Internal layout ideas(15 Posts)
I am looking for some inspiration as to how to make best use of the space we have. The previous owners of the house added some extensions but the layout just doesn't work.
I've made up a semi accurate floor plan which is what the house currently looks like. The kitchen desperately needs replacing but I'm not sure if it's worth it at the moment. Ultimately I would like to convert the conservatory into a proper kitchen diner extension but I don't know if we will ever be able to afford this. The conservatory is pretty much useless and houses all the junk and looks a mess which is frustrating as it houses the only external door. The external door in the conservatory also opens on the wrong side of the garden.
In an ideal world I would have a kitchen diner leading directly into the garden and would have a utility room, possibly with another single door into the garden and a downstairs toilet.
The current kitchen is too small so I have also thought about maybe knocking the dining room and kitchen into one but this doesn't solve the problem of having access to the garden directly from the kitchen. Directly outside the kitchen window is a small paved area where all the drains and water inlet/outlet stuff is.
We need to decide on what the best option is
A) replace the kitchen soonish by keeping the layout roughly the same and aim to get work done to the conservatory to make it more useable as a garden room further down the line or
B) put up with it for the foreseeable future until we could maybe afford to convert the conservatory into an extension or
C) make some other changes to the layout.
I should also mention we have redecorated the lounge so would prefer to keep it as it is although I would consider altering the door situation at the back (this room is sectioned off into a living room and playroom)
I'm going around in circles with this, any suggestions would be much appreciated.
I think you have limited options unless you can change the stairs and access. The ideal scenario in my opinion would be to create an access at the back of the dining room into a central hallway (where your under stairs cupboard is) and the stairs to be turned round and all rooms are accessible from the central hall way. Not sure how that would affect your upstairs? At the moment you have lovely big rooms but the lounge & dining rooms are just corridors to get access to the back of the house. I wouldn't spend money on doing the kitchen until you can sort out the layout issues.
Does your comment about the pipes under the kitchen window mean you couldn't put a door there??
If the kitchen window could be made into a door, could you knock down the kitchen/dining room door, move the kitchen to the front of the house, and have doors out of the dining room, where the kitchen now is.
Then, when you have time, put the utility and down stairs toilet in the replaced conservatory, along with another room with the current big doors.
I don't know if you will have issues with plumbing if you move the kitchen to the other side????
I agree with namechanged: it needs a hallway and will probably benefit from having the stairs turned. Conservatories always seem an utter waste of space to me so I'd knock it down as it doesn't seem to add anything to the layout, just creates another room that you have to pass through to get somewhere (the garden) and probably soaks up a lot of light that might otherwise go into the living room. I think to make the house work well, you need an architect/designer to give you some input and tell you what is feasible.
Alternatively, make the dining room a living room and close up the door to the current kitchen. Make a wall along the middle of the kitchen (roughly where the sink is) and everything to the left of that becomes a utility room (with downstairs loo if you want) then knock the rest of the kitchen into the living room and create an L-shaped kitchen-diner-family room. Knock down the conservatory and put in large patio doors out into the garden.
It really depends on how much disruption you are willing to put up with and how much money you're willing to spend. I wouldn't do anything major to the interior layout without adding floor space via an extension as I doubt you'll get the investment back when you sell. So I would probably do (c) and have a major rethink of the interior layout coupled with obtaining planning permission or a certificate of lawfulness for permitted development. I agree with PPs that the current layout with both of the large reception rooms operating as corridors isn't ideal and you really need a proper hallway to access the back of the house. But that starts to get into moving stairs and structural work and so on, hence the question of budget.
Could you move the kitchen units to the right hand side of the kitchen, changing the patio doors to a window, put a door in at the left hand side of the kitchen either on the back wall or side wall? Also knock through between kitchen and dining room.
It is a shame to have so much space but no downstairs loo though. Our house is like yours but with a downstairs shower room between dining room and kitchen (and we have a utility out at the side) and I think our options are pretty much nil, short of extending the kitchen, which DH won't ever consider.
A hallway would be lovely but I don't think I could bring myself to sacrifice living room space for it, so I'd be disinclined to do anything fundamental without doing the extension.
Is it semi detached or a terrace? Can you knock a side door into the kitchen to get to the garden?
What have other houses done on your road?
Assuming this isn't a 'forever home' with a huge budget (which it sounds like it's not), I'd just knock down the wall between kitchen and dining room to make one big room then replace the kitchen window with doors to the garden. I'd make the conservatory a more usable space for now, and in the future if you want you can always replace it/extend (and consider adding a utility and wc then too)
Thanks for the ideas so far, unfortunately the house was extended quite significantly without any thought to the layout. The original house consisted of just the dining room and kitchen (the dining room was the original living room). Also it's quite a modern house so room dimensions are on the small side and I think there are certain things we can't change.
namechange I agree it would be much better with a hall so the rooms can be accessed individually but I can't see how we'd be able to create one. I did consider if it would be worth adding a porch but I think other houses have been refused this. I also thought about turning the stairs but the people who built the extension have already fiddled with the stairs and upstairs layout and due to location of water tanks etc I don't think this would be possible.
inthedessert yes my comment about the pipes etc means it's something I'd have to look into before planning any changes because I'm not sure if it would be possible to move them. Turning the window into a door is possibly the most affordable option depending on ability to move the pipe work. If we bricked up the patio doors between the kitchen and conservatory then that would probably give us the best space.
lala I agree about conservatories, I would never recommend one but I don't think we could knock it down unless it was to be replaced by an extension as we rely on the space in there for laundry and storage, it's such a shame it can't be used as a normal room because it's got a great view of the garden and gets a lot of sunlight. Before we do anything I know I'd need to consult a professional as they will likely provide us with ideas we would never have thought about, we won't be able to do this until we have an idea of affordability though unfortunately. Thanks for the ideas though.
sentia to be honest we don't want too much disruption as we have recently made a lot of changes, replacing windows, flooring and redecorating as the house desperately needed it. The kitchen and conservatory are the only rooms we haven't touched as they are going to require the most money.
Budget is at present unknown but I think affordability wise £30k would be our max which I know isn't much the realms of renovations. Accessing these funds would require a remortgage so is probably at least 2 years away if not more.
This is why I am torn over what to do, I am absolutely fed up of the kitchen but can't see the point in replacing it without making some changes at least whereas DH thinks we just replace the kitchen leaving the layout the same as he thinks we will never be able to afford it. Other than these problems we are quite happy with the house, I just wish the old owners had put some thought into it!
I'd create a corridor down the side of the dining room / stairs to create a hallway. Would put utility at front of house in front part of dining room. (Would divide off with a wall depending on how big you wanted it.) Then knock down wall between dining room and kitchen and put in new kitchen. Ultimately would want a doorway (double?) between kitchen and the long lounge. Natural place for a dining table would be the back of the lounge, imo.
Long term an extension across the back in place of the conservatory. Then you'd gain additional living space if / when you can afford it without undoing what you've done.
Think layout as it is would put off future buyers.
Sorry I missed the other replies.
plotter your idea is the one I've thought about the most, I know nothing about building work but I imagine it's easy enough to replace the window with a door and block off the patio doors leaving just a window as this would create the most space for the kitchen.
believe sorry I forgot to mention the house is a semi, attached to next door on the left side (kitchen dining room side) so unfortunately can't create a side door into the garden but could turn the window into a door. Unfortunately none of the other houses in the road have the same amount of land so are unable to extend side wards, some have gone for a conservatory on the back though.
user147 this house may well end up being our forever home but I can't see we will ever have a huge budget to make changes. I think the problem is I want to make the changes now whilst the children are young so the house flows better and makes my life easier whilst I'm at home. I know this is unrealistic though. The best option for now might be to just knock through the 2 rooms and make other changes further down the line.
yomellamo the problem I've got with creating a small room at the front of the dining room is that this is the only window and source of light on that side, also not sure how easy/hard it would be to move water pipes to this area as the front garden is shared with next door. We've moved our furniture around a lot whilst living here and at one point did have the dining room at the back of the lounge but it was a nightmare being so far away from the kitchen, especially with a baby. I did wonder if you could knock through the wall between the kitchen and back of lounge but as its the old external wall I'm pretty sure it would be load bearing. Funnily enough, where we live is highly desirable due to the excellent local school, as a result houses get snapped up for a ridiculous amount of money considering the amount of work they often need. We've got no intentions of moving for a long time, at least until primary school is over!
Is the kitchen such that you could spruce it up on a budget - new worktops, paint the doors and wall?
Knocking kitchen and playroom through could work. I think it might be worth getting some professional advice sooner rather than later even if you don't do anything with it for years, as it'll save you throwing money away doing work that doesn't fit with the longer term plan.
The dining room is a good size. I wonder if you could squeeze in a utility between kitchen and playroom if you knock through to the dining room and put the door in. You could run units down into the dining room then and/or do a U shape extending into the room. I think that is your bet bet for solving the flow issue because it means both main rooms are accessed from the hall.
plotter unfortunately the amount of sprucing up we can do is minimal, we could paint some of the walls but most of them are tiled, can't paint the cupboard doors as they're a laminate type material and the top layer has started to bubble and come away on several doors. Also a few base cabinets are water damaged and the sink is on its way out so its kind of an all or nothing job really. The kitchen is very small and the cupboards seem to be unusual sizes, they don't run the full length of the walls either so there's a lot of wasted space.
Thanks for your idea, it's given me something to think about. It's so hard to plan what to do as I don't want to do something in the short term if it will prevent us from making further changes in the long term. What type of person is it best to approach? Architect, builder, conservatory conversion specialist?
You could knock an opening through between the lounge and kitchen - so have
a doorway without going for a full knock down. Then you have kitchen diner sort of. (Dining area at top of the lounge).
Or: You could knock an opening between the kitchen and dining room and create more of a galley type kitchen, so keep the sink where it is for now and have a longer run of work tops into the dining room.
Have a dining table with a bench against the wall so it doesn't take up too much space.
I'd be more tempted to do both. So knock a door through to the lounge so if your kids are playing there you can see them easily.
Then make a galley type kitchen diner.
The biggest issue I see is that you can't walk from the lounge to the kitchen without going via the conservatory.
kitchen diner like this with your dining table under the current dining room window - you could have the sink against the wall without major moving of pipes and give the option of a door to the garden one day.
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