As I discussed in my last post about whether taking on a renovation project was the right thing for us one of the keys to making our small house feel spacious was creating an open plan room downstairs. I’ve had quite a few messages asking to see more photos of the downstairs and how the three different areas link up so I thought I’d share the photos with you today. I still haven’t finished furnishing this room but we’re nearly there.
When I saw our house for the first time it was immediately clear that we would have to knock down two walls to create one room instead of three. The original kitchen was tiny and completely separate to the rest of the living space, the dining room was really nice as it looked out onto the garden but I knew it would never get used and the sitting room was small and relatively dark as it is a north west facing room. Knocking all three into one would create a much more spacious and practical space that would mean every single centimetre of the space would get used. It would also make looking after Mimi at home so much easier as she would always be within sight.
The original floor plan looked like this…
Our contracter J A Whitney, who is brilliant by the way, worked with his team to remove the wall between the kitchen and the back reception room and the wall between the back and front reception rooms, which needed a steel support. They also blocked in the doorway to the back reception room. This has left us with only one room downstairs but because it is such a small house this made total sense to us.
Ideally I would love a separate cosy sitting room but in such a small house having the flow and extra floor space that you gain from knocking two rooms into one makes it feel much bigger than it actually is.
Dining rooms can be so neglected on a daily basis, I find, if they are not attached in some way to the kitchen so I am so pleased to say that reconfiguring the downstairs we now spend so much time around the table.
We decided to keep a door coming into the kitchen area firstly because I really love the door and secondly because it gives us access to the larder under the stairs in the hallway. Also, I think it’s nice to have two points of access to the room, which is especially helpful when we have lots of friends over.
Without the wall the kitchen space is still very small but it feels so much bigger! The wooden worktop is where I do all the meal prep whilst looking out across to the dining table, which is ideal.
Between the alcoves, where the wall was removed, I have put some cupboards to make the most of the space for storage.
The other big benefit of knocking all three rooms into one is that there is direct access and view to the garden from the entire downstairs. This means that we are constantly in and out of the garden and it very much feels like an extension of the living space. The light from both sides of the house also keep the downstairs light at all times of the day.
Eventually we would like to remove the entire back wall of the house and extend out into the garden to give us more space but for now this layout is working so, so well for us. If you have any questions about the renovation process do leave a comment and I will try to give you as much info as I can!
Wall paint – brilliant white
Woodwork paint (skirtings, doors, fireplace) – Light Blue from Farrow & Ball
Floor – original floorboards oiled with Raw Osmo oil
Sisal rug – Modern Rugs (gifted)
Patterned rug – House of Rym (no longer available)
Sofas – Soderhamn three seater, chaise and ottoman
Sofa covers – bespoke Linen covers from Bemz in their loose fit style in Rosendal pure washed linen unbleached (gifted)
Art prints – Margo in Margate
Bespoke picture frames – eFrame (gifted)
Rocking chair – IKEA
Sheer blinds – John Lewis
Dining table – secondhand from my sister
Pendant over table – Original BTC
Dining chairs – vintage Ercol
Wishbone chairs – Swivel
White storage cabinets – Billy bookcases IKEA
Pine wall cabinet – vintage second hand from eBay
Kitchen colour – Railings Farrow & Ball
Antique kitchen tiles – Maitland & Poate (gifted)
Large standard lamp – very old Habitat Spindle lamp