First I'll say we never, ever, ever plan to sale our home unless we win the big lottery. Then if we take a loss, who cares...WE WOULD'VE WON THE LOTTERY!!! Our house has 3BR and we were thinking about each boy have his own BR eventually (3yrs & 4yrs right now and sharing a room) and hubby & me a BR. Our kitchen is a galley kitchen and to me not really an "eat in" kitchen with a growing family. Even if we downsized our table, it would still be tight quarters as the boys grow. What if we took the bedroom off the LR, making the door frame an arched frame to match the others in the house, and turning it into the LR? The current LR would then become a DR. This doesn't call for a major reno. But as the boys grow they will continue to share a bedroom. I know it won't kill them and larger families have been raised in smaller homes. The pic is looking through the kitchen doorway into the current LR (kids are still on Christmas break) and the current BR (which we use as a computer room right now) What do you think, go for it??? I'm just so fearful of messing up. TIA
My first thought was....if you need another bedroom...use the computer room. But you were asking if you could use it as a living room, Right? How big is it? You have a big living room now....is there any way you can arrange the furniture so that the couch sort of makes a divider and the dining table could be behind it on the kitchen side? I would like to see a picture taken from the computer room door to the kitchen and give dimentions of the computer room and living room. Looks to me like the dining room will be pretty big and the computer room/living room will be small. Maybe not.
First, can you really say you will NEVER sell the house, with or without the lottery? You may change your mind based on changing circumstances. Is it possible you'll want more children? How about a job change?
If you want to change the day-to-day functions of the rooms you have have, great. Just try not to make the changes permanent, like an arched doorway, if it could affect the resale of your home.
If you still want to reconfigure your home or even do an addition, you'll want to consult with an architectural designer or design-build company, for best results.
I don't think anyone here could say for certain what you should do architecturally without an in-home consultation.
Originally posted by May: My first thought was....if you need another bedroom...use the computer room. But you were asking if you could use it as a living room, Right? How big is it? You have a big living room now....is there any way you can arrange the furniture so that the couch sort of makes a divider and the dining table could be behind it on the kitchen side? I would like to see a picture taken from the computer room door to the kitchen and give dimentions of the computer room and living room. Looks to me like the dining room will be pretty big and the computer room/living room will be small. Maybe not.
This is exactly where I was headed with my question. Many years ago my SIL built a house that was set up just this way. It was a long living room and the formal dining area was the end of the living room that was off the kitchen. I've seen other homes set up this way also.
My biggest concerns would be-
1. the office room would really not be comfortable as a living room because it would be too small. While you would have a dining room that would be too large.
2. When your boys are older you all might want to give them each their own room and if you put an arch between the living room and the current office, then you will have to change that back.
In our old house I was constandly changing rooms around so I've had some experience with doing things like you are thinking of, then deciding to change them back!
Becky56, unfortunatly we only have the eat in kitchen. Which would be fine if it was only a couple living here, w/o kids. May, Yes I was wondering if we should use the current computer room (which is also our 3rd BR) as a LR. If we use the couch as a divider, the couch would be looking at a wall (see pic #2)The DR would be bigger than the LR but we hardly ever entertain unless we're eating. The LR now is approx. 22x11 and the computer room is 12x13. Looking from the computer room through the LR into the kitchen:This message has been edited. Last edited by: mountainbeach,
aychihuahua, you don't even want to know the words flying through my head when I read your post asking if I would have more children, lol. We are finished, my nerves couldn't take much more. I'd love to have a bunch but I'm going to be 42yrs this summer and the old baby factory is forming cobwebs, lol. Back on track now, yes it would just be changing the day to day functions of the rooms. The only major change would be making the square door casing into an arched to blend with the rest of the doorways in the house that don't go into bedrooms. If we did sale, for any reason, I think the functionality of our home would outweigh having to return the doorway to a square casing.
[QUOTE]Originally posted by mountainbeach: aychihuahua, you don't even want to know the words flying through my head when I read your post asking if I would have more children, lol. We are finished, my nerves couldn't take much more. I'd love to have a bunch but I'm going to be 42yrs this summer and the old baby factory is forming cobwebs, lol.
Bless your heart, mountainbeach. LOL. Really, it's up to you. If you can make it work without too many headaches, then go for it. Sounds like you have gotten some good ideas already. Best of luck.
I found this and love the way it looks with the entry table. Maybe I could put it by the front door, instead of the couch like May suggested for a room divider??? That would take up some of the proposed DR space and give me a foyer feel when we enter through the front door.
IF you make a TV room out of computer room, may I suggest a French door set up? This way you can close the door to the noise of TV watching when kids are asleep. As the kids watch more and more Action movies with sound up, you will appreciate the noise reduction in the rest of the house with the doors closed.
I was thinking of the solid doors such as we had for our Master Bedroom doors in my Virginia house (sold). One side can stay closed and locked with tiastrical lock.
You can also put the dining room in the smaller room and the TV room staying the same.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Mary Ruth,
Posts: 9303 | Location: East Space Coast, Florida zone 9B | Registered: Feb 11, 2003
Originally posted by mountainbeach: I found this and love the way it looks with the entry table. Maybe I could put it by the front door, instead of the couch like May suggested for a room divider??? That would take up some of the proposed DR space and give me a foyer feel when we enter through the front door.
Love that divider out of doors!!
Posts: 9237 | Location: california | Registered: Apr 01, 2003
I've personally always been reluctant to make permanent changes to a house's infrastructure until I'm certain. I usually draw plans to scale and really think it through for a time.
What I suggest is that you rearrange furniture and live with it for awhile before making the arched change to the door. That way if you don't like how it 'lives' it hasn't cost more than the work of moving furniture.
Another question - do you really 'need' a computer room - do you or your DH work from home? If not perhaps you don't need one entire room dedicated to that function but could find a corner for a smaller desk. Or perhaps you will go to smaller computers in the future and not need a desk at all. My DH built in a desk for my computer in the closet of a guest room and I used to use that. Now that I mostly use my laptop I don't use a desk at all.
I'm all for using the rooms in a house for how you live and I've often changed the function of a room from what the architect originally planned in many houses.
"I have always had an aversion to the concepts of in style and out of style." ~Rose Tarlow
As a child that had to share a room---no, I wouldn't do it. When your boys are a little older they may have different friends or interests. Even kids like to have a space where they can close the door and have some quiet time. Find some way to make your eating space work, maybe with a different table. Most people don't use dining rooms much anymore.
I am not sure that what you are proposing is the best layout for your space. You would then have a strangely large dining room, and a strangely small living room. Plus you would enter the home through the front door right into the dining room, which is kind of awkward.
I think that because your living room is 22x11 that it is actually designed for both a dining space and a living space. The space near the kitchen door even has a light fixture in the ceiling that looks like it could be meant to be over a table.
Without doing any kind of structural work at all you could try a furniture layout something like this. The photo is from the blog Young House Love.
Here is what I would do if it were my house. Put a nice DR table in the end of the LR next to the kitchen, shifting the LR furniture sofa, seating, TV, etc) toward the end of the computer room.
While the boys are younger, create a den type room in the third room that you are using as a computer room. You could keep your desk/computer in there, perhaps add an additional small TV and loveseat or a couple of comfy chairs so that the parents could have a quiet place or so that the boys could use it.
I would go ahead a make a double opening so that it is an extention of the living space, but I would do as Mary Ruth suggested - use interior french doors. They can always be closed later for a bedroom.
Let the boys continue to share while they are younger, but as they get older and need separate bedrooms, you could change it back to a third bedroom with very little work.
On the other hand, this may not work if you TRULY need a dedicated office for working out of the home. Laptops don't need a lot of space; vertical 4-drawer cabinets don't take up a lot of floor space; or a nice lateral file could serve as a TV console.
I love multi-function living spaces; my DR is an extention of my LR as well as the kitchen with double opening between each room (kind of in a circle). I have a bookcase in there, a vintage sewing machine in a desk-type cabinet (good landing space for the laptop when not in use). I even had a rocking chair in there at one time.
I agree that part of the living room was meant to be used as a dining area. Move your sideboard down to the wall by the kitchen, and then put a table (round) and chairs there.
Someone had once posted a pic of three matching bookcases that were side-by-side in the entry. The bookcases on the ends faced toward the living room and the one in the middle face the entry. It was such a beautiful set-up for style and function. The shelves were then usable on either side. Of course, the bookcases had finished backs.
It created a "hallway" in the entry, blocked cold air coming directly into the living room, and it looked fabulous!
Posts: 2826 | Location: central PA | Registered: Jan 08, 2007
I never did like a designated DR, thought it was a waste of space, but our kitchen is so small and cramped. I thought about it last night, when I should've been sleeping, a million things running through my head. I think I'll leave everything as is. Now I'm on the lookout for a small dining table w/ chairs (no more than 36" depth) Finding a table like this, I'll have to lose the end base cabinet, to have room to move. Even with losing the end cabinet and counter, I'll still have 11' left over and room to get around the table. Unless, anyone can see a potential problem that I haven't by doing it this way??? I think I'm still going to incorporate the door room divider I posted before into the LR, by the front door, I just LOVE it!!! Thanks all for the suggestions, I appreciate them.
Put a round table in the kitchen nook not an oblong one. You could buy one with a leaf to extend the table when company comes over. As is it is with the oblong table there isn't room for the chairs around the table.
What are the dimensions of your breakfast nook and current table? I have a breakfast nook in my kitchen that doesn't look as large as yours. We had a round table and four people could sit around the table. My husband wanted an oblong table, which we bought. I can no longer seat as many people at the table. In the area where you have the right hand arrow I have doorway into the dining room. Someone would have to sit in front of the doorway if I wanted to seat four people at the table because my kitchen is only 9" wide.
My dinning room is roughly 11" square. Our living room is a long rectangle like yours is. It isn't an easy area to work with because of the length. I have to create two separate seating areas. I have a den off of the living room with french doors connecting the two rooms. The opening for the french doors is 48" wide, when measured from inside one door jamb to the other. I have my computer set up in the den and I can't see it being large enough for a TV room with couches and chairs even though it is slightly larger than the dinning room.
Entryway foyers that are rooms are nice. I know how frustrating walking in through the front door and being smack in the living room is. My DM built a semi- wall next to the front door to create an sense of division between the front door and living room. My front door area to the living room isn't a room either. It is an area that is 14" deep and about 5" wide. There is a 49" wide wall between the dining room, (which is to the right as you enter) and front entrance. You have to walk 14" to be in the living room.The living room/dining room area is L shaped.The builders put a storage cabinet with a semi-open divider atop a cabinet to separate the dining room from the living room. It opens up the living room and dining room areas view wise. It also makes you slow down before you get to the living room when entering from the front door. If I didn't have a dining room I would separate the living room into a dining and living room because of the length.This message has been edited. Last edited by: still tryin,
Originally posted by still tryin: What are the dimensions of your breakfast nook and current table?
Our eating space is 6'x8' and in the pic you see the 2'6" doorway to the LR. Our current table is 48" by 36". I'm trying to have it set up so that 1) the LR doorway isn't blocked by someone during meals 2) there's enough room for the person that sits in the back (in front of the window shown) can get out w/o someone having to move. I know I need a new table (round is more space saving?) I've thought of a built in banquet but still people have to get up to let the inside people out. Maybe there is no perfect option? All I can think of is to shorten my counter/cabinet and that would (I think) definitely give us all enough room to walk around the table at meal times.
I haven't read all the replies carefully, so I don't know if this was suggested already suggested. What if you took out the wall that is next to your dog, the one with the vent on it? Then you could enlarge the dining space into the living area, still keep most of the living room as living room, but just use some of the space for the table. Then you won't have to take away one of the bedrooms and it could remain as a den/computer room. As your boys get older and start having friends over, it will be nice to have that second space for them to hang out in (either you in the living room and them in the den or vice versa).
I am kind of getting a sense of your layout through the pics & other posts. I know the off centered window thing was a concern of yours, BUT now looking at all of your pics, it really isn't noticeable.
Well I thought my dining room was tiny, it's about 9 x 8. Plus you need to access a slider door to back porch. I will have to find pics for you if you are interested in seeing.
If we ever find a contractor, we are removing a partial wall to open things about a bit, something we won't tackle on our own. I see you have a partial wall dividing your dining space with living space, just something to think about down the line. I used Lowe's kitchen planner to visualize how my rooms would look with wall removed. I see a heating vent on wall/floor in your pic. I know they can be put into the floor but then you have to contend with chairs sliding over it, so it may have to be re-located if possible. Sometimes opening a wall or doing half wall gives needed visual space & makes you feel less cramped.
Banquettes were suggested to me, but have you ever eaten at a booth in a restaurant & someone needs to get out. Kind of a pain when someone has to get up so someone else can get out.
I actually saw that pic before cocok posted of Young House Love before, but it wouldn't work for me, but I think a possibility for you. I really love that picture cocok.
I try relocating furniture to see how things function & work before making any permanent changes.
Can your doggie bed be relocated to another area?
Despite the small kitchen, some of the best memories come out of small cozy spaces. Keep me posted, would love to see what you do.
Posts: 501 | Location: NE PA | Registered: Jul 15, 2009
I'll throw this out there, but of course, in the end, the decision is yours to make. Hope we've all given you some food for thought. I raised 3 boys and a girl in a small house and like you, I had lots of ideas about changing up rooms, taking out walls, etc. And I also ended up putting some walls and rooms back the way they began.
Those boys will get bigger and they are going to be louder and take up more space. Your house will seem smaller.
I would take that into consideration before making permanent changes. And before removing part of the kitchen cabinetry that you might in the future wish that you had back again for storage.
After seeing your pictures, I think your kitchen was made to be an eat in with a small breakfast nook, and the end on the living room off the kitchen as a formal dining area allowing for a larger table and more room for the family to eat together.
I want to clarify what I said about using your couch as a divider for your living/dining room. I meant to say that the back of your couch would be to the kitchen, with the table between the back of the couch and the wall to the kitchen. I agree with others that as your boys grow older, they will want separate rooms so I would not do anything that has to be undone. An easy chair/loveseat/TV in the computer room would be nice so you and your husband could have a place to go. Also, I think a round table would take up less space and 4 could eat at it.
My son has one of the booth/nook things in his kitchen. At first I didn't like it, but it does offer a lot of seating space in a small area. Because it's pushed up against a wall it frees up some floor space.
Really, lol, is anyone else going to get up from the table and get anything?
Originally posted by Annon: Really, lol, is anyone else going to get up from the table and get anything?
Diet tip: Put all the overweight people on the inside, if they can't get out, they can't go for more food lol. Before anyone gets upset, I'm not bashing overweight people. I am w-a-y overweight myself, and I'm working on losing. Anyhow, I've got some options I'm going to think on again.