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How would you lay out this house?

(29 Posts)
Woozlebear Mon 21-Apr-14 16:56:01

Current niggles are:
1. Entrance area tiny- prev owners built a tiny conservatory round the back to use as a large porch if you come in and out through back door rather than front. We're prob going to build a proper front porch instead but...
2. Conservatory is too small to be a useable room beyond a tiny bistro table and chairs or similar. When we build a proper porch the conservatory is going to seem like a bit of an odd not very useful space - beyond dumping ground for laundry, cat litter etc.
3. Dining room is dark- thinking of knocking another window in the side wall.
4. Bathroom is downstairs. Doesn't bother us too much and estate agent has said no reason to bother moving it unless we want to. Our area is unbelievably popular, and some buyers will like the extra bedroom that it gives. The reason the bathroom annoys me is that it eats up a prime back of the house view of the garden chunk of house.
5. Bathroom extension is built around old back toilet so what looks like a shower cubicle on floor plan is actually a boiler and washing machine cupboard. Fine, except it has 9 inch thick walls which eat up a chunk of floor space. They're supporting...
6. Middle bedroom is not really a true bedroom as rear one is accessed off it but stud wall could easily be put up to remedy this.
7. Kitchen is big enough but door positioning- bathroom and dining room- means a few funny sized curved cupboards and work tops.

We could knock out the annoying wall in bathroom and move the kitchen doors a bit to gain a nice big square downstairs bathroom and some straighter lines in kitchen. But it's a huge amount of upheaval for fairly minimal gain. The big win would be to move bathroom upstairs and open up back of house a bit. I'm thinking:
1. Knock all the back walls out and extend kitchen out into current bathroom space with windows in back wall out to garden
2. Replace conservatory with proper extension and knock out the wall between that and current kitchen to create new dining area with wall of windows and french doors out to garden.
3. Use current dining room as informal sitting area.

Downside is that we then only have two bedrooms and due to staircase being in the centre of house a loft conversion seems to involve carving up the upstairs in ways I'm not too happy about...

Ideas? Suggestions? All gratefully received!

WynkenBlynkenandNod Mon 21-Apr-14 17:09:26

Upstairs I would partition off the middle bedroom so the third isn't accessed from it and squeeze in a little toilet with sink at the start of bedroom 3 if possible .

Then downstairs leave the bathroom. Extend the kitchen into where the conservatory is and open up as much as possible to dining room to have kitchen diner with space for sofa and French doors out to garden.

FairPhyllis Mon 21-Apr-14 17:45:19

Going with your plan, I would make the current dining room the main living room. Position the door between it and the new kitchen diner where the door to the conservatory is now, closing up the other door. That gives you more places to put a sofa.

Upstairs, put the bathroom in the smallest bedroom and put a stud wall in to create a corridor to the bathroom - you lose some bedroom space but worth it to have the bathroom upstairs.

You could keep the current living room as an extra reception if you don't need more than two bedrooms, but if you sell it could be marketed as a 3rd bedroom.

Aethelfleda Mon 21-Apr-14 19:37:32

Honestly? I'd move. Seriously, if it's going to cost you 20k to knock walls down/expand things/put up with dust/dirt/builders/projects running behind and over budget, you may be better off looking for something that is laid out better from the word go. (I appreciate that may not be possible/your choice though!)

Woozlebear Mon 21-Apr-14 20:21:08

Lol aethel! We just bought it! In my defence it is oozing character, has lots of scope for extension, unusually wide plot and secluded garden. It's a semi with largish rooms in an area of tiny terraces with much smaller rooms. We fought off 6 other people offering over asking!

We're not talking ££s of work to make it liveable, we're talking ££ to make the absolute best of it. I agree it would be a nightmare to live with- done that once already and not even sure why I'm contemplating a second go!!

Rockdoctor Mon 21-Apr-14 20:35:48

The only thing I would say is don't get hung up about having the bathroom upstairs. We have a downstairs bathroom and spent the first year here trying to work out how to move it upstairs - we even went so far as getting architects plans etc. Six years later and we're actually glad we never bothered. Downstairs bathroom is great, particularly with young DCs. Would be nice to have a toilet upstairs though.

al88 Mon 21-Apr-14 20:53:12

We used to have a house with that exact layout except the previous owners had put the bathroom upstairs and extended the kitchen into where your bathroom is.

We considered partitioning off the second bedroom to make a corridor but we felt that the chimney breasts got in the way of this. The corridor would have to be fairly wide to accommodate them and it would have added too much expense to take them out. From the plans it looks like you would also have a chimney breast in the corridor??

I always wanted to extend into where you have the conservatory so I'd do this to extend the kitchen and keep the bathroom downstairs as pp have suggested.

Woozlebear Mon 21-Apr-14 21:03:48

Interesting al88. If you'd extended the kitchen, how would you have laid out the new kitchen in terms if units and appliances?

addictedtosugar Mon 21-Apr-14 21:04:51

I'd leave the bathroom downstairs, but get rid of the big cupboard to make a bit more space in there.
Can you knock the kitchen into the conservatory to have 3 big rooms across the house?
Yes to another window in the diningroom if you own the space to the side.
Stud wall to bed 3 - can you remove that chimney breast to loose minimal space of bed 2?

Congrats on your new house.

Aethelfleda Mon 21-Apr-14 21:18:22

You didn't say you'd just bought it!! blush

In that case, I agree getting max light into that front room with an extra window. Then turn the conservatry into a proper extension and if you have the cash consider making the kitchen-diner a full width large square room then put the bathroom further out the back. Then up the top floor don't have a large bathroom, but you could put in an upstairs loo maybe? Or a little loo-come-shower room?

schmee Mon 21-Apr-14 21:28:39

How does the loft conversion affect the first floor layout? Could you not fit the second set of stairs in if you made the middle bedroom a bathroom? The bathroom is crying out to be knocked into the kitchen, with conservatory as a laundry room? How long are you planning to stay there? What age and how many dcs? Do you need a spare room or study? Do you have budget to do the loft now?

CookieMonsterIsHot Mon 21-Apr-14 21:31:38

I like points 1 and 2 of your plan.

Personally, I do not like having a bathroom off the kitchen. Like you, I would want a view and garden access there instead.

I would knock through between dining room and the bigger kitchen to make a big social space.

Surely the stairs up to the loft conversion would go over the top of your existing stairs thus having no impact on the first floor? That's what we did in our old house.

If you do convert the loft then the family bathroom could be upstairs on one side of the stairs. Bedroom on the other side. The bathroom in what was the box room could then be an ensuite so you don't have to make a corridor.

CookieMonsterIsHot Mon 21-Apr-14 21:34:13

Actually, you'd need to squeeze in a downstairs loo if the family bathroom were on the second floor.

makemineapinot Mon 21-Apr-14 21:35:54

Could you put a wall up in current dining room to have a hallway between front living room and back conservatory and put the bathroom in the other half? Then use back of house as a huge L shaped living/dining/kitchen/family space and knock down the walls between conservatory/kitchen and current kitchen/bathroom? You could knock down conservatory and make it a proper extension either as it is or continuing down to same length as the end of current bathroom. Big double fold doors onto garden...

frankie5 Mon 21-Apr-14 21:42:27

I would extend the kitchen into the conservatory area to make a bigger kitchen, but leave the bathroom where it is. You would regret losing the extra bedroom, and will get used to the layout with the bathroom downstairs. You could maybe redo the staircase so that it is an open wooden staircase and knock down the walls between the living room and dining room to let light right through the house.

ExcuseTypos Mon 21-Apr-14 21:55:50

I'd make the conservatory into a "proper" room and change it into the bathroom. Make a hallway from the front door, through the dining room to the conservatory/new bathroom.

I'd then extend the old bathroom across the back of the whole house, knock down the kitchen/old bathroom wall making a lovely big new kitchen.

Woozlebear Tue 22-Apr-14 13:04:04

Oh I should add- the conservatory doors are lined up with the centre of the garden which is all based round a central path and a circular design. All v symetrical. Any changes would have to involve French doors in same position.

We have a biggish space to side of house, so even though those doors are to one side of the house, there central on the garden.

I do love the idea of putting the bathroom somewhere else downstairs though! I've stood eying it up several times wondering where the heck else I could put it!

Woozlebear Tue 22-Apr-14 13:15:51

And sorry aethel smile. You do have a very good point though. It was a slightly mad house to buy. We sold a very normally laid out fully lofted and extensioned house that we'd just done as well hmm.

Aethelfleda Tue 22-Apr-14 15:58:40

Hee hee! There's lots of potential there, though, and let's face it, this new house is probably where you want to be?

I have a new idea. Make the front room a "feature bathroom" a la some of the troll threads. Non frosted windows and disco lighting on one of those mid-room Victorian slipper-baths? smile

Woozlebear Tue 22-Apr-14 16:15:27

grin grin I might have to try suggesting that to dh as a serious option if I can keep a straight face long enough!

I'm obviously not on here often enough though as I've missed those threads! What on earth do they involve?!

Aethelfleda Tue 22-Apr-14 16:41:08

wink there was one (real) one a few months back when some poor soul had a neighbour "observing" her daily ablutions out the back of her terraces' communal garden <boak>

And I understand over Easter there were a lot of hairy-handed exhibitionists about, it seemed appropriate to infer at least one of those involved bathrooms!

Aethelfleda Tue 22-Apr-14 16:42:27

(By which I mean SHE was in her bathroom, HE was in the garden at exactly the right time each day...)

Karbea Tue 22-Apr-14 19:23:35

I'd definitely move the bathroom upstairs.

I'd either put it between the two biggest rooms (using that cupboard and probably steal a bit more space over the stairs?).

Or steal a bit off of the smallest room.

And I'd definitely knock down the lean to and build a proper extention along the whole of the wasted innie bit you get with Victorian terraces (see picture). I think if you did that you could steal a bit of space off of the dining room to extend the inner hall and add a downstairs loo (probably against that left hand wall to keep the plumbing easy).

OnePlanOnHouzz Tue 22-Apr-14 20:13:38

Here's a cheaper option

HenI5 Wed 23-Apr-14 00:25:55

Is the conservatory big enough to fit a spiral staircase for separate bedroom 3 access?

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