Hi all, I'm currently in the process of purchasing my first home. It was built in approximately 1981-1985 (ambiguous records). One of the first things I'd like to do would be to open up the upstairs kitchen/dining/living rooms to make it all open plan and immediately renovating the kitchen. I am just after some advice, tips, critique. Any recommendations would be appreciated. I will be engaging a builder/structural engineer to have a look to see if these walls are load bearing or not. Obviously the result of this will determine which walls I can remove. In the mean time, I am struggling a bit with the layout of the new kitchen. I am currently working on the assumption that all walls can be removed. The idea is that later on, an upstairs deck would be built, connecting onto the kitchen/living areas. There is a door in the kitchen that leads to a backstairs. One thought is to fill this door in and remove the back stairs completely. A flight of stairs would be built onto the deck. There is a large window in the living area, ideally this would be opened up and bi-fold or similar doors would be installed to allow access onto the deck. The deck will be roofed. My wife prefers the L-Shape style kitchen, leaving a space to the left hand side of the kitchen for a meals area. My preference would be for a galley type, along the top of the room encompassing both the existing dining and kitchen areas. My thoughts are between a kitchen island and a covered deck dining area, this should cover meals area and allow a use of bigger space for the kitchen and living areas. What layout is best to greater utilise the space available? Open to other ideas as well. In addition, any trades/builders that you would recommend for the Brisbane South (Rochedale South) area would be appreciated. Your thoughts?