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leecy

Bulk head where I want to put fire place.

10 years ago
We are moving our kitchen and want to put a fire in the area where the current kitchen is, my design dilemma is that we have this bulk head running across the ceiling and down both walls where the previous owners had put on an extension. It's load bearing and cannot be removed, although I'm not sure about the parts running down the walls. We were hoping to build the fire out (towards the outside of the house) rather then all in towards the room because its not a very wide space (I think about 3.3 meters wide) we wanted a nice long fire but realised we will probably have to go smaller to fit it either side of the load bearing pole that's probably holding up that bulk head in the middle of the ceiling. I was thinking if we can fit in the fire place there I want to match the whole built in (mantle) area around the fire to match the opposite wall so have fire on one side and a compartment to store wood on the other side, with the whole fire place hopefully only sticking out 30cm's from the wall. Then I was trying to come up with a better looking solution to the ugly bulkhead and I came up with the idea of (this is why the fire place needs to match the opposite wall) making the bulkhead larger, so putting in a false ceiling around the bulkhead that's the same width as the fire place and opposite wall. And adding two rows of down lights, one each side of the bulk. Giving the impression that the fire place goes up and across the ceiling. And then as for the little bit coming down the wall on opposite the fire just build the wall out to make it a flat surface.
Does what I am saying (trying to put my visualisations into word) make sense?
On one side of the fire we will have our dining area and kitchen and on the other side and around the fire we were hoping to have a small sitting area with just a couple of seats and then past that we have the lounge area. So doing this will sort of separate the two areas visually.
What do you think? I don't know what else to do, it's an ugly thing to have in the middle of a large open house.
Oh also it comes down about 30cms from the ceiling and with new kitchen we will have a bulkhead around the edge (just for good looks) with down lights so I will make sure they match the same hight as the one in the middle of the house there.

Comments (86)

  • PRO
    10 years ago
    last modified: 10 years ago
    Good I hope I helped to give you a few options. Yes those are some other good needs to weigh! I think once you finalize the decision on where the fireplace is going, what the style will be, then you can design the build! Good luck, keep us posted with your progress.
  • PRO
    10 years ago
    A note: you would have to make a decision which area, lounge? or fire area? are the 'most' important. What I'm thinking is the lounge because your family and friends most likely will be in the family room watching TV. That should be functional and large enough to accomodate the needs.
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  • 10 years ago
    So I just tried to explain the idea to my hubby, and he says he doesn't like it, thinks the lounge room would get too hot and the other end of the house too cold. I was thinking it might be nice to be able to close off the lounge if we wanted. Since he has always wanted a media room and he likes to watch loud movies.
    Even if we just put in a single faced fire I would still have it facing toward the kitchen & dining area, but doing it this way would mean we could have a nice sized seating area in front of the fire and I could even mount a small tv above the fire if I wanted. Hmmmm....
  • PRO
    10 years ago
    I don't know the dimensions of the fire area (near the kitchen). I don't think you can get too much furniture there? Yes small TV above works.
  • 10 years ago
    From memory I think it's about 3.3 meters wide in that area. The area where the dining table will go, once the old kitchen & pantry are out I'm guessing will be around 6 meters wide, the whole house from the window (where the new kitchen is going) to the lounge room wall is about 16 meters long.
  • PRO
    10 years ago
    last modified: 10 years ago
    okay, Fireplace area is almost 11 ft wide. What is the depth to the opposite wall?
  • 10 years ago
    Hey sorry I never got back to you, I went away for a few days. I saw my draftsman today. And was talking about it back and forth until we came up with a cool idea....
    Closing off the lounge but instead of putting the fire on the wall putting a bookcase either side (lounge/ seating area) and building the fire place where we currently have French doors, since we are trying to work out what to do in that space.
    I'm not sure if that makes sense but I will try draw it up. And my husband likes the idea!! :-)
  • 10 years ago
    This is what I'm talking about. Please ignore the floor in the picture, for some reason half my floor has vanished from the program. :-/
    And we worked out if I really want to hide that bulk on the ceiling It would probably work to put in a false ceiling going from where the corner of the storage cupboards are to the wall with the book case, it would then feel like the area around the fire is a separate room & the ceiling in that area would match the hight of the kids play room and the bulk head going around the edge of the kitchen. :-)
    Obviously this is just my rough plan, and the window and door aren't in the exact position or even the correct size, I'm just trying to get an idea.
    So LB your ideas have helped, and my husband likes the idea now of being able to close off the lounge and I like the idea of having a more quiet place to sit close to the fire.
    What do you think?
  • PRO
    10 years ago
    I can't help any further unless you have the correct dimensions of walls, doors, windows etc. and their placements on a floorplan.

    Just a note: may want to think about closing off rooms as the home feels smaller and open floor plans are well sought after and feel so spacious. Just a thought. Plan looks good. Need the final construction plan to make further comments.
  • PRO
    10 years ago
    I'm working on an alternative plan with the floorplan you just posted. Will post soon.
  • PRO
    10 years ago
    last modified: 10 years ago
    A drawing for ...

    Central fireplace open to 4 rooms. Lounge, TV Room, Dining and Kitchen.

    - Smaller Closet in Dining
    - Central Three-sided Fireplace
    - Lounge - Two Chairs rotated toward fireplace
    - TV Room - bi-fold door
    - TV Room - glass window wall (more light and open view, feels spacious)
    Before Floor Plan - Fireplace and Lounge · More Info
    After Floor Plan - Fireplace and Lounge · More Info
  • PRO
    10 years ago
    Good luck in your plans!!
  • 10 years ago
    Thanks. I see what your trying to do although that corner is the corner in my main photo, it's a load bearing wall with too many structures or whatever in that corner we couldn't put a fire there.
    You didn't like the idea of putting the fire where the old French doors are and closing of the lounge? I know it would close it off and make the house less open but in saying that from the wall with the air con to the opposite wall (where the new kitchen is going) its at least 16 meters long. That narrow area where I'm taking about putting the fire place is about 3meters wide.
  • 10 years ago
    So the first photo is how our house currently is. The second photo is the changes we are talking about. I checked the measurements & they are almost accurate (maybe a couple of centimetres off that's it) Apart from the kids bedrooms etc but they don't affect any of this so it doesn't matter. I have made my pictures as accurate as I can.
  • 10 years ago
    Ok Now you have seen the measurements I have adjusted it a little because we have an issue that where our carpet starts our floorboards stop. I can take a photo later if it doesn't make sense. This is why I came up with the idea of having a book case (built in) to create a wall that comes to where the floor boards start & we could probably put in a cavity door to close off the lounge. (In the picture I have put in normal door, but its just to give an idea) Although.... I sort of liked the idea of making the new wall flush with the existing lounge wall so we could have the option of putting the tv on that wall rather then the wall that backs onto my child's bedroom. (It gets noisy) I can show what I mean too.
  • 10 years ago
    Can you see this working?
  • 10 years ago
    Hi leecy, glad things are moving along for you. If your weather is anything like ours at the moment I bet you wish you had that fireplace up and working now.

    Coming in a bit late here to really study all the earlier comments, but as far as the bulkhead goes, it would be pretty easy to just put an RSJ in, my dd did it when she opened up her home. Actually hubby and a couple of mates, one a chippy, did it very successfully in a weekend and it would give you a lot more freedom of choice. Count the cost of it against the extras you might spend accommodating the bulk head and the ease of decorating and other hassles and it could be very worthwhile. More so if you are going to be looking at it for years to come.

    DD had access to an abundance of free timber so put wood burning in her home and honestly, with an open plan like you have, it will totally warm the whole house so think your idea of putting it in the middle of an open area is a great idea. Many times at her home I had to open doors and windows to let some heat out, it got too uncomfortable, but I still like your idea of a seating nook near it.

    Are the double doors near your dining table your front entrance doors? I'm thinking maybe you might want to screen the table off but that might be a thought for later. Couple of photos attached to give you some idea of what I mean.

    Your kitchen looks amazing and with the age of your children, I would be in favour of keeping the lounge separate in some way, it defines an area toys definitely don't go so your lounge area is always adult ready.

    Your home is going to be amazing, I just love the playroom off the girl's bedrooms, something I always wished I had thought of, and I can see a lot of potential here for this house to grow with your family.

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  • PRO
    10 years ago
    last modified: 10 years ago
    Your fireplace plan will work too. Between lounge and two chair space .... How about a two sided fireplace so that the space on the other side gets the view of the fireplace which includes a view from the kitchen too?
    After Floor Plan - Fireplace Placement · More Info
  • 10 years ago
    Thanks oldroo, the screens look cool but probably not necessary for where we live because we are already so private with no neighbour close by. In the picture I have out double doors but it will be either a 1 & half door or a large sized front door. We have a wood fire here now but we need to upgrade, but at least we are enjoying a nice warm fire even though its not one we can sit around and enjoy.
  • 10 years ago
    LB when I talked to the husband about having a two way fire he didn't like the idea because he felt the room would get too hot. When my draftsman and myself came up with the idea of putting it where the French doors currently are it seemed like a better layout for us. We were talking about having a bookcase either side of the new wall and putting in a cavity door and when I looked at the layout it would make a lot more sense if we move the tv over the the new wall , it makes the room wider and fits in more sitting areas and a better couch layout, also it means we won't be looking at the side of a tv all the way from the kitchen or feel like we are walking into a tv when we enter the room, also my daughters bed backs onto the tv wall and its gets loud.
    The layout you have shown wont work either because we have a big window on that back wall. As it is I don't like having the couch up against the window because it sits lower then the couch and I feel I can't enjoy the window.
  • 10 years ago
    Leecy, have you seen the entrance doors that pivot now? Don't know if you get a chance to watch House Rules but they put one on a house the other week and it looked fantastic. Gives you a larger door that pivots instead of being hinged. No idea of cost though unfortunately. http://realdoorsmelbourne.com.au/

    I definitely agree with hubby's thoughts on the two way fireplace getting too hot in the lounge area. Assuming being rural you would get colder than us, but we still don't get the really minus deg temps many places in the US do.

    I can tell you must really be in brain overload by now, you have really put a lot of thought into everything, especially working out furniture arrangements, that is so important, and this has all come together well for you. Dying to see the finished result. How long does the builder think it will all take??
  • 10 years ago
    My draftsman was talking about pivot doors the other day, he said the same as you but he also mentioned its not a particularly safe door around little kids either, I cringe just thinking about it.
    It has been getting cold here, last night was -1 and we have had -2 nights as well this week.
    I need to be able to see how furniture fits or else we could do this and it just not work. I think we will have to have another meeting with our builder since the draftsman is drawing up the final plans now, and since we we worked out where we can fit the fire and thinking about putting the wall up to separate the lounge, this will be all new to him. Initially he said it will take 4 weeks, so I'm going to double what he says to be on the safe side, the hardest part is that we have to move out. If we didn't have little kids it would be fine, we could of just done it room by room but with kids you can't afford to be living in a building site.
  • 10 years ago
    I have seen this website before, I think I actually shared it with someone else on here once, looking at it again those pivot doors do look good, but I can see my little one squeezing through the narrow part and getting quashed, she's a tall slim little thing who likes fitting thorough small spaces just like that (probably because no one else can do it). They have some nice doors though. :-)
  • 10 years ago
    So much to think about with kids, isn't there. That is good the draftsman is up on little safety things like that, it isn't always obvious in pictures.

    I have 2 of my grands staying at the moment and the 4 year old never ceases to amaze me at the things he thinks up, but this morning we were even more puzzled, the 7 year old woke up with a nasty bite on her cheek and one on her hand. If it was mid summer, I wouldn't think too much of it, but in the middle of winter???? The room has just been thoroughly cleaned, painted, carpeted, new beds, I thoroughly vacuumed the mattresses and all new linen. I am totally mystified.

    That is a pain having to move out, will you find something nearby so you can keep checking the work? Four weeks sounds pretty fast but without you there, he can make far better headway and have more trades on site at the one time, you might be lucky.

    Thinking too with the little one, ideas for a two way fireplace would definitely be out, you will need something you can put a barrier around.
  • PRO
    10 years ago
    last modified: 10 years ago
    Wow, yes you have many needs to fill, some of which I was anaware. I like the idea of a pocket door. They are so convenient and take up no space. It's been an experience trying to help with ideas for the fireplace. I forgot about your window placements among all these floor plans. Some were in the different plans and some not.

    Just a couple of last thoughts. My children are grown so, I'm not realizing the children's safety all the time. That always come first. How does everyone else make the use of a standard fireplace work in their homes? I had one when my children were infants "til they left home. Maybe because your home is so much larger than mine.

    I've been thinking about the 'too hot' issue discussed above. I would think that if a fireplace is contained within one room, wouldn't that room get very hot? If a fireplace is open to multiple rooms, the heat will disperse to all the other rooms. Especially when it's centrally located in a home. Wouldn't you need multiple fireplaces in a large home? Do you also have other sources for heating?

    Priior info regarding children, family lifestyle, open floor plans vs private rooms, many of which were unclear. Here, we are so programmed into the desire for open floor plans. Heating sources, closed off rooms, how often used, who uses the rooms, noisy TV wall, exact placement of windows, etc etc,. reasons why, for everything in consideration. This is the informational part regarding the client needs that is fully discussed prior to beginning the design and decorating project. Sorry about that, I should have asked all the key info prior. This thread would have been shorter. LOL.

    I've enjoyed all your floorplans. You've done a great job with lots of thought. I'm sure you will have a functionally beautiful home. Looking forward with all your progress. Would like to see the changes as it progresses. Good Luck! It will be beautiful!
  • 10 years ago
    That's ok LB, I should of given you the links to my other threads, then you could of got a bit more of the story. Every time I play around with the plans I have windows disappear on me, it's just a cheap app I'm doing it on so can't expect too much I guess.
    I understand its hard for people to understand when they aren't living in the house, you have helped me a lot by making me think of different ideas, I was really struggling with where the fire was going to go and what we were going to do about the French and front doors and also making that space where the French door currently are a liveable space, because at the moment it is a big waste of space between the kitchen and the lounge, I currently have my dishwasher & chest freezer in that spot as well as a toddler potty and little kids table. Why the potty? Because our bathrooms are so cold that the kids won't go in there to use the toilet, It feels like your walking on ice. The dishwasher, because we have no where in our kitchen to put a dishwasher, etc etc. hence why we are redoing our bathrooms (as well as other reasons like mould) and our kitchen.
    We have a reverse cycle air conditioner in our lounge room so if the room was closed off we can easily warm it up if the fire can't, also it will be better on really hot days (I mean unbearable) which we get a few each year because we have for years been trying to cool the whole house down and having to sleep on the floor under the air con but if we can close the room off we can keep the one room nice and cool. We also now have a reverse cycle air con in our bedroom, and the girls just have portable heaters in their rooms which are currently on almost full time because their rooms get freezing. If it helps too my kids are almost 3 and 2 in a few months. We want the house to suit us now but also as the kids grow older, we plan on being here a long time too. :-)
  • 10 years ago
  • 10 years ago
  • 10 years ago
    I have added the links to my other threads so you can see how far we have actually come with the planing process. Planning is the most important part I think.
    Once I am happy with all our plans and spoken to our builder it will be time to look more into design, colours, lights etc. we have an idea of what we like but trying to make it all work will be the trick. :-)
  • PRO
    10 years ago
    I prefer a kitchen farther into the home away from the enty doors. I think an original plan or is that way now?
  • PRO
    10 years ago
    last modified: 10 years ago
    I think it feels better entering into a living room or dining room space or study. Rather than a kitchen hitting you in the face. Just my preference.
  • PRO
    10 years ago
    As far as one room at a time, Is good but you need a comfortable floor plan first and foremost before you begin decorating a room.
  • 10 years ago
    LB - been using this website for some time now and I have really taken notice of the difference in US homes and Australian ones - I think even our attitudes to things are different. I think the US homes generally are a lot more formal. Walking into a house and into the kitchen is not an issue as generally everyone ends up in the kitchen anyway and my biggest issue is coming home from the supermarket laden down with shopping and kids and then having to walk right through the house. Leecy's plan is so practical in so many ways, and I am confident a centrally located fireplace in an open plan will filter good heat through most of the house and take the chill off the rest.
  • 10 years ago
    Leecy - are you looking at underfloor heating for your bathrooms and laundry area?
  • PRO
    10 years ago
    last modified: 10 years ago
    Thanks 'olldroo' Centrally located fireplace was my thoughts also, I just thought 'more' centrally located LOL. I wasn't aware the area in this big world where people are. Good point! Thanks.
    I wish houzzers would post their location, I think it would help a lot in our suggestions for them. There is a poll right now that many have mentioned wanting this info. https://www.houzz.com/discussions/poll-topics-for-a-live-houzz-chat-dsvw-vd~516967
  • 10 years ago
    I had picked it up on one of leecy's earlier posts. I have my location on my profile page but I have to keep my eye on it - every so often it puts me in the US.
  • 10 years ago
    LB - I have already done that discussion. Agree about people posting location, especially when they want colour schemes. Lighting changes so much from country to country and even altitude - sea level -v- mountains - I get quite concerned at times that posters will chose a suggested colour scheme if they are unaware of these factors and be disappointed with the result.
  • 10 years ago
    LB I'm not sure what you mean in your comment about the original plan?
    I will post a couple of images, the first is how the house is currently. The other how we are planing to change it. As for the front door, it is where it is, which is currently next to the kitchen bench, when we move the kitchen it will be just on the other side of the door and the door will be opening up to the dining area.
  • 10 years ago
    We haven't actually looked into under floor heating but we will be putting insulation in the bathroom floors. I don't think there is any sort off insulation in those rooms at all.
  • 10 years ago
    If your house is weatherboard (which I think you said it was) there probably isn't any insulation at all except maybe some sarking in the ceiling. Wouldn't your bathroom floors be concrete?? When we built, hubby was in the air con business so we were a little ahead of time and put batts in all the walls and an insulation foil under the floors. Always intended to put batts in the ceiling but it didn't happen. Have so much glass though that probably negates everything we did anyway.

    DD put underfloor heating when she did her bathrooms and left it on all night for the kids. Bathroom was furtherest from the wood fire but the floor heating really warmed the whole room anyway. We decided not to spend the money with our renovations and I just use some lovely thick bathmats strategically placed. Unfortunately, with electricity prices these days, you have to think options at times.
  • PRO
    10 years ago
    By original, I was speaking before your remodel, I tended to like the kitchen where it was. To the far left. Sorry.
  • 10 years ago
    Yeah we already have a high electricity bill and our builder said under floor heating is costly. We are weatherboard and no cement we are on stumps.
    LB the kitchen is currently in the middle of the house, we have not remodelled yet, the picture with the kitchen on the far left is the new plan. It's not practical having the kitchen in the middle of a large room, we have so much unusable space all around us.
    Here is a pic I "drew" on to give an idea, I want to be askew to utilise all the space in our house, it's nice having a big open plan house but not if most of the open space is unusable. I hope that make sense.
  • 10 years ago
    I'm just wondering how you will insulate under the bathroom - wild guesses on past experience here, but I think there is a reasonably thick fibrous sheeting that they can use that will take tiles, but that and the tiles will be insulation enough. It is hard to know just what to do the way the energy costs are rising and they are getting to the point they can't be ignored. Your wood heating is a very wise choice.

    I love the looks of your kitchen and that enormous pantry. Great idea using the hallway like that, they can be such a waste of space.

    Are you getting much of this damn rain? With DD visiting, stressing over her wasted holiday, a 7 and 4 year old who are full on non stop, we are all getting cabin fever.
  • PRO
    10 years ago
    yes that's what I meant by 'original new floor plan. I understand that kitchen will move to the far left.
  • 10 years ago
    LB I think you confuse me as much as I probably confuse you. LOL. ;-)
    I noticed I had some crazy auto correct word in my last post which I think was supposed to say "able" (I can't remember now what it even said) ;-)
    Oldroo I think the builder said something like sticking the old roof bats under the floor. The rain, yes we had it here more then a week straight!! It was great because 1) I was on the sunny coast in Qland that week! And 2) we are on tank water which we have been running off empty for about 6 months now and we just got a second tank connected a few weeks ago as well as guttering on our shed and guess what.... Our tanks were overflowing for days!! We could of filled 3 or 4 tanks at that rate!! So I am very happy about the rain!! :-D
  • 10 years ago
    He must know what he is going, so hopefully it does some good - can't do any harm.

    Do you have town water at all only only tank? I am highly allegic to tank water.......... honestly, only I could be allergic to water. Took years for everyone to figure out what was wrong with me.
  • 10 years ago
    Just tank no town! What do you meant your highly allergic to tank water!!? :-/ Is it the gum leaves or the possum poo? ;-)
    Seriously though I can barely stand to drink town water because just turning the tap on smells like an indoor swimming pool. At least the town water around here does, it's not that bad everywhere I guess.
  • 10 years ago
    Don't remember any possums when I was a kid but I wondered if it might have been something off the old gal iron roof, shudder at the thought of what could have been in that. When I was a kid you just didn't think about drinking the town water. Found out in later years any time I travelled I had problems. Sydney water fine as long as I keep under 3/4 glasses a day, I guess I built up a resistance to it. Know what you mean about the chlorine smell, ewww, we get that sometimes but fortunately it doesn't taste.
  • PRO
    10 years ago
    last modified: 10 years ago
    I'm going to be busy. My last attempt. Good luck. Keep us posted with the progress.

    # 3 Floor Plan
    After Fireplace - Where should it go? · More Info
  • 10 years ago
    Thanks LB, I think we have discussed this option already. :-)
    Oldroo, no good, I can't imagine to being able to drink water, I try have at least 2 litres a day. But town water I struggle with 2 glasses, unless its real well boiled.