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To knock through or not and what to do with odd shaped bit - plan attached

(11 Posts)
OneMagnumisneverenough Sat 21-May-16 16:13:44

We will shortly be looking to redo our kitchen. A few year ago we had our utility room moved and haven't done anything with the space other than put a sideboard into it. DH wants to knock down the wall between the kitchen and the current dumping ground family room (to the right of the plan as you look at it (the room is about 3m x 3m and has a set of french doors opening to the back the same as the dining bit does and it also has a door going from the room into the living room at the front of the house. Technically it is the dining room but has never been used as such. It was the kids play room when they were little. DH uses it as a 2nd study but it's really just a gatherer of crap.

We have a another upstairs dumping ground (spare bedroom) that can be cleared to accommodate a 2nd study.

I'm not really sure what to do. It's not a particularly small house by new build standards but because it has a lot of separate rooms none of which are very big, it doesn't have a feeling of space. The upstairs feels smaller as is doesn't go over the garage, only to the bit where the kitchen meets current dining area. So it would be nice to have a big open bit.

Also the door from the new utility has never been turned so opens into the kitchen. We have a larger than normal fridge freezer on the piece of wall between the door to the utility and the arch through to the dining area.

Anyone have any ideas?

bilbodog Sat 21-May-16 17:44:53

So if you do what you are suggesting you will have a very long kitchen/dining/fa mily room across the back of t he house? Are you planning on leaving the working kitchen in the middle like it is now? I think i would consider moving the working part of the kitchen to one end so it can be fitted round 3 walls and then have the dining part next to the kitchen with the seating area at the opposite end. I wonder if the area between utility room and current kitchen could be used for a large walk-in larder which you would walk through and then into the utility room? That way you would need less storage in the kitchen and could manage with less or even no wall cupboards as all food storage would be in your larder?

OneMagnumisneverenough Sat 21-May-16 18:07:49

I see what you are saying but there is no way we'd ever get three walls at either end to put the kitchen into unless we blocked up a set of the french doors and the door through to the livingroom (if we put it at that end). The hall arrives into the middle as well. I guess we thought we could maybe do the bit inbetween where the hob is now as an island/breakfast bar type thing and maybe put a sofa into what we currently use as a dining room and put the dining table into the family room bit.

The walk in larder is not a bad idea but would be us effectively putting the walls back up where they were - it sort of feels like a backwards step but then we haven't made use of the open space either. confused I thought about maybe just running full length floor to ceiling units along there for storage so we wouldn't miss the wall cupboards on the wall that might come down? The lighting isn't great and we had to have a beam put across where the wall used to be.

The main issue we have is work surface though at the moment we have a george foreman grill on the bit between the full height oven housing (to the left of the window) and the sink. and a slow cooker at the bit between the hob and the door to the family room. That effectively leaves us just the one corner to do anything on as well as have the kettle/toaster/knives etc. but taking down the wall doesn't change that at all.

bilbodog Sun 22-May-16 11:48:40

When i envisaged moving the kitchen to the dining room end i was thinking that you should brick up the french doors and have a u-shaped kitchen and an island, giving lots of work top and put new french doors where the kitchen is now. The idea of putting floor to ceiling storage in the bit next to the utility room is a good idea.

Another simpler idea would be to still have a u-shaped kitchen where it is now - still have the walls om either side knocked through so just floor cupboards and work to at each side. If the width is enough would there be enough room to still have an island? People would then walk from room to room without going through the working part of the kitchen.

LizzieMacQueen Sun 22-May-16 13:00:23

If you really want open plan can you remove the wall that faces the bottom of the stairs so that you can see the kitchen from the hall. I would expand the kitchen into the dining area keeping the patio doors to the garden. Then open into the family room and have that as your dining area. You could create an outside dining area by having a patio that stretches across the back, linking both patio doors.

Could you put a sliding door to the utility room and I'd lose the arch - a square opening will be more contemporary. Did you mention what your budget is?

If you ever watch ItvBe, there's a show that features American houses being renovated to sell them on - buying and selling I think it is called - nearly every episode features an open plan kitchen in the centre of 2 or 3 living spaces. I'm not sure how that would work on a practical level but they look amazing.

OneMagnumisneverenough Sun 22-May-16 20:38:13

Thanks both.

The width isn't great tbh. I don't think there is any prospect of U shape without blocking of the entrance to the family room and shifting the kitchen door or taking away one set of doors to the outside - a nice folding set going right along the wall would be lovely though smile I'm also not sure we can do much with the archway through to the dining room in terms of widening it but we did plan to square it off. it's quite deep I guess something to do with that effectively being the transition from the main house to the side (1 story) section of the garage.

We already have a deck that runs the full width of the house, however sitting out opportunities are limited given we are in Scotland smile

Budget is limited. I have about £27k coming soon but have £15k left on the mortgage so planned to pay that off and I have a few bits and bobs I'd also like to pay off so, without borrowing again, I reckon we are talking only about £10k though with all debts paid off we can save a fair bit each month (in theory) so I don't mind putting a few grand on a credit card for a few months. We are retaining the mortgage borrowing facility but just having a zero balance and no payment, so we could borrow against that again if we wanted to but I don't particularly want to.

Being honest this isn't the house of my dreams and never was. We bought it because at the time it met our needs. We will sell it when the boys are out of school/uni os maybe in about 5-7 years. The current kitchen is the one put in when the house was built 14 years ago, it;s tatty and broken and needs replaced. I don't want to spend more money on the house than we'll get back.

It needs other things done such as complete interior redecoration and I'd like to replace all the interior doors as the current ones are cheap and nasty and need repainted - I'd rather not waste money painting them as they will still be cheap and nasty - just whiter. The sliding wardrobe doors are made of the same door type so they will need replaced too and the runners will need to go at the same time. The garden is empty - noticeably - we left it plain grass for the boys to play in but now that the trampoline etc is all gone it's just an expanse of crappy grass. There are two other arches in the house that will also need squared off.

Are you feeling the love? The bathrooms were redone and it was re-carpeted about 3 years ago so that's fine. Added complication to the kitchen issue is that we have an oak engineered floor that runs through the hall, living room, kitchen, dining area and a bit of a patch job of the same in the area where the utility used to be. And carpet in the family room. Thinking we could just stop the current floor at the kitchen entrance and refloor whatever goes beyond that in one go which will be a significant cost.

bilbodog Mon 23-May-16 10:21:22

Sounds as if you are only going to be able to do the kitchen units and swap like with like then. You could supplement what you have with a mobile island/chopping block - ikea have some good ones that dont cost much. Save big plans for the next house if you can.

OneMagnumisneverenough Mon 23-May-16 10:31:35

That was my thought really Bilbo it's more DH that wants to take the wall down. I do think it would really make a difference to the light so from that pov I think it's a good idea, however I don't think it really resolves the practical issues with the kitchen. We could spend our whole budget easily on the kitchen and just save and do the other bits month by month over the next year since we wont be paying any mortgage so it's not like we wont have any spare cash.

I'm tempted to see if we can get a local architect just to come in and give us some ideas/give any technical restrictions to what could be done. I think it would be money well spent if I could find someone who would do something like that.

OneMagnumisneverenough Mon 23-May-16 10:37:28

Oh and we can't easily take the bit of wall opposite the stairs out as that supports the beam across where the old utility room wall was. We would struggle to even move the door to there as it would be a narrow gap if we put units along there and also the radiator is on that bit of wall. We have concrete floors so I'm thinking that makes moving the radiators harder too.

I've heard there is someone in the estate with the same house style as us who has done this, I'm trying to see if I can identify a mutual friend so I can blag a look at theirs smile

LizzieMacQueen Mon 23-May-16 10:47:58

You don't necessarily have to pay a qualified architect. Contact a local college or FE place to see if they have any architects/building students who could work on plans for your house for free.

Or look on the council website for planning applications (maybe the person on your estate had to apply?) as that can be a good source of ideas.

OneMagnumisneverenough Mon 23-May-16 10:59:06

Good idea on the planning applications - I know ours was on-line as we needed a building warrant.

The local uni and college don't offer those courses as far as I know - DS1 was interested in doing architecture when he was younger so I have a wee look about, that was a few years ago though. I did however have a chat in the supermarket once with another Scout mum about it and she recommended some software for DS1 as it is what she uses, so I wondering if I can manage to get hold of her. We had an interesting chat as she was saying that often people assume they need an extension whereas they just need to plan their space better and also that they forget that whilst young children take up a lot of room as they have a lot of toys etc, that when they become teenagers that vastly reduces as they spend their time in their bedrooms with tech. She is totally correct on that score so I'm thinking she may be ideal. I'm busy trying to remember her Dss name and find out if he is still involved in Scouts or whether I maybe already have her contact details on a scout group email... the things we do eh?

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