Open spaces have become the norm as more architects, interior designers, and contractors incorporate the concept of an open layout in residential and commercial designs. Open floor plans actually began as an economical option and have morphed into a preferred way of living in today’s fast-paced world, becoming a favorite layout among many homeowners and corporations. There are benefits to an open space such as creating a connection between 2 spaces, increased social interaction, easier entertaining, more natural light, safety (keeping an eye on kids if you have children), and a link to nature through views to the outdoors.
An open floor plan is great for small spaces making them feel larger, airier, and brighter. But what if you want to open up your space without tearing down walls? If the wall is a partition wall that doesn’t support the roof and upper floors, it is much easier to create an open layout. Partition walls provide no structural support and are used simply to divide a large space into smaller spaces so the entire wall can be taken down. If the wall is a load bearing wall, it is a bit trickier and you will need to consult a structural engineer. A load bearing wall is a structural wall that carries the weight of your house from the roof and upper floors all the way to the foundation so it’s something you wouldn’t want to tackle modifying yourself.
If you don’t have the option of tearing down an entire wall, you can create a pass-through which is essentially a small or large opening in the existing wall. If you have a wall separating the kitchen from the dining room and you want to allow light to flow between the rooms or you want more social interaction making it easier to entertain guests, you can create an opening in the wall that allows you to see into the dining room or into the next room from the kitchen. You can add a peninsula or counter in the kitchen leading into the other room with bar stools or custom cabinetry on the other side of the pass-through. Or, you can create a pass-through from your kitchen leading to the outside patio. The most common pass-through is an opening from the kitchen into the next room which could be a living room or dining room.
I highly recommend hiring a contractor or handyman to help you create a pass-through, especially if it is a load bearing wall. Again, please consult a structural engineer if you plan on modifying a structural wall.
If you are ready to start opening up your space, then check out some images of pass-through’s to inspire and motivate you!