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Side return extension and dark middle room

(24 Posts)
Lettherebelight Wed 07-Feb-18 22:09:32

We have a fairly typical terrace with sitting room at the front, dining room in the middle and then half-width kitchen followed by utility and downstairs bathroom. If we extended into the side return, I can't work out what we would do with the space that is currently the dining room. It has no window except the one that gives onto the side return so it's pretty dark during the day.
What did/would you do with yours?

dancingqueen345 Wed 07-Feb-18 22:17:48

I'd open it up into one huge kitchen diner.

Lettherebelight Wed 07-Feb-18 22:21:09

I like that idea to stop it becoming a dumping ground but which bits would you have in the ex-mddle room - the kitchen units?

dancingqueen345 Wed 07-Feb-18 22:36:30

If your house layout is as I'm imagining, then I'd have the kitchen running along the back wall as is now, with doors then on the extended bit, but with a breakfast bar running along where the wall would have been. So you'd have a u-shaped kitchen.

In the area that would be the extension I'd put a dining table and then in the existing middle room I'd put a sofa/coffee table

dancingqueen345 Wed 07-Feb-18 22:37:15

That made perfect sense in my head but I'm not sure if you'll be able to follow that sorry! 😂

Angryosaurus Wed 07-Feb-18 22:37:37

I think any of the 3 layouts can work. Hunk about where you spend the most time and also where you are in the daytime, when natural day light is important vs where you are in the evening. We were planning on having a cosy seating area in the middle but, mainly for watching tv. It now looks like we’ll have the kitchen in the middle bit, but with an island facing the garden, and lots of sky lights. A dark and atmospheric dining area could also work if you eat late and had seating in the kitchen to eat breakfast...

dancingqueen345 Wed 07-Feb-18 22:39:54

This is the most horrendous diagram I've ever drawn but might help...

Alabasterangel6 Wed 07-Feb-18 22:41:18

I’m sure there was a Kirsty and Phil thingy (love it or list it) on just this layout the week before last? It was Nottingham. The end result house was beautiful.

minipie Wed 07-Feb-18 22:44:31

Round my way that room is generally used as a kids' playroom or a TV snug.

Obviously the more glass in your side return, the lighter the middle room will be.

In most of the ones I've seen the dark middle room is also opened up to the front room or has double doors to the front room, so gets light that way too.

I wouldn't put the kitchen in that room, too dark and plumbing would be a pain

Iwillorderthefood Wed 07-Feb-18 22:47:55

We did this, so we have large glass doors at the end, and velux windows on the roof of the side return extension. We have the kitchen, closest to the doors, running along both sides, a table that sits 6 in the middle. We have two sofas a sideboard and a tv on the wall. It’s the most brilliant space, loads of light flooding in. The space is lighter now than it ever was before.

ImNotChangingMyUsernameAgain Wed 07-Feb-18 23:45:10

Skylights in the extension?

Lettherebelight Thu 08-Feb-18 09:29:45

This is what a terrible diagram looks like dancing queen but hopefully shows the layout better.
If we do this I'd go for a glass roof or big skylights but I still feel no-one will want to be in the darkest part.
I also can't work out what we'd do with the current bathroom and utility. They are so useful but don't seem in the best position as they block views to the garden

Feezles Thu 08-Feb-18 09:47:07

You could move the bathroom and utility next to (and under, if you can) the stairs at the back. That puts them in the dark bit that you're worried about. Neither room really needs natural daylight. The open the rest of the space out into an extended kitchen/diner/family room.

whiskyowl Thu 08-Feb-18 10:36:03

Can you ensure that the side return has plenty of glazing, including roof lights close to the dining room? This should help to increase the light in there. Light colours, mirrors, and a decent mix of overhead, wall, floor and table lamps should prevent it feeling too dark.

minipie Thu 08-Feb-18 10:40:24

Agree with Feezles that would be ideal if it's doable - a lot will depend on where your plumbing and soil pipe run. Do you have an upstairs bathroom, if so where is it? Above the downstairs one or more central to the house?

Lettherebelight Thu 08-Feb-18 11:50:43

The upstairs bathroom is above the kitchen so plumbing could be an issue to move the bathroom abd I'm not sure how to get ventilation to it.
The side return would have to be a solid wall between us and the neighbours but could get light through the roof. But I'm still not sure what we would do there (sitting area? dining table?)
It would be such a big expense, I really want to be clear in my head how we'd use all the space

TheUncommonReader Thu 08-Feb-18 12:20:47

We’re hoping to build a similar extension. We don’t have a utility though but we do have the W/C at the end but it can only be accessed from outside! I’m concerned about a dark middle room too.

In our old house the kitchen was in the middle room and I liked it as the kitchen was well lit (artificially) and then we had a light sitting/dining area.

We’ll probably end up using the dark bit for a sitting area and install a woodburner in the existing fireplace. We are an end terrace so will put a downstairs loo and utility at the side (hopefully!).

Itscurtainsforyou Thu 08-Feb-18 12:30:17

We have a middle room that is a bit dark as the only natural light is from French doors into the kitchen and the glass door into the hall.

We have made it cosy and used uplighters so that it doesn't feel as dark. It has the tv in it so we still spend plenty of time in there wink

dungandbother Thu 08-Feb-18 12:42:01

I did practically this.
I put plumbing in the back corner under the stairs as it was all floorboards so v easy to run under the room.
The waste was the thin one so you'd need a cruncher toilet. I didn't have a toilet downstairs but it could have been done. My kitchen was in the dining room with double doors to the garden. I had a run of tall cupboards down one wall and an island with the sink in and dishwasher. Again the pipes simply came up through the floor boards.

Dining room table in front of the double doors

Laniakea Thu 08-Feb-18 13:00:10

we have exactly this problem.

We moved the bathroom upstairs, have the kitchen (& back door) where the bathroom was & dining room where the kitchen was. We use the middle room as a playroom/TV room & it has the wood burner which is cosy (probably gets more use than the sitting room tbh). Our kitchen extension is more than half width which means we don't have as much space to gain by building into the return.

Some of our neighbours have built across the side return and opened up the whole of the back of the house. We've decided not to do this because I don't want it all open plan & need a utility room & downstairs loo which we're planning to put in the return next year (access to the back garden will be through here) ... this will inevitably mean that the middle room will get less light than is ideal. It's a compromise really.

Lettherebelight Thu 08-Feb-18 13:15:58

Its so helpful to hear how people have done this!
Reader, sorry if this is a stupid question but what difference does being an end terrace make? We are too but have no access to the house on that side.

TheUncommonReader Thu 08-Feb-18 13:30:10

Re being an end terrace- our layout is similar to yours but our front door is at the side with a porch (where the bottom of your stairs are). There is a patch of land along that right hand side of the house that runs the entire length of the house that we could extend into. Does that make sense?

FluffyWuffy100 Thu 08-Feb-18 13:31:12

Reader, sorry if this is a stupid question but what difference does being an end terrace make?

I guess in their case they have side access and space.

Lettherebelight Thu 08-Feb-18 16:47:20

I see, that sounds a much better arrangement. Was getting hopeful there was some solution I had missed!

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