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desperately seeking design help! kitchen and eat in area

I've posted this on several different forums and haven't gotten any feedback. I know it's a lot of questions, but I can't wrap my mind around what I need to do and it's consuming my thought process!
My house is an old 1 story farmhouse. It is very small, around 1000 square feet with 2 small bedrooms and 1 small bath, a den off to the side and another den/office at the front, The kitchen is around 12x12 and there's another room off of the kitchen that is the exact replica of the kitchen (size/shape wise). It's the center of the house, but has little purpose currently, other than connecting the other rooms and it also houses the monstrosity that heats the house! It's is a giant freestanding propane heater, with a lovely metal stovepipe chimney! For at least the short term, this will likely have to stay here. However, I am open to ANY suggestions on an alternative!
Also, for the short term, the wall between here and the kitchen will stay, but I am interested in removing it. In my design challenged mind, I think removing the wall and making the kitchen ALL kitchen, no dining-but just work space, and making this "middle room" dining is the best option. A) Is that a good plan at all? B) That can't happen right away, so is it still a viable solution to move the dining to the middle room and put an island or some other workspace in the kitchen?
I am going to replace all of the carpet and the kitchen in the next few weeks with hard wood (all the same). I would also like to paint the "middle room". The kitchen has just been painted. The walls are Benjamin Moore French White at the top with white bead board and trim and the cabinets are BM Blue Danube. the den is a very light blue/gray. Suggestions on paint color also please.
This is a lot of questions, but I'm driving myself insane!!!! I've lived here for some time, with the future plan always to be to do something different, but this is my husband's family farm and it looks like we are staying, so I'm hoping that I can make this a home that I will love. Any help is appreciated. There is nothing you can that will offend or hurt my feelings... so give me all you've got!
Pictures of the actual rooms are included, as well as a very rough (advance apologies ) floor plan that I drew to help visualize.
Also, for more info: the existing table I will probably keep, and the size is comparable to the amount of space taken up by the green chairs. I am also wanting to get new chairs. The dining table is drop leaf and dark wood, needs refinishing, and has a matching glass front china cabinet. The giant eyesore gun safe is also being relocated and also, this room is truly in the middle... there are no windows!

**I can not get the pictures to attach... here is my post on another site http://www.houzz.com/discussions/2884420/please-help-kitchen-dining-in-farmhouse-bungalow

Re: desperately seeking design help! kitchen and eat in area

I've quickly looked over the Houzz thread and I may answer you there again later if I get anymore thoughts as it is much easier to post inspiration photos over there and this is more of a construction than design site. I'm jhmarie over at Houzz:)

Even though you want to wait on the propane heater, you need to get some ideas and estimates from a few good heating companies about what can be done. Otherwise, you may work hard on a room or an area only to have to deconstruct to get the heating and cooling right. Since your house is small this might not be as expensive as you think.

Since this house has been handed down through the family, be sure things like electrical and plumbing are up to date. You do not want to tear down a wall and discover dangerous wiring and have to spend your money fixing it with none left to finish the remodel - so find out how those systems are and if you know they have not been updated in a long time then set some of your budget to deal with it.

Without a window, the middle room will be somewhat dark. It could be the dining room or it could become part hallway for the bedrooms and bath and part large pantry or butler's pantry because you have little storage in the kitchen and use the sunny end of the kitchen for a dining area.

The furnishings and built ins are very farmhouse and sweet. Look at "farmhouse style" and "cottage style" on Houzz and Pinterest and This Old House for color and decor ideas. Houzz photos tend to be more glam and trendy and Pinterest more original. Pull together some idea boards on both sites and see what colors you are drawn to. Also, slow down. Take it one step at a time. I am afraid the less glamorous need to check into systems and heating is first on the list.

Also - wait with the flooring - you are thinking of taking down a wall which will impact the flooring. Things have to be done in the right order.

Re: desperately seeking design help! kitchen and eat in area

The first step is to determine if the wall you want to remove is a load bearing wall or not. If it is not a load bearing wall, then you can remove it with not problem. It appears that the wall is running parallel and directly below the ridgeline of the roof and that most likely will be a load bearing wall. You can still remove it, but you will need to support the ridgeline of the roof and for that, you will need a structural engineer or architect to help you here.

If you can remove it, then I have a few suggestions. I would put the refrigerator where the sink is. Put the stove centered between the porch door and the wall with cabinets on either side. The wall between the kitchen and the bedroom would also be cabinets. Then put a diner type counter between the kitchen and the middle room. But I would move the counter in so that the kitchen would only be about 8' wide and give the space to the middle room.

The sink would go in the counter on the kitchen side. The counter would be a two or three level counter, normal on the kitchen side with the sink, then a center section that is quite high and about 6-10" wide atop a 2x4 wall and then an eating counter that is below the center section and at an appropriate height for the counter stools. The center section would hold all the condiments and other stuff. Or you could use a two level counter system that is popular today.

The nice thing about this design is that you clean up after a meal very quickly by passing the dishes directly to the sink and or dishwasher. Between the counter and the table, you could serve a very large party. The rest of the wall between the fridge and the wall to the center room could be a nice pantry. Put a window over the stove to the porch that you could use as a pass thru for even more guests (enclosed porch?).

This would be a very ambitious plan as you would need to relocate electrical and plumbing and that means opening up the walls and the floors. While they are open, you can upgrade insulation as well.

For heating and cooling, it looks like a mini-split heat pump might be your best solution. You could also use a gas pack if you run your distribution trunk up the outside wall to the attic. That would have to be well insulated.

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