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should I create a family/kitchen/dining space

(12 Posts)
kbaby Sun 31-Jul-11 22:56:00

Please can anyone offer some advice.

At the back of our house we have a kitchen and alongside it a dining room. There's a wall separating them. A few years ago we added an extension to the back of the house which increased the size of the kitchen and at the end of the dining room created a breakfast room. There's no wall separating these. It means we now have a [ ] ]shaped space, you can
[ ]
walk down the kitchen round the breakfast room into the dining room(hope this makes sense) the problem we have is that the extension is nice and light but the dining room is dark and rarely used.
My idea was to knock down the separating wall and open up the space to make one big square shape then have kitchen in the same place, move dining table to bottom by French doors and then where the current dining room is make it into a family room with sofa and tv etc.

I've just seen a similar space on some home program and I don't know if I liked it. I don't like clutter and prefer things to be tidy and clean looking spaces, whereas this house seemed to have too many zones in one space making it look cluttered.

Has anyone got a similar space and what is it like?

kbaby Sun 31-Jul-11 22:58:30

Sorry my little floor plan didn't work out.
Like this

[ ] ]
[ ]

nakedandangry Sun 31-Jul-11 23:12:34

so is the family room still separate, with telly etc? I like it best if one room is separate otherwise you end up with a largish space where every activity blurs into each other and the mess very hard to contain! Kitchen bits on the piano style nightmare.

nakedandangry Sun 31-Jul-11 23:13:29

yeah not really understanding that detailed floorplan of yours. grin

kbaby Thu 04-Aug-11 18:32:18

Sorry I know even my amended floor plan didn't work.

The space is a U shape, if you image the black bit as the rooms! Ie kitchen leading to breakfast room leading round to dining room. Hopefully that makes sense confused

If we were to knock the wall down ie the middle white but of the U it would create one large square about 21 ft by 20ft, we would then decide the space into kitchen, diner and family room.

We have a separate family room at the moment but as its small and a separate room the kids refuse to use it and seem to have taken over the living room while I'm relegated to the kitchen.

We would still have a separate living room and playroom.

I'm worrying about it looking clutterery and full of stuff

kbaby Thu 04-Aug-11 18:33:18

Separate not decide. Sorry

iskra Fri 05-Aug-11 12:18:38

I know exactly what you mean, we've just created the same U shaped space. Haven't moved in yet though so don't know what it will feel like to live in it, & whether I would prefer to knock through eventually (at vast expense!).

minipie Fri 05-Aug-11 13:45:06

I think as long as you can have at least one room where you can "escape" to for peace and quiet then open plan works really well. Especially if you can let light into a dark room that way.

Sounds like you have at least 2 other rooms to escape to (living room and playroom) so that is fine. I would definitely open the kitchen/dining/breakfast room up into one.

If you want to divide the open plan space and reduce clutter then how about using some low shelving units to divide the space into "zones" ie where the wall used to be. This is helpful as it (1) gives storage for the clutter (2) divides the space up and (3) gives you something to put eg a sofa against. Rugs are also very good for diving space into zones.

Another thing to think about is where all your cooking mess goes - you don't want it to be visible while you're having dinner ideally, so try to arrange the
layout so it's hidden (eg by a breakfast bar?) if you can.

KristinaM Fri 05-Aug-11 14:49:27

If you get stressed by mess thne having an open plan area full of kids toys will drive you mad. If your kids are older or very tidy themselves or the toys live elsewhere thne it might work

Can you build in LOTS of stoRage space for toys, book, DVds etc? I dont mean a couple of tasteful straw baskets like you see in poncy magazines. I mean a whole wall of floor to ceiling cubboards type thing. Pwrhaps in your darkest room ( is that the existing dining room)

I agree you need to think long and hard about yournkitchen layout and build in as much as possibel. I recpmmend two dishwashers if you cook and have kids.

We knocked through our kitchen into the small dark bedroom nexr door and now have a big kitchen. Best thing we ever did in the house

Remember you need expert advice befroe knocking down walls. If its load bearing ( which it porbably is) you will ned a beam and a building warrant and completion certificate. Otherwise your house might fall down. Even if it doenst you wont be able to sell it.

KristinaM Fri 05-Aug-11 14:59:44

I stongly recommend doing a plan and workimg uot how you will fit everything in. 20x21 isnt that big for 3 seperate areas. If you are not into drawing scale plans, mark it out on the garden with sticks and string. Use chairs fpr the sofa, boxes for the telly. Move around and make youreslf a vitual sandwich and pot of tea, put the dishes in the machine etc

Thats how we discovered that we had put the cutlery drawer on the oppiside end from the sink, dishwer and crockery blush

said Fri 05-Aug-11 16:28:05

We've done exactly as you're planning (and probably about the same size space) and, so far, it's much much better than it was before. Not finished decorating yet but I think it's definitely a big enough space for a kitchen, a dining area and a living room area. I wouldn't knock the wall down in between as I think you'd lose the sense of different areas. Plus, they'll be fewer walls for kitchen units/worktops/shelves/radiators etc.

kbaby Sat 06-Aug-11 21:27:07

Thanks everyone for all the advice.

We were hoping that it would mean we use the dining room space, because we extended on the end it means the dining room has no windows and just gets it light from the archway leading to the breakfast room. The plan was to completly knock out all walls to make it brighter and hopefully more inviting.

Were having our loft done so we've had the builders to check it for us and We need rsj (think thats right)

Minipie, the low storage units to separate the room are a really good idea, something I haven't thought of. I have a habit of pushing all furniture against the walls.

Said, thanks unfortunately The kitchen will have to stay as it is for now as we can't afford to change it. Against the wall we will remove is a breakfast bar, so the plan is to removed the wall and leave the breakfast island. If we don't removed the wall it leave us with what we have now ie a dark room just used to walk through.
At the moment the kitchen is 10ft by 20 and then we were hoping to divide the remaining 10 by 20 space into dining table, small family room.

The kids toys are all kept in the playroom so the only crap that gets left is by Dh who thinks I'm anal for being so tidy. In my head it works but if it doesn't its a costly mistake to make.

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