Help me sort out my rear downstairs (not like that)(11 Posts)
We moved into our house nearly a year ago and are still dithering over what to do with the back room. I need to make some kind of decision. Does anybody fancy doing a bit of crowdsourced interior design?
Previous owners knocked through between rear reception and galley kitchen, which means we have a biggish rear room but with a weird antisocial line of units along one wall with not quite enough worktop/storage. The extended bit of the kitchen only has base units as there is a full width window at the end.
Currently we have a dining table by the window and the other half of the room is used as a sort of playroom area to avoid the front room being overtaken by toys.
There is a cellar which isn't tanked but isn't too damp and could probably be turned into a sort of basic utility area with some sprucing (tumble drier already lives down there).
What else do you need to know? It's a late Victorian terrace. Raised ground floor with steps down to the garden so we can't easily extend out the back. The rear windows come down quite low so we can't put base units along that wall. We have one bathroom upstairs. 5 beds (but 2 are in the attic - it's a 3 bed with pretensions).
Ideas I have come up with:
Option 1: Keep kitchen where it is but add an island, maybe with hob and extractor over? Hopefully get a better layout. Move washing machine down to the cellar.
Pros: We get to keep additional reception space. Probably cheaper.
Cons: Island blocks the route from hall to garden. Have to schlep down to cellar with washing. No wc.
Option 2: Turn extended bit of kitchen into utility/wc. Move kitchen over to other side of the room.
Pros: Groundfloor wc and utility. Kitchen less like a corridor.
Cons: Plumbing may be an issue. Needs an island otherwise kitchen is smaller than currently. Therefore no room for dining table by window, so table has to go in existing kitchen and we lose playroom/reception space. More expensive. What to do with space in front of island? Would it be a bit weird to have toys there?
Any thoughts? Am I basically just choosing between utility/wc and extra living space? Am I missing another genius solution? Is a wc worth going to down one reception room? Aaargh etc...
My thoughts: Personally I would see it as a disadvantage having to carry a heavy basket of wet washing up the cellar stairs to hang it out in the garden.
I think option 2 is better.
I've been to a house where they had a cupboard with the washing machine and tumble drier on top of each other. Not much space needed for that. As for a toilet, it's always useful to have an extra one, but again you don't need much space for it as can have a space saving toilet and tiny basin in there
Well I tumble almost everything but you can get out into the garden straight from the back of the cellar. Still have to go up some steps though.
Option 3 could be as per option 1, but with wm/td included in kitchen somewhere. I just though whacking it down the cellar would make more room.
I do love having a cellar but I do slightly wish I could just stick a wc under the stairs and be done with it.
I would partition off the back part of the kitchen and make it a utility room. No more washer noise or dirty laundry in the kitchen. Then re-design the kitchen to make a proper kitchen diner.
If you plan on staying in the house and have decent head height in the cellar, how about a future project to tank it and fit pumps so you get some useful additional living space?
I would move the washing machine downstairs. You are already going down for the TD and like that the noise is out of the living area. Since you usea all the space in the diner kitchen I would not make it smaller by closing off the extention. The island seems a bit odd in terms of flow, what about adding a wall of storage against the wall that backs on th the hall?
We have friends with a very similar layout but no cellar. They have a peninsular to the kitchen and units on all walls. Works really well. Also tiny downstairs loo under the stairs with a miniscule sink in the corner and coats on the back of the door. Works really well.
Option 2, def.
If you can, have a back door from the utility to the garden then mucky kids can come in that way.
as your kids grow you'll have fewer toys and more stuff in their rooms.
(Probably should have added) DS is 18 months old. We may have another DC if I can get my nerve up. We're probably going to be in this house for maybe 5 years, for various reasons. So we are going to be firmly in the toys downstairs phase while we're here. But also need to think of resale. If I had no or older kids I think I would lean towards smaller but flash kitchen diner plus utility. But right now I think I need somewhere to put the IKEA toy kitchen, train tracks, little table, boxes of Duplo etc.
Can anyone think of a better way to improve the kitchen layout where it is? I may have to get the Howdens man round again...
This doesn't help with keeping the kitchen on the same side... But what about move the kitchen to the dining room but using the L shape. So maybe base units and cooker down the left side and then floor to ceiling units across the back for storage. Then put the dining table instead of an island in the L.
On the existing kitchen side block of as you planned for a utility but then you still have space for a small seating/ toy area?
Instead of an island maybe use the kitchen table as additional work space? That would save space and money, would be more of an unfitted look. I think it's fine to use the cellar for the washing machine and the tumble dryer, as long as that works with small children and having to nip up and down the stairs.
It looks like you'd have space behind the stairs for a downstairs loo with the right cloakroom fittings. With very small children I'd definitely prioritise filling a downstairs toilet!
When faced with a smallish kitchen and no room to extend in the past I used "nearby" storage for stuff that wasn't used everyday. I used a specially shelved out hall cupboard, the friend I nicked the idea from used her utility room and my sister, who nicked it from me used a large court cupboard ( armoire type thing) in the dining bit of her kitchen.
Ours are 6&4. We got rid of the little table - they now use the dining table for drawing etc. We never had duplo. Tracks have gone upstairs but kitchen remains in the dining room. Ours like to play in the living room - despite a separate dining room we could never have them out of the living room so the toys live in there too! More so when the two of them were toddlers.
You might need some clever storage and a small dining table which extends.
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