your renovations on your den are GORGEOUS!!! I love what you've done in there - the floors are beautiful, as is the fireplace!!!! It looks like a totally different room!! And I can't even believe that my humble family room is serving as inspiration for your next project - thank you for the shout out - and I'm glad you found something useful on my blog :)
    We CAN see the TV from the kitchen, which is awesome for football games and Modern Family viewing when I'm cleaning up after dinner!
    I have often thought of converting our half wall into a half wall of bookcases...I have some pictures saved on Pinterest....but that would still require rerouting the electrical in your wall so never mind. I think the room is going to look so open and change the feel of the kitchen & den together! Can't wait to see it!!

  5. Now I'm walking around my kitchen trying to envision your layout in there. Our kitchen is the armpit of our house - yours is totally inspiring me and makes me so excited for the day we can renovate ours!

  6. Hi Jessica! I wanted to you let you know that I nominated you and your blog for the Liebster blog award! Your nomination is over at my blog:

  7. Great idea! I definitely think that will make it brighter in there.


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