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Separate rooms with wall or room dividing bi-fold doors?

(23 Posts)
BauerTime Wed 03-Dec-14 09:44:03

I am in the process of buying a new house. Ive always said that in my next house I want a kitchen/dining/family/toy room all open plan, plus a separate sitting room that is toy free (I can hear you all laughing) and that is sort of the grown-up space for just relaxing. Idea is that it will be just a massive comfy sofa, that is also a sofabed for overnight guests, TV, book case coffee table and that's about it. When I imagined this room it was a completely separate room.

However, in the house we are hopefully moving to, its a sitting/diningroom knocked into one, with double doors through to a kitchen/breakfast room. Idea is that double doors come out and wall comes down as much as possible to make the kitchen/breakfast room and dining room all one room. Now, do we put a wall up across the sitting room part (would also need to knock door through from hall, although I think there will be an existing one there that has previously been blocked up), or get some internal bi-folding doors with opaque glass to create a separate space, but allow for it to be one room if we need the space (at xmas, parties etc).

I am weighing up the pros and cons and I cannot decide. I like the idea of being able to open up the spaces, BUT if we use bi-fold doors then its never actually going to be a completely separate space is it? Can you guys tell me what you would do and why?

ThrowAChickenInTheAir Wed 03-Dec-14 09:58:50

I also toyed with this idea when we moved as we have such a huge living room. I like the idea of using the space differently when necessary.

Decided to keep it as it is in the end, but when I was mulling it over I thought that sliding room dividers looked less like a door-like and more like a wall which would make it look more of a separate space iyswim.

This sort of thing. Sliderobes do them too.

BauerTime Wed 03-Dec-14 10:06:46

Id want concertina (sp?) type doors that fold right back if we went for them instead of a wall. So you can have all fixed in place but the end one still opening like a door IYSWIM. I think the main sticking point for me is that if we had doors, then you cant really put anything along that side of the room as its not an actual wall so it would really dictate how you use the space and possibly end up with the doors open all of the time anyway so would forever lose the opportunity to have that separate room.

Lelivre Wed 03-Dec-14 11:08:30

I've got a dining/sitting/play room with double doors (open most the time) to a toy free sitting room.

There is also a door off the dining room to the kitchen which we were going to open but now I think I would like a large hatch instead with some sort of door, as it's nice to close off the noise and mess of the kitchen. Anyway I say this because I don't much use the toy free room even when kids are in bed. I may be getting blind to the mess although I do tidy toys each eve.

That said I would go for large opening of (hidden if possible, you know kind of disappear into the wall when open) sliding doors; it gives the spacious open plan feel without the pain of where to place furniture.

minipie Wed 03-Dec-14 15:35:16

I have a similar dilemma. I am weighing up between 1) putting in a wall, 2) solid wood bifold/concertina doors (Victorian style), or 3) "hidden" folding doors that look a bit more like a wall when they are shut.

My parents have option 2) between two rooms in their house - the doors are almost always shut and they do have a sofa in front of the doors. It doesn't look too odd. Obviously can't put TV or shelves on that side though, so it does restrict what you can do with the room.

I would avoid glass doors as they would look odder with furniture in front IMO.

BauerTime Wed 03-Dec-14 19:31:31

The reason I would go for glass doors (but opaque) is to let light through. If I had to have solid doors then I'd go with the wall.

minipie Thu 04-Dec-14 12:18:52

Ah I see. So does most of the light come from the sitting room then? In that case I'd go with the glass doors yes and just accept the restrictions on furniture, as long as you can find a layout that works.

Chasingsquirrels Thu 04-Dec-14 14:04:12

We have got sliding (into the wall cavity) doors between the playroom and living room, doors are solid matching other doors in house. Most of our light come in via the playroom although living room has patio doors at opposite end to playroom but these are East facing.
In the day the sliding doors are almost always open, so the light isn't an issue, then we shut the at night.
It's not open plan, but it allows the two rooms to be quite open to each other, or closed. Having the sliding doors means that the wall space either side of the doors in both rooms can be used, but as the doors are open a lot I don't put anything in front of them.

Chasingsquirrels Thu 04-Dec-14 14:07:07

See pic, it is dark ATM as both ds1 and I are home sick and haven't opened the curtains.

BauerTime Thu 04-Dec-14 19:42:31

The window is at the sitting room end and the other end is currently double doors through to kitchen which has large patio doors. The idea is to take out existing double doors and remove as much of the wall as possible so that the light from the patio doors lights that room IYSWIM. It shouldn't be really dark but obviously glazed doors would make sure it gets light from both ends. I just think that if I had solid doors I'd wish I just put a wall up anyway!

Dangermouse1 Thu 04-Dec-14 19:48:03

I'd go for the wall. We have glass doors between our 2 reception rooms and there is no soundproofing so you couldn't, for example, watch TV in one room while someone is working in the other. Also if one room is messy you see all the clutter from the other. And it really limits storage space and room layout. Unless you have massive parties all the time one huge space isn't that useful. We have opened our doors up about twice in the past year.

Chasingsquirrels Thu 04-Dec-14 19:57:17

I wouldn't have wanted glass doors at all, I slightly considered it because of the light issue, but knew when I shut the doors in the evening I wanted to shut out the playroom, not be able to see it all.

I really like my layout, but it isn't open plan as I also have a separate kitchen with conservatory/breakfast room and a separate dining room as well as the lounge and playroom. I also put in a door from the hall into the playroom so it can be accessed independently from the lounge.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 04-Dec-14 20:00:16

We have doors and I love the flexibility of having one big or two separate rooms

Iristutu Thu 04-Dec-14 20:12:39

I would say put a wall in and hang huge mirrors to bounce the light.
I have a living kitchen and a seperate sitting room, it never has toys in it. Is always pristine and is a sanctuary in the evening.

BauerTime Thu 04-Dec-14 20:20:24

It would be opaque glass squirrel so you wouldn't be able to see the mess!

But yes I think the sound proofing would be an issue with doors so maybe it would never be a space to retreat to away from kids and toys OR eventually teenagers and their friends!

I'm leaning more towards the wall now I think. I really don't want the downstairs of the house to be all one big room which is what I see might happen if we go for doors

BauerTime Thu 04-Dec-14 20:21:09

Iris that's what I want! A sanctuary !!!'

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 04-Dec-14 20:25:24

Put a wall in. A totally separate room is more likely to stay sacrosanct if it is harder to get into. With double doors into it, it would be all too easy to just allow it to be swallowed up with toys mess and food etc.

Fwiw my friend has a massive kitchen/diner/toy room and a separate grown up living room. She is one of the messiest people I know grin yet her living room remains pristine and grown up friendly.her toy room on the other hand......

BauerTime Thu 04-Dec-14 20:55:08

think that will be what my friends say about my house! I was tidy and organised pre-DC and I'd love a space I can keep clear and tidy with no crumbs or toys.

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FluffyWuffy100 Thu 22-Mar-18 08:00:09

I’d much rather have a separate sittting room with solid wall and door from the hallway.

Will be much more physically separate, not the same noise transfer issues as with doors and furniture placement is easier.

Realistically - how often do you have a big party where you want to open up the entire downstairs as one room?

MacaroniPenguin Thu 22-Mar-18 13:36:12

Wall for me I think, unless you can have superduper soundproofing in the door. There are times as the children get older when we want sound separation for music practice vs tv or their quiet for homework v my radio for cooking. The most important thing for me about the separate space is noise insulation.

That said I've never really got the grown up only area. Toys get tidied up before bed when they are little anyway, and it's not like you retreat into it when they are awake so I'm happy with a timeshare system. I do love having 2 spaces but DC are welcome in both.

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