A little (more) help?

>> 11.11.2009

A few weeks ago I begged you all to help me make the decision as to where I should put the last big chunk of my house-improvement fund. After reading the comments you made and seeing the poll results, I decided to update my kitchen countertops. Well, I’ve already made a commitment with the granite company, but back with another big countertop decision and I need your help!

Please let me know....
1. If I should keep a step-up(like the current breakfast bar) in the opening between the kitchen and the dining area…
2. OR if I should create a mega open feel by knocking out the step-up for a solid workspace
The price would be exactly the same for both options. I like the look of option #2 the most, but I am worried about having dirty dishes that everyone in the room could see. I don’t plan on actually using a bar as a seating area because I don’t want to take away space from the dining area. Please vote in the poll (on the top right of the blog) or leave me a comment letting me know what I should do. Just like the first time, I’ll actually listen to you guys! Thanks!!

Remember, this is what the kitchen opening looks like (sorry about the construction mess):
*first two images from Apartment Therapy


Jeannine @ Small and Chic November 11, 2009 at 11:07 AM  

Does the "step up" have any electrical in it? Mine does, which made me realize that I had to keep it if I wanted to be up to code. I could cap the outlets off, but my guy told me that wasn't really 100% okay with whomever made up the rules.

If you could take the entire wall down, I'd go for the flat look. But if that support on the side has to stay, I'd leave the ledge.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog November 11, 2009 at 11:12 AM  

Jeannine- That wall to the right (unfortunately) has to stay for electrical and structural reasons. The bar step-up can be knocked down without creating any issues.

Danielle and Clint November 11, 2009 at 11:17 AM  

Step up for me. I think the extra seating at a breakfast bar is a great idea. Good for when you have kids also. (sorry to go there :-))

Jamie Lee {Starting Out Savvy} November 11, 2009 at 11:25 AM  

Kasey, How often will you cook when its finished? If you're planning on cooking a lot then I'd go with the larger amount of counter space.

Another thing to think about is will one option add more value to your house? I've heard that updating your kitchen is the best way to add value but I'm sure there are specifics within that. (This isn't my strong point here.) I'll ask around and see if any of my homeowner friends know anything about this. Sorry that I'm not giving you a definitive answer!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog November 11, 2009 at 11:39 AM  

@D&C + Jamie Lee- My home is a two bedroom that I'll probably move out of before I have kids that can sit at breakfast bars. I'm guessing that buyers wouldn't be interested in living here as a family home.

@Jamie Lee- The bigger counterspace is appealing to me because I plan on hosting dinners once this is all finished. I'm a pretty neat person, but I'm worried being able to see any cooking mess will be off-putting.

Jamie Lee {Starting Out Savvy} November 11, 2009 at 11:51 AM  

You can still put things in the sink. in the picture it looks like the front door is right by the kitchen. Is that right or is that the garage? Generally, when we entertain we start cooking before everyone comes over so if there was a mess and if that is the front door then it seems like they would see it anyway when they walked in. I say that if you like the open counters then you should go for them. If not then you might wish you had after you spend all the money re-doing it.

priscilla November 11, 2009 at 11:52 AM  

I say open it up. The additional counterspace will be really useful, and I'm a big believer that as you shouldn't trust a skinny cook, you also shouldn't trust a neat cook! I don't think the cooking mess will be off-putting at all.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog November 11, 2009 at 11:55 AM  

@Jamie Lee- Great point! That is the front door... I never thought about the fact that everyone would see the mess anyways.

ashley morgan November 11, 2009 at 12:14 PM  

I'm for open, but then again, I don't care if everyone sees my mess. If you're at my house for a meal it's because I love you and you love me, and there's no judgement over dirty dishes. I can see your concern, though.

Danielle and Clint November 11, 2009 at 12:56 PM  

Many add onto homes also. So even though it's a two bedroom, don't rule out the possiblities! They are endless :-)

Melissa November 11, 2009 at 2:49 PM  

I love the look of the step-up style, but if you're not going to use it for seating, then I'd go with the flat workspace. Exciting! :)

WhimsAndInconsistencies November 11, 2009 at 3:04 PM  

If you like the flat space the best definitely go for that. Maybe the added exposure will help you stay motivated to keep the kitchen clean when you feel like procrastinating.

Dayka November 11, 2009 at 5:33 PM  

Decisions, decisions. I like the 2 tier for many of the reasons stated (cleanliness, kids, etc.), but none of that seems to be an issue for you (I'm not neat). For me it's just hard to picture it flat, since you have the wall there, however, if you are a bit short on space and need it to use as serving area, you should do the flat surface-thing. The good thing about talking decisions out is that what you really want comes out. I think you know the right thing to do--go with the one level countertop!!!!! ;)

Jacci November 11, 2009 at 8:46 PM  

Two houses ago, we had a kitchen with an "open" step-up like the first pic. It was so great to have friends/guests sit and chat while I got the last part of dinner ready. I think it depends on how you think you'll use the space, though. A lower countertop area there could be really nice for setting up a buffet. You never know, maybe it will help you keep up on your dishes :)


sara linnĂ©a November 12, 2009 at 8:41 AM  

a) Step up is great b/c it DOES hide the mess. My parents have it and my mom loves it b/c then SHE doesn't have to look at the dishes... She also likes it b/c people can sit at the counter while she cooks

b) my cousin has the flat surface and she likes the openness it creates, but it looks directly into her family room and not her dining room

personal preference is the step-up, but you are the person who has to live with it... :)

Meg November 12, 2009 at 11:38 AM  

Wow, this is a total dilemma! I personally vote for the open space without the step-up, but I think both will look amazing. Whatever you decide, I can't wait to see the results!

Amanda November 12, 2009 at 5:30 PM  

Solid workspace, definitely. You can still have an outlet on the wall that has to stay. If you're not planning on using it for seating, I think it would look weird to have a raised bar. Although I'm sure you will make it look nice either way!

Mrs. Chic November 12, 2009 at 6:26 PM  

I personally don't like step ups -- I would make your counter wide open. I think you'll be much happier with the after without the step up.

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