Open plan kitchen/dining/livin
g layout dilemma
We are thinking of completely reconfigure our downstairs layout. The current layout is terrible because of the awkward location of the kitchen - it is in the middle of a long narrow house which means it is very dark. It is also too small for family and does not flow with the rest of the house. Ideally we would like to have a bigger brighter kitchen diner open out to the reception room (which needs to be divided into a play area and sofa/TV area). Any ideas how we can best achieve this? See floorplan attached.
One idea we have at the moment is to knock through the current kitchen and dining room and then switch their positions. So that from the front of the house, you will start with a kitchen, dining area and then a play area and TV area open out to the garden. The new dining area (current kitchen) may still feel cramped though which means we may need to knock down the wall incorporating the corridor which means almost everything else will be completely open plan. Does this make sense? Also should we have the play area open out to the garden or TV/sofa area?
Any comments and suggestions will be much appreciated as we are really scratching our head!!!
How about making your dining room a tv room/snug. Then make your hallway much shorter, starting where the wall between kitchen and dining room are, and completely open out the rear. Have kitchen units on left hand side, maybe chop a small bit off to create a utility, and rest incorporates playroom and dining room.
Make it all open plan including removing the hall wall. Start with the kitchen at the front with base units curling round to create a breakfast bar with a few seats so that guests can chat to whoever is cooking then have your dining table then running into the lounge area at the back. Rather than having a separate play room use smart cupboard storage and a large mat on the floor to enable your DC's to take out play with and return toys easily. You will have a lovely family friendly house where your DC's can play and you can supervise whilst still having space for adults to relax and chat. My friend has a very similar set up and bought her house solely on how user friendly this main social room is.
Have a look at floorplans of other houses in your road on zoopla and Rightmove and see if there's anything that works? If you're brave enough you could pop round to neighbours and ask for a nosey?
Wow, thanks a lot everyone!!! Was not expecting to get so many replies at this hour! ;-)
@Titchy, we actually have thought about this. But the current dining room is only 2.9m wide. We are concerned that if we use it as the TV room, It is not good for the DC to sit so close to the TV. What's your thought?
@RedastheRose, I really like your idea of making it all open plan! DH though is a bit concerned that when people visit, the first thing they see after open the front door will be the kitchen. Also he said that the kitchen will be directly facing the downstairs loo once the wall removed. Do you think people will be bothered by that?
@iknowimcoming, most of the neightbouring houses have different layout. We did visit one neighbour with the same layout. They knocked through the current dining room and kitchen but kept their positions. The kitchen has become a bit brighter but still seems small. Also they lost some counter space by knocking down the wall. Another neighbour did not change the layout. But use the current dining room as a separate play room and then put the dining table in the lounge.
I would also keep the dining room as a TV snug. I think you'll appreciate separate space as children get older. Don't think being too close to the TV needs to be an issue, just be clever with TV / furniture placement.
Then I agree you shorten the hall and open up the kitchen into the back of the house.
My kids are a bit older now and I would also suggest keeping some separate space for a tv room / snug. Maybe more for the grown ups to escape to.
Also look online at all the planning permission that has been granted in your area to get an idea of layouts.
Agree it keeping a bit separate. If you kept the current dining room separate and turned into a snug,you could have TV one corner near the window and have a corner sofa at the other end (maybe move the door more to the middle) and you wouldn't be sat too near the TV.
Then open the kitchen and back reception room, put in a small utility where your sink and hob are at the moment and the rest of the kitchen along that wall with an island to separate from rest of the room and then play area and dining area?
I think you new to be careful with fire regs making it all open plan. I think you have to have a door between your kitchen and stairs.
I would knock your existing kitchen into your back reception room. Move your kitchen into the big area and use your your old kitchen as a tv snug/toy storage. You will them have a lovely big kitchen/family area which flows into the garden. If you can include some of the Hallway into the roomthen do but that could be quite expensive in terms.of the steels needed.
Keep the front room separate for some sane calm space.
My friend's house has.virually this exact layout and it works for briiliantly.
I would avoid going completely open plan and i think you might find a kitchen at the front frustrating as you'll feeling very separate from the children if they are in the garden.
How old are your DC? How big are their bedrooms? Big enough for a desk to do homework in or will they always have to do homework downstairs? How busy/noisy is your road?
I think I'd move the kitchen into the current reception room (it's not too far for the pipe work but would add to the cost) & have a dining table in there . Knock through between existing dining room & kitchen and have that as the sitting room.
I also agree with keeping the room at the front. Here's what we're doing with a not entirely dissimilar starting layout.
It feels great to wake up to so many useful replies!! ;-)
@Blankscreen, thanks for pointing out the fire regulation issue as I nearly completely overlooked that! That's probably means a complete open plan kitchen may be challenging....keeping a separate room at the front seems to make lots of sense. Actually a lot of my friends live in Victorian terrace house and the most popular layout is to have the double reception (2nd reception as play area) and kitchen diner at the back open out to the garden. However one key difference of my place vs their are the size of the two room at the front. The current dining room is only 13 sqm and the current kitchen is only 9 sqm. And the width is a lot narrower (2.9m in mine vs usually 4-4.5m in theirs). I wonder your suggestion could still work given the size and width?
Btw for everyone's info, this is a modern houses built a few years ago so all downstairs partition walls are non-supporting walls.
It depends on your budget and how much work you are prepared to do. Imo the best family layout in this size house is living room at the front, separate kitchen/diner/family at the back. To achieve this layout in your house I would move the toilet to the kitchen and make the kitchen a utility/wc. I would knock out all the walls at the front and have a living room entered straight from the road (not ideal, but a hall way uses up a lot of space. Any chance of a porch instead?). I would keep the cupboard under the stairs and the one next to it, and the doorway to the big room at the back. This would then become a kitchen diner over looking the garden with room for a sofa if you're clever with space.
A couple of ideas for how the rooms could look
Thanks a lot for the pictures, Heff! The house is modern new build so the condition is relatively good. We are happy with the rest of the house apart from the kitchen and the flow downstairs. We were hoping that we can solve the problem with as little reconfiguration (cost) as possible. I wonder if moving the kitchen to the back and move the utility/toilet (which are currently under the stair cupboard and has a separate room) to where the kitchen is would the most costly solution. But we are getting quotes from some builders to see.
I think possibly moving the toilet would be the biggest cost, depending on where your upstairs bathroom is?
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