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Ground floor - large open plan + 1 separate room, or smaller L shaped open plan + 2 separate rooms?

(38 Posts)
minipie Thu 26-Jan-17 18:42:34

We have been planning a rejig of our ground floor. Plan was to have a separate quiet sitting room at the front and then a very large, square open plan room at the back (family room for kitchen/dining/general living).

I just spoke to an EA and he reckons people really want 3 rooms - a kitchen/diner/sitting area, a playroom, and smarter adult room. So he recommends carving a quarter of the big square room off to use as a playroom. The playroom would be quite dark realistically as it would be an internal room. The family room space would be less generous and L shaped rather than square, but it would still be big enough, and probably tidier assuming the toys stay in the playroom (hahaha).

Which would you choose, please vote?

Option 1 - front room plus large square family room

Option 2 - front room, medium sized L shaped family room, darkish playroom off the family room.


Cel982 Thu 26-Jan-17 18:47:17

I'd like a dedicated play area where we could keep all the kids' stuff corralled, but I'm not keen on the idea of creating a windowless internal room... I think I'd go with your original plan, but I'd section off a play area in the big square room using Kallax shelves or similar.

Also, unless you're planning to sell within the next couple of years, I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about what an EA tells you. You need to create the home that suits you now. And a spacious house with a modern kitchen-diner and separate living room will always sell.

Pestilentialone Thu 26-Jan-17 18:48:16

Option 1. Nobody wants a dungeon to keep the kids in.
When small they are under your feet for good reason, when older you can send them upstairs

Beckyb1 Thu 26-Jan-17 18:50:47

I would like a separate room for toys. However, unless your planning on moving soon I would go with the idea you chose. I wouldn't be put off by not having a play room as if it was a large open plan I would have toys in a corner where I was cooking/relaxing where the kids would be in eyesight at all times. smile

minipie Thu 26-Jan-17 18:52:00

That's a really, really good idea Cel982. Also has the benefit that we could just remove the shelves later when the DC are older and (please god) have less plastic. Thanks

You're right about doing what suits us not buyers, however the playroom idea does have some benefits for us as well (corralling the kids stuff) - it's more that the EA conversation made me think about where all the plastic would go!

Any other views?

minipie Thu 26-Jan-17 18:53:09

Sorry cross posted

Nobody wants a dungeon to keep the kids in

I think DH does hmm

Good, sounds like everyone is coming out on the side of Option 1 so far, but with a "toy corner" which is a great idea.

Piglet208 Thu 26-Jan-17 18:56:40

I vote option 1. It's great to be able to see the children while they are playing so open plan is more practical. Instead of playroom maybe some kind of walk in cupboard for storage so the living area stays clutter free apart from what the kids are playing with.

minipie Thu 26-Jan-17 18:59:24

<writing down ideas> I am all about storage Piglet, would have to think about how that would work but sounds good

thanks, keep it coming!

Pestilentialone Thu 26-Jan-17 19:00:15

Oh yes, a walk in cupboard for toys and other assorted stuff, come utility room might be nice and will eat a much smaller area. Laundry has to explode somewhere.

minipie Thu 26-Jan-17 19:13:06

We're going to put the laundry machines upstairs I think (that's where we dry and iron everything and where all the laundry is generated/put away so it seemed to make sense?)

But yes a big walk in cupboard for toys and other unsightly stuff is a good idea, if I can work out where to put it which won't look silly (don't want to cut off just a small square in the corner of a large square room iyswim, also have fireplaces and doors to work round!)

PunjanaTea Thu 26-Jan-17 19:19:12

Agree option one plus some clever built in storage. I spoke to a kitchen designer recently who told me they could design the full space of our planned kitchen/ diner, and include non-kitchen style cupboards/ storage in the sitting and dining areas if necessary. I imagine this would have quite the price tag (I was just nosing at pretty kitchens) but there is always the option to just ask about it in terms of design inspiration.

JigglyTuff Thu 26-Jan-17 19:23:49

You can always put a stud wall in if you want to divide off an end of the room. Our playroom is off the kitchen and dining room - they're all separate rooms with doorways but no doors. So we can put them on if we want to but right now, it's useful to have them open. One wall is all storage

Silverthorn Thu 26-Jan-17 19:25:39

My kids wouldn't stay in a playroom, they follow me about the house. Even the 9mo crawls after me. I would prefer option 1, with a big storage space.
I also like to keep an eye on them.

Silverthorn Thu 26-Jan-17 19:28:09

Good idea JigglyTuff. Future proof it by making sure there is an area which could potentially be enclosed if you came to sell.

user1471549018 Thu 26-Jan-17 19:54:42

Option 2 for me (depending on the size of house), but I like an extra reception room that can be used as a playroom/office/den and that doesn't need to be kept as tidy as the family spaces

minipie Thu 26-Jan-17 19:58:38

Yes Jiggly I suppose we could carve off an "internal room" playroom but with big openings in both sides?

Still think it could be a bit of a dark dungeon though (I am not going to be able to stop thinking of it as a dungeon grin) as I'm not sure how much light would come through the openings, it will be quite a distance from any windows and the kitchen or dining area would be in the way of the light too.

Also if we put walls in, would it mean we have to redo the floor if we wanted to remove them later? I think I prefer the idea of storage units (kallax type thing) which make sort of mock walls which are temporary? And then we/a buyer could put walls in later if wanted.

Punjana we would definitely do those extra cupboards - but that will be as well as the play area storage not instead of... I want sooo much storage grin

minipie Thu 26-Jan-17 20:05:09

user The big square back room would be pretty huge, probably 23' x 20'? (7m x 6m) So there is definitely room to carve an extra internal room dungeon out of it, of say 8'x10', but it wouldn't be a very nice room as would be quite dark.

RTKangaMummy Thu 26-Jan-17 20:08:36

If the room is an extension and the "dungeon playroom" is under a roof rather than under upstairs level but can't have Windows then really really recommend light tunnels - they are really deffo brill and so the the biggest you can afford the amount of light you get is amazing especially if they can face southish

The other thing about a big room open plan is do you have toddlers so will you want to stop them getting into kitchen area? I don't have any experience but I have read on here about open plan problems as can't control where baby/toddlers go iyswim

JigglyTuff Thu 26-Jan-17 20:20:57

Ah yes, that is the other thing about our doorways Kanga - I can put stairgates in them (I don't have toddlers anymore but I have a dog).

If you put a stud wall in the dungeon mini, could you have an internal window either side? My kitchen is actually a dungeon thinking about it - there is a window but it faces the side return and it's a bit gloomy. It has enormous amounts of led recessed lighting though which is on pretty much permanently. It's cheap to run and the bulbs last forever. I honestly don't notice or care about the lack of natural light

minipie Thu 26-Jan-17 20:21:18

Thanks RT, the playroom bit would be under an upstairs room unfortunately (I think light tunnels look fab and we do have s facing but can't see how it would work here)

DC are 4 and 2, will be 5 and 3 by the time this is done so hopefully ok.

minipie Thu 26-Jan-17 20:24:32

My current kitchen is a dungeon Jiggly! It has a badly designed extension on the back so no direct light, and we have the lights on all the time. (In fact it's exactly where the proposed playroom would be in option 2.) One of the reasons for doing this whole rejig is to let light into that part of the house, so I am a bit reluctant to close it off...

BrieAndChilli Thu 26-Jan-17 20:25:28

The problem with all the toys in the kitchen is then what if you want to be doing laundry upstairs, I wouldn't trust a 3 and 5 year old not to mess about with stuff in the kitchen
Plus if you want to have a nice dinner etc you have to sit looking at all the kids toys etc.

Can you draw a quick plan and attach as a pic for us to see??

minipie Thu 26-Jan-17 20:36:24

Got to go offline for a bit but will try to do a plan later

yomellamoHelly Fri 27-Jan-17 18:33:40

We have option 1 and it's a lovely space. I think there's value attached to that. Would not want a windowless room as a playroom. Only way my dc have ever used a "playroom" was with me sat in there all day too. Just give a think to how you store all their stuff.

TheABC Fri 27-Jan-17 19:03:15

Open plan house with a 3yr old and a 9 month old here. We have three distinct areas thanks to archways, so a sitting room, large kitchen and a conservatory/dinning room/playroom, with a breakfast bar area between the two. We cope with a lot of ikea storage, padded benches that can slide under the table and the table itself next to the wall (we eat around two sides and only pull it out when extra guests arrive), giving us lots of space.

Regarding toys, we have a strict one-in, one-out policy. 3 year old knows the rules on cupboards and 9 month old has yet to learn (bleach etc. will be at head height). When I am cooking, either the three year old helps or I set up an activity for him in the sitting room.

Given your choice, go for one room with shelving that doubles as a devider. And inbest in a dishwasher. If you keep your sides clear, you have won half the battle.

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