The good news is my husband and I are still married after we built a kitchen half wall between the dining room and kitchen. One of the best DIY decisions we made was when we decided to take out half the wall between our dining room and kitchen. You know the dining room? The room that either is dressed for a party or looks like the lost and found in a high school locker room.
But over the course of a weekend, we made the decision to build a half wall. Heads up! We love it!
BEFORE WE REMOVED A HALF WALL
Our original plan was to remove the wall behind our refrigerator in the kitchen. But a consult with an architect brought up the light from the bank of windows in our dining room.
Sidenote: We hired the architect for a different project (that led to this project).
But since she charged by the hour we asked her about the wall between the kitchen and dining room.
HOW TO RECREATE AHALF WALL IN THE KITCHEN
This project to take out half a wall was much much easier than we anticipated. It was the biggest project my husband and I tackled.
It was bigger than this project.
OPENING 1/2 A WALL SOLVED A FEW PROBLEMS
- it created a social hub between the dining room and kitchen
- it added more light from the dining room windows
- it opened up a narrow entry between the dining room and kitchen
Removing half the wall with the upper cabinets and microwave did two things.
- Added much-needed light from the north-facing windows in the dining room.
2. Created a little breakfast nook or workstation that was out of the way of the kitchen.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU OPEN UP HALF A WALL
This project required trust, grit, patience and an electrician to run interference and move an outlet. To appreciate the after here is a quick view of the dining room a few years ago.
And, yes I picked that color.
The dining room was the gateway to the kitchen. And, with a narrow entry arch into the kitchen. Here is the wall from the dining room. To the left is the door size entry into the kitchen.
Here’s the view from the dining room. By removing this wall we could take advantage of the light from the large dining room windows.
Here’s the view from the kitchen.
Tip: Before we removed the upper cabinets (and the half wall) we relocated the contents of the cabinets. Before we removed the wall we wanted to make sure we would not miss those cabinets.
At the same time, we relocated the microwave to an adjoining counter.
ELECTRICAL + PLUMBING DETAILS
We hired a plumber and electrician to move the mechanics to the left inside the frame. We had to add an additional outlet on the dining room wall side per electrical code. Total costs for the mechanical was just under $300.00.
PAIN IN THE ARCH
The arch was the trickiest part of this wall removal. We had the small arch where the original entry into the kitchen existed. The main level of our house has arches in and out of every room so we wanted to keep the design. But, we had to remove the original arch before we recreated a wider arch to accommodate the extended length of the newly opened half wall.
My husband found Archways & Ceilings, a US-based company, that specializes in creating arches. With simple instructions on their website, my husband measured the expanded wall opening. Within a week we had an MDF template ready to install.
We framed the top of the wall with 2×4’s and attached the MDF arch to the frame. It required a drill and screws. It was a great, affordable solution. The total cost of the MDF arch was around $100.00.
The time saved: priceless.
We love the space between the kitchen and dining room and it looks like the way we envisioned it.
And, the best part of this half-wall removal project was how quickly we finished it.
From start to finish it was a total commitment of two-ish weekends.
It took almost a week to receive the solution for the extended arch.
The contractor quotes we received for the half-wall tear-down project was north of $6,000.00. We completed this project for less than $1500. This included the cost for the plumbing and electrical.
It also included the temporary countertop we made until we were ready to remodel the kitchen.
Here is the half-wall area today a few years later. We love the openness into the dining room. We used the counter as a breakfast bar or additional seating for entertaining.