Let’s talk Plans

Happy Sunday! It was a really miserable rainy day here yesterday but I secretly love a Saturday like this every now and then because it gives you the perfect excuse to hole up at home and either get all those pesky jobs done……or…..lounge around and do very little (my preferred option if I can get away with it!) Yesterday, I used the rain as an excuse to get some floor plans done on the computer for our extension which have got me into a state of high excitement!

As I mentioned in this post about our kitchen, we have plans for big changes to our ground floor. We have waited 10 long years to replace our kitchen and during that time, I have gone backwards and forwards a hundred times over what my dream kitchen would look like. It’s a big decision and one I still haven’t made, but I think I’m moving in the right direction.

Thanks to my plan-drawing activities yesterday, I definitely have a clearer idea about what the layout should look like. Here is what we have at present:

The Current Layout

The Current Layout

I used ‘Sweet Home 3D Format’ to create this drawing and it was really easy to use. I didn’t measure anything so it’s not to scale and it’s all just done on guess work but I think I’m pretty close to how it should look. The furniture etc. is just representative, there were no colour options or anything so we’ll just go with it.

At the moment, we have a small conservatory at the back of the house which we NEVER use. It is far too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter and it’s also too small to be useful for anything I can think of. It is joined by double glass doors to our ‘den.’ This room is well used. It is home to my piano (which won’t fit anywhere else in the whole ground floor) as well as my son’s Xbox and most of the children’s toys and games (the collection of which is rapidly reducing as they get older.) In the summer, we have to keep the double doors closed at all times otherwise, the den is also too hot to sit in.

My initial thought was to knock down the walls between the breakfast room and the conservatory/den and open up the whole back of the house but there were a few reasons why we have decided not to do this:

1. We really use the den a lot. It’s great to have a space where the children can take themselves off and play their games and make a mess and if need be, we can shut the door on it all and deal with it later. I think it’s always useful to have space that can be separated off and used for different purposes.

2. As the children get older, I’m sure they will want space of their own to hang out with their friends etc (away from hubby and I!) and I would feel better if this was somewhere on the ground floor so that they are still close to us and not cut off and shut away upstairs.

I’m sure we could create an amazing space at the back of the house if it was all open plan and we could install bi-fold doors and open it to the garden but I’m just not sure it would work with the way we live our lives. Here’s what we’ve come up with as a new layout:

New Layout

New Layout

We eventually made the decision to replace the conservatory roof with a ‘proper’ roof and square off the corner to create a bit more useable space. We will also knock the walls down between the current conservatory and den to open up the room.  We have thought carefully about how we use this area and how we would want to use it in the future and I came up with three main uses. The first is as a space for the children (and adults!) to watch TV, play games and computer games and generally lounge around. The second is as a place to play the piano or other musical instruments. The third thing I would love to add to this space is a desk area. At present, we all use our kitchen table for doing paperwork etc. I spend a fair amount of time working on the computer (for the blog and for work) and the children sometimes need help with their homework which entails them being closer to me or their Dad than they are in their bedrooms (which is where they do most of their school work.) By having a study/desk area in here, it means we can all be closer to the rest of the family while we work without cluttering up the kitchen table which has to be cleared off every time we want to eat.

In the kitchen, we are planning to push the external wall out to allow for a bigger kitchen as well as a larger laundry/mud room behind. You may have noticed that I have also snuck a ‘pantry’ into that space – I could just burst with excitement at the prospect of having a pantry!! I have also always dreamed of having an island unit in my kitchen and I am seizing this opportunity to make it happen! I am SO excited at the prospect of our new kitchen it’s ridiculous!

The current utility/laundry room is tiny and whilst it’s really handy to have it, the room is usually in a state of chaos because it’s just not big enough to house everything that needs to happen in there! This room is home to our cat’s food, bed and litter tray, it also houses our bags, coats, wellington boots, hats, scarves etc. It has a wall mounted shoe cabinet as well as a sink (which I can never get to) and cupboards which contain all of our laundry detergent, pet food, shoe cleaning equipment, cookery books, etc.etc. I could go on for ever!

At the moment, I take all of our clean laundry upstairs to fold and iron. In my dreams, this room will have an area for both of those activities so that I can simply take our ironed clothes upstairs to put away and we won’t have a spare bedroom full of laundry. I would love to incorporate a folding table and baskets for each person’s clean laundry which could be taken upstairs, emptied and returned. Something like this:

Screen Shot 2012-05-25 at 8.38.01 AM


I would also love it if there were a place to keep all our boots so they are not just scattered around the floor. This room is also where we dry off the dog after muddy walks and it would be great to have a bit more space for that activity which is not easy in cramped quarters!!

In the kitchen, we have made space for that island unit as well as including large doors onto the patio and garden. We will keep a table in there as well as having a breakfast bar at the island so that we can still accommodate larger numbers for dinner or whatever. My husband is dreaming of a Rangemaster oven and I would love to have somewhere to house all his cookery books within the kitchen. We are gradually zeroing in on what we want for this space but it’s so hard to decide and I’m sure when we realise what everything costs, there will be compromises to be made!

So, that’s it. Our dream layout and plans for the next year or so. I am currently making a list of little extras I would love to incorporate such as a waste disposal unit, a space under the counter for the dog’s bed and an outside tap that runs warm as well as cold water. Is there anything else you can think of that we should include in our new plans? Is there anything you would change about this layout? I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions. I just can’t wait to get started with all this. Now all we need to do is find someone to do all the work!! Please contact me with your comments and suggestions in the comments or email me at homeheartharmony@yahoo.com. I would love to hear your ideas!

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