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Please critique this kitchen plan

(52 Posts)
NamedyChangedy Sat 21-Jan-17 12:11:35

Hints and tips would be great - this is my first project of this size and I don't want to make the wrong decision...

We have a skinny Victorian house and are planning to knock through into the side return to make a wider kitchen. We'll need planning permission because of the length.

We can fit a dining table in there now but it's a squeeze. I'd like to be able to get a sofa in there too, so we can all use the room as a family (2 DCs, 6 & 4).

The architects have come back with an initial drawing but I'm finding them rather uncommmunicative. Perhaps someone with experience of living in a similar layout can tell me if this makes sense.

My main questions are:
- Is there any point having two entryways into the kitchen? Will it make the whole of the downstairs harder to heat? (The thinking was that blocking up the right-hand doorway would make the middle reception room quite dark.
- Is there enough space left on the lefthand entry way so you don't have to turn sideways to get into the kitchen? Especially when the cupboard doors are open...?
- Is this the best configuration of dining table and sofa?
- Will we have enough kitchen cupboards?

I'm trying to imagine how we'll use the space - DCs playing or doing homework, us cooking / having friends over for lunch. But I'm not sure that I'm imaginative enough for this. Is it better to have had the kitchen fully designed before I finalise the structural stuff?

This is my first time posting pics so let's see if this works...

7to25 Sat 21-Jan-17 12:22:13

Why do you need the sofa in the kitchen if you adjoin a living room?

NamedyChangedy Sat 21-Jan-17 12:26:54

At the moment whoever's cooking is kind of banished to the kitchen on their own so we thought it would be good for everyone to be able to comfortably be in there together.

Although the living room would be adjoined, there'd be a narrow passageway between it and the kitchen (potentially separated by a door), so it wouldn't feel like you were in the same room, if that makes sense? I'm very open to alternatives though!

SwedishEdith Sat 21-Jan-17 12:27:43

What will you use the middle room for now? Would a table and chair be better at the garden end?

Lweji Sat 21-Jan-17 12:33:45

It all looks very awkward.
Any chance of moving the toilet?

NamedyChangedy Sat 21-Jan-17 12:34:52

The middle room will probably stay as it is - it has a piano, bookshelves, sofa and toy chest there now.

The table could go at the garden end, that seems to be a more symmetrical way of laying it out. Especially if we're getting an extending table - we often seat 12-14 with both lots of family round. And I think we'd then have space to fit the sofa on the right by the kitchen bit instead, but that's the thing I'm least sure of - all depends on how the space is used, I guess?

ToastieRoastie Sat 21-Jan-17 12:35:46

I think the kitchen looks like a corridor into the back area where you have the sofa. What is the little hallway between the living room and the door - can't you have a glazed door going straight into the back area?

7to25 Sat 21-Jan-17 12:36:37

If I am honest, I think the kitchen is too compromised by the sofa. I don't like the peninsular think going on and cutting the kitchen in half. To my mind it is a bit dated.
Kitchen units now seem to be in a row.
Is there any chance of moving the wc? This seems to be the thing that stops it being a good plan and created a lot of problems. Your second living room will have no window and if you instal a door there, it will have no natural light. Is that right?
You may have fallen into a bit of a trap of having an extension but rendering one of the existing rooms unusable (very common)
I think that the living area needs to become semi open plan with the revamped kitchen for this to work.

Testificateman Sat 21-Jan-17 12:36:47

If you extend to the side as planned, your dining room will be too dark and could make it less attractive to future buyers.
If I was you, if you have the room, I'd extend to the rear of the property. Open it up into a nice orangery. This would add value and saleability. Your sofa can go in there then, and it would cost less to do.

NamedyChangedy Sat 21-Jan-17 12:40:04

Oh no Lweji, does it look awkward? That's what I'm worried about! Would you remove the toilet altogether, or just have it elsewhere?

I'm trying to keep costs down so if we could work round the toilet that would be my preference, but don't want a compromised space that'll annoy me everyday either!

There's a toilet and sink in there, but also washing machine, tumble dryer and the boiler too (and it was redecorated last year). I don't have exact figures yet but I'm guessing it'll cost a bit more to move all that....?

I was hoping the architects would have advised on these options but I'm disappointed with the input they've given us so far.

TSSDNCOP Sat 21-Jan-17 12:41:18

Could you make the kitchen go out about half way down to keep the window in the middle room, and go out further from the back into the garden?

ExplodedCloud Sat 21-Jan-17 12:41:55

The utility/cloakroom looks awkward there and that's a lot of space taken up by the sofa.
Why not have a couple of chairs that can be moved around rather than a large sofa?

NamedyChangedy Sat 21-Jan-17 12:41:58

Testificateman, do you mean just do a rear extension, or rear AND side? I'm open to any ideas that might cost less!?

ExplodedCloud Sat 21-Jan-17 12:44:22

Also with the table where they've put it, once the chairs are occupied, the far end of the room would be blocked.

NamedyChangedy Sat 21-Jan-17 12:45:58

7to25, I completely agree about the light into the dining room. The glazed roof would help slightly, was the idea. Based on these comments, I think we need to go back to the drawing board and be prepared to move the utility room, anything else is too much of a squeeze.

TSSDNCOP Sat 21-Jan-17 12:47:56

One of my neighbours added a orangery type side, which is a seating area: lots of glass to keep the light, then put the extension on the back. Gives you a sort of fat b shape. Note am not an architect.

We are in Vctorian houses too.

Artandco Sat 21-Jan-17 12:48:07

That's cupboard with door in extension would block all natural light into current room as would be no window

I would:

Do extension to side with the windows in roof as shown
Add no cupboard in extension but a huge glass window connecting that to current playroom

Kitchen into either side of kitchen so it runs down length of extension and on extrance to kitchen. Then add a large table in middle with comfy chairs

No island or bar. Too squeezed in

No sofa squeezed in

Then you get a large kitchen with surfaces on both sides plus a large table where people can gather to chat, homework, kids play, prep etc..

Artandco Sat 21-Jan-17 12:51:27

ANd the cupboard in extension just make a nice reading area with comfy chair and lamp and books

7to25 Sat 21-Jan-17 12:51:36

The kitchen design would be ok without the sofa and the peninsular. That would give you plenty of room for the large table.
I dislike the door/skylight arrangement. I think that they have made the best of a bad job and that you won't like it when it is finished.

7to25 Sat 21-Jan-17 12:55:40

I don't think that is a cupboard, Artandco. They have moved the door into the kitchen to "gain " a skylight in the living room as its only source of natural light.

NamedyChangedy Sat 21-Jan-17 12:56:48

Artandco - I really like this idea, we may be guilty of trying to do too much with the space. I'm scouring Pinterest now to find something similar to what you're describing.

TSS I'm struggling to picture the orangery - where do they have their kitchen? Is it a very long, narrow room? But very nice and light I suppose, with all the glass?

Somerville Sat 21-Jan-17 12:58:30

I think these side-return extensions that improve the back room at the expense of making the middle room even darker can be a colossal waste of money.
If it really and truly suits the way you live and you plan to stay there a long time then fair enough, though.

In a similar house we moved the WC to beside/behind the staircase. Then knocked a wide archway through from middle room to kitchen, which then became the only entrance to the kitchen. Does that make sense?

If you have the garden length then you could also extend into the garden a bit.

NamedyChangedy Sat 21-Jan-17 13:11:17

Somerville, we do plan to stay here for a long time, yes. We can't really afford to move and stay nearby, without downsizing significantly.

And we got a rough estimate for doing the rear extension at the same time, and weren't sure that it was worth the extra cost and complexity, what with water pipes / sewers, or whatever's back there. Also, our garden isn't the biggest.

Our current kitchen layout is such that we pretty much have to ban the DCs from the kitchen while we're cooking, because little things like opening the oven (the door takes up half the width of the room) and moving hot pans from hob to sink eg are borderline dangerous.

So this extension would make that space so much more usable for us.

After a quick Google I can see that kitchen peninsulas are considered dated (who knew!!?) but I actually liked the idea that fast-moving little people would be blocked off from that section of the kitchen.

This is all so much harder than I thought. confused

7to25 Sat 21-Jan-17 13:12:25

You could divide the living room (horizontally on the plan) 60/40 with the 40 being the new boiler/loo/utility with no window internal. Then expand the entrance from kitchen to 60 living room (steel needed) no corridor, piano toys etc in this bit, light directly from kitchen and now room for a sofa in the kitchen. Much more useable space, less dead space, better illumination but greater costs.
I don't think the orangery idea would work in your house because the width across the existing back is too small.
How big is your garden?

NamedyChangedy Sat 21-Jan-17 13:14:06

7to25 - that's right, it's a doorway in this plan, but the architects did also show us an option that had it blocked off, in order to squeeze more cabinets into the kitchen. I did think we should at least put a window in there as Art suggests, but it would still be a compromise, working round the utility room.

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