Converting a Wall into a Dining Peninsula
One of the downsides of buying a home that has just been renovated is that you are left with the previous owner’s design choices. This was the case with the kitchen in the house we bought earlier this year. While we liked the kitchen’s stainless appliances and granite counters, one thing stuck out like a sore thumb — the bar height wall dividing the kitchen from the front living space.
What’s the point of a wall this high and narrow? For us, it became a dumping ground for recyclables on their way outside and mail waiting to be sorted. It was too narrow to eat on and there wasn’t enough space to put a table on the kitchen side.
We also faced another issue — where do we eat? There really is no dining room in the house. It’s a sideways cape with a very compartmentalized layout. Some of our neighbors have transformed one of the two main level bedrooms into dining rooms, but we needed both of the bedrooms for our kids.
So our solution? Tear down the half wall and replace it with a dining peninsula topped with granite to match the kitchen.
After hearing rave reviews on the local listserv for the contractor Beverley Thomas, LLC, we contacted the owner Tom Bijak for an estimate. A week or so later, Tom’s crew came to the house to do the work — cutting down the wall to counter height, adding the proper supports for the new slab of granite and creating a custom storage shelf. They also added new shoe molding and repainted the wall to match our existing wall color (which we didn’t have). I coordinated the installation of the granite after the framing was done, finding the matching stone (Yukon White) at Home Depot.
We LOVE the new dining peninsula. At 6×3 feet, it’s larger than our dining table at our previous house. It’s the perfect size for a family or four (with room for a few more) to eat, do homework or play games. The front door just barely misses one of the stools, so when we are all here, we have to keep it closed.
Tom’s crew also built a custom shelf on the right side for storing the mail and small kitchen items. I found the counter height stools at World Market.
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