I’ve drawn up a floor plan for the last few houses we’ve lived in, usually before we’ve moved in. They’re great for getting an idea of what will fit and how layouts might work before you start shifting furniture around. You can accurately measure square footage this way, and it’s interesting to see how different houses really compare. Our current home is about 1100 square feet (102 square meters). For comparison, our previous rental was 880 sq ft, and I can tell you that extra 220 sq ft makes a big difference! I know I’ll get asked how to create a floor plan, and I use FloorPlanner.com. It’s free and it’s really easy to use. Here’s our current home’s floor plan.

Floor Plan of 3 Bed 2 bath 3 Level Furnished Terraced House

The furnishings shown above are pretty much accurate as of right now, with a few tweaks to the living room based on how I’m hoping to squeeze in a better work space for J. It works fine as-is. But I’m constantly imagining what I’d do if we actually owned the home we live in, and how we could make the floor plan work better for us.

There are a few things that I’d love to fix. They all stem largely from the living room, which is long and narrow, and quite dark. It feels cramped because it has too many functions squeezed into one space. We use it as a living room, dining room, office, occasional guest room and storage for tools, cleaning supplies, wellies and winter accessories and other household stuff. So, how would I fix it? Let’s start at the top…

THIRD FLOOR

First off, I’d take the work space out of the living room and carve out an office nook for J on the top floor. We have a huge bathroom (relatively speaking), and while that would be great if we had the luxury of a big house, in a place this size it’s seems like wasted space. I’d make the bathroom smaller, lose the tub we never use, and add a double wide shower. Adding a window would allow plenty of light, and I’d use a pocket door to maximise space. My last post talked about how I’d re-design that room if I could.
Current vs Potential Master Suite Floor Plan 3rd Floor
On the landing, I’d carve out a little office nook with a built-in desk and shelving. Although the space is small, it’s really light and the stairwell is open so it feels big and airy. I think it would be a lovely place to work. Our master bedroom is great as-is, although I might replace the closet doors for something more unique.

SECOND FLOOR

I’d keep the middle floor largely as-is. I might move the closet in the front bedroom to make for a better layout, but that’s not a biggie. The kids’ bathroom needs a redo, and new flooring on the landing and a new banister like this one would make the stairwell into a pretty killer space.

FIRST FLOOR

Downstairs is where it gets really exciting. This is where I’d address the rest of the current short-comings. There’s nothing wrong with the house as it is now – it’s a nice house and I’m very grateful for it. When I say “short-comings,” I’m really just talking about how it functions for our particular family of four (plus woofter). So to recap, the issues for us are:

  • We have guests to stay frequently, and we’re still missing a proper guest bedroom.
  • There’s no bathroom on the ground floor.
  • The living room is quite dark.
  • The entryway feels cramped, especially when all of us are trying to get in or out at the same time.
  • Although we can carve out two workspaces, there is still no dedicated office.
  • Our garden, while lovely, is small. It’s lawned, which isn’t super practical, and as a result we don’t use it as much as we could.

I’d love to add an extension and re-jig the existing spaces. We could stick another box on the back of the living room, but it’s already long and narrow, and it doesn’t need to be any bigger. Instead, I’d build an enclosed walk way to a modestly sized bonus room at the bottom of the garden. Built-in storage on one wall with a little bench in the middle would negate the need for storage in the living room or under the stairs, so that whole area could be opened up. The walk way would also provide privacy from our next door neighbours. Currently, if we’re both in the garden, we’re very visible to each other and it’s a little awkward.

1st Floor Current vs Potential Extension Living Dining Floor Plan
I’d do floor to ceiling sliding doors surrounding the now-paved courtyard. Tiles running through both the garden and along the walk way would make it feel like one unified space. I created some 3D renderings of the floor plans, also using FloorPlanner.com. They’re not great – one day I’ll learn to do this in Sketch Up – but they give a better sense of the space than the 2D plans. The garden might look narrow here, but we currently have deep flower beds on both sides, and there’s plenty still space in the middle so I do think it would work.
Floor Plan 3D 1st Floor Potential Extension Enclosed Patio Garden
In the living room, I’d add a big, wide, high window along the external wall (the other side is attached to our neighbours). That side of the house overlooks a brick wall and parking spaces. We wouldn’t be missing a view but we’d get so much more light into the room. The stairs would be exposed, and swapping out the dining table for a round one would give better flow.
3D Rendering of Potential 1st Floor Extension Showing Living and Dining Area

The bonus room at the bottom of the garden could house a Murphy bed for when we have guests. It could also double as a private office for any of us to use when needed. It’s got its own teeny but efficient bathroom and a separate entrance, so we could even use this as an Air B’n’B and maintain our privacy in the rest of the house. There’s no option to add a Murphy bed in the software I used, but you get the idea.

3D Rendering of Potential 1st Floor Extension Showing Bonus Room and Walk Way
Of course, I’m not sure any of this would be especially cost-efficient, and I can’t imagine we’d get planning permission. If it did work out though, I think it’d be rad.
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