ajazztune

Bungalow layout advice

A J-Z
4 months ago


Hello! Ive just bought a 3-bed bungalow and need some advice and ideas about how i could maximise the layout for family living.

It was previously a woodcutters cottage and has had several small extensions added over the past 100 years. (its in Scotland btw). The bungalow is positioned on the edge of a forest to the north side (where kitchen is) and has a large south facing garden looking towards the river; this is where the living room is.

ideally we would like to reconfigure the space rather than extend, but we do have a wish list:

More connection from kitchen to garden

One bedroom being en-suite

Laundry/Utilty room must be kept

Living room remains as is


happy to take down internal walls though youll see from the thickness of some of the walls they are the original structure.


I hired an architect but am not happy with the half baked ideas so far, that dont even deliver what we asked for.

floorplan attached.

Thanks so much for any thoughts.

Comments (28)

  • A J-Z
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    Just to add, the laundry room is on the right of the kitchen with an external door. The space behind that is a larder/pantry.

  • tab darcy
    4 months ago

    Hi, well done on your purchase. If you look up traditional cottages ( especially in Ireland) the kitchen is the largest room in the centre with bedrooms each side, and offer with the 'outhouse' outside. There' s loads of the modernised here while keeping the charm. With yours it would be the middle bedroom knocked into dining room, the right hand window becomes front door. Remove most of the thin internal walls - With a rooflight there, is the ceiling vaulted by any chance? The current kitchen and utility then becomes an ensuite bedroom. Bathroom and store combine for utility leading into bathroom. Sitting room ( prob also an extension) remains.

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  • A J-Z
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    Thanks! We’re delighted to have something in such a unique plot. I think you’re spot on with the middle bedroom being the new kitchen/diner. I would love to make both windows one sliding door for garden access. The problem with that being the ‘front’ door would be that the drive is at the opposite side approach. So you’d be parking up and walking all the way round with shopping etc. so maintaining access on the front side would be good, if possible.

    Yes the roof light has a sloped ceiling and we would likely replace it with a roof lantern. The whole roof will be getting done so we can add skylights around the house.

    Can I just clarify that you mean the current bathroom would knock through to the pantry and be a family bathroom/utility?

  • tab darcy
    4 months ago

    Haha, better than a half baked architect! It looks like you had two ' back' doors so yeah keep the one at the 'dining room', make the other a window for bedroom. I had thought to move the bathroom back into the store ( larder?) With its own door, then put utility in front with the two small windows becoming an outside door ( to washing line?) And access to your new kitchen where current bathroom door is. With wall space being at a premium in the kitchen, I'd be inclined to go for a large island (2.4m long X 1.2m wide is 8 standard units) with sink, dishwasher hob etc in it, a free standing dresser for a selection of everyday crockery and 'statement' fridge.

    Allpress Kitchen Case Study · More Info

  • Wumi
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago


    Wasn’t sure where the entrance was!

  • A J-Z
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    @tab darcy Haha! This is exactly what all my drawings look like, believe me.

    So if Im reading this correctly, white area is new kitchen with pink island and units/dresser on back wall; purple is new bedroom with cerise en-suite/dressing room; sky blue is family bathroom accessed through yellow utility room. I did wonder about stealing a bit of the bottom half of the purple (opposite the yellow) to make an entranceway/bootroom thereby retaining the east facing entry door. In Scotland it’s a must to have a door or two between the elements and the main living spaces.

    I’d like a wood burning stove in the new kitchen space too. The wall with the pink rectangle is actually an original stone wall so could be lovely to expose that wall if no electrics/plumbing to be put there. Might even find a nice fireplace there (there is a chimney at the top of that wall).

    This is giving me loads to think about, thank you.

  • A J-Z
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    @Wumi Ha! You read my mind with adding a mudroom in the kitchen extension. There are several entrances which is why its been a headache to figure out which to keep. We did consider making the end bedroom the kitchen as you have illustrated but it has no direct access to the back garden where the kids will play and we will likely cook outdoors in milder months. but it would give good visibility of the front approach and forest views.

  • Wumi
    4 months ago

    Where is the back garden situated in relation to the rooms?

  • A J-Z
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    The back garden is where the sitting room extension faces (which currently has sliding doors out), and the two right side bedrooms both have windows looking out to it. There is a large area of lawn which we will be landscaping to take in the river views. The garden actually wraps around the whole property, with a large workshop to the left (next to the bedroom with only one window) and there is a long hedge lined drive which approaches the kitchen extension. This is the north side. Hopefully that gives a better idea of orientation.

  • Wumi
    4 months ago

    Could you open up the living room to create an open plan living /kitchen /dining space?


    It makes sense to zone all the rooms in close proximity to the bathroom and to each other, away from communal/socialising areas.




  • A J-Z
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    I can totally see the rationale for that @wumi. As it’s a bungalow we could get light in from above so even a north facing room would work. Though we were keen not to interfere with original walls and have more than one ‘living’ space as our boys get older. We currently live in a completely open plan living/diner/kitchen and honestly we feel like we live in our kitchen even when we don’t want to! The noise and acoustics is too much sometimes. I would love to maintain a separate living room where we don’t have to be a slave to all the kitchen tasks. We could in theory include the current living room space further into the middle room conversion, as there is an arch through. I like this broken plan feel; connected but separate.

  • siobhanmcgee90
    4 months ago

    Like the option to replace current dining/middle bedroom with kitchen but noise is likely be an issue with the bedrooms either side so you will need to consider acoustics there. Like replacing current kitchen/hallway with main bedroom with en-suite. The main bathroom is rather small so could you steal some of the utility space to make this more spacious. Also would you consider adding a small porch at that eastern side enclosing the main entrance and the door into the current dining.

  • Marie
    4 months ago

    I like both designs but on wumi’s last one I would make it so you walk into your mud room/utility from the front side door and slightly increase the size of the en-suite and master bedroom to optimise the space. I think it would be better to keep the two end bedrooms and keep the main living in the central area of the house with the front door (forward facing one) going straight into the kitchen diner. If you increased the opening slightly to the living room you could make this so when you come in from front door you would be able to see straight through to the back garden.

  • Wumi
    4 months ago

    I too personally prefer a separate kitchen. I think the dining area could act as the bridge between kitchen and sitting room and still allow the kitchen to be a separate room.


    I am also a fan of a broken plan over open plan. These are my favourite examples on Houzz


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  • A J-Z
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    @Marie I couldn't agree more with all of this. Like the idea of retaining the second door too for when you just need to nip out to the garage etc rather than going through boot room. We would absolutely want a clear sight line from front door (north facing one) to the back garden, so yes walls will be coming down! I'm loving the idea of a big range on the back wall (exposed stone) and a massive kitchen island with pantry off. Below is what I'm thinking so far, with maybe built in dining nook against the wall where the skylight is. That little bit of wall jutting out is actually a glass panel wall which we will keep most of I think. Ideal for the broken plan feel. Still unsure how to make boot room smaller but retain access to laundry room outside of new bedroom suite area...swapping laundry with bathroom had been suggested before but as it's the main family bathroom I feel would need access straight off the living space..?

  • Marie
    4 months ago

    Could you not include your laundry into your boot room? It depends on what you want to include but if you have full height cupboards along one wall you could stack your washing machine and dryer and include designated space to put clean/dirty laundry and an ironing board etc.

  • A J-Z
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    Of course! Seems so obvious lol. That gives more space for the walk in wardrobe in new bedroom suite. Feel like this is getting close to optimum plans;


    thank so much everyone you have been an amazing help so far. :D

  • Marie
    4 months ago

    No problem. Here’s a few pics to give you a few ideas about what might work.

  • tab darcy
    4 months ago

    I'm so glad you are enjoying this, it's a great group for ideas. If you are up for further ' pushing the boundaries' here's a sketch based on moving the east bedroom door down to the living room end. Probably wildly inaccurate dimensions, Gives room to make something of a kitchen in that corner.

  • A J-Z
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    Yes I can see that too @tab darcy. I think I am too sold on a central kitchen! Did this on Ikea then scribbled some details. This is view as if looking from garden in

  • A J-Z
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    without the scribbles

  • A J-Z
    Original Author
    4 months ago


    Hi guys, I don't know if you're still around or if I should be starting a new thread, but need some advice on layout of kitchen now. I've mocked up some 3D images on room planner and can't decide whether to go full open plan or add a moveable 'hallway' corridor. Full open would mean that the bathroom, and two of the bedrooms was directly off the kitchen dining area. Having a partition (which we would probably have opened up 90% of the day,) would mean a bit of privacy and noise control when required (e.g say my twin 6 year olds have gone to bed and I've decided to blend hummus, or something). I love the free flow of the open plan especially as the living room is still relatively separate but I wonder if it would get annoying..? Have attached some pics of both options please let me know what you think. Unfortunately it won't let me open the Shoji doors to give an idea of how it is when open. Have tweaked the design/layout of kitchen a fair bit and continue to do so. thanks so much.



  • Wumi
    4 months ago

    Definitely a hallway and fire-rated glazed sliding doors.

  • tab darcy
    4 months ago

    Wow. You''ve made great progress. If the bathroom opens onto the kitchen, you'd need a hallway, if it was through the utility (straight in front of the utility exit door) you wouldn't. I think fire rating is not as important in a bungalow where every room has a window big enough to exit through.

  • A J-Z
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    Thanks! It's a good point about the bathroom and I did think of putting the door to it in the utility/entry, but it means for those nightly toilet trips you would have to go through the utility and it seemed a bit fussy for those in the east/west bedrooms. Also, our principal bedroom will be off the utility so there's a chance we could be disturbed when the kids go to the loo. I am liking the wall separation more and more, and it also gives more usable wall space for units/coffee area as in pic. So it's roughly a 30 m sq kitchen/diner which I'm hoping is big enough for 4 people day to day

  • Marie
    3 months ago

    I think the idea of having a corridor and sliding door works well. It separates the areas but also means if there’s just the family during the day that the doors can be open for better access. Plus it means you can close it off on a night to create the sound block and more privacy as you’ve already mentioned. I personally think 30m sq is a decent size for a family of four, you should have plenty room to have an island and a table and chairs. I like your plans.

  • A J-Z
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Hi I'm back! I don't know if updates are useful at this point but I have changed my mind so many times about the best layout for this space..is this normal?! Having lived with the idea of an island for a bit I just wasn't loving the flow of the room and the kitchen situated at opposite sides of the room, and dining table floating in the middle. The room is too narrow now that I've reinstated the wall to have at least 1m around the sides of an island that would comfortably fit 3 stools. Worktop runs were also proving tricky. The problem is there are two necessary thoroughfares in the space - to the living room and to the garden (as pictured). So had to think out the box a bit. Played around with a peninsula layout and it has really grown on me. Added shallow larder storage too. Hob placement tbc. Any obvious alternative layouts that I have not thought of? (also, I know fridge next to oven is not ideal, we currently have this in our kitchen and find it is fine. Fridge placement has been the biggest headache!)



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