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Unread 03-11-2009, 09:54 AM   #8
CPA, Gee-tar Picker, Weekend Warrior
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Lake Forest Park, Washington
Posts: 26
Hi Matt,

We took out our kitchen wall to the ceiling, leaving a half wall to create an island 8' long. We drywalled, taped, mudded, and textured the gap, and the ceiling transition matches well enough to be virtually unnoticeable now--so you know it can be done. We WERE going to leave the wall header in place like Jeff suggested (nicely done there!) but we changed the kitchen dimensions and the header would not have matched the kitchen outline.

Our 8' island has the range in the middle and cabinets on either side. The half wall will support a breakfast bar 42" high and overhanging 12". Sounds like you could do a similar thing. We went with the raised bar because the extra height and shortened overhang on the living room side worked better for various reasons, and the extra few inches of wall above the counter top on the kitchen side allows for electrical outlets. We didn't like the idea of putting outlets directly in the counter top or on the sides of the cabinets.

Our roof is all trusses, too. I'm not an engineer, but from what I read, it seemed a good idea to tie my trusses together so as to help keep them from flexing sideways, since there was no longer a wall header under them. I went up in the attic and installed pairs of 10x1 boards screwed onto the bottom element of the trusses, all the way from one end of the roof to the other. This also provided a sort of catwalk for working up there. More like a catcrawl It's a little cramped up there...

Painting the kitchen a different different color might not be as difficult as it seems. Our newly-opened kitchen area ends with base and wall cabinets on one leg of the L, and it'll have a nice tiled backsplash all the way up to the bottom of the wall cabinet. So the only paint transition area will be between the top of the wall cabinet and the ceiling, which can be just a nice crisp line. The other leg of our L is a fridge and a wall, so that's a natural break. The ceiling can be painted one color throughout, or one can use molding, like a strip of S4S or some fancy profile, painted a contrasting color as a break.

I hope this helps with the ideas. Designing is almost as much fun as doing. Doing is more satisfying though...

"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana."
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