If you were buying this house....(28 Posts)
If you were buying this house, what would you like to see in the 'garden room'. So as not to drip feed, here's the low down: it's a 4 bed (2 doubles, 2 singles) with family bathroom. Downstairs is a big L shape lounge/ kitchen diner, a utility, a downstairs shower and wc, plus a 2nd reception room which could be a dining room but is currently a play room. We have a smallish garden, half of which is taken up with a big wooden deck/ veranda. At the bottom of the garden is a big room and our garage. All double glazed etc. The garden room is, I believe, an unexpected gem. It cannot be a bedroom, but if you were a young family buyer, what would wow you? What would you love to see in there that would sell it to you? Currently, it is full of toys, furniture and other gubbins and definitely not earning it's keep! I would love your ideas!
Also should add, it's brick build (ie not just a big shed) and has power supply/ lights but no water or heating. Our budget is minimal but I would definitely be able to throw a few hundred pounds at it if it meant getting a quick sale
An office? As you've already got a playroom, how about a teenage chill-out zone if your house might appeal to families with older / grown-up children?
I'd be guessing you'd be aiming it at a family like mine - 3 children - so 2 of the children would only have single bedrooms and I'd be therefore be making it kind of a den, somewhere they could hang out with their friends. So a sofa (bed) maybe, bean bags, TV, playstation / XBOX type thing.
Or if you want to go down the multi-function, a desk, a little table for crafts, bunting (if you're going a bit twee), TV/DVD combo.
Or stereo-typical Mum space - space for crafts (sewing machine?), or armchair, footstool and little table with lamp (kind of a reading area).
Study - kind of a work from home area, desk, lamp, filing cabinets . shelves etc.
Mancave - pool table / table tennis table / drum kit / bar area?
Ooh I like the idea of the 'mum space'. I have already been daydreaming about lovely vintage chintzy style decor in there! Do you think if we went down the kids room route that i should reclaim the dining room, so it doesn't look like they've totally taken over
even though they have. Dh already has one bedroom as an office so that rules that out.
I'd personally turn the bedroom back into a bedroom, and make the garden room a proper "work from home" office space.
My sis has a similar garden room. They have it as the music room (piano and various instruments live in there) plus comfy sofas, nice rugs, and a tv. They have 'movie nights' in there sometimes.
If it was our house, the 'boys toys' would no doubt take it over - so pool table and table football table and dart board!
You could make it into a party room?? Bar, high stools, tables, armchairs etc.
Or - I'd probably go for making it the play room (depending on age of children) and reclaim the other room as an adult lounge area, so it can be closed off from the 'family space'.
Conventional selling wisdom says that in order for buyers to believe something is a viable bedroom, it has to have a bed in it, so I would capitalise on the number of bedrooms by moving the study to the garden room and furnishing the ex-study as a bedroom.
Along the same lines, I would consider borrowing some furniture/buying something very cheap, sticking the children's stuff in storage and presenting the second reception room as a dining room, rather than assuming prospective buyers can see through the toys to the other potential room uses.
Yes crikey that was how it was when we first moved in, I miss our lovely grown up snug! The down side to that is that ds is only 4 and is probably too little to actually use the garden room as his playroom full time. Office would be good, but dh won't actually use the garden room as his office
bone of contention. I have this stupid whimsical notion of someone looking round the house, and then going into this room and just being wowed. It has a lot of potential, just not sure how to show it.
I very much like the idea of craft space, den space and perhaps some funky storage. I am going to have to spend some hours on Pinterest I think...,
It's telling that not one person has said gym, which is what we were originally thinking!
If your aiming for young families I'd say a playroom wouldn't be ideal (too far from general living space) but families with older children then yes ideal. Office would be good (move dh to there until it sells - maybe make his current office look like a nursery with older stuff if you still have it)
I'd make your playroom a dining area if you don't have a decent sized table elsewhere.
Gym might be a good aspirational one (though I bet whoever bought it wouldn't use it as a gym!).
Think dh needs to suck it up in order to get the best price on the house!
We do have a dining table in the kitchen. The playroom does help keep the house toy free, and the kids rooms keep tidy because they play downstairs; most buyers here are going to be family buyers. The guy who valued it didn't seem fazed by the playroom or the office, although we have considered putting a cot in there. I'd like them to describe it as a 'xxxxx room' rather than a 'storage room' like it is now.
When we bought the house, we had such great plans for this room, I know whoever buys it will be the same- I don't want to publicise the fact that we don't use it for anything useful!!
The playroom does help keep the house toy free, and the kids rooms keep tidy because they play downstairs
Yes, but that works for you living longterm in the house the way that suits you - a prospective buyer doesn't care that the playroom keeps the upstairs rooms tidy, because he or she doesn't have to live with your children, and will be won over by staged photos/viewings that present an idealised, decluttered version of your home, so won't ever encounter playroom clutter!
I know camille, the issue is the bridging between lovely photos and real life!! I am now considering putting a dining table back into the playroom though....it could be kept against the wall and then for viewings just pulled out into the room. I could borrow one, so keep my kitchen table in situ. They could lose the sofa in there, replace with comfy chairs/ beanbags and the sofa could go in the garden 'den' meaning I don't need to buy lots of furniture. The house we like is a project and has fewer rooms than this one (yes, not our finest idea you might say....) so I'm very reluctant to buy lots of new stuff. Hmmmmm it's definitely food for thought....
Assuming that you want to sell quickly then I'd market it as garden office / den / gym and get DH moved down there asap and the crap moved out.
It needs to be viewed as somewhere that's actually warm enough to work in and only by having all the office gubbins down there is that practical.
If it's not practical to do that [means moving routers etc] then I'd move the office to the dining room and all the play stuff to the garden. Depends on whether your kids are old enough to play unsupervised though?
Two key pieces of research - it needs to look like a bedroom to be marketed as one.
People often can't see past their own noses - if all else fails then just clear out the garden room completely and let people use their imagination. Put a yoga mat down and a ball
Tread that is probably a good idea! The shelves aren't too bad but the boxes and toys needs to be hidden I grant you. It's a blooming huge room, about 5m x 5m so it would be a vast empty space though!
Set it up as a lovely sitting room, the viewers will make there own mind up as to what sort of den it can be. You just dress it as an adult den for them to see the potential.
If it big enough put the office in there as well
I think that's the most likely solution, I suppose that if its freshly painted and tidied up then that will go some way to showing it off. I going to make it my mission to get a box a day sorted and taken to the charity shop/binned/ recycled. I will scour Pinterest for some good and cheap storage solutions as well for the bigger stuff, and there is stuff there that we just have to keep and store. I could offload done into the garage though. Thanks everyone for your suggestions
Work from home room / study or playroom. Would definitely brighten it up either way, walls are too dark, and make it look a bit industrial. Floor looks really nice though.
Ok, I've been busy this morning!! How is this? I'm going to paint the walls light/pale green and then get a nice oil cloth to cover the table. Lots of stuff going to charity shop. I'm going to fashion the dressing table as a sort of fabric storage and set up my sewing machine. Obviously a good clean and tidy. Then in the other corner set up the play pen, an arm chair and some toys. Does this create the impression that whoever buys this house will be able to spend their days crafting while the children play safely??? I also think I might use blackboard/ magnet paint to create a sort of arty wall as a cheap feature. The other wall with the floor to ceiling shelving will stay the same, but maybe a few more boxes and less piled on the shelves. Going for a green/ pink/ cream vintagey look, a few accessories here and there. How does that sound?
House down the road from us has theirs staged as a second family room - kallax boxes and artistic toy shelves and a small sofa in there. It looks really quite good on the photos (I've been nebbing a lot to nick their floor plan for how they've gained the extra bedroom compared to our house).
Ours actually serves the purpose of a second living room for me, netflix and my crafting - so I'd probably stage it as a second living/study room if I was selling (and tidy the bugger up!). Basically it IS what you're aiming to achieve - somewhere to craft while the kids play safely and it's my fave room in the house. Unfortunately for you I'm not looking to buy at the moment though!
It's very dark on your photo though - I'd be aiming to get the light in there bumped up.
Thank you miaow. It does look dark doesn't it, but that dark blue is exceptionally draining of light. There's actually full sliding units at the front so hopefully a lick of light paint will brighten it up. I'm going to go to the range and get some bits and bobs to accessorise. I really appreciate everyone's input as its so hard to know what real people think.
Def keep the shelving. Even if a buyer will get rid eventually it is so handy to have storage in place when you move into a new home. Plus if you remove it you'll have to make good which is tedious.
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