Asked on Sep 14, 2017

Fire Place so big and blocks Kitchen



I just bought this house with a huge fireplace. On the kitchen side very dark, and has an arch indent. Do you think we can knock out the brick so we have an open arch to the dining room side which has a lot of windows?
The Fireplace on dining room is to the very left (if facing the FP in the dining room) where the kitchen oven and stove is way to the opposite side.
This is when looking at the fireplace from the dining room side
Fireplace (or brick wall) on the kitchen side
12 answers
  • Janet Pizaro
    Janet Pizaro
    on Sep 14, 2017

    thats really very personal taste ,however my answer would be yes
  • Anything is possible. I would entertain bids from a few licensed contractors for options. Obviously there are utilities running through the wall which will need to be rerouted which may require construction elsewhere to accommodate your remodeling. Which in turn ups the price and scope of the project. Congratulations! Looks like a really beautiful home!
  • Pamela S Alexander
    Pamela S Alexander
    on Sep 15, 2017

    I would use the indent side as a wet bar by installing a sink and faucet. Then knock out an area next to the top of that sink and put in a countertop for setting drinks on while making them. Install racks to put wine glasses on (upside down so they hang by the stems).On the living room side I would make use of that loooong mantle and get some great pictures in frames (or if you collect put your treasures up there!) When the season changes get some silk flowers that drape and mix them in with your mantle display and let a few longer strands hang down on either side of the opening( make sure they are far enough to not catch fire!!)
    Maybe a family name made from light weight metal or wood to hang under the mantla but above the opening where the fire will be ( or above pictures or collectibles)Please post pictures so we can see what you decided on! I wouldn't tear too much out of the fire place as it could mess with the integrity of the entire fireplace- especially if it is on a weight bearing wall .

  • Dysko7710
    on Sep 15, 2017

    That brick indent and wall in the kitchen is gorgeous, but I see your dilemma of it blocking the rooms from one another. I wonder if you could compromise and have the wall made smaller, so you can keep the arch in the middle and maybe bring the brick wall down on either side to countertop level and create countertop on either side of the arch so you can entertain in the other room from the kitchen? Does that make sense? I hate to see you get rid of all of that gorgeous brick!
  • Cookiepusher
    on Sep 15, 2017

    keep that beautiful brick. remove that ugly to big mantle and put a thinner version up and antic the mantle to todays stains. for light in the kitchen a sky light would give you all the extra light you need if that part of the house is a single story. i had a home that had a 3ft sky light in the center of the kitchen over an island and just loved it .
    • Nilla Mordue
      Nilla Mordue
      on Sep 22, 2017

      yes.. removing that ugly big oak mantle hideous. I can't do a sky light as there is a room above the kitchen
  • Sandra Kessler
    Sandra Kessler
    on Sep 15, 2017

    WELL....... .hmmmm boy I thought about this. What I would do is get rid of that god awful mantel. To open it up since you are not using that fire place. I would knock that out, leaving a few bricks for a counter top, but on the bottom, a aquarium would really open it up on both side, plus fish entertain. Where you have the small counter in the kitchen I would extend the alcove, knock that brick out to make a counter on both sides. You would have to extent the alcove otherwise it would no look good. Man not sure why you would buy this, did you not see a actual display of this before you bought it? Down from the fire place is that a heater?
    If you plan on using your fireplace I mean really using it, I would still extent that alcove to make the counter bigger and on both sides, that way you can get rid of that least you have firewood Put a little fake Ivy around.
  • Creative Redesigns
    Creative Redesigns
    on Sep 17, 2017

    be positive about this structure it would cost a fortune to remove and it can be the awesome focus of the home !!! Habe fun with it it is a great conversation piece -
    here are some of my ideas
    1. do a paint wash of paint and water with a big sponge all over the brick both sides -to add some color but still let the stone come through -choose an earth tone like a taupe or grey soft brown or sage green they are earth tones that blend with any decor .
    2. get some various sized old multipane windows scratch the old paint and paint wash them with various shades of white let dry then scratch up some of the corners to look distressed
    add family photos inside random panes behind the glass ( do every pane or leave some open to see the brick )
    3. install the photo windows with cement screws to the brick on both of the more narrow ends of the structure vertically and horizontally over the mantel and you will have an interesting photo wall that will draw everyone to it , while minimizing the intensity of the structure .
    4. on the kitchen side create a wine rack inside the cut out arch and display your favorite wine bottles. Then to the right of it make and place a 4 ft long by 6 inch deep by the height you prefer of shelving that can hold wine themed items like a shadow box of corks ,A display of creative wine bottle openers ,
    Even wine glasses or cute sayings about eine drinking.
    5. for the mantel -leave it there maybe paint it a deep white tone and distress it - in fire place insert, place various tall heights of wide decorative white washed candle sticks and muliti heighted candles All white or ivory put a silver metal strip across the front on the bottom and and secure with a drill hole then cement screws then fill the bottom of the fireplace opening around the candle sticks with white rocks or stones add some pretty colored marbles for pop! ( stones buy by the bag at a Home Depot , marbles at a craft store ) This will Brigthen it up and also hold secure the bases of the candlesticks . Place very tall white washed candle sticks at the ends of the mantle and between them display collections of various framed family photos or pretty or unique old books.
    In the space above that mantel, use the horizontal window photo idea or place a sunburst mirror
    have fun with this make both sides a conversation !
  • Jan's Garden Art
    Jan's Garden Art
    on Sep 17, 2017

    With something so large - I would have to wonder if this replaced an ugly load-bearing wall. BEFORE YOU TOUCH THIS - Ask a professional, pay the $50 or whatnot to get an architect in there and check so that you don't accidentally cause 10's of thousands of dollars in damage.

  • Jmg27311926
    on Sep 17, 2017

    The masonry work is awesome and must have been very expensive to put in. I have no problem with the dining room not open to the kitchen. Who wants to see all the dirty pots and such? There's nothing like a separate dining room.
    • Elaine
      on Sep 18, 2017

      You bring up a good point! I have lived in MANY homes; some very open, some not so much and I'm back to a kitchen that's partially closed off - no more views of pots and pans sitting out AND less kitchen noise drifting into the living room!

      I love that brick wall but would only install a mantel over the actual fireplace opening. I'd have a rustic railway tie installed; quite chunky so it balances all that brick but no ugly brackets such as in the photos. That mantel is criminal! 😳
  • Elaine
    on Sep 18, 2017

    That is a beautiful wall with beautiful brick! However, I understand your complaint. Before you do anything, find out if this is a load-bearing wall. If I couldn't reduce the wall in some form, the very first thing I'd do is remove that mantel. It's overwhelming! PLEASE go on Houzz and type in something like: "how to change a brick fireplace" or "brick fireplace ideas" and see what pops up. If it were mine, I would only have a (rustic) mantel over the actual fireplace then work from there. Houzz will have lots of pictures for inspiration but check out on that wall first. Good luck.
  • Christierei
    on Sep 19, 2017

    Do these open spaces have a function ? Are there electrical outlets for television, microwave etc ? What is the function of the arch area ? Consider hiring a professional decorator / designer. Create a plan even if you can't do it all at once. The light fixtures on the brick wall are way to small. Scale those up, especially in the kitchen. The dining area seems to be a wall of windows. Is the kitchen that dark ? Or, is it dark compared to the room with a wall of windows ?
    The mantel seems weird to me. It is too big, too yellow and the supports are weird. It's gotta go. What is the furniture like ? Some greyed wicker chairs would be cool. You have space for some cool architectural salvage pieces on that big wall.
  • Sharon
    on Sep 23, 2017

    If that arch in the kitchen is right behind that fire box on the other side, chances are you won't be able to punch through as its the chimney/firebox behind the arch. Why are the wires coming out of the other side, were they going to put an electric unit in that firebox opening, and its a faux chimney, then you could punch through. I would try the city to see if they have plans on file when the permit was pulled. Then you will also know if its load bearing.
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