Opinions on open plan room please :)(27 Posts)
We are extending and having one open plan kitchen/living room which will open onto the garden. I'll try and briefly describe it as I'm interested to know what the majority of you would prefer the layout of the room to be. We are hoping to sell in a few year so wAnt to get this right.
The room is a 4x4.5 metres, then knocked through to a 4x3m extension (3 metres is how far it extends and 4m is the width.
The only window is bifold doors at the end of the extension, and a skylight in the extension.
The original room has a chimney breast.
Currently we have it arranged that the loving area is in the original part of the building. We will put a fireplace into the chimney breast. The kitchen/diner is in the extension, with a peninsula separating the two areas with the sink on in (this is necessary to have enough surface/cupboard space.
My worries about this are that the table size is restricted because of the peninsula, and the room feels quite separated. It also means the living space is internal so relies on light from the extension.
I'm considering swapping it so the kitchen is internal. We could then have a range in the chimney breast, surrounded by I shaped units on the side and rear wall. Enough room for a large/extendable table.
The living space is then in the extension, with one sofa dividing the space. This is obviously a smaller space and means we can only fit two 2 seater sofas, but other than that we can use the same furniture as before, we just lose the fireplace.
What do you all think would be a better option? I'm leaving towards option 2, but DH thinks the kitchen need to be next to the external doors. We need to decide soon to let the builder know before work starts.
Are you going to have a separate dining table or could you have a large breakfast bar instead?
If this would work in the layout you would also have more work top and the space may flow better
I'd prefer the living space in the older cosier part of the house and the kitchen in the modern extended bit.
BUT I hate open plan living with a passion (after having it in our last couple of houses) and wouldn't view any house with that set up, so my views should probably be disregarded!
Ps. I would rather have the sofas in the cosy part and the kitchen in the newer, lighter part too.
I definitely want a proper dining table, I'm not a fan of breakfast bars. Also we have little ones and table is easier for high chairs/drawing etc.
I'm not a big fan of open plan either but we are extending a flat and this is the only way to do it so need to make it the best it can be.
DH agrees with you about having a cosy living area in the old part. It will be nice t have the fireplace.
I'm just worried the lack of flexibility over the table size may put people off - can fit a four seater with the chairs facing each other rather than on each side iyswim. But will struggle to have a large group for dinner. Also struggling with where to put the dishwasher as it will be opening behind a chair currently and as there is not a lot of space I can see this becoming very annoying.
Looks like so far you agree with DH though...
I would have living room / dining table in the old part, kitchen in the new.
Sofas farthest from kitchen. Then a dining table big enough for day to day but with whatever leaves / extenders / contraptions necessary to get it big enough for Christmas - you can push the sofas out of the way and not worry too much about having to squeeze past. Big kitchen in the extension, with some seating (stools or another sofa) and if at all possible, some sort of doors to separate the kitchen from the living space - we've got big double doors on 180 degree hinges that we hardly ever close, but we can if we want.
In your kitchen if you have base cupboards with drawers rather than selves it is completely amazing how much more usable space you have and can get away with fewer cupboards. I wonder if you need fewer kitchen cupboards than you think which may make it possible to move the dishwasher or invest in a drawer dishwasher??
Be ruthless about what you have in your kitchen, do you a) really need it, b) does it really have to be in your kitchen???
We've done similar twice, but always put kitchen in the internal space - for me the kitchen then becomes the "hub" plus you tend to have task lighting in the kitchen (& I also opted for reflective surfaces to bounce around the light) means you can sit in your living room with your folding doors open so making the outdoor area part of your living space.
Is there no way to do it without the peninsula? That sounds like it is creating the problems.
Is there a floor plan you could scan and post?
We have option 1 and I am sitting in the "snug" with the fire lit for the first time - bliss I prefer the kitchen in the new bit as its lighter and you can see the garden whilst cooking. We do, however, have space for a largish table in our dining area.
Our neighbours are about to go ahead with your option 2. I have seen the plans but much prefer our layout, although I'm sure theirs will be lovely when finished.
Spindela your idea sounds amazing but there is no where near enough room to do that unfortunately.
I'll try and post the floor plans later as will be easier to see the space we are working with then. There is not a lot of space. The run of kitchen cabinets on the wall is only 2.7m so I don't think we can fit cooker and sink on there, hence needing the peninsula. We have tall cabinets/fridge on facing wall
Our living/dining room is 4m x 5m (so a tiny bit bigger than your inner room but not much). How many people do you need to get on sofas or round the table at any one time?
I would rather have a 4m x 3m kitchen and a slightly crowded living/dining room than try to squish a dining table in the kitchen. But maybe I'm odd.
Oh that's interesting - how do you have the layout to fit that all in? We would like to fit two 2 seater sofas, and a table for 4 but that could accommodate 6 if necessary. I can't work out how to arrange the furniture to get that all in the living area.
Living/dining room to S of kitchen. Double doors are in middle of dividing wall, so there's still a bit of wall either side. Door to living/dining is on W wall, by the diving wall.
Two two-seater sofas in an L shape in the SW corner of living/dining. Six-seater (extends to eight) dining table in NE, so "head of table" is by hinges of door into kitchen. Two of the seats are up against the E wall, but we don't need them day to day and pull out the table when we do. Does that make sense? I can draw a sketch if not.
Thanks that does make sense, it won't work in our layout due to the door position and the chimney breast.
I'm on iPad so can't add my floorplans, but I've attached some roomstyler pictures I've made of each layout. This is from the door to the room looking towards the extension.
I think the second option looks bigger and more open. The kitchen is an l shape, with the second run of cabinets not visible as they are to the left of the door.
In the first there is an l shape formed by the peninsula and worktop run against the wall, then tall cabinets on the opposing wall with the table in the middle,
Would love some feedback. Ignore the decor though as it's just to get an idea of layout
Before you posted those options I would have gone for option one. Now I think I'd go for option two. It works much better with the light and feels more open.
Yeah, you'd need to put a sofa in front of either the door or the fireplace to replicate our layout. Oh well. In that case, I vote for option 2.
For reselling I think they're equally good. Sone people will prefer to have a fire place, some people will love a range. The second option might fetch a little more but will cost you more. I think you should do whichever option you'd be happiest living in.
You've done a great job on the pictures. They're both lovely.
Thank you. I'm hoping the cost of option 2 will be offer by the reduction in the work surface cost as because of the peninsula and wanting to bounce light into the living area we are thinking of white quartz which is about £3k. If we could swap this for wood or just less stone it will save £££
If you're worried about losing the fireplace, you could have a wood burner in the living area in option 2.
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