Help me design my new living space!(8 Posts)
We're having some major work done in the house, and I'm trying to picture how I want it to be - any help from people with vision would be great!
At the moment, we've got a good sized kitchen (big enough for a table pushed against the wall which 4 of us can sit at - you can pull it away and sit 6 people round it if necessary but then there's not a lot of space in the kitchen), a pantry and large cupboards next the kitchen and next door, the dining room - which is kind of nice for big meals, but we rarely have these and mostly it's just a dumping ground for things we need to sort out.
In the kitchen, there's a lovely stone hearth which at the moment has the fridge and vegetable rack in - i.e., isn't used as a feature at all. I'd like to put in a wood-burning stove and make it a bit of a feature - maybe put some seating around it - or would that be weird in the kitchen?
The plan is to get rid of the pantry and large cupboards and make this all part of the kitchen - so the kitchen would be about 30% bigger - and then knock large double doors through into the dining room (I'd like it to be bigger, but we can't get planning permission for more) and use that as a family room / eating space, etc. (There's also a more formal living room).
I'm trying to picture how we can make the living space homely and comfortable. I think one table between both is enough, but should we have it in what's now the dining room and have the kitchen very spacious, maybe with an island and some seating round the hearth? Or in the kitchen and have the (now) dining room as sofas, etc. I don't know! If it makes any difference, it's a Georgian flat with very high ceilings.
Approx diagrams of before and after attached (although actually the gap between the rooms will be smaller than indicated).
Could you move the kitchen into the dining room have and island in there and then in the old kitchen with the cupboards knocked through have the table and a sofa? You could tag the table onto the end of the island leading into the old kitchen area and then have the sofa where the pantry and cupboard used to be.
It will massively improve your rooms to have the cupboard and pantry space knocked through! This would be a good space to have an l-shaped run of units. Shame you can’t knock the wall to the dining room completely down but at least double doors will be a good compromise- will you get glass to let light through? As the dining room will have the doors which provide a degree of separation it would make a nice snug or playroom if this wouldn’t be a wasted use of space for you. You could close the doors to the kitchen to lessen noise from the washing machine etc. I probably wouldn’t put seating around the hearth as this is awkwardly in the middle of the space although one armchair in the corner of the room facing outwards could look cosy and be a nice spot for someone to sit and talk to whoever is in the kitchen.
What are the windows like? If they are large Georgian sashes do you want to make a feature out of them and have furniture facing towards them? Also could you use the hearth as an open fire? Wood burners are lovely but I don’t think one would fit in with the age of your flat.
Unless your house is a listed building, planning wouldn't normally be interested in the removal of an internal wall. Building control would be and they would usually grant permission provided that you put in an rsj (steel support). If it is the cost of installing that which prevents you removing the internal wall then that's different. Fully removing this wall would maximise your usable space.
When planning a kitchen you have to think in practical terms so you need to get the cooker, fridge and sink in the perfect triangle ie not to far apart but with usable work space around them.
I agree with pp that it may be better to reverse the kitchens and dining room to make a u shaped kitchen in the dining room space and have the wider space for the social end with the fireplace feature and room for a couple of cosy chairs. Btw, a multi fuel stove is much better than an open fire.
Get a good kitchen designer.
Having got a wood burner in one room and an open fireplace in the dining room, I can assure you that sitting next to them and eating would be a very very hot experience!
It would be considerably cheaper to keep the kitchen where it is if you do not have water near the dining room for the sink and dishwasher. I might consider keeping the pantry and use it for a laundry area. Stack a dryer on top of the washing machine. It keeps it out of the kitchen so you use the kitchen for cooking.
I would definitely consider an island to get more storage but I would also consider building in more storage down into the dining area. This could be for cooking dishes you don’t use that often, crockery and cutlery plus things you need to store behind closed doors or in drawers. It makes the room neat and tidy.
You could dine in part of that room and have a seating area too. This means guests can chat to you when you are cooking. It makes it more convivial. You can play around with what would fit where givenntge space.
Sorry not to return for so long ... and thanks a lot for all the suggestions. It had never occurred to me to move the kitchen into the dining room - food for thought. Maybe a wood burning stove in the kitchen (if I do keep that as a kitchen) isn't a great idea as kitchens can get warm - but it always feels a bit cold in the flat - it's got 4m high ceilings and massive Georgian sash windows (we are going to double-glaze these but can only use very thin double glazing because of planning regs). It is grade A listed (inside and out) so no chance of getting any more of the wall removed than a large double door.
Will think about all of the suggestions and see what we can come up with ..!
If the building is listed do you have permission to knock the cupboards out?
It’s difficult to imagine without seeing the space but I’d consider keeping the pantry if it’s useful as the cost of putting something similar back in would be very expensive. As pp said I don’t think you’d use the wood burner unfortunately.
Yes, we've got permission to knock the cupboards through - the sketch above shows what's been ok'd by planning (though we're still quibbling about exactly how wide the double door will be). We would put up kitchen units in place of the lost storage, using the full height of the ceiling so it would free up a lot of space.
So if we don't have a wood-burning stove, any ideas about how to turn the lovely hearth into a feature rather than something that's just shoved in the corner of the kitchen? I had thought about using it for cooking but it doesn't have enough clearance for that.
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