Children's play area and lounge dilemma
Jane SmithNovember 5, 2012
Hi... Please help!

We have just purchased a house and would really appreciate your advices grading the layout. We are on a tight budget...please let me know what you think of the following recommendations.

A) Downstairs I am going to open up the cupboard in the kitchen to create a walkway to the dining room. I think the dining room will otherwise be a room that doesn't get used. I will close up the door in the hallway to that room. Opinions?

B) I am thinking of changing the worktop in the kitchen and then putting a "dropped breakfast bar" (I have attached a pic that is similar). Opinions?

C) we are expecting out first baby so I was thinking what is now the eat in area can be a little play area, that will change as baby gets older to a craft area/ homework area etc. struggling to think of a good design idea though... Ideas?

D) the lounge is a funny shape and I am worried it won't get used to its full potential.... Was thinking of putting am office space at the back..ideas/ opinions?!

Please let me know what you think or if you think of something completely different!!!!

Many thanks,

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The utility room is really preventing the openness between the dining and kitchen area. Is it possible to relocate it somewhere else?

Upstairs you might want to create another small office as you mentioned by having a wall dividing the lounge space so you will add one door beside the master bedroom.
    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 3:54PM
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Jane Smith
Thank you dytecture - I know what you mean - its an infuriating design - it would be impossible to relocate utility room due to cost and also not wanting to lose a spare bedroom... Any other suggestions? Thanks :)
    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 12:28AM
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How exciting! New house and a new baby on the way. You have some great ideas and I would definitely encourage you to remove the cupboard and create a link to the dining room. This way you will actually use it, and yes do close up the redundant door from the hallway. You could replace the lost storage from the cupboard with some cabinets on the wall beside the door in the breakfast room.

When our kids were little we did the same thing with using the breakfast area as a play space and I would suggest including some seating (we bought an inexpensive leather sofa from IKEA and it coped very well with everything from spilt milk to finger paints and play dough) and lots of storage for the inevitable clutter that kids create. Style is up to you but I would really encourage you to go for flexibility as you will be amazed by how your needs change as the family grows. Again we did very well with IKEA storage units which enabled us to change shelf placements as the things we needed to store changed.

A dropped breakfast bar is a very good idea with small children as it enables them to be with you but keeps their stuff separate from your cooking (you don't want crayons in your casserole). Also much safer and easier for little ones than high stools at a breakfast bar.

Dividing the lounge into separate areas is also a good idea but I wouldn't build any walls unless you really need a closed off quiet area for work. Defining the spaces can be done with furniture placement and you can even use tall book cases to create a room divider if you want more privacy. Keeping one good sized space will give you so much more flexibility and enable your home to keep pace with the needs of your family.

Good luck and enjoy your new home.
    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 1:27AM
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Jane Smith
Thanks so much for your detailed response Pollyannagal.

I really think IKEA storage units are the way forward - thanks so much for that suggestion. I have also just seen the "thisismykea" website where you can "kiddify" the units. Also, really glad to hear someone else used their breakfast area as a play space - been googling for days for inspiration and couldn't find anything.

Putting seating would make more sense - will look into that - there is a funny little nook (from the staircase) so may put some seating in there.

Thanks again Pollyannagal,
    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 2:26AM
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