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Living space vs Sleeping Space

(26 Posts)
crikeybadger Fri 23-Sep-11 21:39:14

So we're looking to move to a new house in a town.

As with all these things, there are compromises to be made in order to get a house in the right area.

We have three boys under 6, but want to stay in the next house for a while.

So - would you go for somewhere with larger living space and not worry too much about bedroom size, or do you think that as the boys get older they will retreat to their bedrooms more, and will spend less time in the lounge/dining area??

Any thoughts or experiences please?

thisisyesterday Fri 23-Sep-11 21:42:23

definitely, definitely larger living space

i have 3 boys too, and i hate our small living area. we have plenty of bedroom space, but i'd gladly swap a bedroom for another reception room or some more garden!

dizzyday07 Fri 23-Sep-11 21:47:24

I'd go for living space too

crikeybadger Fri 23-Sep-11 21:59:58

Thanks- that's interesting.

I'd thought that things might change as they grow up.

HarrietJones Fri 23-Sep-11 22:04:01

More than one reception room rather than one large one IYSWIM.

startail Fri 23-Sep-11 22:33:41

You want a balance, tiny bedrooms are real pain, especially if their ceilings are too low for bunks. DCs really need room for a desk and some where to plonk a bean bag.
Two reception rooms allows separation of younger DCs without sending them upstairs out of earshot.
STORAGE sorry to shout but modern life generates stuff, I can't blame the DDs because DH and I both have hobbies that cause clutter too.

amistillsexy Fri 23-Sep-11 22:39:43

I think it depends on your family life.
If you are likely to get your DCs Tvs and computers to have in their rooms, video games,etc, then as they get older they will probably gravitate towards their rooms (and leave you to a bit of peace in the living room!)

If you are more likely to use bedrooms just for sleeping, and spend time as a family, doing homework round the kitchen table, watching 'family' TV together, etc, then you need more room downstairs (possibly also more rooms so you can have a playroom or a study).

crikeybadger Sat 24-Sep-11 12:09:20

Good point about the storage startail- lots of the properties that we are looking at don't have a garage. Where on earth would we put all our junk lovely things that are in our current garage?

narmada Sat 24-Sep-11 14:33:40

I had a small bedroom as a kid and teenager and really didn't care about the size. I think downstairs space is more crucial - you could always zone off a bit of your downstairs then to make a 'den'. Do you have people to stay often - e.g., relatives? If so, you might prefer the bigger bedroom option.

GeorgeEliot Sat 24-Sep-11 18:32:10

It is useful to have one bedroom that is big enough for a 2nd bed so that when your dcs are older they can have friends over for sleepovers. This is what we have - the older dc has a larger bedroom and the youngest has a tiny one, so they swap if the younger one has a friend to stay (or one goes on floor). Both boys so no worries about decorating style. and the youngest does not seem to mind that the eldest has a much larger room.

crikeybadger Sat 24-Sep-11 21:20:48

No, narmada, we don't have many people to stay nowadays- we've had more kids, our friends have kids too so these days we are down to meeting up for lunch over a few glasses of elderflower cordial. <thinks back fondly to long, boozy dinners spent at friends' houses pre kids>.

GeorgeEliot- good reminder about sleepovers. Our eldest two are sharing a room at the moment (and will have to continue to do so) but I think you can even get bunk beds with a pull out bed underneath.

tyler80 Sat 24-Sep-11 21:21:30

I think a lot depends on your family. I'd personally go for larger living space because in our family we only really sleep in our bedrooms.

bosch Sat 24-Sep-11 21:28:29

I have three boys, 10, 8 and 4 and we have a three bed semi. They are sharing a triple bunk bed and use the box room as a play room at the mo.

We are planning an extension to our kitchen and dining room which will still leave a separate living room which could be used as a downstairs bedroom.

And in the past we've boarded out our loft for storage which makes the rest of house slightly tidier...

I wish we could afford a conventional 4 bed house or an extension that would provide a fourth bedroom - or that the converting the loft to a bedroom would provide a useful amount of space without displacing too much crap lovingly collected stuff!

tyler80 Sat 24-Sep-11 21:33:20

bosch's post reminded me that an important thing we considered when looking at houses was whether one of the downstairs rooms could be separated off as temporary sleeping quarters.

So the property we bought has a separate lounge which is not a through room. Sofabed in the lounge gives us an extra option for visitors.

RandomMess Sat 24-Sep-11 21:36:54

Something we've done is have the middle sized room so the dc that share have got the largest bedroom. As they get older the amount of stuff gets smaller...

We have a loft room complete with permanent paddle stairs - loads of storage and a spare sleeping space just not legally a bedroom.

bosch Sat 24-Sep-11 21:38:08

RandomMess - what are permanent paddle stairs?

RandomMess Sat 24-Sep-11 21:42:33

oh it's a wooden staircase but they are steep and erm each step is paddle shaped so you have to alternate left right left, only enough space for one foot per step. They go up through our old airing cupboard so the only space lost was a small triangle shape near the ceiling in the 2nd bedroom.

RandomMess Sat 24-Sep-11 21:43:39

ours are even narrower than that I think!

Bearcat Sun 25-Sep-11 18:55:52

We have 2 boys and a 3 bed 1930's house.
We never had a loft conversion, which a lot of people have done locally. DS2 always had the small bedroom, but managed to get a 3 door floor to ceiling fitted wardrobe in (which hid so much of his clutter), a bed, bedside table and chair in.
DS's never had TV's in their rooms which kept them downstairs on an evening, and we only had one family computer in a computer area off the hall.
But, we have a large extension across the back of the house and side extension for computer and Downstairs loo. We have 2 sitting rooms because of this with a TV in each, and a small TV in kitchen, so plenty of space for people to do their own thing downstairs or watch a diferent TV programme to someone else.
I did sometimes feel for DS2 with small room,but he has gone to uni now and when he comes home now he has moved into DS1's room as he has moved out.
Go for downstairs space. You will keep your boys around you for longer, especially with no TV's upstairs.

crikeybadger Sun 25-Sep-11 20:56:56

Thanks for that Bearcat, I'd rather not have TVs in bedrooms either.

OK, so the other thing that we trying to get our heads around is how important the location is compared to the actual house. Would you go for a smaller house in a better area or if the house was perfect, but the area less so, would it matter?

Any thoughts on that one would be appreciated. smile

thisisyesterday Sun 25-Sep-11 23:21:17

think it depends on how bad/good the area is

i could buy a 4 or 5 bedroom house in the worst part of our town. But I simply do not want to live there. so we're stuck looking at 3 beds in nicer parts (but not the nicest part where we'd only be able to afford a tiny 1 bed house!)

I guess you need to decide what is most important to you in terms of amenities and things like that?
When we bought this house our main criteria were:
nice-ish area
near to a decent primary school
able to walk into town

we also happen to be walking distance from dp's office which is great. unfortunately ds1 has now moved school so we're looking to buy a house that means we can walk to school because we hate doing the drive each day.

so.. no i wouldn't compromise on location necessarily, unless you have reason to think it might be an up and coming area and improve over the years?
But equally I wouldn't be set on having a property in the "best" area if you find a great house in a nice enough area/.

TheCatInTheHairnet Sun 25-Sep-11 23:28:08

I agree with thisisyesterday in that I would choose to have a house in a nice enough area and get more house than live in the best area.
And bedrooms become more of a place for them to hang out the older they get imo, but it's really important to me to still have a living space big enough to comfortably hang out together.

crikeybadger Mon 26-Sep-11 16:39:40

Those three are also on our list of priorities thisisyesterday. I can't wait to be able to go to places with out having to get in the car every single time.

Aaaargh, it's all so confusing and seems ten times harder making decisions because we are uprooting the children from the country life they love to a small town. Oh and there's the small matter of selling our house first. smile

SparklePrincess Mon 26-Sep-11 17:56:22

Our no 1 criteria was to be in close proximity to good schools. We have ended up offering on something .5 mile from the local comp but in a nicer more expensive location. It is a small house in comparison to what we are used to, but we plan on either extending or putting a conservatory on the back of the kitchen diner to make a much larger family space. Then, the downstairs living room can be used as a bedroom for us & the dd's can have equal ish sized rooms upstairs, leaving the box room for if we have another dc in the future. smile

thisisyesterday Mon 26-Sep-11 19:55:58

i presume you've spent time perusing rightmove already CB?

are you moving a long way?
if it isn't too much of a trek I'd really recommend getting in touch with local estate agents and just booking up a whole day of viewings. get someone to have the kids and just go and look at the kind of houses you can afford and the areas they are in. you get a much better feel for what you're getting for your money than you do just looking in the paper/online IMO.

if you know the school/s you want to be close to that must narrow it down a bit too?

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