McClurg's Home Remodeling Blog

Project of the Month: Dining Room and Kitchen Remodel

Posted by Vince Petralito on Tue, Nov 4, 2014

The owners of a saltbox style home in Mexico, NY wanted to update their kitchen and incorporate the space of an adjacent dining room to create a view of the natural landscape from the home. The kitchen wasn’t efficient and they hoped to change the layout. They wanted to add more space for informal dining and amenities that they did not have prior to the dining room and kitchen remodel. This project required innovative design solutions to transform the rustic dining room and kitchen into a bright open space with ample seating and storage along with a few new “bells and whistles.”


Shaker style cabinets, stainless steel appliances, an island for cooking and informal dining are part of this kitchen transformation.

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Homeowners’ Objectives

The original kitchen of the home was small and designed for one cook. There was an adjacent dining room with a wall that was a barrier to the kitchen. The homeowners disliked the “popcorn” textured ceilings. Their objectives for the dining room and kitchen remodel were:

1. Open up the space by removing the wall between the kitchen and dining room.

2. Reconfigure the kitchen to create a more efficient workspace. New appliances, storage and expanded seating for informal dining would need to be factored into the design.

3. Refinish the ceiling.

4. Create a bright, open space with a view of the outdoors and ample room for dining and entertaining.


The original kitchen was a small dark space that lacked an adequate area for food prep.



The dining room was separated from the kitchen by a wall. Natural light and light from a pendant fixture were not sufficient and seating was tight. Dark paneling also made the room appear small and confined.


McClurg’s Solutions

1.  Remove the wall between the dining room and kitchen.

The wall separating the dining room and kitchen was a load-bearing wall that provided structural support. The wall was removed and replaced with a header constructed to support the load. Paneling was removed from the dining room. Cabinets, counters and flooring were also removed.


This remodel included removal of a load-bearing wall between the dining room and kitchen.

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2.  Redesign the kitchen.

The homeowners had envisioned a transitional-style kitchen that would blend traditional and contemporary elements.

  • The new design of the kitchen would include a large central island to provide space for food prep, cooking, storage and the capacity to seat four to six people. An induction glass cooktop with a chimney-style vent hood would be installed on the island.
  • New stainless steel appliances were added to the perimeter of the kitchen and included a dishwasher, an under-counter wine cooler, a built-in microwave oven and a built-in wall oven. The owners’ refrigerator was reused and built into the design.
  • New Shaker-style cabinets from Jim Bishop Cabinets were selected. A chef’s pantry was placed next to the refrigerator to provide ample food storage.
  • Flooring was replaced. Prefinished eco-friendly, durable bamboo flooring was used.
  • A home office space was factored into the design.
  • Granite was used for the counters, island and desk. A tumbled marble tile backsplash was selected to complement the granite and cabinets. An undermount sink was used.
  • The owners’ dining room pendant light was incorporated into the new design.
  • A wall mounted flat screen television was positioned for viewing from both the dining area and kitchen.
  • The design improved the traffic flow of the home and made the space functional for everyday use and entertaining.


View of the work area of the kitchen and home office.

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3.  Resurface the ceiling.

Sheetrock from the ceiling was removed and replaced. The ceiling was finished with rough coat, non-reflective sand paint and painted white.


The resurfaced ceiling unites the kitchen and dining area. A wall-mounted television was added and can be viewed from the kitchen and dining area.

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4.  Improve lighting.

The home’s windows were reframed. Recessed lighting was used to illuminate task areas of the kitchen. Under cabinet lights were used on the perimeter. The homeowner’s dining room light was re-hung and dimmer switches were installed.


Under cabinet lighting, granite counters, a tumble marble backsplash and wood stained cabinets update the kitchen.

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How to Plan a Kitchen Remodeling Project Guide

Topics: Kitchens, Projects of the Month