This brief is emerging as almost a standard in houses of reasonable size for family use – both new and reconfigured and it may help you to decide what to include in your own. You may find it matches very closely to some of your own aspirations, as we have moved into a time where our houses now need to reflect the way most of us want to live:
- Porch or Lobbied Hallway – big enough to offer a warm welcome and for at least 2 people to be in at the same time without feeling cramped.
- Inner Hallway – with access to a Cloakroom, Storage Cupboards, but planned around the Staircase
- Cloakroom – not too small and which could include a shower for occasional use and for those with the space – the Boot Room for all the outdoor gear linking to a ‘muddy boots and damp dog’ entrance.
- Kitchen / Living / Dining Room (or the Kitchen Garden Room) – a big bright space, generally but not invariably modern with room for a neat Kitchen, maybe a Breakfast Bar as part of an island unit, a Dining Table which will be used for all meals (possibly extendable) and a Living Room area with great access to the garden for that outside/inside transition via a terrace or patio; a log burner provides focus, warmth and may be used to help heat the hot water.
- Garden – easy to maintain terrace / patio with some consideration for garden lighting.
- Larder – off the Kitchen as a great space to store smaller items and bigger pots and pans and special cutlery and crockery.
- Playroom / Home Cinema / Other space – opening up off the KLD; in a house conversion this may be the former front room. Storage for toys, games, DVD’s music needs to be considered.
- Utility Room – not too small as this may have to include more than the laundry white goods; there is also a sink, hot water cylinder and possible controls for the underfloor heating system with a boiler ideally too.
- Study Bedroom – this is a great option for that extra guest or if there is someone who is struggling with the stairs and a good use of valuable space.
- Garage – integrated garages can work well if you like to keep your car out of the weather, but big enough so that there is good space to get in and out and spare space for a DIY workbench area, somewhere for the bikes, car roof rack, recycling etc… In converted smaller mid-20th century houses, section off the rear part of the garage can make a good Utility Room and front part can be a space for everything else from the above list apart from a car.
- Staircase – a bit of a statement with lots of light, but not ‘in the way’.
- Master Bedroom Suite – an area for a little indulgence possibly at the very top of the building and including a generous En-Suite with a walk-in shower and the usual facilities and a Dressing Area or room ideally slightly separated from the main Bedroom space.
- 3-4 Bedrooms – at least one of which has an En-Suite with a comfortable shower etc…, and the others sharing a Family Bathroom.
- Family Bathroom – which has a bath for those who prefer it.
- Linen Cupboard – which could be an alternative location for a hot water cylinder.
- Cabled Services – 4-5 double Switched Socket Outlets / main room, BT / IT hub with Cat 5 cabling.
- Eco – let’s use the roof for solar or PV panels provided they don’t make the house look messy.
Written By: David Kemp