(cont.) Designer Jeff Swanson of Renovation Planning in the South End agrees, adding that 90 percent of the kitchen projects hes doing start with opening up the space. It can be a dirty and disruptive job that entails removing drywall or plaster, cutting out studs, sanding joint compound, and matching the floors to create a seamless look, but its worth it in the end. You dont want guests in the living room or dining room when youre walled off in the kitchen, Swanson says. Plus, youre changing traffic flow, which is freeing up space in general.