Out of all the DIY projects we’ve done to make our small 1980′s ranch feel more open and updated, the one that has made the most dramatic difference is opening up the kitchen to the living room. Before, the living room felt dark and cramped and the kitchen felt closed off from where our family spent the majority of our time. By removing a seven foot wide section of the wall, we were able to visually enlarge both rooms without changing the layout.
Since we kept the bottom third of the wall intact, we were able to add a counter for extra seating. This also allowed us to keep the wall outlets so we didn’t have the extra expense of calling in an electrician.
By no means was this an easy project, but we saved ourselves a ton of money by being able to do the work ourselves. I was given the fun job (and that was not sarcastic) of helping with tearing down the drywall. Then Mr. Simplicity took over the rest. Love that guy!
Since this was a supporting wall, he had a friend that had experience with this kind of job assist him. They had to install a new load-bearing beam as explained in this tutorial from The Family Handyman.
And we installed the TV on an articulating mount so it can be seen from both rooms, which makes Mr. Simplicity very happy.
I’m thrilled with the how open, lighter and brighter both rooms feel! I wish we had done it sooner!