We want to remodel our kitchen by removing/partially removing a weight-bearing wall between the kitchen and dining room. We would like the kitchen to be more of an open plan with more natural light. All appliances in the kitchen are due for replacement, so we will be starting fresh with all appliances, except our icemaker (under counter). The kitchen is 17' 4" wide by 16' 3" long. The dining room is 17'4" wide by 15' 6" long. There is a wall in between the kitchen and current dining room which currently has a small reach-in pantry and the space for a 48 inch refrigerator (which has expired, hence the open space in photos), plus an under cabinet/counter icemaker. This wall is about 13-14 feet in width, so it doesn't span the entire width of kitchen, but continues in front of the laundry room and garage entrance (not shown in photos). We would want to remove the majority of this wall to open up the space and get more light into the kitchen.
We want stainless steel appliances, granite or quartz countertop and more traditional cabinetry. I want colors more in the creams/light tans rather than a cold sterile black/white type color scheme. I do want the kitchen to have a light-filled open feel, but with a more traditional, but clean-lined look. I definitely need more counter space, especially in the cooking zone and would like more seating in the new kitchen, perhaps a bar/barstools or even a banquette/window seat area in old dining room. The current dining room has a door from the porch in addition to a couple of windows. We would like to remove the door and replace the entire area with new windows, with no entrance into the kitchen from the porch. Behind the kitchen is a laundry/mudroom with another entry door, so being able to enter the kitchen space from the exterior porch is not necessary. I prefer not to have the kitchen entirely divided with a large island, as that is one of the issues with the current kitchen - the island requires me to constantly walk around it to obtain dishes, utensils etc, do it makes the current kitchen not very functional. I do not need a desk/computer space in the kitchen. I would like some type of large appliance garage with a door that either lifts upward or doors that can be pushed back into the counter. This is the area where I envision having my blender, coffee pot, mixer etc., so it needs to be rather large, not your typical appliance garage size.
We are looking for high-end finishes and appliances, but affordability is still a consideration. We want to make the most practical, functional use of the space while adding openness and light to the kitchen and making it more functional for large groups for entertaining. I would also like a butler's pantry/serving area near the new dining room, which will be immediately adjacent to the kitchen in what is currently a formal living room. We plan to move the dining set over into that room to allow the kitchen expansion.