Floorplan help - how to make house feel more spacious

September 17, 2016

Hi All,

We are considering buying this house and have been particularly drawn to it as it is on a nice street, has elevated north easterly district and bay views. It also has lots of storage (garages and subfloor), a lovely yard and pool.

However, the house itself feels quite cramped and poky. We are trying to work out ways to open up the house, particularly the living area to make it feel more open and spacious.

Any ideas would be much appreciated.

Comments (15)

  • bj605
    There is always ways to improve a house, the aspect etc sounds great. Maybe a builder or someone can advise on whether kitchen walls can be removed? You could rebuild kitchen in the dining space.
    rissv100 thanked bj605
  • Gallifrey

    You could convert the dining into a main bedroom, and use the laundry/bathroom as an ensuite. Move laundry to the cellar??

    Open up bedroom 3 and the kitchen to make a bigger open plan area. Do you need bedroom 4, as this could double as a media/gym/rumpus??

    rissv100 thanked Gallifrey
  • Tribbletrouble44152k7 Trek

    You could build out the lounge to make it line up with the livingroom, move the entry to the front of the lounge, roofing over the corner near the master BM. Also, put an en suite in bed 2, for the MB .

    rissv100 thanked Tribbletrouble44152k7 Trek
  • girlguides
    I think you need consider how you live who is in bath when someone wants toilet and flow from kitchen to dining to toilet as this existing plan would drive me mad if daughter in bath I'm having a grind to dinner and son wants loo
    rissv100 thanked girlguides
  • oklouise

    budget and space permitting, try swopping the staircase into the cellar and the kitchen and dining, see attached but short term make sure that the outdoor covered areas have some transluscent panels to make sure there's plenty of light inside and long term consider a master suite beyond the laundry and a downstairs bathroom in place of the old stairs ...best of luck, sounds like a lovely area

    rissv100 thanked oklouise
  • rissv100

    Thanks so much for the amended floorplan. We are thinking that perhaps the dining area located to the side would provide us with a bit more of an open plan living which is a good short term option. As you and others have suggested, there are some other ways we could extend in the future.

  • ingridsm

    Turn lounge into main bedroom and somehow figure how to do an ensuite there and incorporate bedroom 3 into the living area - take the laundry downstairs and make a small guest loo. i can never understand putting a laundry on the northfacing side of the house. At a later stage you could close in part of the north facing balcony to incorporate it into living space

  • Maryanne Sweet
    Open up the north aspect. I prefer morning sun in kitchen so like them on the east but it all depends on how big a reno you're ready for. either way, move your kitchen and the entire house will open up. there are some really nice large rooms in that layout, a reshuffle could be really simple and make it all work so much better. the covered outdoor looks too deep for north aspect. draw light and winter sun into the home and it will be gorgeous. have fun.
  • colinlund

    convert lounge into bedroom. Block entry to lounge and open a doorway in the hall all bedrooms will be together ,Knock out all walls of bedroom three,making living and dining room, the living room becomes the lounge. Maybe bedroom four can have an ensuit added at some time

  • Anne

    I would move the kitchen to the dining room and create a galley style with a long island bench with a double sink in it. The view from the new kitchen will look out over the courtyard and the space where the kitchen used to be can open up into the family room. There could be a full wall of sliding doors or concertina doors along both walls for easy access to the entertaining area. I would leave the living room as is for a grown up sitting room and formal area. Good luck if you decide to purchase this house. Renos are such fun!!

  • lynne MANWARING

    Hi I agree with bj605 (depending on your budget of course) I would remove the walls around the existing kitchen, (if you cant remove them entirely you could just have a support column). I would run the kitchen along the easterly wall looking out onto the deck, then have your dining area in existing kitchen that will now flow through to the living room. Also I would move the front door back to square off with the living room and put a floor to ceiling mirror on the wall directly in front of the main door (which is the back of the linen cupboard) and remove the walls to the lounge (left of the entry), that will open the space up massively, you will have a line of sight from the front to the back. Moving kitchens can be quite costly, so if the budget doesnt allow for that just yet, I would still pull the kitchen walls down and use a support post first and do the other things I suggested as your budget allows. Having an idea about the final goal will help live through the transition whether its a couple of months or a couple of years. All the best and good luck. Lynne

  • PRO

    Hi rissv100,

    It would appear that all the spaces have a reasonable floor area. The orientation of the living spaces is good. As for it feeling pokey, do you have any images of the spaces inside?

    I would try to avoid make to many planning alteration as it is generally work well. That said, the idea of moving the kitchen into the dining space could work well if you are happy with a more informal dining area.

    Other ways to make as space feel larger than it really is:

    1. Bring light in at a high level. Are there opportunities that would allow you bring more light in, I don't know the style of the house or your test really, but dorma windows do this well. In a modern setting, using highlight window from the ceiling down about 600mm.

    2. Higher ceilings. Is there opportunity to raise ceiling heights it some spaces?

    3. Paint colour and material selection. Of course darker paint colours to walls will close a space down lighter colours will open in it up. See the 50+ shades of white that architects will fuss over for an inordinate amount of time.

    4. As I mentioned above, you could combine functions (dining & living) to use less partition walls.

    5. Making an external wall disappear. By this I mean make an external wall of glass. This is good where your can control the sun hitting the glass (the northern side in australia) and has a great outlook of need a good connection to an outdoor space.

    So these are the main tricks used, the first question before implementing any of these is why? and How do you see yourself and your family living in the house?

    Sorry, I have probably raised more questions then answered here, but I hope this helps.



  • olldroo

    House has many good features, I love how the bedrooms are divided from the living area, that can be very important if you have young children. I even like how the door to the laundry is screened from the dining area - little things like that are important to me. The toilet in the bathroom would annoy me, but having the second toilet in the laundry would offset that. I think I would be inclined to close off the lounge room as a TV/Media room that would free up the general living area for just living. The outdoor areas look well planned with excellent access from the house.

    Oklouise's idea of relocating the kitchen looks an excellent idea but plumbing could be an issue here, firstly it would be expensive just to move the plumbing and something to be generally avoided with renovations, and secondly with rooms underneath the house, it may not be possible.

    As the kitchen is now, opening it more to the living room could be a good idea except I can see possible safety issues with the hotplates being exposed to passing traffic - especially with young children in the house.

    I agree with David - you do have to think about how you are going to live in the house and the lifestyle you envisage. For this reason, if you do decide to purchase, I would strongly suggest you live in the house for a year before doing a thing. That way the things that aren't working for you will become very obvious as well as things you need or would make life easier making decision making simpler. You will also get a feel for the lighting in the house, where it can be improved and the aspect of the house - what rooms may need warming (south facing rooms) or what rooms need cooling (west facing rooms).

  • anj_drafting
    you could swap the kitchen and dining
  • Vy

    1/ lounge to turn into bedroom 3 with door opened to the internal hallway to access the toilet.

    2/ turn bedroom 3 into kitchen as utilities are there already from bathroom

    3/ that way if you knock down wall to dining ..kitchen walls you've got one huge living space to entertain