Wednesday, April 26, 2017


The existing kitchen at the new house.
Getting our current house ready to sell is a seemingly endless task. As soon as we tidy/freshen one thing, we notice something else that isn't quite tip-top condition. It's easy to feel discouraged, so I've started fantasizing about our new house.

I've mentioned already that the new house is a "fixer upper." That is not precisely true. The house is well maintained, and all the major items – like roof, furnace, a/c – have been updated. What I meant is that we plan to make some significant changes, particularly to the kitchen.

Here is the existing layout.
Not necessarily accurate measurements/scale.

I'm not 100% sure, but I suspect the kitchen is actually smaller than the bathroom. But there is plenty of space in this house – it's just all chopped up, like most houses built in the 1960s.

Our plans are to:
  • Open up the living area as much as possible. This may involve arches, small walls, or pillars, but we are confident it can be done. Since the house is a bungalow, the only supporting walls (in theory) are the exterior walls which support the roof load.
  • Merge two of the bedrooms to make a master suite with laundry. Not sure which two rooms that will be, though it makes sense to take the one next to the bathroom, since the plumbing will be accessible.
We have a full basement as well, with an existing bathroom (olive green toilet!!), and will build a guest suite down there as well. 

The priority will be on opening things up. We may not get to the point of reconfiguring the kitchen this summer. But here is a rough idea of the floor plan we're contemplating. This is version six, so we've already discarded some options, like moving the stairs (which wouldn't have really solved the problem) or building a kitchen island with a breakfast bar – islands need space on both sides, whereas peninsulas only need access on one end.

Possible layout

A couple of things to note:
  • To the left of the dining table, you will see a small square. That is roughly the intersection of the main walls of the living area and where a pillar might be required.
  • I think the design has too much furniture in the living area.
  • The dining table is shown fully extended, which it would not be on a daily basis.
  • Some of the things that look like windows are actually either openings or doors. The IKEA planning tool doesn't give me lots of options.
 And here's the 3-dimensional view of that plan.

View from fireplace to dining room (with doors to screened porch).
(Ignore colours and finishes for now.)
And here's the view from the dining room.

Compare it to this, the current unrenovated view.

As you can see, it includes lots of built-in storage in the living room and the dining room. Even with this, we aren't sure it will match the storage we have at our current house. In fact, I highly doubt that it will. So we will have a couple of options: reduce the amount of stuff we have or store some of it in the basement.

For now, getting our Ottawa house sold is the big priority, and we're feeling pretty exhausted right now, so we aren't sure about leaping into renovations right away. We may just knock out a couple of walls and live with the kitchen as it is.

Stay tuned!

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