I signed the building contract at the end of last week and that has marked a mental shift about this renovation project from dreaming and scheming to ohmygodthisisactuallyhappening! A few days ago I shared on my Instagram stories my plans and room inspirations for the ground floor extension, and it resulted in lots of conversations about the rest of the plans too, so I thought I’d share all the layouts here to show how we are changing the house.
I’m showing a side by side comparison of the floor layouts with explanations of what doesn’t work for us currently and what we’re doing to overcome the frustrations. The ‘Existing’ layouts are from the architect’s plans, while the ‘Proposed’ layouts have been drawn by me. [You can click on the images to enlarge them if you’re viewing on a desktop, otherwise you may need to zoom in if viewing on a mobile device.]
Back in the 1980s, a small ground floor extension was added across the back of the house. As much as I would have loved to increase that extension by about half a meter, it would make zero financial sense to do so, so we are having to work with the existing extension.
Our garage attaches to the neighbouring house and we are going to detach from the neighbours by demolishing the garage and building a narrow side extension to leave an alleyway between the houses.
- The first step on the staircase blocks the front door from opening fully. As a result, getting in or out of the house as a family is chaotic as we battle through coats and shoes in the small space by the door.
- The staircase causes a head height problem with the bedroom above. My husband always has to duck his head.
- The downstairs WC is very tight, it feels worse than an airplane toilet.
- The kitchen is badly designed having very little storage, THREE blind corners and an inefficient working triangle. It also feels very cramped when more than two people are in there, which happens a lot as the kids always want to be where I am. (I will relish this while it lasts! But it does cause difficulties when trying to prepare meals.)
Solutions and plans:
- The staircase will be modified to add a kite winder at the top. (You can see this better in the First Floor plan below.) This will move the staircase back by two steps, thus eliminating the door blocking and head height issues.
- The side extension will have a boot room (shown as Cloaks on the layout) that is essentially an extension of the hall. This will keep the hall clear of coats, shoes and bags. I am really looking forward to walking in through the door without being greeted by clutter!
- The boot room will lead to the new downstairs loo, which will be a lot roomier than our current one.
- The rest of the ground floor extension will be the utility room, which will have plenty of floor to ceiling storage, a washer dryer, a sink and a bench. The bench area is basically the ‘mud room’ part of the house, providing a home for wellies. No more dirty boots being traipsed into the kitchen from the garden, hooray!
- We are knocking down walls to create an open plan kitchen, dining and living space. This will be the hub of the house, where we spend most of our time. We’ve stayed in holiday lodges/villas with open plan spaces like these and absolutely love them. We can be far enough apart to not be in each other’s way, yet still be together. It is the family dream.
- I have thought long and hard about the kitchen layout to future proof it and I’m delighted to be ticking my entire wishlist to include a range cooker, a large fridge freezer and even a little walk-in pantry! You can read more about my kitchen layout and inspiration here.
- The front room will become a snug/music room which I will tell you more about when I am closer to designing it.
- Underfloor heating will be installed throughout the ground floor.
We are also extending the first floor as the drawings show, so a wraparound extension will give us a bigger family bathroom and a new bedroom. (I’ve just realised I forgot to draw the stair window in the Proposed layout, but it will be there.)
- The existing bathroom is stupid. You walk into a wall, for starters (the drawing shows this). The layout is very poorly thought out and doesn’t optimise the space at all. The morning family rush is dreadful because of this, and having just one sink is annoying. (First world problems, I admit.)
- The bedrooms are on the small side and having unused chimneys wastes space.
- My younger son is in the tiniest bedroom (also known as the box room) and it’s too small for anything other than a single bed and small wardrobe. He will soon need more space.
- The loft was converted in the 1980s with a total lack of common sense. The door to the loft room is on the first step of the loft staircase. (No, it makes no sense at all.) It’s one of those that swings shut by itself, so it has to be left wedged open, until one of the kids decides to play with the door wedge on the steps and sees the door closing on them… arh. The loft staircase is also terrible, with insufficient head room as you climb up, and the access at the top of the stairs is so poor that an adult man can just about fit through, so moving furniture to and from the loft room is a bit of nightmare.
- The family bathroom will get bigger so we can have a separate shower and bath, and two sinks. Whoop!
- The chimneys will be removed to allow better use of space in the two bedrooms on the right.
- My younger son will move into the new bedroom, and the box room will become a library.
- The loft staircase will be modified to have a double winder at top which will make access better and push it back enough to eliminate the head height issue. The door to the loft room will be in the sensible location of where the room starts (seen in the Second Floor layout below).
We currently use the loft room as a home office so we don’t need an ensuite there, but we are adding a shower room for two reasons:
- A 5-bedroom house needs more than one bathroom.
- Creating this shower room before the existing bathroom gets demolished will enable us to live on site as we will always have a shower and loo. Doing this is cheaper than renting elsewhere, and unlike rent paid to a landlord, will add value to our house.
The redesigned loft bedroom will fit either two single beds or a double bed, so will provide flexibility for how the room is used in future.
So that’s everything that we are doing. When chatting to friends about this renovation, I have described it as a beast of a project and perhaps you can now see why! Living on site is going to be interesting, to say the least, but I’ll try to keep my eye on the prize. Our humble 1930s home is going to be everything we could want in a home 😊. I’ll be sharing the whole journey on Instagram so please do follow me there to see it all! On this blog, I will also be sharing my inspirations, ideas and designs for each of the rooms. If you’d like to follow along and see how it all turns out, you can subscribe to my blog by email on the sidebar (shown at the bottom if you are viewing on a mobile device) or on Bloglovin’.
Wish me luck!