Ideas for cottage conversion/configuration...
Below are the (rough) floor plans of a cottage we'd like to live in. We don't have a huge budget but would like to make it as light, spacious and efficient as possible. I would love your thoughts on the following as I know people on this site offer really interesting insights:
a) going to knock down wall between kitchen and dining to make one room - but where to put the entrance to this room?? Archway or door? But what about noise travelling upstairs and smells from the kitchen? Maybe pocket/barn door better? Arch with thick curtain? Needs to be space-saving but give the illusion of space!
b) going to knock 2 windows in the south facing wall downstairs - would welcome thoughts on kitchen layout (am not a fan of islands but could be persuaded - it's so narrow I don't think it needs it however). Sink could be in front of one of these windows...also what's your best space-saving design tip for kitchens? What do you think of freestanding kitchens?
c) going to open up the stair wall in the hall and put banisters as stairs are so dark (structure-dependent). Any other ideas regarding stairs? I know they are expensive to move...
d) there's no central heating or towel rails in bathrooms. Can anyone advise on ground source vs solar + battery (Scotland so not always sunny!) vs oil for a house this size that's not well insulated? Following on from this the water tank looks pretty small - should we replace, get a large combo boiler and rain showers, or leave (perhaps it fills as fast as it empties?)
e) on that note - anyone know of a foam to put between ceiling/roof joists that actually works? Eco would be best as want to use few chemicals as poss. Or is there such thing as a secondary roof where we could put on insulator panels on top of the slates?!
f) in time (and budget dependent) we'd love to extend and have an old-fashioned larder, utility room and snug downstairs, and 2 more bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. Extend as a T shape or an L shape? And which side? Headroom in eaves a bit of an issue as to where one would enter the extension from upstairs.
Thank you so much in advance to those of you who have any bright ideas!
Most grateful, B