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Layout/room use advice: Knocked through lounge

(14 Posts)
CycleOnTheLEFT Fri 06-Jan-17 12:41:19

I'm hoping for some help with new ideas for layout in my extended 30's semi. The main downstairs front and back rooms are knocked through. In the front half we have seating and the TV, but the back half of the room is largely unused. If you're facing into the back room we have the old chimney breast and alcoves on the left (radiator unhelpfully situated on the chimney breast), south facing sliding doors on the back wall, and a full wall of bookcases on the right followed by the door to the hallway. We're stuck with the wall of bookcases because we like the shelves and there's not really anywhere else for them to go.
It's this room which I don't know what to do with to make it interesting and useful.

The kids are usually in the front room (tv area) reading/watching tv/playing games, or in the kitchen at the table writing/drawing/eating. We seem to have a whole extra area of the living room which is currently a bit sad and lacking purpose.

We currently have a kitchen-diner, which is split kitchen on one side and diner on the other. One option is to move the big dining table from the kitchen into the back half of the living room. But then we'd need a purpose for the 'diner' half of the kitchen. It would still need to useful for breakfast/homework/etc. So maybe a smaller dining table and a sofa or something. But that seems like adding extra furniture for no real gain in functionality (apart from big occasions like Christmas when the second table would be useful).

Any thoughts would be gratefully received, particularly if you've seen a house with a knocked through living room which really 'works'. Half of me thinks we should brick the thing back up!!

SwedishEdith Fri 06-Jan-17 12:57:20

Could you put folding or double doors between the two rooms and make the back one into a library/music room? Get a few armchairs, move the radiator?

civilfawlty Fri 06-Jan-17 13:05:33

I agree. Paint it a nice dark colour, put in a couple of cosy chairs, a welcoming rug, and some nice lighting, and I guarantee people will choose to sit there for anything other than TV.

civilfawlty Fri 06-Jan-17 13:06:03

For dark room inspo, look at the blog 'Mad About The House'.

minipie Fri 06-Jan-17 13:32:01

We have the same layout. Here's our layout:

Front half reception is our "grown up room" with the fireplace, smarter sofa and no TV.

Back half has TV, big squishy sofa and all the kids toys.

Kitchen diner as you describe.

Our problem is we never use the grown up room! It would be a lovely evening room for reading, civilised conversation etc but we are usually knackered so just crash on the other sofa in front of the TV blush. We only use it if we have people over in the evening and at Christmas.

However your DC sound older so maybe that "grown up room" would work better for you and could also be a quiet place for Dc to do homework?

minipie Fri 06-Jan-17 13:33:03

Oh and my longer term plan is to brick it back up! But then knock the back half through to the kitchen/diner so we end up with one big family room and one smaller quiet room.

Bluebolt Fri 06-Jan-17 13:38:26

I have the kitchen diner, then I have a dining table in living room for board games and study area. Mine are teenagers and one disabled child otherwise I would knock through.

CycleOnTheLEFT Fri 06-Jan-17 14:09:52

Thanks for the interesting responses. The main problem is the lack of usable wall space in the back room, because one wall is knocked through, one wall is sliding windows, one wall is chimney breast/radiator and the last has the bookcase. We're also stuck because the only entrance into the knocked through room is in the back half, so we can't close the gap completely.
Adding dividers/doors between the two rooms would get round this problem, and give us more options, and even better if we could get rid of the radiator, but I'm drawing blank on any way around that. We are unlikely to want to knock the back through to the kitchen any time soon as the kitchen is new-ish and changing the layout would be a major undertaking. The back room is lovely to sit in when the sun is shining so deserves to be used more.
Kids are 7 & 10 so old enough to get on with things themselves (and most toys are in their rooms) but they still want us to be close-at-hand!
Maybe I should have a look at room dividers and alternative radiator options...

user1471549018 Fri 06-Jan-17 14:54:00

I don't know how big it is, but I would treat it as a second lounge/garden room. You could have a small round table in the middle of the room with a nice vase of flowers and a few books and magazines. This could be also used for hobbies. Then position a couple of armchairs in front (behind?) facing the garden for a morning cup of tea or evening glass of wine. If possible I'd move the book cases into the alcoves either side of the fire then have a nice console or sideboard on that right hand wall.

Bluebolt Fri 06-Jan-17 14:58:39

I changed my radiator from a horizontal to a vertical to free up wall space and was a cheapish option.

user1471549018 Fri 06-Jan-17 15:34:40

I can't edit my post, but this was the kind of feel I had in my mind.

yomellamoHelly Fri 06-Jan-17 15:59:15

Friends of ours had this problem, so resplit the lounge and knocked through from the kitchen to what was the back of the lounge to create a family lounge / console room / play area. What remains of the lounge is their haven. Really nice space.
We had the same problem and knocked out all the wall at the back of the house. Works for us.

CycleOnTheLEFT Fri 06-Jan-17 16:00:27

That's a nice idea user. I'm going to ask the plumber what our radiator options might be.

CycleOnTheLEFT Fri 06-Jan-17 16:01:33

yomellamoHelly if we were starting from scratch that is probably what I would do...

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