Should I open kitchen up to rest of house?

9 Replies

Hello all-  I bought and am gut-rehabbing a 1923 Sears craftsman-style bungalow to hold as a rental.  It's a 3BR, 1100 SF, and will have 1.5 baths.  I'm deciding whether to take down the (non-bearing) wall between the kitchen and dining room, or at least box off an opening between the two rooms.  Dining room is pretty open to the living room beyond, through some nice cased built-in opening the kitchen up also would mean that the whole house except for the bedrooms & hallway would be sort of one connected space.

I am trying to rehab the house in the spirit of its 1920s design, and to make major changes only when they produce a real, indisputable improvement.

     The cons: A bit more work to revise the kitchen design.  More work to take the wall out & case in the opening with nice wood.  Much less upper cabinet space in the kitchen.  Couldn't put microwave over the stove so would have to find a spot for it.

   The pros: It seems like that's what everyone says they want these days, the open kitchen.  Might make the house feel more spacious overall.

Would I get anything more in rent for the open plan?

Would the boost to eventual resale justify added cost?

What do you think?


Had a "Sears Craftsman" built in Monmouth county NJ. Like you kept most of the original design but the xtra work and cost for the I beam was well worth it.... No matter the era of the home "Open" is the preferred interior look in my state.

Open kitchen is what everyone wants. As long as it doesn't ruin the "feel" than I would go for it.

How much extra is this going to cost you?

What do you plan to rent the home for ?

What will be the arv of the home once Reno is complete?

In my humble (and often worthless) opinion, it's the colors and finishes of a house that give it that classic feel (or that modern feel) vs. the sectionalization (new word perhaps) of rooms. Yes, having smaller and more rooms is characteristic of certain older-style homes, but I'm not sure that's what gave it it's classic feeling. 

Provided it's in the budget and would add value to your project, I think there are ways to change the internal layout to be more appealing to most buyers, but keep that traditional feel they're after as well. I'm sure there are a ton of "I want classic character, but open concept," buyers out there :). 

I would definitely do it..

This one cost about $4200 with granite remnants/offcuts & rented IMMEDIATELY.

(& I'm in the process of doing 2 more this month).

I have done it on 2 of my properties and it was well worth it as it opens up an older smaller home and makes it feel modern and more spacious. Do it.

Sigh . . . yes, it would be a great selling point for potential rentals or buyers. That's what everybody wants. I took down a wall in one of my units & it made a huge difference in the overall look of the place. But it was "new" (1993) & had no particular architectural interest.

If it were my own home, I'd never do it. I've got this problem with tearing up old houses, destroying their original design. That makes me one in a hundred (maybe a million!), I know. But what happens 20 years from now when the open concept layout is "so yesterday?" I guess we have to put the walls back in!

Open.. more spacious and better utilization of living space.

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