troyce1

Doors - Closing in Dining Room into Play Room

Terry Royce
7 months ago

We are remodeling our home and our kitchen has a large eat in area, and we are, at least for the next few years, planning on utilizing our dining room as a play room since we have the large eat in area to use as a dining room. We were hoping to do 72" pocket doors on both the office (which opposes the dining room) and the the dining room, so that when we had guests over we could close in the play room mess. The pocket doors would allow us to open the space back up down the road when the kids get bigger. The opening on each side is 111" x 96"



After measuring and the office being smaller because the basement stairs are next to it, we are unable to do 72" pocket doors in both rooms and have them symmetrical from a visual standpoint, and I think if we tried to do them off-center it would look a bit funny.

At this point we am leaning towards doing a 72" glass french door on the office side and the 72" pocket doors on the dining room / play room side, because in doing the french doors I will be able to "center" the door openings on each other and keep the symetry.

I wanted to run this "Design Dillema" past the great people on the Houzz board.

I also attached some pictures of the space and floor plan.

Thanks as always.











Comments (42)

  • jimandanne_mi
    7 months ago

    Our dining room is larger than yours, but we did 2 sets of pocket doors with each opening 54" with two 28" doors in each. I wanted space for two 4' wide bookcases on each side of one set of doors, and a 7' wall for the piano by the other set of doors.

    So you could do two 24" doors, or 26", 28", 30", 32" - you don't have to use two 36" doors. Check to be sure the hardware is available for the size opening that you want.

    Anne

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    Neither. Play rooms are relatively VERY short lived. The plastic and toys do go away, and even a small space can be fitted with convenient good looking storage.. You only give up three feet. Seventy two inches of pocket doors means where are the light switches at entry/exit? I'd use the LIBRARY as play with glass french doors on a ball catch, add privacy on back side, , do the glass french to match on the dining side, and simply close up the opening a bit on the kitchen side. I like a five foot set by the way. For both. Same 5' no door opening on the kitchen side. Even FOUR feet and not centered makes sense on that end.


    You have another basement door right next to the large opening at library,.... so consider that door, door, door effect. Which make the glass option the most appealing.

    No matter the climate, people move and gravitate to the kitchen. The foyer is "fast" fly by space. A living space that opens on top of the front door is a bit over rated. Even a dining space doesn't NEED that much open as is on your plan. Five feet, ball catch and done. When everyone is hanging in the kitchen ? They can look into a lovely dining space. : )

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  • Terry Royce
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    @JAN MOYER - You can't see the dining space from the kitchen. The floor plan shows the walls a bit more open then they currently are. Probably a builder option. The opening where the kitchen meets the dining room is 70" and the opening where the dining room meets the foyer is 111". I attached the floorplan with red lines showing where its closed in



    As for not using the dining room as the play room, for our current living situation that setup suits our lifestyle most at this moment. Using the library as the play room was a thought, but then the office will have to be shoved in the basement. An basement office is how our house is setup now and both my wife and I are self-employed/work from home. The basement office keeps us separated from each other and/or the kids, which is why we are looking to combine these spaces on the first floor.


    It would be great if we had "one extra room" on the first floor to use as the office or play room, but unfortunately we do not. And I am grateful for the spaces we do have.


    We liked the pocket doors on the dining room, because in 8-9years when our kids probably grow out of the "play room" phase, we can keep the pocket doors open w/o having them swung open, which a french door would do.



  • Terry Royce
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    @jimandanne_mi - if you are able to share some pics of your space, that would be great!

  • auntthelma
    7 months ago

    I can’t help with the door question, but I think using the dining room as a play room is a perfect use of space while the kids are little. The other choice is to use the family room as the kids space and set the dining room up as a ‘formal’ living room for adults only. Either way accomplishes your need to keep the toys corralled.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    The FLAW is the powder room location end of story. Frankly? With kids? I think a first floor master is on a small footprint as this? I would not do it.Lets see the second floor. If at some point you plan that master as guest space? You don't meed the bedroom at 17 '

    Please post the second story: )

    Also........ A five foot open means two 30 inch doors. NOT 36. Ony one door need remain open, and can swing against a wall. Your master bath is small, the lav opening ?? I'd raher you STACKED a w/d

    There is a lot here, that could be better. I don't know ages of your kids.......but 8/9 years of playroom? I doubt it. : ) They want a phone at four and that's the end. Dance lessons and sports lol

    Not loving the kitchen either, if PLAY could last 8 or 9 years. .........

  • NYCish
    7 months ago

    We added double opaque pocket doors (each at 36") to our home to convert the dining room to a playroom during construction. As an added bonus, it actually technically is a 4th bedroom now with the addition of the doors. Just as a disclaimer, we live near NYC so space is at a $$premium$$ and decisions are made a bit differently with regards to use of space than they might be in other parts of the country.


    For us, it was a no-brainer. It will easily convert back to a dining room and accommodates a large round table quite nicely (and I do appreciate being able to close the doors during dinner parties on day). But for now, it is the perfect playroom, hangout space, gets wonderful morning light, etc. Even when the toys are gone, we love just hanging out in there, reading the paper and having a coffee. It faces our urban street too, so its quite lively during the day and at night. In the meantime we are having a bunch of millwork added to the living room to include a banquette so we can still have a place to eat at a proper table.


    Make sure you do the upgrade to the soft close, It makes a big difference especially if you have kids who don't pay attention to doors.

  • Denita
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    My personal opinion: double doors from the hallway/kitchen into the dining area are too much.

    I would reduce to a single door that is off-center, across from the kitchen opening. Pocket door works. Better yet you get additional wall space for all the playroom toys and organizing items that you need for the little ones and extra wall space when it is converted to another use in a few years.


    As to the opening into the foyer - have it a cased opening with no doors.

  • auntthelma
    7 months ago

    Terry, skip anyone who is not responsive to your question. We know you aren’t looking to remodel your house, only to collect toys to a more confined space.

    Terry Royce thanked auntthelma
  • mark_rachel
    7 months ago

    We use our dining room as a playroom & it's wide open. We just make our kids clean it up. They are 9 & 5, so it's a bit easier when they are older to keep order, but it's possible.

    Terry Royce thanked mark_rachel
  • jimandanne_mi
    7 months ago

    With both of you working at home out of the front office, how messy will that be? I'd let that determine whether you use solid pocket doors or French glass doors. And a 5' opening used to be fairly standard in the houses I've been in over the years, before rooms became gigantic and open, and would look fine on both sides of your entry hall symmetrically opposite each other.


    Either a centered 4' wide or larger set of pocket doors (depending on whether you'd need more space there with your dining table stretched out with all of the leaves in it), or a single door opposite the kitchen door would work fine, depending on how you want your wall space to work for the dining room and playroom.


    My pocket doors to the entry are centered, and the ones to the living room are offset. Pictures of them wouldn't do much good - right now I have dozens of grocery bags full of books for a book sale covering my entry, dining room and living room floors, plus more piles as I sort them on the dining room table, and the the effect would be lost.


    I will be hostessing 7 birthday dinners and potlucks between now and June, and the books will all still be there (except I'll have to clear the DR table). My family and friends will understand the mess, as will yours regarding the kids mess. They won't be sitting in the midst of your mess, or even able to see it from your family room and kitchen eating area, so make the rooms the way you want them in the long run.


    JoAnne



  • PRO
    TeamRoyce
    7 months ago

    Thanks for the advice, everyone! This is Terry's wife. While we're still working this out, I did want to mention that we're homeschooling for the foreseeable future (it's okay, go ahead and say it, "so, THAT'S what's off about this whole thing, weirdos." ;) so the playroom will also be the classroom... when we're not out exploring the world. Our latest thought process is slab pockets on the classroom on the foyer opening, window pockets in the opening leading towards the kitchen (and apparently unsightly half bath that you can't see at all) and window pockets for the office. We work "at home" and are in real estate, so we're never really actually home. Just like the kids need somewhere to corral their stuff, we need somewhere to corral all. the. paper. The first floor Master will be a guest room while our kids our little, and we're redoing the second-floor master upstairs (where there are 3 additional bedrooms). Thanks for the constructive comments!

  • Anne
    7 months ago

    It seems that some who are commenting don't seem to understand this is an existing home....otherwise why say don't have a first floor master.

    I think the playroom is a great idea and maybe later if you still don't need a dining room it can be a more formal sitting area. Also if the office is messy because you actually work in it....you can always frost the glass.

    When I was young I treated a lot of my home as a museum...now we live in our home, if someone thinks walking past a lived in/used room is disturbing....I guess they don't need to visit. Homes should function for those that live there. Your square footage costs money...why leave it wasted. A home should be beautiful but more importantly comfortable, inviting and HOMEY....I keep my kitchen and baths spotless...but you will probably find a dog or cat on my sofas, a pair of shoes in the foyer and maybe a pile of mail on a table somewhere....

    I think it is great that you are giving the kids a space....it can be a teaching moment to be part of keeping it neat.

    Terry Royce thanked Anne
  • cindylou62
    7 months ago

    Don’t make permanent changes to your home over this! Embrace those toys, they are a happy addition to your home for a few short years. rather, buy some nice quality toy storage at pottery barn, tidy them up when guests come over, someday you will miss them.

  • Terry Royce
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    @JAN MOYER - Jan thanks for commenting. I apologize, but I do not understand how the powder room is the flaw?

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    7 months ago

    IMO the obvious place for play is the eating area in the kitchen save a whole lot of money and use the DR daily and BTW once kids get old enough to have friends their bedroom becomes the play room. Take my word for it you will never miss the mess in the main part of the house with every toy known to mankind. I raised three kids and we never had a space designated as play room they played in the LR until supper time then the toys went either into a drawer cabinet that doubled as window seat or the toys went back in their bedrooms and BTW they did not need every toy out either . I know I sound like a B----h but honestly I have no idea why kids now take over the whole house.

  • Terry Royce
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    @Patricia Colwell Consulting - Thanks for the suggestion. I think that could be a great idea in other homes. However using the eating area of the kitchen as a play room would make the space feel dis-jointed IMO. This space is open right to the kitchen, and since it it is VERY bright and has amazing views out into the yard and woods we plan to use it daily. I'm sure there will be times the kids play in other parts of the house, having a play room doesn't confine them to just that space, it just gives them a space that is theirs.



  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    7 months ago

    Sorry but their space is their bedroom and I still think that is the best spot for a playroom without having to do any work at all just some nice storage and maybe a couple of chairs for a coffee BTW how do you use it now as 5’8” does not even allow room for a table

  • ljptwt7
    7 months ago

    As a former homeschooling mom, I understand. I would put french doors with glass on the Library/office. Pocket doors on Dining/play room. Would not matter if not symmetric. Then when homeschooling days are over (it does end one day - and I did through highschool!) you can convert it back to a dining room or whatever.

  • jimandanne_mi
    7 months ago

    With homeschooling, I can see why you'd want to use the dining room as a designated place for these materials as well as toys. However, since you have glass sidelights on each side of your front door, seems like you might want to carry the symmetry to your pocket doors in the entry as well as have either both sets wood, or both glass, or both frosted or leaded glass. It would be nice to have the light from the windows in those rooms flow into the entry, so seems like one of the glass options might be best.


    Our powder room is 42" x 7' and is fine - looks like the same measurements as yours, if each square = 12".


    Anne

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    You asked the "flaw" in the powder room. Personally, I'd not want a 70 inch opening from an eventual dining room, almost directly in line with a powder room.

    This is why I asked earlier as to the second floor. I think having a main floor master is great! But it takes a larger footprint for a home, ,unless one has no children or sacrifices other dedicated spaces. On whole? I think a bit too much is being asked of this particular first floor........with at least 35% of the space going to a not that generous master suite. That's why I asked to see the second floor.

    Your kitchen isn't large, you have no dedicated mud entry, it's sharing with the laundry. Add homeschooling, and your work from home space to all of this as well. jmho : )

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    7 months ago

    And this is the rason for giving all pertinent info when asking for help

  • suezbell
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    A pair of French doors might be worth considering instead of pocket doors. You could choose frosted glass.

  • suezbell
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    You might also consider some solid folding doors with an upscale wood look.

    https://www.wayfair.com/home-improvement/pdp/kimberly-bay-paneled-wood-unfinished-bi-fold-door-kiby1003.html

    Really would not choose pocket doors.

    Keep the doors upscale and your room can keep whatever doors you choose and be your bonus room. If not a dining room, it could become an office/study or, with its close proximity to a bath (or at least a powder room) it could even double as a guest bedroom or a space for a caregiver should this be your forever home and you find you need one decades from now.

  • suezbell
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    Would not want a two story foyer that isn't and/or couldn't be closed off from the rest of the home. Heat rises and this will end up raising the cost of your energy bills.

    Just and idea: Have you considered not adding any unnecessary walls or doors to the front "L" shaped entry, dining study area until after you move in and find out how you actually want/need to use these spaces?

    Do like the bay windows idea.

    you might consider adding doors to the top and bottom of your steps or to the "hallway" at the top and bottom to close off this heat chimney as well -- or be very sure you have h eat/ac returns appropriately placed to move the heat back downstairs ... and do at least consider a well placed ceiling fan and/or old fashioned attic fan.


    My sister and my brothers step daughter both made the "two story" decision and both regret it.

  • suezbell
    7 months ago

    Really like the interior look of your entry door wall with sidelights and windows above.

  • suezbell
    7 months ago

    A better idea than creating a designated playroom might be to invest in cabinets and teach children to put their toys in them -- cabinets that could be used for different possessions as your children age and their interests change.


    For bargains, you might search some used furniture stores for upscale (actual wood) analog (deep) tv cabinets with doors and drawers to hide the contents that you could alter a bit and re-purpose for storage. Habitat for Humanity Restore Stores; Salvation Army Family Stores, GoodWill, local charity thrift stores, even "antique and more" stores ....

  • Terry Royce
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    @JAN MOYER - Gotcha. This is an existing home built in 2001. So the opening from the 1/2 bath to the dining is part of the original floor plan. Total square footage is 3,800ish. I've attached floorplans per your request.


    The kitchen and breakfast space combined is 25 x 13, to me that is quite a larger space than I currently have. The original owner got all the optional bump outs.


    The house WILL have a dedicated Mud Room after the remodel. We have combined the laundry with the walkin closet on the 1st floor master giving an approx 6 x 11 ft mud room. We are building out 2 (2x5 Closets) in the 1st floor master to provide some closet space. The home also has a 2nd floor master, which we will be using as our master. The 1st floor master will be a guest room for our parents and other guests when visiting.


    The 2nd floor and 1st floor masters are 19x19








  • Terry Royce
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    @Patricia Colwell Consulting - Not sure what pertinent info was not in the first post. My question was strictly limited to asking about the doors. You are saying to move the space, which was not part of the original question.


    I am happy to entertain other ideas, but my original question was quite limited in scope.

  • Anne
    7 months ago

    They are remodeling and discussing adding doors. I don’t know if making a existing 2?story foyer a one story is an option.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    How many kids in this house?

    Also, when you ask a question, any question, the thread will grow until you say stop. : )

    Patricia's comment was probably a reference to my comment, answering you as to the powder room, and suggesting " a lot to fit on one floor with main floor master".

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    7 months ago

    My comment was in reference to the fact that if at the beginning they would have said they homeschool then my first comment would not have been made . No matter what question gets asked there will always be other comments made as we go along the more info the better the answers. I agree a batrhoor dootr opening into a DR is gross and in a commercial building like a restaurant even does not pass code. I home schooled my grand kids and still used a bedroom for a class room I still think this is a bad idea but if you want to put doors on the DR go ahead and what size is what fits and it doesn’t matter if both doors are the same size BTW your eat in area in the kitchen will not even fit a table so not sure how that will be a DR

  • Terry Royce
    Original Author
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    @Patricia Colwell Consulting - If you would have read the previous comments, the kitchen / eating area combined is 25 x 13, due to the bump outs. The eat in area is about half of this space (12 x 13), this space is almost identical in SF to the DR. I think it will suffice.


    I appreciate the input regarding things that are wrong: IE the half bath across from the DR. If this were a new build or we COMPLETELY gutted the house and there were no limitations there are tons of things to change. However, getting into the nitty gritty of a half bath location is way off-topic.

  • Terry Royce
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    @JAN MOYER - 2 kids currently, looking to have a 3rd.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    In one single heartbeat, I'd use the master bedroom UP stairs. If kids are young enough for toys, they are young enough for you to be on the same floor at night. A third at some point ? Same thing .The master on one, is plenty large enough for kid play and it's hidden and around the corner from the kitchen. It will be great home school space too.

    I understand working from home and wanting to see kids play at the same time, BUT..........................leave the dining room open and you can have that. Right at the dining room table. One of you in the office working.....far from ANY chaos of any kind.


  • Anne
    7 months ago

    The poster said the first floor master is for guests.

    if I posted a floor plan of my over 100 year old historic home you would , well tear it apart! I would gladly take donations to move the stone walls for better flow. Until then I like advice I can actually use.

  • ljptwt7
    7 months ago

    Personally having the powder room location would not bother me no matter what the room across from it is used for.
    I think your house layout looks rather nice. It has a lot of features many people would love to have (including me)!

  • Nestor Ho
    7 months ago
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><md>I’m chuckling over the “mission creep” in these comments! Something I did with our glass window pocket doors in our living room was to hang curtains for it that were almost always open, but when we had guests, could be closed to provide privacy so it could double as a guest room. I’m wondering if that might help with WHAT YOU’VE ASKED ABOUT.
  • Terry Royce
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    @Nestor Ho - How do you hang curtains on a pocket door? Wouldn't the door not close?

  • Nestor Ho
    7 months ago

    The rod is above the door frame. And it goes 18 inches past on either side, so for the most part, the curtains don't go past the doorway unless I pull them.


  • kariyava
    7 months ago

    Terry, we currently use the space in our house that was intended to be a formal living room as a playroom. It is open to the foyer and dining room. With the right storage and decor, it looks nice even when we have company over. I actually like how it isn't closed off because we can all interact better that way. We have a downstairs office as well, and that has a door (which I think is important as a sound barrier for calls, etc.). If I were you, I would put a door on your office and use the dining room as a playroom but not try to add any walls/doors but instead try to arrange it so when it's picked up for guests it will look perfectly fine. Going that route would be both cheaper and would also maintain the open floor plan and flexibility to convert the space back into a dining room.

    Lovely space by the way!

  • chocolatebunny123
    7 months ago

    A friend of mine's house is a similar layout to your new house.


    She used the "dining room" as a play room without adding any doors. She homeschooled the kids for part of the day then would bring them to the elementary school for PE and music. She had a pretty cool IKEA storage system set up (sorry I don't remember the exact name of it) and when guests came over, the kids would put away the toys on the floor so no one would trip over them. She considered closing off the space, but now that her kids are 13 and 17, she is glad she didn't. She (and the kids) loved having the open space and it felt less like a classroom like it would closed up.


    We used our dining room as a play room as well but it is where your first floor master is. It was open on one wall to our living room and the kitchen on the other. It never dawned on me to close up the space. The time goes by quick and now my two are in high school and we converted the area to a study area. I have the cubbie/bin system from Target (I think the Threshold brand) and they keep books, games and papers in them, plus some toys for when the younger cousins come over.


    How many times do you actually have guests stay over? I think it's a waste to use the first floor master as a guest room unless you have guests over on a monthly basis. If you want to keep the homeschooling area separate, I think it would be a perfect space for it and put in a pull out couch for the occasional guest.