Cheaper and, Likely, More Environmentally Friendly

Well, I have a solution in mind that doesn't involve adding additional space. If I had any more shamelessness about doing personal stuff while at work, I would draw up a diagram right now and throw it up here. But I have *some* limits when it comes to farting around at the office.

The solution is rather simple and I probably didn't think of this, originally, because I was hell-bent on "EXPANDING!" Sometimes, one has to let go of expectations (just like one of the many tenets of yoga: practicing "non-attachment" to an outcome). So, I "detached" from the idea of making things bigger, and the idea to rearrange appeared.

Like many houses, we have two eating areas: a formal dining area and a kitchen nook. In our last house, we had the same thing, but I only used the "nook" area which wasn't much of a "nook" but was rather huge, and open to the kitchen and family room. The "formal" dining area had the decrepit baby grand. In my current house, the formal dining area is kind of isolated - it's only open to the living room, so we put the large dining room table (too big for the nook) in the formal area and bought a new table and chairs.

But do I really need both areas? I mean, seriously. And when children come along, I'd like have normal dinner time where TV is not part of the dining experience. The "formal" dining area is perfect for this purpose. I've never liked the idea of "unused" rooms anyway!

So the solution is to re-purpose the nook. It has sort of a bay-window-style pop-out wall area and is almost as big as the existing kitchen (almost as small I should say. Our kitchen is roughly 80 square feet), so arranging cabinets and such will be a little more tricky, but will definitely make things more livable by doubling the space. And for a casual eating area, I have come up with a center island that can hold three stools.

The one small wrench that was throw into this plan is that one wall I am planning to shorten is a supporting wall for the upstairs (I have no idea what crack the building was smoking when he designed this model - so many angles, walls, rooms, etc). If it hadn't been for the plumber opening up 18 million holes in the walls and ceiling, I would not have noticed the three married 2x4's holding up a joist to the second floor. I will have to have a single pillar at the corner of the island to hold up the master bedroom above. Not ideal, but it should look ok... I have a less favorable backup plan but hopefully I can just do the island (though I had messing with trying to move the support over 6 inches... it freaks me out, like the whole ceiling will collapse or something).

And all of this should require little-to-no permitting. I will have to shorten three windows, and technically, that could require permits, but I may just feign ignorance. I am generally a rule-follower, but the reality is, they have no idea what the existing size of my windows are (well, maybe the have an idea NOW as it's on the plans for the defunct addition). Eh, we'll see. I hate dealing with the city, but if it's just window size, they shouldn't bust my ass over it.



  1. I'm likin' this idea! When will we be getting pictures? Can you tell I really want some pictures?


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