Improving ground floor layout

Rach Mcelroy
I'd appreciate a bit of advice on how to make my Victorian house work a bit better for family living.

As you can see from floor plan we currently have two kitchens. The rear kitchen extension (I think originally the washhouse) has multiple issues and obstructs our view of the garden so we have decided to take it down.

Our plan is to knock through the dining room, butlers pantry, and kitchen to create an open plan kitchen/diner with bifold doors onto garden.

My question is how to make this space work. Ideally I'd have dining space next to the garden but this would mean kitchen would be placed at the front of the house and I'm not sure if this is a viable option?

Do we go for one wall of kitchen units the length of the space or a clear divide between the spaces?

I'd be grateful for any thoughts.

Thanks in advance,


コメント (17)

  • A B
    How about moving bedroom 1 into the dining room, replacing it with a dual aspect kitchen, then having the current kitchen as your dining room overlooking the garden. You could have it open plan to the kitchen or keep it separate
  • Rach Mcelroy
    Thanks jen. that hadn't even occurred to me as an option.
  • Jonathan
    If you did decide to put the kitchen in the current dining room, units down both sides and an island is the obvious plan.
    Personally I would be exploring the costs of taking down the washhouse and making good versus making it bigger and better. As you know additional square footage often adds value so it is a pity to knock it down if you can make it work.
    Perhaps if you post a picture of the back of the house people will have ideas of how to change it so it is no longer a barrier to the garden.
  • nessyquinche
    How about having morning/family room as part of kitchen. Knock down walls into main hall from kitchen and family room. Knock down wall between kitchen and butlers pantry. Move door to dinning room so you access it from kitchen. Where the stairs end have french doors into garden.
    That way you have a nice big open space and still a more formal dinning room. Where does your family spend most of the time?
  • Rach Mcelroy
    Jonathan, apologies not the best photo. Metal coal shed no longer there but get general idea. We had considered knocking down or extending washhouse but think might be limited by proximity to neighbours wall and also cost!

    Bernard we're outside Glasgow but thanks for the offer.

    Lastly I'm not sure possible to knock through family room to kitchen. In an ideal world I'd love a full width kitchen/diner but our stairs are in the way.

    I know it seems bit odd to reduce square footage. The reality is we have a house that's already bit big even for our expanding family and thought making more sensible use of living space and reducing running costs in the long run made more sense than extending for more space we don't really need to make the back bit work for us... if that makes sense!

    We spend most of our time between kitchen and family room. I've got a toddler and expecting another baby so can see me spending time in kitchen with kids outside playing where I can see them.

    Appreciate all the input!
  • Jonathan
    I still think you should examine the cost of renovating the washhouse as it's removal means that you will need to make good. I also notice the higher ceilings in the main house so garden doors from the washhouse can be off the shelf representing a saving over the taller ones that would be needed for the main house.
    For what it's worth I think the washhouse is visually quite interesting and I think the house would be less attractive for its removal. You are likely not a fan as it is probably a little sad inside but a vaulted ceiling, a big opening to the kitchen next door and doors to the garden and I think this would be a valuable room for your family.
  • whizzywig
    Hi Rachael, what a great looking, quirky house!

    You don't mention which way the house is facing, but from the photo it looks as if the sun falls on to the kitchen side. How about a small glass extension to take advantage if that, combining the two kitchens together.. I've attached a pic to help illustrate, hope it makes sense..

    Red are possible kitchen units, green for glass walls/doors, blue for dining table and storage.

    The window from your current family room could also be swapped put for a glazed door if you wanted garden access from there also.
  • nessyquinche
    You have a lovely house with lots of potential. I agree that the second kitchen does give the house a kind of charm. If you don't want to knock down the second kitchen consider turning it into a kind of porch. Keep the roof, knock out as many walls as you can or replace with big windows. When it rains you can still put baby outside for a nap.
    You might find that taking away the second kitchen will cost more than transforming it.
  • kl55hp

    Loads of space; loads of options.

    My ideas for what they're worth:

    (1) leave Bedroom 1 and bathroom as is. Great arrangement for grandparents/guests/au pair/ teenager/boomerang adult-child. One day you could turn the window in this room into a door for people to have own entry.

    (2) definitely don't get rid of the second kitchen / wash house extension. Like one person said above, it adds a nice proportion to the back of the house. Just give it some more glazing. French doors are not expensive and would suit well. You and your kids will love all the room on your ground floor when they are older. Compared with houses in other countries (Australia, NZ, USA) what you have is not that big. Families easily enjoy the space you have and can keep up with cleaning etc.

    (3) get rid of the butler's pantry. It doesn't look a useful shape for pantry storage. It's just a strange corridor. Then open up the wall between the dining room and kitchens, so you'll have a lovely big dual aspect kitchen-dining-lounge arrangement. Such spaces are fantastic with kids. You can keep an eye on so much, be present, and still manage to sit down yourself, or get things done. There are plenty of options for windows at both ends meaning their should be enough light.

    (4) Existing family room could be a big happy play room/music room/library/hobby room (whatever). Add doors onto the garden. Again, french doors would be nice and inexpensive. There are off-the-shelf products these days for all sorts of doors/windows. Or as one person you could plumb water to this room and make yourself a big boot-room / utility room. Would be great for a family that spends a lot of time in the garden. There are great pictures of these sorts of rooms on Pinterest; most of them seem to be in the US. Some even have a dog shower for muddy dogs, and underfloor heating for the wet pooch to dry on!

    (5) If you don't have a dedicated utility room, a utility cupboard somewhere would work well. i.e. a place for washing machine, condensing tumble dryer, some shelves for cleaning products, a fold down drying rack for bits and bobs, also doubles as somewhere to hang wet shirts, a counter top for sorting clothes. Doors that slide and fold like an accordion are good for these utility spaces. Just add some ventilation, either between the folding door panels, or top and bottom. Depending on where your boiler is located, you might also put that in the utility cupboard.

  • Rach Mcelroy
    Thanks for all the suggestions! Lots to think about!
  • PRO
    Create Perfect

    Hi Rach Mcelroy,

    Have you discussed with an architect which walls can be removed yet? Or what is possible within the space structurally?

    It is a great house with (as stated plenty of times above), loads of potential. The key with this one is going to be getting it just right for your families needs whilst working to your budget.

    I understand what Johnathan is saying. If it going to cost you a certain amount to remove the washroom and then to make good the walls and gap or windows from where it was removed it may not be too much more than that to add a little space which can make a really big impact - not only on the space for your family when their older but for the resale (inheritance) at a later date. It is well worth considering and no harm in getting some quotes.

    Once you know what is possible, a concept planner like myself (or there are many many on here) would then be able to help you make the absolute most of your space making it right for your family whilst considering the things that are important to you.. like sight lines and access to the garden.

    I hope this has helped a little and I really look forward to hearing more as your project progresses so do keep us updated. All the best, Gina

  • PRO
    Dennis Sharp Architects

    These are all great ideas but you would be wise in investing in a professional architect to help you make the best use of space, light and create a family house that works for you.

  • Jonathan
    There are many people who have been disappointed with the creative input of an architect preferring a designer, or have been disappointed when plans have been so conceptual that they are not achievable within budget, or they don't feel the benefit of the architects technical expertise preferring a technician to draw up plans for local authority planning at a reduced cost, and homeowners feel that they don't need the architects expertise to calculate loads on structural walls as most builders have a regular agreement with a structural engineer who can provide the calculations for building regs.
    Perhaps an architect can highlight the common pitfalls of the inexperienced homeowner and when and where to best employ the services of an architect, what to expect the architect to be able to deliver and therefore the value of the service.
  • A B

    I have struggled to get an architect interested in this type of small project in the past and gone with a great technician instead. Next time I would probably use a concept planner if the project isn't big enough to tempt an architect!

  • graceh32

    Hi Rachael, I work for a TV production company and we're currently looking for homeowners in London and the South of England with a design dilemma to feature on a new home makeover series for a major UK broadcaster. Our renowned TV property guru could help you transform this space and the way you live in it.

    If you're interested in finding out more about our exciting new series please get in touch on the details below:

    Email apply@outlineproductions.co.uk or call 02031502742

    Many thanks!


  • Rach Mcelroy
    I would love to but live outside Glasgow!!
  • graceh32

    Hi Rach, Thanks for letting me know anyway :)

    Good luck with everything!