Redesigning downstairs layout
amanda1000000
April 2, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We're trying to sort out the layout of our downstairs. The main problems we'd like to fix are the small, dark dining room, the too cold or hot conservatory, and the converted garage waste of space accessed through the laundry!

So far our thoughts have been
1) to knock through from the kitchen into the conservatory to make a kitchen-diner extension (load bearing but only one storey) with views onto the big garden but not so much glass it's expensive to heat
2) to take out the hall - dining room stud wall and close up the door to the lounge at the front of the house to allow more seating and less doorways
3) to take out the stud wall in the converted garage and put in a straight rectangular laundry at the back
4) possibly to take out the study - garage wall (load bearing) to make a large playroom/study/lounge accessed off the hall

Attached is our current layout. Any ideas? Thanks!
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rinqreation
The easiest would be to remove the wall between the entry and diner. Add a wall next to the powder room, made of (framed) sandblasted or figure glass windows and door, according to the style you have in your home.
0 Likes   April 2, 2013 at 1:29PM
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rinqreation
If you can handle a reconfiguration of multiple walls, here's another idea.
I don't know which walls are loadbearing, so just took out some walls. For the same reason I left a pole (black dot) in the kitchen where the wall used to be. Hope this gets your imagination going.
0 Likes   April 2, 2013 at 2:00PM
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rinqreation
Finally, I do like the idea of using the conservatory as a diner or a second seating area (you had me at garden view), so I would consider insulating the room.
0 Likes   April 2, 2013 at 2:03PM
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PRO
Lucky's Charmed Home Staging & Organization, Inc
I would somehow open up the dining room into the conservatory and depending upon your decor arch your doorways. I'd be cautious about closing off doorways as too many solid walls can potentially close up any openess.
0 Likes   April 2, 2013 at 2:15PM
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PRO
Sense of Space
You could use the conservatory as a Family room, and with proper insulation you won't have to worry about heating/cooling costs. I would definitely open up the dining room/hall connection and remove the walls between the hall and the seating room (maybe, add columns if it suits the overall style). Ideally, I would make the staircase open.
0 Likes   April 2, 2013 at 2:33PM
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rinqreation
I like open plans, but I would not have a full open plan if you're living in a region with 'regular winters'. Could be me, I was raised in a house with just a woodstove. We are now insulating our 2story 20'x20' house, but I'm sill happy with the doors, because it makes a huge difference in both temperature and finance.
0 Likes   April 3, 2013 at 1:58AM
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amanda1000000
Thanks so much for all the suggestions so far - I'll have a look through with the hubby. Unfortunately most of our walls are load bearing since there are 3 separate extensions. The only stud walls (I think!) are:
- dining room to hall
- utility area to study
- utility room to games room
Also there are arches between the stairs and hall, dining and kitchen and kitchen to utility area.

I've attached the original design with stud walls in red. Also a design we came up with. I'm slightly worried about the hall being a waste of space but we do have a piano. Also worried all the heat will go up the stairs from the kitchen-diner as we have 6 months of the year pretty cold. Do you think the hall would seem very long (and thin) with glass sliding doors at the end out of the kitchen?
0 Likes   April 3, 2013 at 12:26PM
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rinqreation
Here's another adjusted drawing. Add (glass) doors where you can, prevent any draft and heat loss. The piano in the hall is a grand idea, colors and wainscoting can help balancing out the long space :) Keep study and gaming room seperate, for when you want to retreat, but do make an extra door for easy access. The L-shaped utility will provide a nook for your washer and dryer. Close down the doors in the 'new diner' and place them (or new ones) opposite the hall doors. Enjoy your remodel!
0 Likes   April 3, 2013 at 2:09PM
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