Many houses have floor plans that don’t work very well. In the case of this project, the first problem is a nice living room disconnected from the rest of the house. (You have to go through the vestibule to get to the living room and the vestibule is not very big, especially if you include a coat tree and shoe storage. When I arrived and saw the space it also became clear that the kitchen/ diningroom connection could also be improved, as well as kitchen storage and counter space.
The budget isn’t grand, but a lot can be gained with a few small changes.
We will close the opening between vestibule and dining room and open a bigger one directly from dining room to living room. Then we will eliminate a big chunk of hallway between kitchen and dining and use this space to expand the kitchen counter and add some dearly needed kitchen storage.
Someday things might shift back the other way, but for now, most people seem to prefer informal dining that is very connected to the kitchen.