This kitchen has been robbed! It’s been robbed of space.
Look carefully at the first picture. There is a patio door which swings inward towards the seating area. The wall juts out about 3″, then has a brick fireplace surround that again juts out about 4-6″, if you measure at the mantle. Thennnnnn, the hearth, which not only juts out even further about 11″ but is also about 8″ high. That’s a total of 19″ that is coming out to meet the door that swings towards it.
On the other side, you can see a beautiful large island maybe 3′ away caddy corner from the door, but only about 1′ away from the door’s walking path. With the stools, however, you’re right on the walking path of people coming in and out. Every finish is coming towards each other like a perfect storm.
Now imagine, having a table there with the brick fireplace, while entertaining your family and friends with a cookout. Can you imagine the flow of traffic? You’ll also be limited at the size and shape of the kitchen table.
However, just by removing the bricks and using a flat surround and lowering the hearth so that it’s flushed to the floor, you gain that 19″ back and then some. You ‘re now able to move your larger kitchen table closer to the fireplace.
Replacing the single hinge door with a sliding door would also give a better flow for traffic. Even just reversing the swing of the door would be helpful.
Sometimes it’s not the square footage or the furniture that makes a room feel crowded. It could be the way the space was designed. And the resolution could be as simple as reversing a door.