Floor plan layout advice to make this house feel more open

January 29, 2019

We have just purchased a new house!

It is a fairly large house with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a study, living area, dining room + main lounge and a pool!

We are planning on doing a fairly sizable renovation to modernise the place but also adjust the floor plan if suitable. At this stage, we don't quite know what our budget is- we've never renovated so we don't really know what renovations cost (I've heard alot!). Our budget could potentially be up to $150k.

Our current floor plan is below.

The things I want to change/add:

  • The hallway has access to the ensuite bathroom- we want to close off this door so that it is a private bathroom
  • The study is right at the front of the house - I like my study being close to the main living room so that I am close to my loved ones
  • There is no storage apart from the laundry! I want to add a walk in storage room with shelving.
  • Would love to have a walk-in or butlers pantry.

My floor plan is below:

Ideas currently running through my head for main bedroom/bathroom

  • Change the walk in robe so that it is a his/hers walk through on the left/right into the bathroom. This ultimately would reduce the size of the master ensuite, but we want to remove the bath tab and potentially put the shower in its place. It would also require the windows in this corner to be bricked out as it is all window starting from the top of the bath.
  • Close up the hallway opening to the ensuite toilet making it only accessible from the main bedroom.

Potential way to add a butlers/walk-in pantry could be below.

The problem with this is that I believe it would be quite costly as it is an extension to the existing building:

Now my idea about making the study closer to the main living area and adding more storage was as follows:

  • Bedroom 2 is split into half- the right hand side is the study and the left hand side is a walk in storage room
  • The robe and pantry on this wall would be removed to make the wall in line with the guest toilet
  • The dining area would become the second bathroom, with its built in robe built into the current study. The current study would then become a powder room.
  • Does anyone personally have issues that the second bedroom is much closer to the main bedroom with this design?
  • This would result in a big powder room, so the remainder of this current study could be used for more storage or the garage slightly extended.
  • Problem with these changes are that external windows would need to be changed. Is this costly?!

Outdoor area:

  • There is currently a pool in the top right that you can't see. We would like to put bifold doors or similar on the top of the family area that would open out to the outdoor area.

ANY advice would be appreciated.

Comments (21)

  • siriuskey

    Congratulations n your new home, I would suggest some rough ideas for your $150K which won't go as far as you could imagine. I don't know if you plan on replacing your kitchen but either way the kitchen can remain in the same position with a new WIP and easy access to the laundry.

    Save money by closing off the Two way toilet, and adding another toilet within the ensuite.

    A mudroom storage drop zone next to the garage would work well with a family chee


  • lockmac

    Thanks for your comment! Not a terrible idea about putting the toilets side by side. I will give that some though. It sure will save money on installation however I liked the idea of having the toilet in a separate room in the ensuite.

    With the walk in pantry, that area is a really light filled dining area where we have our table (not the formal dining room which we will never use), so it's not a good place to put pantry as it will restrict a lot of light and leave no room for our dining room table.

  • oklouise

    where is north, describe your climate, do you have a site plan (hand drawn with rough measurements is ok) showing the house on the block and the distance to boundaries and how many and what are the ages of the people expected to live in the house?

  • lockmac

    The plan page is actually north oriented.

    The climate is generally warm this time of year (30s) and cold in winter.

    I'll add some photos to the OP.

    Age is early 30s and its just my partner and I at this stage.

  • siriuskey

    Another rough idea for you, opening up the kitchen and still using the breakfast nook as a lovely Bright WIP, I can imagine having a sink in there to clean up.

    You should have plenty of space for an enclosed WC in the ensuite and keeping plumbing for that close to the other WC will save money, as mentioned $150K doesn't go very far these these days. The dining room would make a great study/home office

  • lockmac

    That is an interesting floor plan that I have never considered! I'm liking what you've done there... I'll show my partner tonight!

  • dreamer
    Lockmac, how many living areas would you prefer, at the moment you have two? When standing in the kitchen, would you like to see outside to the pool area? Can you for now, use bedroom three as a study, and use your study as a dedicated storage room? Install shelving etc. this has access from garage, and seems the logical place without removing walls.
  • lockmac

    I think we need 2 living areas. It's not 100% necessary to see out the pool area from the kitchen- you currently can now but not completely necessary.

  • siriuskey

    I have to say that it's very important to be able to see the pool from the kitchen and family, for pool safety especially with a young family The current living room only has a a dwarf/hip wall so it's already open plan

  • lockmac

    I do agree about seeing the pool from the kitchen, which to me it has a fairly good view. Can you explain what you mean about the dwarf/hip wall? New to this!

  • siriuskey

    Look on your plan it has a dwarf wall marked on the passageway end of the living room, that suggests to me it's not a full height wall?

  • lockmac

    Oh I see. Sorry I wasn't sure what a dwarf wall was. It is just a small wall separating the toilet and the sink in the en suite bathroom.

  • siriuskey

    Haha, sorry that makes sense I thought it was the other wall, I call it a hip wall. can I ask you. it's just a couple living in the house at the moment with possible future children adding to this. Do either of you work from home so do you need a home office or just a study area.

  • lockmac

    Hi. Yes, its just the 2 of us with plans for kids in the future. I work home around once a week, and most days are on the computer doing other work (I'm an IT professional and my partner is a teacher). We aren't really wanting an "office" exactly.. maybe list a study I suppose.

    The below picture is a place we saw once that we really liked- the office was just a nice strip that we thought worked really well, which is why I was thinking of splitting up bedroom 2 into an study/storage.

  • oklouise

    anything involving changes to existing plumbing or adding new plumbing in a concrete floor is super expensive and it's usually best to see what can be improved ...it's already a great house that just needs refreshing to your own taste...once you start removing walls there's extra costs replacing existing flooring and ceilings and removing the dividing wall between kitchen and living will convert two good sized living areas into one big space that doesn't improve the function of the rooms and extending outside the existing walls would use up substantial parts of your budget with Council Fees and attempting to patch up roof and walls and always look like a cheap add on...my suggestions include using any one of the available five spare rooms as a study and making minimal changes to add an extra wiw, separate toilet in the ens, extra storage in the entry, direct access to the garage from the entry, keep the existing, study, lounge dining and bedroom 3 and 4 as is, add a more open new kitchen and use the biw from bed 2 and laundry and space from the family room to create a big pantry and new hall to access bed 2 with generous extra storage and, by having external access to the pool and northern courtyard from the meals area the family room can have a more comfortable furniture arrangement

  • dreamer
    Oklouise, completely agree with all comments and the design.
  • siriuskey

    I totally agree with not carving up any bedrooms and working within the spaces you already have.

    The kitchen could be changed to my rough drawing as the plumbing is already in a similar position, and giving you the WIP that you would like. Or just run it along the same wall with the island in the other direction

    The ensuite WC walled off and used as a powder room, coming in from the garage via the Mudroom and storage and then immediate access to a WC, great with kids.

    Adding another closed in WC in the ensuite next to the other makes plumbing easy. Remove the the old spa bath and replace with a longer larger shower and vanity, this could have a sliding barn style door entrance.

    I would keep the WIR in situ but just redo the fitout

    By adding sliding doors to both the current living and family rooms out to Vergoa pergolas, these will control light and weather. these doors will help open the house up to the garden adding size and interest to the indoor living spaces which I find too enclosed and restricted, the pergolas will also add balance to the current meals area.

    The other consideration needs to be for access to a WC from the pool ( sorry for the very rough drawings of the floor plan could possibly redo better tomorrow, time allowing.

  • PRO
    Paul Di Stefano Design

    ...you'd be surprised, by the time your roll through ensuite, bathroom, kitchen upgrades, as well as floor coverings etc $150K will be gobbled up in just fit-out components. If you want to start changing internals signficantly with moving around / splitting up rooms, possibly introducing a corridor, to assist with bedroom privacy (an issue here), possibly extending a little and re-plastering and replumbing & adding doors etc then it will probably add another $100K to $150K on top again, and that's not touching anything outside.......recently I did what I consider a "little" job which involved a small extension for a bedroom and converting an existing bedroom into a bathroom and pantry, as well as a cosmetic upgrade to the existing ensuite (no change of plumbing), added a little overhang to the entry and it was an easy $200K and that was also with the client taking over the build management from lock-up............

    I'd go a "light & easy" approach here just to freshen up, particular since you don't have kids (yet)......

    These things always come down to most importantly costs, so understanding how decisions decisions translate to real costs is the difference between the Pro's and DIY design.....

    Maybe seek some preliminary consultation with an architect/designer just to help guide you at this important early stage - the earlier the better when it comes to investment in design consultation

    Best of luck

    Cheers PD :)

  • dreamer
    Lockmac, you have a wonderful large home. The beautiful outdoor area can be seen from your kitchen and living areas. You have a good space for your eight sitting dining table. And all the windows face north, which is the ideal orientation. You have a great covered outdoor area. The kitchen would be updated just by making it a straight counter, with out the angled shapes. But this may be troublesome in itself. (The tiles may be placed around the cabinet work, not under the cabinets), so then the domino of renovations starts. It would be a shame to block the direct view to the outdoors. As you have said, it is a great area, and you would not like it to be blocked with anything. You said you have just purchased the new home, how long is "just". I would live in the home for 12 months, with simple changes like making the study into a storage room, and bedroom 2 or 3 into your study/office room. Then see how you live in the home and what would work when there is more than the two occupants. Then when you know exactly what you want, and can afford, go for it.
  • Kate Partenio

    1. turn laundry into pantry

    2. run new laundry along outside wall of bed 2 access via pantry. With a laundry chute from kids bathroom above bath into hamper. Could also have access via new study see next.

    3. front of bed 2 turn into study niche, entry where robe is and desks either side along side walls

    4. Use dining as nursery/ tv room later. If you need full 4th bedroom steal space for robe from existing study

    5 study becomes mudroom and poss incorporate powder room in future. Don’t waste money here yet.