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  • Writer's pictureFreestone Design-Build

Expanding Space for the Holidays

September 14, 2018

The holidays are approaching (gasp! Thanksgiving is just 59 days away!) and that means many people will be hosting guests in their home, perhaps just for an evening or two, or quite possibly….for weeks. Not all homes are readily equipped to have an influx of guests and operate efficiently due to space constraints. Does this mean you have to do a full remodel, complete with additions (plural) to your home before Thanksgiving? Absolutely not (although we are happy to help you out in that area, should that be the case)!

There are easier and more affordable ways to expand your living space than constantly adding on rooms and wings to the home. A fix that can add tremendous openness and flow to your main living space is to expand doorways that connect your main rooms, such as your kitchen, dining area, and living room. What this does is allow for light to flow room to room, but it also creates a feeling of open space; the rooms begin to blend together rather than live each on their own.

Expanded and detailed arched doorway connecting kitchen and living space

Many older homes have compartmentalized spaces, each room distinctly bound by walls and doors. This concept was a practical one in the 1800’s and early 1900’s, as heat was something that needed to be constantly retained. By having small, cozy rooms, often with a fireplace per room, it was much easier to keep the home heated.

However, in the modern day, we have the luxury of many types of heating and cooling and are not bound to consider keeping heat all in one area of the home. The open floorplan concept continues to be most popular, however, even if your house has more defined rooms, this idea of widening doorways, perhaps even expanding them to the point they do not appear as a doorway, but more like a large opening, is a project that can designed to be budget-friendly and time efficient. As with all remodeling, the scope and timeframe, engineering, and cost will all be dependent upon the magnitude of the work and mapping to the type of space at hand.

Architectural detail on an expanded doorway frames dining area

Defined dining rooms are not usually seen in today’s modern designs, as living spaces are more transitional. This means the kitchen will flow right into the dining areas and this may include formal and informal space. With older homes, it is common to see a room that can be sectioned off for dining. Widening the area between kitchen and dining or living room, if applicable to your home, creates connectivity and warmth, while also allowing for easier entertaining and guest conversations. Everyone can be together when there aren’t tiny doorways separating the rooms and this not only adds to the ambiance of your holiday gatherings, it allows for increased traffic flow.

Take a look at your space and imagine it being more open, ready for loads of guests and holiday cheer. Opening up the space from the point where you greet guests to where you serve memorable dinners will allow flow within your home.  This can enhance your holiday experience as well as that of your guests; everyone can be together and enjoying good food, conversation, and entertainment with just a little more comfort and breathing room.   

--Dawn Duncan, Yellowbright, Inc., September 14, 2018

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