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
Where is your fridge and pantry? I can’t tell in these pictures.
Hi there. The fridge and freezer is under the wooden counter. We have a larder cupboard where we store all other food under the stairs, which is just through the glazed kitchen door. x
Lovely! Where is your refrigerator?
Thank you! The fridge and freezer are both under the wooden counter x
Your house is stunning. We have almost the exact layout and dimensions and often wonder what it would be like to knock the wall down. I have to ask where is your washing machine and dryer? And can you hear the noise from the white goods while you’re chilling out watching tv in the evening?? These are the questions I ask myself when I think about open plan living! 🙂
Ha! I love your attention to detail! Sound of the white goods never bothers me – the fridge and freezer are below the wooden countertop and the tongue and groove back to that unit does a lot to keep the noise to a minimum. We don’t have a dryer but the washing machine is in a cupboard in our bathroom as there just isn’t space for it in the kitchen. I actually really like having it upstairs as the laundry can go straight from laundry basket into the washer without having to take it downstairs. The only hassle is taking it outside to the line to dry in the summer xx
You have a beautiful home 😊
Are you able to tell me where you purchased your interior doors from?
Hi there – thank you! The interior doors are 1930s ones original to the house x
Hi, Your house is stunning. We have lived in our 4 bedroom Victorian house since 1982, still doing it up! Ha! We are in our later years now and will have to move out sometime! If we could find a house like yours we would be over the moon! Love the era of your house and what you have done to it. Beautiful. Xx
Was it very expensive to knock the walls down?! The hiuse were looking to buy has the exact layout and really tiny kitchen which I’d love to combine with the dining room. But I’m trying to get all the costs together! You’ve got a beautiful house !
Hi there! Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can help you with a bit more detail x
Love what you have done with it.
Similarly to Karolina, wondering how much the reconfiguration cost roughly? Had an offer accepted on a house that needs gutting first, but trying to see if we can actually afford to do it!
Hi there. I’ve been thinking about dedicating a blog post to this as I get asked the question so much. Until then, pop me an email and I can give more details. email@example.com x
Where is the kitchen door from, I love it. DX60 but with the glazed panels?
It’s original to the house – very luckily! Xx
Hi Katy, your blog is so inspiring! We have a very similar layout in a 30s house like yours and we are about to knock down the wall between the two living rooms too. What I hate in my house is that I can see the kitchen from the front door and in my house the sink is right under the window (I note you have a single french door there) so the sink and all the clutter is the very first thing you see when you enter into the house. I am hoping to move it on the side wall, as in yours. I wondered though, do you also have a dishwasher machine and where is it?
Hi there. Yes, I have a slim dishwasher to the left of the sink next to the oven. Take a look at this Instagram pic to see it: https://www.instagram.com/p/ByFfCq-pSOL/?igshid=1wxco8q3o9ldu xx
Hi, love what you have done to your house!
I am just in the process of buying a 1930’s house on my own, with exactly the same layout.
Also, the front room is north east facing, so south facing garden. Are you able to talk about how much knocking the walls down cost? I would also like to create more light at the back of the house and onto the garden.
It’s tricky to separate out the costs as there are lots of things involved in knocking out a wall – cost of repairing the flooring, re-decorating, replacing coving etc. But the cost of actually removing the wall and supporting it with a RSJ steel was £3700. Hope that helps! x
Hi, I love the colour of your doors. I see its Farrow and Ball light blue but what finish is it please? It looks Dead Flat but pictures can be decieving! Thanks!
Hi there, it’s estate eggshell xx
This is absolutely beautiful, such timeless simplicity and style
Hi Katy, Absolutely love your house.
I have a fireplace with an almost identical wooden surround but still with the original tiles in the middle and we still use it as an open fire. I’m trying to decide whether to restore it or replace it. Can you share any more details about how you tackled the fireplace? Did you do it yourself or get a professional in? How easy was the wooden surround to paint?
Oh I’m sorry, our builder did it all! I sourced the surround from eBay and the Boulder knocked out the original 30s one as it really wasn’t to our taste. They then attached the ‘new’ surround to the wall and painted it x