Extra living space or large utility for a family?(58 Posts)
We are planning the extension/remodel on our 'forever' home (until we downsize in 30 years or so). I want to get the layout right for us/not too concerned about resale.
We have 2 young DC and plan at least 1 more all being well. We will have a large kitchen diner and 2 separate reception rooms. There is a approx 3m x 4m space off the kitchen, that I could open up to the kitchen for a living space (creating an L shaped kitchen living diner)or I could turn it into a large utility/boot room. (there is space for a smaller utility elsewhere if needed, which could be a pantry instead (also off kitchen. I'm struggling to decide how we will use the space in 5 and 10 years time, and what will be most useful. Any comments gratefully welcomed!
I'd choose the utility room. If you have a kitchen diner plus two reception rooms, I think that is reasonably decent sized for a family.
If you will have a minimum of 3 children, you'll have huge amounts of washing! I'd imagine somewhere to contain it all would be useful.
I'd much rather have a decent utility/boot room - especially in view of the rest of the accommodation. It's such a luxury to have somewhere to store boots/shoes/coats and to have proper laundry room (preferably with one of those ceiling airers). I used to have the most fabulous laundry when I lived in a huge house in Berlin. Loads of room to dry and air clothes and space to have the ironing board permanently up so you could iron just one item without thinking you needed to go to the whole faff of getting everything out. I miss that room so much!
Yep utility room here too. If you make the room a kitchen diner/living area your other 2 reception rooms will not be used!
Utility. Mine is tiny but my favourite room in the house!
From title, I was going to say 'you don't need a massive utility', but, once I'd read your OP and seen you've already got 2 Reception Rooms plus a kitchen diner, then there's not point in creating an extra L shaped bit onto the kitchen diner. It is nice to have space for soaking football kits / camp gear etc. and basically storing stuff that needs to be inside but you don't really want in your house. Plus you can put things like your recycling boxes out there.
Wow unanimous! That was also my gut feeling but we are both worried of giving too much space to (my!) utility room, at the expense of a fab living space where the kids could do homework and watch TV. The main living space will be a through lounge with french doors to the garden, that I would hate to be underused due to a small 'snug' off the kitchen. Thanks
12m2 sounds unnecessarily large for a utility room. I wonder if I’d actually use that space for utility + study or something.
We had a very similar dilemma and have now finished our extension. I would say make it into a larger living space and also add the small utility room. Depends how small it would be - if it can fit washing machine, tumble dryer and wellies, etc then is that big enough? Also how big are the children's bedrooms? As they get older and have friends over, will they go in their rooms or downstairs? We have a living room, den/playroom, kitchen/diner with extension so there is a sofa area as well. So as both children are getting older, they can socialise in separate rooms with friends (play on Xbox etc) and we would still have somewhere to sit too. We have a small utility room with just what I described above and a ceiling airer in it. We love it.
Yeah definitely living space on the basis you say ‘at least one more’. I’ve got 4 and a similar amount of space. We are extending (again!) to give us more living space. Kids....friends....family
I'd say utility . I have a page utility and a cold room and I love them. It means I can keep my kitchen lovely and clean. It's also great for bulk buying.
However is it possible to have a duel use space which can be opened up to for extra living space if need be. Maybe using sliding walls or pocket doors. That way the room could be closed off when it's messy and opened up when you need the extra space. Obviously might not work as would depend on the room
I don’t think splitting the room is really an option. There is a chimney on one wall and it is quite small as it is. Plus we already have an office. All bedrooms are comfortable doubles. But will we be happy with kids hanging out in their rooms with friends as teenagers?? The kitchen diner will be 4.5 x 6.5 m so not comfortably enough room for sofas in there as it stands. But imo a utility room can never be too big!
I would say a large utility room. We have a small utility room and the drying washing always ends up in the to room / snug drying on frames and waiting to be ironed and I can't relax watching tv knowing it's there.
Teenagers spend a lot of time out or in their own rooms. You have two reception rooms, so could be one for adults/family time and the other for when any kids either now or as teens want some time doing kid/teen stuff.
Plus you have the kitchen/diner.
We only have one reception room and a kitchen diner and I must admit when teen dd has a friend over if they're in the front room I either hide in my bedroom to keep out the way or sit at the dining room table all evening. But even with my set up I'd rather have a utility room!
Do you have a downstairs cloakroom? This would be vital for me. We too have two separate reception rooms and use one a lot. The other was a dining room but we built a new eat-in kitchen and never use the dining room! However we have a large lounge off the kitchen and two lounges work well.
I have a laundry that’s about 2.7 x 2 m and has a deep handwash sink, stacked washer and dryer, tall broom cupboard, hanging for washing, ladder style radiator for drying, several drawers and top cupboards as well as under counter space for boots and recycling storage and, most importantly a wine fridge! You can get quite a lot into a well planned space!
Given there is no room for sofa in kitchen diner, then I would say open it up as an attached living space - a playroom/den/snug.
I'm a fan of open plan "family living" especially with small DC.
(But definitely have the small utility room, and build in generous coat storage off the hall if you can).
Yes there is a risk your lovely double reception room will be underused if you do this, but a) it will get more use as DC get older and b) do you really want it or the kitchen/diner covered in toys...? Also c) you might well find it underused during the small child years even if you did the large utility version.
I would choose the living space. I have a kitchen/diner/living area with young children and love it. We are always all together, can cook/make tea etc while watching the children, if friends come over i can be making drinks/food and we are all in the same room. While the children are young it would probably mean that the other reception rooms don't get much use but as they get older there will be lots of different spaces for everyone to use so they will get used in the future.
I am only saying living space though on the basis that you will still be able to have a small utility room. I have a very small utility room and a very small boot room but I would not trade my ktn/diner/living area for a bigger utility/boot room.
Thank you for all the perspectives just what I need. Yes there is a wc. The other utility would be about 3x1.5 m so very narrow but just about useable. If I close it off as a utility you’d also have to go through it to access wc so not ideal but workable. The other living spaces are separate from the kitchen by a corridor so definitely not ideal for young kids. Lots to think about!
Our utility space is about the size of the smaller choice you've described and is permanently clarted with laundry, boots, coats etc - we've just had an epic session as a whole load of winter stuff got moved back in the spring and someone's favourite coat had vanished. It turned up under someone else's bed. Wouldn't have happened if stuff had been left there - but the winter coats take up space needed by the summer weight stuff.
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