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Friday, June 19, 2009

Adding an Arch

When my husband and I first moved into our home last summer the kitchen was the one space that I felt needed the least amount of change. There was only one issue that was truly an eye sore and that was a small rectangular opening between the kitchen and living room. The opening was approximately 40" high by 50" wide and it is located directly in front of the kitchen sink. When you look through the opening you can see our living room space and past that, you see through the patio door into the backyard. On the living room side of this opening there is a small granite bar where people can sit and use a lap top computer or eat a casual meal.
I told my husband that we needed to arch that opening and he agreed that it might look a little bit better but he couldn't understand the full reason that I wanted the opening arched. One challenge that I noticed straight away is that our kitchen has a ceiling height of 9'0" while the living room ceiling height is 12'0" -- a difference of three feet! So, with this low opening it often felt that the kitchen was a small cave compared to the living room. I knew that opening up the space with a soft arch would alleviate that visual issue and it would make the transition from the kitchen to the living room more smooth and visually pleasing. I knew the change would also FEEL better.
Even I was surprised by the massive difference this small change made in not only our kitchen but also our living room. As neighbors came to visit and see the new arch they too were blown away. My husband instantly became a believer in small changes making a huge difference in the aesthetics and comfort of a space.
In an effort to add more lighting to our living room we added wall-mounted sconces to each side of the arch on the living room side. These sconces are on a dimmer and we often have just those lights on late at night to create a relaxing, soft, and sometimes romantic atmosphere.
When we first moved into our home every single wall in the entire house was painted a simple yellow beige color that is actually not an unattractive color but in this house it blends almost seamlessly with the mill work and therefore there is no contrast between cabinetry and the walls which results in a very monotonous look. When the arch was added we painted the kitchen a dark copper red hue so that there would be more contrast from the wall color to the cabinetry and the result is a cozy, warm environment for not only cooking but also eating casual meals.
The living room will be painted entirely (someday!) but for the now only the wall with the arch has been painted a rich ashy brown, this is still a somewhat neutral color selection but most importantly it allows the viewer to clearly see the boundaries from walls to mill work and built-in cabinetry.
So, what's next on the project list? Well, we just finished our master bathroom so I will be posting that next week and we also hired a closet designer for our master closet -- photos and comments to come...
As always, questions and comments are much appreciated and always welcome!

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