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Help redesign my downstairs layout (floorplan attached)

(30 Posts)
MILdesperandum Mon 22-Dec-14 21:36:00

We bought our house knowing that the layout didn't really work for us but the price and the size were right. We'd like to change our layout round to suit us better and use the space better. Problems with the current layout are
1)No access to the garden except through the kitchen (easily remedied)
2) Decent sized kitchen and large living space yet we tend to eat our meals cramped in the kitchen (messy kids) rather than using the serving hatch and dining table. when we do use the dining table I'm forever walking to and fro round the staircase to retrieve stuff from the kitchen so we need to be able to eat in the kitchen or close by!
3)Focal point in the living room is a competition between the tv (practical) and fireplace (more attractive).

We currently use the large extension as a "play room" toy dumping ground it would be nice but not essential to maintain a more messy kids area in the new layout which could be shut away. I'd also love a utility room. Anyone want to give me some ideas on what to do with the layout? Extension is not out of the question, we'd lose the current patio if we extended on the left but still have a fair sized garden.

Notes: placement of kitchen sinks/cooks is not representative! Window by piano is floor to ceiling (but not patio doors)

EnlightenedOwl Mon 22-Dec-14 21:46:07

Bring kitchen forward so flush with extension have big open plan kitchen/family diner with opening doors to garden; within larger kitchen incorporate your utility room, then you could have doors to living area which you can close off/ leave open as you wish great for entertaining. Perhaps then use some of garage to create playroom with access off hallway.

RandomMess Mon 22-Dec-14 21:57:22

I would use the extension as a sitting room. Turn kitchen into utility, have door where serving hatch is walking into a kitchen/dining/family room.

Chuck the toys out/rotate them grin

WiIdfire Mon 22-Dec-14 21:57:56

I'd knock through the wall between the kitchen and front room (is it a garage?) and make it a large kitchen diner. You could put a utility at the very front if you wanted. I'd also knock through where the hatch is to make a doorway (double doors that can be wide open) then add a french window to the backroom. I'd personally keep the backroom as the playroom and have the TV in there, but then I don't like to have a TV in my sitting room so that might not suit you. It would mean the focus of the sitting room would be the fireplace however.

MILdesperandum Mon 22-Dec-14 22:09:09

Good to hear peoples ideas!
Enlightened that's probably been the idea we've been kicking around, if we went that way I worry that the end of the (current) living room furthest from the window would be dark. Hadn't considered a playroom in the garage...
Random Interesting - like the idea of a big utility room, not sure how easily all the services could move across to the current living room. Would love to chuck the toys :-)
Wildfire yes that room is the garage. I do like the idea of no tv in the living room but I don't think I'd want to sit in the messy playroom to watch tv in the evening!!
Thanks for the ideas, good to hear some different opinions

RandomMess Mon 22-Dec-14 22:20:04

Well you wouldn't be moving the services far, have the dining table near the front of the house.

We had a tiny house when the girls (4) were little, honestly you need floor to ceiling storage in their bedrooms and rotate the toys downstairs that they get access to - it's been proven that they can't actually cope with lots of toys being available.

didireallysaythat Mon 22-Dec-14 22:31:09

MIL can I be a geek and ask how you drew your plan ? I'm in a similar situation (although probably a year or more away from being able to afford things) and I'd like to start playing around with plans but I haven't found a program/app yet. Your sketch is great - I immediately get what you've got already. And while I'm hopeless at these things, I'd be trying to work out if it's possible to have a grown up room (including dining if necessary) and a kids room. I'd like my kids not to disappear upstairs to their bedrooms....

MILdesperandum Mon 22-Dec-14 22:47:38

Hi, I used You can plan up to 3 storeys for free (I think) so I've got 3 versions of my ground floor worked up on there. Good luck - we too are probably at least a year off affording works - more if we get grand designs

EnlightenedOwl Mon 22-Dec-14 22:53:19

You could put glass doors to the sitting room from the new family room to maximise light. Maybe something like this

didireallysaythat Mon 22-Dec-14 22:59:19

Thanks mil I think I'll spend Xmas at the rellies drinking and playing around with designs. I like the idea of the dining area spilling out into the garden - also practical for floors as I think the garden to house transition is better in a mopable surface, and I don't like carpeted dining rooms for the same reason. But I don't think that helps much, does it ?

MILdesperandum Mon 22-Dec-14 23:08:12

I don't like carpeted dining rooms either - hence why we always eat in the kitchen at the moment with the kids!
Enlightened doors are a possibility, wonder if they can be obscured somehow to hide mess

EnlightenedOwl Mon 22-Dec-14 23:15:59

Internal door blinds like these. Gives you a privacy option too.

MILdesperandum Mon 22-Dec-14 23:25:08

Nice idea - thanks!

Apatite1 Mon 22-Dec-14 23:54:58

My solution to all layout problems is to knock out all walls back to a big rectangular space and then rework the internal walls back in. This is not the cheap way to do it, but it gets you exactly what you want!

Quitethewoodsman Tue 23-Dec-14 00:05:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kayessbee Tue 23-Dec-14 02:04:48

Get a structural engineer or builder to tell you first what walls can be removed easily or otherwise; also check how easy it is to move water & waste; if all OK.....

Knock out walls between kitchen and main room, extend kitchen out about 1m onto the patio (upwards in the picture); lose kitchen door, insert window overlooking garden; patio doors to left side of extension room at the top; install c-shaped kitchen; playroom/family day room in extension space; dining table across living space to the right of kitchen; living space below dining table with internal glass panelled dividing doors so it can be kept private; pinch a bit of the garage to create a walk in utility area accessible from kitchen.....

Needs a drawing but there are some ideas to think about over Christmas!!

MuscatBouschet Tue 23-Dec-14 03:29:54

Nobody has asked you the aspect of the house! Surely this I critical to deciding how to rearrange things? Standard single garages are always strangely long and narrow, but you do have the possibility of taking part of the hall left of the stairs into a new kitchen-diner created from the existing kitchen and part of the garage.

Also, where is your bathroom upstairs? If it is the same side as the kitchen then moving the services will be a pita.

MILdesperandum Tue 23-Dec-14 08:45:31

Muscat Garden faces south so the rear of the house is much brighter than the front. Bathroom at the back, centre of the house and yes, the soil pipe goes directly down the back of the house (currently boxed into the corner of the extension nearest the dining table.
kayessbee like your ideas I may just have to try drawing that!

dietcokeisgreat Tue 23-Dec-14 19:24:07

Well, if no money for extension i would...
Sacrifice garage and make whole of current kitchen/ garage into a lovely big kictchen/diner+ mini utility area if poss. Then have current sitting room just ws a sitting room and the extension as a playroom with lots of built in storage.

If extension money:
Bring kitchen out to level of extension to make big kitchen/diner. Put in doble doors through to playroom in current extension. Could then separate off sitting room if you like. Would then keep garage or if it is long enough sacrifice a little bit at the end for utility. If you don't really need the garage convert to study and big storage cupboard.

My friends have done the study/ storage thing with their garage and it is great. Esp as one child has a teeny box room with no space for a desk.,

Ditch serving hatch if you never use it. Gives more useful wall space in sitting room.

We are trying to move at the moment but our current house we rearranged the downstairs to make big kitchen/diner with ickle play area at on end plus separat sitting room. Massive improvement to family life. You have more opions than we did though.

Good luck!

MILdesperandum Tue 23-Dec-14 19:58:35

dietcoke We would have the money for an extension eventually I suppose we need to work out how long it is worth waiting for (and how much it might cost!). Good luck selling yours.

MuscatBouschet Sat 27-Dec-14 01:51:20

Do some investigations about your garage? How much lower is the floor in their currently? Can you achieve the same ceiling height as in the rest of the house?

Everyone's tastes differ but I like a snug little living room, which I'd achieve by putting up a stud to cut it off from the back of your house. Then I like a nice light kitchen, dining and play/day space. You might be able to keep the kitchen where it is and give it more space from your garage, using the rest of the garage for utility and storage.

wormshuffled Sat 27-Dec-14 08:21:44

How are you thinking of gaining access to the garden?

MILdesperandum Sat 27-Dec-14 20:03:47

I was imagining accessing garden through French or Bifold doors at the back of the house. I'd really like to keep a side door somehow for taking the bins out smile

Garage is quite narrow 2.4m I think so not much use for a snug (or garage) but a utility room might work! I reckon the floor is only a few inches lower than the rest of the house, same for ceiling.

Sandthorn Sun 28-Dec-14 08:32:50

I'd do similar to random, but turn the extension into kitchen diner: L shaped kitchen at the right hand side, french windows to patio on left hand wall, where kitchen table benefits from all that light.

I would partition the current sitting/dining room, maybe with part-glazed sliding doors level with the top of the stairs. You could have a TV snug where the dining table now is, piano opposite, but you could close the doors to leave a more grown-up sitting room, with or without an understated TV that can fold away.

Current kitchen, I would use as laundry/storage, with the option of creating a downstairs loo against back wall of garage. Would definitely keep the side door there for bins and hanging out washing.

DoesntLeftoverTurkeySoupDragOn Sun 28-Dec-14 08:42:14

How about an internal wall in line with the stairs closing off the living area to turn it into a snug for TV watching in the evening, maybe with glazed doors to allow more light.
Knock out the wall where the hob is to make a large family living area with well planned toy storage and doors out onto the garden.
Convert the garage if you don't use it - maybe half as a futility room, half left as garage type storage at the front of the house.

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