Recommendations for a new layout

gazfocus
gazfocus Posts: 2,362
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I am trying to come up with a way of improving the layout of our house as there are some things that we are not so keen on. We don't currently live in the house and are prepared to take on a full scale renovation if it makes the house perfect more appealing to live in.

Below is the current floorplan and some of the things that bug us (that we'd want to tackle)...

Ground floor: 
The original layout was that the 'study' and 'reception hall' were once the integral garage, with the only places to go from the front door being up the stairs or into the living room. We had this opened up into what it is now, but the front door gets in the way. The front door used to swing the other way meaning we still really had to go into the living room so when we had a new door, we had it swing the way it does now so we could go straight into the hallway.

So...the lack of space inside the front door is frustrating. How viable an option is moving the staircase?

The conservatory was on the house when we bought it and we had the plastic roof replaced with a tiled roof. As a result of the conservatory, the dining room gets barely any light at all and is quite dark (similarly for the kitchen despite the fact we opened up the back of the house between the kitchen and conservatory).

Upstairs:
The main bug bear with upstairs is how the ensuite takes a chunk out of the master bedroom. With our modest sized king size bed, it's quite tight getting past the end of the bed. We have thought about getting rid of the ensuite altogether and making the space above the stairs a built in wardrobe for bedroom two, but not sure.

Again, there's no natural light whatsoever on the landing, though not really sure what we can do about that.

In general, I just feel like the layout is rubbish and would love to do something with it, but don't really know where to start. I looked up a house we rented about 14 years ago and that house was about 1m narrower but had a much better layout. 

Another thing we've considered is replacing the conservatory with a same sized extension and put the kitchen in there, but with costs what they are at present, I'm not sure that would be within our budget...one option would be two just replace the two end walls with full height brick walls and keep the glazed walls.

Any tips/thoughts/advice would be hugely appreciated.

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  • Doozergirl
    Doozergirl Posts: 33,724
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    edited 25 January at 7:49PM
    Which rooms get used? 

    I'm hearing what you don't like but not what you want or need.  That makes it difficult to suggest anything.  
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
  • EssexExile
    EssexExile Posts: 6,097
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    Moving the staircase changes upstairs and downstairs, very complicated. How about extending the entrance hall along the side of the study a bit?

    I wouldn't get rid of the ensuite if you will be selling any time soon. A four bedroom house with only one bathroom upstairs won't be very popular. Would it be practical to make the ensuite long and thin above the hall extension I mentioned?

    You say you don't live in the house, have you lived in it or is it a new purchase? If you've never lived in it then I'd suggest doing so for a while, that way you'll find out what really annoys you about it!
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
  • FreeBear
    FreeBear Posts: 14,272
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    A light pipe would get some natural light in to the landing area. Could interfere with any plans doing a loft conversion if it is something you ever consider doing.
    Swapping the sink & shower positions would free up a bit of space in the en-suite and allow you to move the wall over a little. But the space gained in the bedroom may not be worth the effort.
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  • Cairnpapple
    Cairnpapple Posts: 94
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    What do you use the conservatory for? It seems a slightly awkward layout to have to go through the conservatory to the dining room (if the dining room is actually where you eat).

    If this is your long term home I don't think it's a disaster to get rid of the en suite, it does seem that it would make the room more useable.  Or could you cut it back to just a loo and basin, making the bedroom more square?
  • gazfocus
    gazfocus Posts: 2,362
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    Which rooms get used? 

    I'm hearing what you don't like but not what you want or need.  That makes it difficult to suggest anything.  
    We don’t live in the house currently, but when we did live there, the main rooms that were used were the living room, conservatory (which became our dining room) and the kitchen. The ‘dining room’ ended up being a work space but we didn’t use it much. The downstairs toilet is handy but we never use the shower that’s in there…would be much more useful to have a utility room in my opinion (the people we bought the house off had the old garage converted into a downstairs bedroom with en-suite). 

    Upstairs, it would be 3 bedrooms being used (my wife and I plus 2 kids).
  • gazfocus
    gazfocus Posts: 2,362
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    FreeBear said:
    A light pipe would get some natural light in to the landing area. Could interfere with any plans doing a loft conversion if it is something you ever consider doing.
    Swapping the sink & shower positions would free up a bit of space in the en-suite and allow you to move the wall over a little. But the space gained in the bedroom may not be worth the effort.
    I’ll look into a light pipe, thanks. We would like a lot conversion down the line but have been told we’d basically need a whole new roof as our roof is quite low so not sure if that’s a viable and cost effective option. 

    In the en-suite, there wouldn’t be enough room for the shower to be opposite the toilet (without your knees touching the shower.
  • gazfocus
    gazfocus Posts: 2,362
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    What do you use the conservatory for? It seems a slightly awkward layout to have to go through the conservatory to the dining room (if the dining room is actually where you eat).

    If this is your long term home I don't think it's a disaster to get rid of the en suite, it does seem that it would make the room more useable.  Or could you cut it back to just a loo and basin, making the bedroom more square?
    The conservatory was used as our dining room when we lived there. Would make a lovely kitchen diner haha. The dining room wasn’t really used due to the lack of natural light. 

    We have discussed getting rid of the en-suite altogether so that’s a definite option. 
  • badmemory
    badmemory Posts: 7,527
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    Could you move the front door to where the study window is, it would give a little more elbow room on entering and make the kitchen to lounge route easier.
  • gazfocus
    gazfocus Posts: 2,362
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    edited 25 January at 11:08PM
    badmemory said:
    Could you move the front door to where the study window is, it would give a little more elbow room on entering and make the kitchen to lounge route easier.
    Possibly…the roof on the study does extend across the path in front of the door so would be fairly easy to extend the actual house. The only issue would be that the study has a slightly lower ceiling than the rest of the house so the entrance hall might have to follow (I’m unsure as to the reason why the ceiling is lower unless it’s just that’s the height the roof will allow). 

    Not my house as I’ve not got a picture of the front on my phone but this is similar to what the front looks like (although mirrored). 


  • Green_hopeful
    Green_hopeful Posts: 601
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    It’s tricky, especially the back extension which makes the middle rooms partly redundant because they don’t really have a purpose or natural light. 

    Obviously we don’t know what is possible so not sure what to suggest. 

    Could you add windows to the kitchen and dining room. I quite like the high up slot ones. They give light without causing overlooking issues. 

    I like the idea of light tubes. My mum has several that were in her house already and they make a big difference. I think they were expensive but I don’t know what they cost now. 

    Would a porch help with the front entrance? 

    Not sure it helps at all but we knocked through from our kitchen to our snug and got a carpenter to move the kitchen units to a different wall. We then painted the existing kitchen new fresh colours. 

    The light might be better if you took the wall out between the kitchen and dining room. You might even be able to leave some of the units as an island or a peninsula? Then you could use the back half of the downstairs as an open plan sitting kitchen diner. 

    Can you snoop on your neighbours house plans to look for good ideas. 

    Houzz has some clever contributors who are really good at this sort of issue. You could ask for help there. 

    With your bedroom could the bed fit on the wall with the door. We moved our bed round and it makes the room look twice as big. We had to move the built in wardrobes but again we used a carpenter to move the existing ones. 
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