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Should I open up the wall between my living room and family room?

13 years ago

Here's my dilemma:

We moved into our traditional center hall colonial a year ago. The rooms are not very large and are laid out in typical center hall colonial fashion. Meaning, when you enter into the foyer, there's a formal living room on the left and a dining room on the right. If you walk further down the foyer, there's a family room on the left and the kitchen on the right. This puts the living room and the family room back to back with a wall in between. Currently, there's no doorway connecting the living room and the family room. If you need to enter either room, you need to go down the foyer. I hope it makes sense. This makes the layout really chopped up and everything's very boxy.

We are not formal ppl and at present, we don't use the living room at all. Its just a wasted, decorated space. We spend all our time in our small family room which we use primarily as a TV room. I've also noticed that when we entertain, everyone gravitates towards the kitchen or the family room. And no one wants to stay in the living room.

I am struggling to find a purpose for the formal living room and have now started toying with the idea of opening up the wall in between both the rooms to make it into one open concept room. If not taking down the entire wall, I am atleast considering putting in a very large doorway (maybe even an archway) of maybe 11 to 13 feet feet width. We have large gatherings (I am talking about 30+ ppl) a couple of times a year and I don't know how I am going to accomodate so many people in this house. I am thinking that if I open up the two spaces, then there will be a better flow and more people using both the rooms.

My biggest concern is

1) losing the identity of two rooms and having only one large room. It would work for us but in the area where I live, every house has a separate living room and family room. I worry about it from a real estate standpoint and am afraid about it hurting future sale of the home. For this reason, I want to keep some kind of separation (hence the thought of putting in a doorway rather than taking down the whole wall) but at the same time, creating an open floor plan of sorts.

2) I am worried if it will go against the integrity of the design and architecture of a traditional center hall colonial.

3) I am also worried about decorating two rooms which are now open to one another to make them look cohesive and flow together, losing wall space, how to position furniture etc but this is something I can eventually sort out, I guess.

I am looking for any advice, thoughts or insights. Should I do it? Will it hurt us from a real estate stand point? Would really appreciate all your suggestions and help. BTW, I have no idea how to post pics or I would post some of my home. I found a link to a blog which explains what I am thinking of doing. This is NOT my home. I am not sure if its ok to post a blog link here. But here goes...

In the above link, they have almost taken down the entire wall. I am not planning to do that - More like put in a giant archway or doorway of about 13 feet wide. What do you think?

Sorry for the long post and Thanks in advance :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Opening up the wall

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