Before and After: Family Room-to-Kitchen Remodel

A family room-to-kitchen remodel can completely transform your home, creating an open and inviting space for gathering, cooking, and entertaining. Seeing dramatic before and after photos of this popular home renovation project can provide inspiration and ideas for your own remodel.

Key Factors to Consider for a Family Room-to-Kitchen Remodel

When planning a family room-to-kitchen remodel, there are several important factors to keep in mind:

  • Budget – Remodeling both rooms together requires a significant budget. Prioritize must-haves over nice-to-haves. Get quotes from contractors.
  • Layout – Think about how you want the finished space to function. Make a wish-list of features like island, seating, etc.
  • Flow – Remove any walls between the rooms to improve flow. Ensure good traffic flow.
  • Lighting – Add windows, skylights. Update lighting fixtures in both rooms for a cohesive look.
  • Flooring – Unify rooms with continuous flooring. Hardwood is popular but also consider tile, high-end vinyl.
  • Countertops – Quartz or granite recommended for durability. Keep consistent throughout.
  • Cabinets – Reface or replace cabinets. Glass cabinet doors add open feel.
  • Appliances – Upgrade appliances to match your needs. Add luxury features like built-in coffee station.
  • Style – Choose an overall aesthetic like modern, farmhouse, traditional. Carry design elements throughout.

Thoroughly planning your family room-to-kitchen remodel will set the project up for success.

Knocking Down Walls Between Rooms

One of the most dramatic parts of combining a family room and kitchen is knocking down the dividing wall. This relatively straightforward demolition opens up the space and improves flow between rooms.

Here are some tips for knocking down walls:

  • Check for load-bearing walls – These support the structure and cannot be removed without replacing with a beam.
  • Inspect electrical, plumbing, and HVAC – These may need to be relocated or rerouted before removing the wall.
  • Prepare the demolition site – Protect existing finishes, turn off electricity, wear safety gear.
  • Knock down the wall – Use a sledgehammer, pry bar, sawzall, or hire a pro. Remove debris promptly.
  • Add structural support – If load-bearing, install a steel beam to carry weight. Add extra studs for stability.
  • Insulate and protect from moisture – Seal up exterior walls and add insulation before closing it up.
  • Make repairs – Refinish floors, install new drywall, paint. Blend old and new spaces.

Knocking out a wall is an exciting first step to combining your family room and kitchen. Take all necessary safety precautions and structural considerations during this process.

Unifying Flooring Between Rooms

Installing continuous flooring between your newly opened up family room and kitchen visually unifies the space. Popular options include:

Hardwood Floors

  • Beautiful, classic look
  • Various stain colors
  • Withstands heavy use
  • Easier maintenance with polished concrete underneath

Tile Flooring

  • Lots of style options like stone, ceramic, porcelain
  • Durable and water-resistant
  • Can mimic look of more expensive materials
  • Adds visual interest with patterns and textures

Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP)

  • Realistic wood or stone look for less cost
  • Waterproof and scratch resistant
  • Easy DIY installation
  • Softer and warmer feel underfoot than tile

Things to consider when selecting unified flooring:

  • Match current flooring style or create a fresh look
  • Consider texture and wear-resistance for high-traffic kitchen
  • Darker colors can make space feel smaller

Continuous flooring helps the two rooms feel cohesive and complete.

Opening the Space With an Island or Peninsular

Including an island or peninsula in your open concept family room-kitchen remodel is a great way to delineate spaces while maintaining an open feel.

Kitchen Island Benefits:

  • Adds functional countertop and storage
  • Creates natural separation between rooms
  • Makes kitchen feel more spacious
  • Hub for gathering, food prep, and dining

Peninsular Pros:

  • Takes up less space than island
  • Easier traffic flow
  • Leaves room for table or workspace on other side

Tips for adding an island or peninsula:

  • Allow for at least 42 inches of walkway around island
  • Incorporate cabinets, shelves, drawers for storage
  • Use same countertops as rest of kitchen for cohesive look
  • Add seating like bar stools for casual dining

An island or peninsula opens up the kitchen visually while offering additional function and storage. Strategically place to delineate the kitchen within the large open area.

Maximizing Lighting for an Open Feel

Proper lighting is key to making your open family room-kitchen bright and airy. Lighting design ideas include:

Add More Windows

  • Skylights or clerestory windows for overhead natural light
  • Bay windows over sink provide views and light
  • Consider knocking out wall for picture window

Update Fixtures

  • Use same fixtures in both rooms for unified style
  • Pendants work well over islands and sinks
  • Recessed lighting prevents dark corners
  • Undercabinet lights illuminate counters

Layer Light Sources

  • Combine overhead, task, and accent lighting
  • Swap out any dated fluorescent boxes
  • Dimmer switches for adjusting mood
  • Uplighting and sconces can provide ambiance

Reflective Surfaces

  • Light cabinetry, mirrored backsplashes, glass cabinet doors
  • Glossy countertops like quartz reflect light
  • Use a light, bright color palette

Proper lighting transforms the space, making it feel open, airy, and luxurious.

Creating a Seamless Transition Between Rooms

A successful open concept family room-kitchen remodel has a seamless transition between the spaces. Design elements to promote flow:

Consistent Finishes

Using the same materials in both rooms, like unified flooring, countertops, cabinetry, and lighting fixtures, makes the division seamless.

Open Doorways

Removing physical barriers like walls and doors improves traffic flow and sightlines.

Continuous Decor

Carry decorative elements like accent colors, patterns, and materials throughout. For example, use wallpaper or backsplash tile in both rooms.

Complementary Style

While the rooms serve different purposes, keeping the overall style cohesive prevents disjointed feel. Don’t mix farmhouse kitchen with industrial family room.

Overlapping Functionality

Features like a large kitchen island with seating promote natural transitions between cooking, conversing, dining, and lounging.

Blending form and function between rooms creates a harmonious, unified environment. The transition should feel intentional but subtle.

Adding an Adjoining Breakfast Nook

For homes without space for a separate dining room, incorporating a breakfast nook alongside the open family room-kitchen is a great option.

Benefits of a Breakfast Nook

  • Saves space over formal dining room
  • Cozy spot for casual meals and morning coffee
  • Visually separates kitchen and family areas
  • Brings in natural light with window seats

Design Considerations

  • Locate out of high traffic areas
  • Allow enough clearance from kitchen work areas
  • Built-in banquettes with storage maximize space
  • Coordinate lighting, flooring, accents with rest of open space

Nook Inspiration

  • Exposed brick wall adds character
  • Rustic wood banquette seating
  • Vibrant patterned tile underfoot
  • Dramatic pendant lighting overhead

A thoughtfully designed breakfast nook provides a functional dining zone within your open concept floor plan. Keep the finishes cohesive with your family room-kitchen aesthetic.

Incorporating an Inviting Fireplace

Adding a fireplace adjacent to the kitchen is an excellent way to delineate the family room space while also promoting flow between rooms.

Positioning the Fireplace

  • Locate diagonally from kitchen island or peninsula
  • Place in view of kitchen sink or prep area
  • Separate from major traffic lanes
  • Allow space for furniture grouping in front

Fireplace Design Options

Masonry – Brick, stacked stone, or modern concrete have natural texture

Electric – Lower maintenance, ventless, and thermostat-controlled

Gas – Quick ignition, real flame ambiance, and heat efficiency

Wood Burning – Classic, rustic appeal but needs ample ventilation

Finishing Touches

  • Extend family room flooring material in front
  • Incorporate fireplace colors and materials elsewhere
  • Add built-in shelving flanking fireplace
  • Cozy furnishings like sectionals or recliners
  • Mount TV above mantel for media room feel

A fireplace handsomely defines the family living space within the open floor plan. Choose a style that complements your kitchen finishes.

Upgrading Appliances for Modern Convenience

The kitchen is the heart of the home, so investing in high-end appliances during your remodel is a smart move that pays dividends for years to come.

Key Appliances to Upgrade

  • Refrigerator – Counter-depth, french-door, integrated panels to match cabinets
  • Range – Dual fuel, induction cooktop, or commercial-grade for avid cooks
  • Oven – Double wall oven, steam or convection features
  • Microwave – Built-in with vent hood, at eye level for convenience
  • Dishwasher – Quiet operation, hidden controls, upper rack adjustability
  • Small Appliances – Warming drawer, undercounter refrigerator, wine cooler

Design Considerations

  • Select coordinating brands and finishes
  • Place microwave at reachable height, not above range
  • Include luxury features like glass fronts, cool handles
  • Plan ahead for needed wiring, ventilation, cabinet space

Investing in high-performance, durable appliances elevates the functionality and enjoyment of your kitchen for years to come.

Incorporating Clever Cabinets and Storage

Cabinetry plays a huge functional and aesthetic role in open concept kitchens. Smart storage solutions keep the space organized and clutter-free.

Cabinet Design Tips

  • Match existing cabinet footprint or reconfigure layout
  • Create visual harmony with consistent style and finishes
  • Glass-front uppers expand space; solid lower cabinets anchor

Storage Solutions

  • Roll-out shelves and interior organizers optimize drawers
  • Cookie sheet dividers, spice racks, and pull-out pantries
  • Built-in charging station, cleaning supply cubbies
  • Butler’s pantry with wine fridge and beverage center

Accent Features

  • Glass fronts, frosted glass, or open shelving
  • Undercabinet lighting illuminates workspaces
  • Unique hardware like black iron pulls or satin brass
  • Custom built-in niche for cookbooks or decor

Creative cabinetry elevates your whole kitchen-family room remodel. Consult cabinet designers to customize smart storage solutions.

Selecting Statement Lighting Fixtures

From sleek pendant lights to opulent chandeliers, statement light fixtures help define the style of your open concept kitchen and family room.

Kitchen Pendant Lights

  • Cluster over islands and peninsulas
  • Complementary metal finishes tie together mixed fixtures
  • Suspended low over prep areas or bar height for visual interest
  • Transitional options like drum pendants work in varied decors

Dining Chandeliers

  • Make a bold style statement with an ornate fixture
  • Large scale works well over open floor plans
  • Check for proper ceiling height and elevation
  • Finish should complement other metals and lighting

Sconces and Accent Lighting

  • Flank a fireplace or line hallways
  • Undercabinet lighting illuminates task areas
  • Recessed cans brighten whole space without glare
  • Picture lights highlight artwork

Pro lighting elevates the entire look and function of your open concept rooms. Meet with designers to choose perfect signature pieces.

Infusing Personality With Color and Decor

Thoughtful decorating choices add warmth, texture, and personality to your open family room-kitchen layout. Ideas include:

Paint Color Scheme

  • Limit palette to 2-3 complementary hues
  • Neutral backdrop with bold accent walls
  • Tie rooms together with shared wall colors
  • Add visual interest with varied sheens

Fun Wallpaper

  • Line backsplash or cover focal wall
  • Geometric, floral, or nature-inspired patterns
  • Contrast more neutral cabinetry and counters
  • Carry into powder room for harmonious look

Meaningful Artwork

  • Gallery wall above fireplace
  • Sculptures on kitchen island
  • Oversize mirror expands light and space

Cozy Textures

  • Layer rugs underfoot in seating areas
  • Add pillows, throws, drapes for softness
  • Natural greenery and wood accents
  • Display cherished accessories and travel mementos

Purposefully decorate the newly opened, unified space to give it warmth and personality that reflects who you are.

Creating a Spa-Like Master Bathroom Escape

After completing your major kitchen-family room remodel, consider refreshing connecting spaces like the master bathroom. A spa-like bathroom retreat offers a calming complement to the highly functional kitchen.

Soothing Color Palette

  • Whites, grays, and neutral tones are relaxing
  • Accent with nature-inspired greens, blues, browns

Spa Elements

  • Soaking tub, waterfall shower, and double vanities
  • Heated floors, towel racks, and toilet seats
  • Soft towels, robes, slippers

Tranquil Textures

  • Matte stone or marble surfaces
  • Gauzy shower curtain and towels
  • Plush bathmats and rugs

Luxurious Details

  • Dimmer switches, makeup mirrors, and built-ins
  • High-end faucets, showerheads, and lighting

By infusing luxury, comfort, and tranquility into your master bathroom design, you create a restful retreat that compliments your vibrant open kitchen-family room space.

Before and After Pictures for Inspiration

Seeing dramatic before and after photos can help you envision the possibilities for updating your own home. Below are family room-kitchen remodel transformations:

This dated, cramped kitchen was expanded by removing walls and adding an island. The peninsula and new hardwoods help delineate kitchen from living room. Crisp white cabinetry keeps it light and bright.

[Before Photo]

[After Photo]

Dark oak cabinets and a wall divided this 1990s kitchen and family room. Knocking down the wall opened up the space. In the remodel, limestone floors flow throughout while new oversized island serves as eat-in dining space.

[Before Photo]

[After Photo]

The previous layout of this home had a closed off kitchen and disconnected family room. Combining the two into an open great room illuminated with natural light transformed the space into a contemporary, inviting gathering area for entertaining.

[Before Photo]

[After Photo]

This renovated home features a fresh color scheme of blues, grays, and white. Crisp shaker style cabinetry complements the traditional moldings while the integrated appliances, marble counters, and statement lighting keep it current. Removing walls united kitchen and living areas.

[Before Photo]

[After Photo]

FAQs About Family Room-To-Kitchen Remodels

  1. How much does it cost to knock down a wall between rooms?

Knocking down a standard non load-bearing wall costs $800-$2,500. Removing a load-bearing wall is $2,000-$10,000. Get structural engineer assessment first.

  1. What is usually the biggest cost in a kitchen remodel?

Cabinetry is often the biggest expense, followed by installation labor, countertops, appliances and flooring. Developing a detailed budget is key.

  1. Should I remodel my kitchen and family room at the same time?

Yes, combining kitchen and family room remodels allows you to create a cohesive, integrated great room tailored to exactly how your family lives. It is also more cost effective to tackle together.

  1. How do I add value by opening up rooms?

Removing walls to create open concept living is one of the top remodel projects to get a high return on investment. Home buyers and sellers respond well to integrated living spaces.

  1. How do I choose appliances for my remodel?

Make a list of how you use your kitchen, then select appliances with the right mix of performance, convenience, smart features, capacities and configurations to match your lifestyle and space.

  1. Should I reface or replace cabinets?

If cabinets are structurally sound, refacing with new doors, drawer fronts and finishes can transform look for less cost. For severely damaged or outdated cabinets, replacement may be better option.


Combining a family room, kitchen, and dining area into one open concept great room creates welcoming, functional space for gathering, cooking, and connecting. Knocking down dividing walls opens up the rooms while new unified finishes and decor allow the spaces to flow together seamlessly. Strategically incorporating built-ins like kitchen islands and fireplaces delineate zones while promoting flow. Dramatic before and after remodels showcase the possibilities for customizing an ideal open concept living space perfect for entertaining family and friends.