November 6, 2013

Here is part III of our kitchen face lift. Read the first two posts here and here. We are still waiting for our new counters and backsplash to be installed so today I’m going to show you how we rearranged the upstairs to make things much more practical for our family of three.

Our living room has already been through quite a bit of change since we moved in over two years ago. We only really use it when we entertain because it’s not the best room for reading or playing. When we first moved in it had more lamps and tables and chairs:


A few weeks ago it was in a cozier arrangement with seating around an ottoman I had slipcovered via Etsy.


Before Mazen arrived and before we replaced the light fixture, this is what our dining room looked like:


After the new light:


Since the first time we set foot in our house I have wanted to reverse the living and dining rooms. But once we got our table inside, we realized it fit just fine and that was that.

But once Mazen was old enough to move, I started to realize why everyone on HGTV is obsessed with open kitchens. Our porch acts an upstairs living area in the warmer months, but it’s still hard to see Mazen while I’m cooking through the door. And with the winter coming, I knew we’d need a better upstairs play area.

A few weeks ago I actually pushed the dining table over and made a play area on the other side of the dining room. But it was cramped and just didn’t feel right. Plus our table was only partly functional if we had more than 2 people over and we had to sit two on one side so we weren’t both in arm’s reach of Mazen at the table.

SO, when we moved the dining room table into the living room to have the cabinets painted, I knew it had to stay. It looked so majestic there, covered in kitchen stuff and all!



When it was time to put the “dining room” back together…


We did a switch-a-roo


I LOVE the table in its new space. It’s more open and airy and fits the formality of the room with all of its glass front cabinets.


Eating dinner in here is way more fun than I imagined. It’s cozy at night with the curtains closed and the twinkling IKEA lights on top of our bookcases. I can’t wait to host Thanksgiving this year!


I have actually moved a few of the chairs around since taking these photos so there is even more space. The Queen chair is now next to the couch in the living area for an extra conversation seat.



The living room change has been equally as fun


I love having all the space for Mazen to play while I am in the kitchen.


And it has also been awesome to have the couch next to the kitchen. We used to sit at the dining room table while one person was cooking and the other chatting, but now we get to lounge on the couch, so it’s much more comfortable and inviting. 

M’s highchair lives in the kitchen. I usually eat breakfast on the couch while he does and eat my lunch during his nap. For dinners we bring his high chair into the dining room. It’s a 10 foot walk, so it’s no big deal to move. Once he is older we’ll probably leave his seat in there to eat all meals at the table. Maybe we’ll even switch the rooms back by that time!


I bought another one of Ballard Designs’ easy-clean outdoor rugs with a lush pad underneath for playing. I wish I had bought a bigger size (I bought it thinking it would just take up half the room) but it’s big enough to work for now.


I am getting new covers for pillows on the couch (these purple ones are Karen’s from 1990-something) and I’ll show final photos of the space when this whole project is done! Counters in T-1 week!


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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jess November 6, 2013 at 9:30 am

Looks great! I love the modern light fixtures and the openness…makes me long for the day when I can move out of the city and into a house. Open kitchens are really rare in France (they’re called American kitchens here actually!), but I think they’re slowly becoming more popular. Fingers crossed!


2 Jennifer November 6, 2013 at 9:38 am

Love it! Though I must admit, I’ve never really seen a kitchen fan in a dining room, but it looks great!


3 Jennifer November 6, 2013 at 9:38 am

not “kitchen fan” but a fan in general :) It really does create an open/airy feel!


4 KathEats November 6, 2013 at 10:41 am

I hadn’t thought about switching it with The shade because we might switch this all back in a year or less. But it might be easy enough to do


5 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats November 6, 2013 at 9:41 am

Thst’s really smart to switch the rooms! At my house growing up our kitchen had a breakfast area and it was connected to the dining room, so I have no idea what my mom did about watching us!


6 Brittany @ The Fit Phoenician November 6, 2013 at 9:41 am

Your house is super cute!!! I love! :)
Mazen is adorable looking around the corner there…


7 Laura November 6, 2013 at 9:52 am

Where are you getting pillow covers? We just ordered some but they are super scratchy – looking something more soft and couch cuddle worthy :)


8 KathEats November 6, 2013 at 10:43 am

I got burlap from etsy so mine are a bit scratchy too!


9 Jennifer November 6, 2013 at 9:55 am

Looks good and I’m sure it will be much more functional for your family arranged in that way. I love when that happens. Are you going to switch the fan and the light? I think that green light looked so good above your dining room table and since a fan isn’t really functional in a dining area, that would make sense. And it should be an easy swap.

Can’t wait to see the kitchen!


10 KathEats November 6, 2013 at 10:40 am

It didn’t occur to me to switch them but we might consider that now!


11 Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries November 6, 2013 at 10:18 am

Love the change! Seems to be much more practical for your life with a little guy right now.


12 Melissa November 6, 2013 at 10:22 am

I love how everything looks, especially your lighting fixtures! Looks so modern and fun.


13 Kristilyn (Reading in Winter) November 6, 2013 at 10:33 am

So …. what’s with the cat on someone’s head in your old living room picture? That cracked me up!

Love the new design! Having the couch in the old dining room area as a play place for Mazen really makes sense, especially since you and Matt love to cook. Better to watch baby that way! :)


14 KathEats November 6, 2013 at 10:39 am

Mazen’s great grandmother was having fun!


15 Samantha November 6, 2013 at 10:52 am

I absolutely love your sense of style. The colors you have in your home are very inviting and calming. :) Love it!


16 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More November 6, 2013 at 11:10 am

It’s nice to have the option to move things around to work better for you now and know you can always change it back later.


17 Katie Brigstock November 6, 2013 at 11:25 am

looks gorgeous! xx


18 Debra Martin November 6, 2013 at 11:46 am

The switch looks great and will function well for all of you! You may have mentioned this before…but where did you get your dining room table and chairs. It’s exactly what I am looking for and have difficulty finding something that simple and ‘elegant’. Thanks!


19 KathEats November 6, 2013 at 12:19 pm

They are from Crate + Barrel circa 2007


20 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh November 6, 2013 at 11:53 am

Love that you found a new way to arrange the furniture that fits better into your needs for now. Personally I really like the green fixture over the dining room table but understand if flip flopping isn’t high on the priority list right now. 😉 Can’t wait to see the rest!


21 Brittany November 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I’m loving the furniture switch it looks great! Not sure if you’re aware but the ad showing up at the bottom of your posts is for McDonalds. I have seen it many times before too.


22 Jessica November 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Hi Kath! I love the changes you are doing and agree that if it’s easy enough to do switching the ceiling fan and dining room light would be a nice idea. My main question though is do you know the paint color in your old living room/new dining room? I love the freshness of the aqua blue and would like to do a few rooms in that color.


23 KathEats November 6, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I can’t think of it off the top of my head but it’s definitely on my Home Neat Home page (wOuld link but I am on my phone)


24 Jessica November 6, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Benjamin Moore Robin’s Egg Blue. Thanks!


25 KathEats November 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm

That’s it! Back in my short term memory : )


26 Livi November 6, 2013 at 1:36 pm

it looks so bright and crisp! Love it!


27 Annie November 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I love rearranging furniture! A couple of suggestions, if I may:
Could you use those two Queen Ann chairs in your dining room as the end chairs for your dining room table? I can’t tell if they’re high enough for the table.

Also, it might be fun to use the ottoman as a sort of ottoman/coffee table with your couch. Something to put a magazine or book or plate on while you’re sitting on the couch. It could easily be moved to the side when Mazen is playing or for guests to use as seating. It also looks like any chairs from the dining room (Queen Ann chair, for example) could easily be brought into the family room for additional seating.

You would also be surprised at how easy it is to switch out lighting fixtures—-and what great deals you can get. When we renovated a house we had to prepare to sell it, we modernized a lot of the lighting and I kicked myself for not doing it sooner. It made a huge difference and was not a big investment. Super easy for an electrician to do too. :)


28 KathEats November 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Good suggestions! I tried the Queen chairs at the dining table and the one with arms doesn’t fit underneath (so it sticks out). I have the smaller one in the living area now as an extra seat – you’re right that they are great to move in.

Good suggestion with the ottoman. I haven’t done that before because I thought it might block the walking path through, but I’ll test it out soon


29 Williamsburg Baby November 6, 2013 at 2:02 pm

It’s funny how before I had a baby I was always like, “I would never change my home/design aesthetic for kids! I will just teach them boundaries.” Now I am much more pragmatic, like when I see a standing lamp I just think about how tippy it would be, or when I see silk throw pillows I think of spills and little paws. I guess I will get to redecorate when the boys are a bit older and past the sticky phase. Obviously, boundaries are easier to set when a child is fully verbal. Our living room is definitely doubling as a play space too, and I don’t want it to be full of things I have to say “no” about all the time.


30 Chelsea @ TableForOne November 6, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Your new dinning arrangement does look so inviting and cozy! It is the perfect place to host a dinner party. You did a fantastic job on the remodel.


31 Tracy November 6, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Love the switch…so smart!! I know what you mean about HGTV open floor plans. Every once in a while I’ll see an episode in which the couple thinks a floor plan is TOO open and I’m thinking “WHAT??” Crazy! We did a major main floor remodel to open our kitchen. Best decision ever and money well spent.


32 Rachel November 6, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I love that Ballard Designs rug! We haven’t pulled the trigger yet b/c I was worried about it not being cushy enough. Where did you get your lush pad for underneath, if you don’t mind me asking? Thanks! :)


33 KathEats November 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm

From Ballard itself


34 Joanna November 6, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Wow, looks great! So you’ve been happy with the Ballard Design rugs? We’re considering one of them, but the indoor/outdoor looks like it may not be the most comfortable for sitting/playing.


35 KathEats November 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Yes, I’ve been happy. They are SO easy to clean. I have a thicker pad underneath that helps cushion it


36 Joanna November 7, 2013 at 9:28 am

Cool, thanks Kath!


37 [email protected] November 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Love it! It looks great! It is nice to have a sofa near the kitchen were people can sit comfortably and chat…especially with a baba running around! Can’t wait to see the next kitchen update!


38 Jesse November 6, 2013 at 3:42 pm

looks great, kath. and makes so much more sense for you family. i wish our kitchen opened into our living room. i keep a stack of toys in our kitchen and dining room so atticus can play while we cook. but i constantly feel like too many toys are everywhere. here’s hoping our next house has a more suitable floor plan.


39 emily November 6, 2013 at 5:17 pm

It looks great so far! It’s crazy how much cozier it seems with the rooms switched.


40 Ashley Saul November 6, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Love the new spaces!


41 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs November 6, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Looks good! Practicality for the win! :)


42 carrie November 6, 2013 at 8:36 pm

I wish I could hire you to help with my house : )


43 Chrissy November 7, 2013 at 12:22 am

Brilliant! I love switching things around in my house too. It almost feels like having new stuff. Silly question: are your curtains two different sizes, lengths, and colors? I think your cool new dining room would look super cohesive with window treatments that are the same. I’m not a designer, but I have a degree from HGTV!


44 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner November 7, 2013 at 8:56 am

My eyes keep being drawn to that awesome green light. I love it! Your space looks very comfy.


45 mollie November 7, 2013 at 9:02 am

looks good! if you decide to keep the switch permanent, a sleek, slender sectional may look good there too and be super functional!


46 Sara November 7, 2013 at 9:10 am

I need a runner for my hallway (and a new rug for our kitchen) that isn’t too costly and the cats won’t claw up. Do you think this rug can hold up against cat claws? I can’t tell on their website, but I saw it was pet-friendly. I know you don’t have indoor pets, but I thought I’d ask! Does it have loops that could easy pull? Thanks!


47 KathEats November 7, 2013 at 10:19 am

I’m not sure. It does fray around the edges just a LITTLE. My guess would be that they would be able to fray it


48 Leslie November 7, 2013 at 9:29 am

I made that switch about 5 years ago and have never looked back. Our former dining room is now our “cozy room” or reading room with a love seat and two chairs all from Ikea (and a coffee table, console table and ottoman). It gets used all the time!
Our dining room used to feel so tiny and cramped but now that our table is in the old living room it is so spacious. It still makes me happy every time I walk into my house! You are lucky though, in that you had ceiling lighting in both rooms. We only had it in the (old) dining room and have tried to figure out what to do for years. We have lamps and I love candles, but this year by BFF and her hubby made me a knock off Pottery Barn candle chandelier and now the room is complete!


49 Kristen November 7, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Arent you worried your couch is going to absorb food smells? Looks comfy though!


50 KathEats November 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm

no, not at all. Sticky fingers, probably, but our kitchen isn’t really that full of smells


51 Anna @ Fitness à la Anna November 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm

You’re right – it really does look majestic! And it seems like a much better flow to your current lifestyle. So awesome that renos in another area of the house was the inspiration for you guys to switch it up :)


52 Neil Butterfield November 8, 2013 at 2:05 am

Wow! You have a stunning looking home. Lovely :-)


53 Alex @ Kenzie Life November 10, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Gosh I love your house. I know I’ve said it a lot, but I love your style.


54 Melinda December 4, 2013 at 9:40 am

It looks really nice. What I especially like is the black ‘n’ white armchair. Actually I like the design of the whole room. Good job!


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