Victorian terrace - anyone with kitchen in through reception and sitting room either at back of house or first floor front room?

(29 Posts)
BeattieBow Sat 12-Jul-14 16:58:06

We've got a dilemma. We've recently bought a victorian terrace house which strangely has a kitchen in the front reception room.

We don't want to stay in the house forever (or we would do the side return), so don't want to spend much, but we do need to do some works as it hasn't been decorated for yonks and we'd like to sell it on in 3 or so years.

We've realised we quite like the kitchen in the through reception. its currently in the front room and has enough room for a dining table too. in the back reception we have a sofa and tv and this works for us. its lovely and light and spacious and we spend most of our time in these rooms. the back room is narrow but fits a sofa and tv and computer in. its a bit of a spare room but the children decamp in there to play on the computer.

we want to put a new kitchen in and the two plans so far are to put it in the narrow back room (galley kitchen but has room for table too) or keep it in the back reception room and create a big living space. this would work best for our needs for the next few years, but I'm worried that it will put potential buyers off. The previous people did use the first floor front bedroom as a reception room.

So I was wondering if anyone else has this set up?

The usual thing round here seems to be to do the side return and put a big kitchen in the back room, but we don't want to spend the money on that if we're not staying for very long.

BeattieBow Tue 15-Jul-14 09:07:05

Just bumping this in case anyone has any perspectives about where to place rooms

We've now decided to focus on what will suit our family best (rather than a future purchaser), but that hasn't helped us make our decision!

Spindelina Tue 15-Jul-14 09:32:50

Different layout, but two questions that helped us decide where to put our kitchen were..
- where's the drainage / gas etc?
- where are the nice spaces (light etc)? We decided we would use our kitchen loads, wherever it was, and we could get loads of LED lighting to make up for the fact that it is basically underground. If we swapped our kitchen and dining room, we'd have a lovely light kitchen and a miserable dark dining room that we'd never use. As it is, we have a lovely light dining room and an LED-lit kitchen that we still use all the time.

17leftfeet Tue 15-Jul-14 09:40:55

I've lived in terraces with the kitchen at the front and the back

I used to love the kitchen at the front because when you came in all the muddy shoes, taking the shopping straight in etc could be done and I'd just wipe the floor over

But a kitchen at the back is much more usual

It might put some buyers off but others won't be phased, especially if the reception rooms are then nice light and airy

BeattieBow Tue 15-Jul-14 11:32:47

thanks for this. It doesn't matter in terms of pipes etc where we have the kitchen - it was previously in the back room so I assume the pipes are still there.

We could put it back there and it would be a galley kitchen but would still fit a table (v important for us). Then we would have the usual 2 receptions downstairs (although not sure what we'd use one of them for).

I like the kitchen in the main rooms as it is lighter and squarer, but worry that the lack of a proper sitting room (apart from possibly in the upstairs front room) would put people off buying it a few years down the line.

Spindelina Tue 15-Jul-14 13:25:11

We are in a four-floor town house: kitchen/dining on ground floor, then two living rooms and bed 4/office on first, master suite on second, beds 2/3 and bathroom on top.

It works great having our living rooms upstairs, but only because the bedrooms are even further up and we have room for a sofa in the dining room. We were happy to consider upside down houses, houses with few or many floors, anything really... but we actively avoided houses where bedrooms and living rooms were on the same floor.

Dec2013mummy Tue 15-Jul-14 15:47:45

We have a front reception and have opened the back out so have a galley kitchen and dining space. It is big enough for a small sofa as well if you wished. We have tried a few layouts with the kitchen staying out and it's what works best for us smile

BeattieBow Wed 16-Jul-14 08:15:10

Dec13mummy did you get rid of the back bit of the passage?

Dec2013mummy Thu 17-Jul-14 09:56:08

No we jut left the kitchen as it was which was in the extension (galley style) and then knocked down the wall through to the dining room. So it's kind of in an l shape. It works for us as the kitchen is separated but still open to the other room. (Sorry for the delay in answering!)

Tyranasaurus Fri 18-Jul-14 07:05:33

I quite like the idea of a kitchen at the front and did consider it for my house (didn't in the end as moving pipes and drainage would have been difficult). We used the back room as a living room as it was further from the street and had adjoining walls with the noisy neighbour's quieter dining room, so the front room was wasted space really as we didn't use a dining room much.

If you do keep the layout I'd give the 'kitchen' extension at the back a purpose, maybe utility and downstairs toilet?

noddyholder Sun 20-Jul-14 08:49:29

I like the kitchen at rear of big double reception and use smaller kitchen as combined utility/ study I have found this works well as an alternative to extending as keeps white goods out of living space (noise and clothes everywhere) and gives older children and parents somewhere for homework and all paperwork etc.

minipie Sun 20-Jul-14 09:01:49

I don't quite understand your layout. do you have three downstairs rooms (front recep, small back recep, then ex-kitchen behind) or two (front recep and back recep and nothing behind)?

If it's three rooms then I would put the kitchen back into the ex-kitchen at the back. don't do side return, but put kitchen in against the party wall, so that if someone wants to do side return in future they don't have to rip out the kitchen.

If it's only two rooms then yes put the kitchen in the small back reception. If you can put a small extension on the back for a dining space that would be nice.

BeattieBow Mon 21-Jul-14 11:18:08

we have 3 rooms downstairs. a through reception (currently has the kitchen in the front room) and the ex kitchen at the back. This is currently a small sitting room. There's another door at the end of the sitting room at the other side of which is a small utility area (with the back door in) and beyond that, at the very end of the building a small loo.

(sorry probably haven't described it very well. ). The room is actually not really tiny and would make a reasonably sized kitchen - if we had units all the way down one side, we could have a table on the other side.

Noddy I was hopping you'd see this! How would you divide the back study/utility up? The room at the back is too big for a utility room and I like the idea of shoving a computer and the children in there! In your plan would you retain the back bit of the passage or extend the back reception sideways to the stairs? (sorry again prob not describing v well - I know what I'm talking about!).

noddyholder Mon 21-Jul-14 11:25:44

If you extend the kitchen sideways to widen it how will you access the kitchen? Will there still be hall or will it be continuous. Also you have to decide where you want garden access? Does the back part currently have doors out? Do you have a floorplan. I blocked up kitchen door and put patio doors in rear kitchen. Then put freezer and washer and dryer at rear of utility with floor to ceiling flush white doors. A built in worktop makes a good desk and can normally seat 2 at least and then lots of box shelving above for tat!

BeattieBow Mon 21-Jul-14 17:09:58

no, we're not going to extend the kitchen sideways into the side return. We thought about this, but have decided that we aren't going to stay long term and we wouldn't get a return on it in that time (in a slightly dodgy area!) and it's not worth the money or hassle.

I don't have a floorplan, but basically the ground floor is L shaped with the long thin bit at the back currently housing a sitting room-utility area- toilet in a long line.

The 2 large receptions are open plan, and there is still a passage from the front of the house to the back. The back room currently opens into the passage rather than the second reception room. There is a door onto the garden from the second reception room and also from the utlity room at the back. I think I would think about moving that and putting it on the end of the room as big doors onto the garden.

noddyholder Mon 21-Jul-14 19:51:56

Ah I get it now grin Wish I was closer and could have a look this sounds very much my thing. When are you thinking of doing it?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 21-Jul-14 19:58:30

I live in the ground floor flat of a conversion of a house like yours.

Id go for
Front reception:- more formal adult living room
Rear reception and galley:- knock through the two and create a big family room with kitchen, dining table, sofa and toys. if I was staying forever id remove the wondowin the rear recreption and add frnech doors.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 21-Jul-14 20:00:51

Oh and id close off the through access from front reception to rear reception.

noddyholder Mon 21-Jul-14 20:04:34

I think if you are going to sell on you can spend less and get the feel of an extension without doing much. And make a bit of £ for next place

PrimalLass Mon 21-Jul-14 20:33:05

What ThinkIveBeenHacked said.

Reinstate the wall between the two parts of the through reception and knock down the one between the back living room and the study, to make a kitchen diner across the back with doors out.

BeattieBow Mon 21-Jul-14 21:22:57

I'm not doing it for a while Noddy - I'm thinking of waiting until January so I can get a kitchen in the sales maybe. and I'm only at the start of the process - I can't decide what to do, so maybe you can visit and give me some ideas!? I would love to give it the feel of an extension without actually doing anything.

I thought about reinstating the separate rooms too, the problem is that the back rooms are darker than the front room, so I don't want to cut all of the light out of the back reception room. part of the problem is I think that we actually only need 2 rooms, we just need them to be big. A victorian house isn't the best solution for us. I didn't particularly like our last house (a 1930s semi) but the room sizes and layout were more practical really.

noddyholder Mon 21-Jul-14 22:45:26

Yes I can come up and look just couldn't before September but if you aren't in a hurry that's fine.

noddyholder Mon 21-Jul-14 22:46:27

Ds in big 30s house in bournemouth and I love it big square rooms and a big central hall.

I would think about kitchen in back bit of through lounge. I know someone who has this, with it kept open to front bit of lounge which is the bay window, floorboards, fireplaces and decorative cornice look. Looks great and a very family friendly layout. Then a utility room and cosy study side by side behind that.
Kitchen at the very front sounds a bit odd - but can't really imagine how it would feel!
I've had lounge backing on to garden and kitchen backing onto garden in different houses and both have their advantages!

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 22-Jul-14 12:33:41

We met with an architect who suggested your layout but on the basis that you extend across the back and create a huge family/sitting room.

Since you don't want to do the extension, in order to maximise ease of resale, I'd also suggest reinstating the original front room but take a portion out of the second half so it is a nice large room. I'd put in glass french doors for light or doors which can recess into the side walls, and chose a furniture layout which means that you can open up all the floor if you want to for parties, or just close off the front room at night to watch tv away from the kids.

Then, in the second half of the reception room, I would install a dining area that links to the kitchen, with french doors onto the garden; and install a new kitchen plus a little informal sitting area in the original kitchen.
The alternative is to put the kitchen in the middle section and keep the rear room as a dining room and living space.
Which of those two options in my view works best is down to:
Your garden - would you rather have a dining table closest to the rear of the garden so you don't need a table and chairs in the garden too?
Lighting - most people have lights in their kitchen all the time anyway so putting it in the darkest room in the house is not neccessarily an issue. People won't want to go in there to eat if its dark and dingy.
Tolerance for noise - if you are sitting watching something or reading in the front toom - if the kitchen is right next door, is the sound of someone boiling a kettle, teenagers chatting, washing machine going etc etc; going to drive you mental
Cost - whether you can merge the original rear reception room with the kitchen easily without significant structural alterations.

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