Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Kitchen Cabinet Remodeling: Ways to Open Up Your Kitchen

by Melissa Bullard
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

Over the last couple of decades, the kitchen has again become the heart of the home. As families find themselves with varying work and school schedules, the kitchen remains the one place in the home where everyone has to go at some point during the day.

But some kitchens aren't conducive to family gatherings, or even to including more than one person. They are small and narrow; walls and cabinets cut them off from the rest of the house, or for some reason they just aren't appealing. So if you're wondering how to make your kitchen into a place that brings the family together, read these tips for opening up your kitchen.

Tips for Opening Up Your Kitchen

  • Take out a wall: Removing a kitchen wall is one of the best ways to open up your kitchen. Take out the wall that separates the kitchen from the dining room or the family room. You can leave the kitchen countertop and lower cabinets in place, but removing the wall can help the cook be more a part of other household activities.
  • Take out some cabinets: Many kitchens are designed as squares or U-shapes, with the dining room just on the other side of a countertop. But if cabinets hang over the countertop between the kitchen and dining area, a visual block is created that cuts off the kitchen. So, if you're refacing your kitchen cabinets and think you have cabinets to spare, consider taking out the hanging cabinets and leaving the lower cabinets and countertop.
  • Install a countertop eating area: Whether you have a countertop that backs up to another room of the house or you have a kitchen large enough for an island, installing a countertop overhang and some stools or chairs can encourage people to come to the kitchen to eat, do homework, or simply socialize.
  • Install a pass through: If your kitchen is small and you want access to other rooms, but you just don't have enough cabinet space to take out an entire wall's worth of overhead cabinets, consider installing a pass through. Like a window in the wall of your kitchen, this can allow someone working inside the kitchen to still be a part of what is going on outside the kitchen, but leave you with a few feet of upper cabinet space.
  • Turn a peninsula into an island: If your kitchen includes an L-shaped peninsula that faces a family or dining room, consider turning it into an island. This gives guests two entry points into the kitchen and makes it feel less separated from the other room.

Opening up that kitchen may bring your family closer.

About the Author
Melissa Bullard earned a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, then a Master's Degree in Spanish Language and Literatures from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has taught writing, literature, and Spanish classes, and is currently working as a fre

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