Dilemma with floor plan / renovation / design ideas - Please help

Dalida D
22 de Febrero de 2018
última modificación:22 de Febrero de 2018

I have no talent for design and I'm looking for ideas to make the most of my flat's floor plan as I am saving up for a renovation. I simply cannot decide whether I should separate my flat into two smaller ones (I have two entrances) or to leave it as one? I've been dwelling on this for a year and cannot come to a decision in lack of ideas. My other issue is that I have no idea what modern solutions are available to me to make the most of my flat in terms of space and aesthetics. So I feel like I'm stepping in one place and would need help in making a decision whether I should take the plunge and separate or leave as is (or redesign its current form)? I'm terrified to start this project because I'm on my own in this and it feels like going out into the wild but I must get started very soon... :-( Please, please if you have any suggestions, would you share them? Please. Thanks so much for any pointers!

Photos of the flat (messy and dated)

Comentarios (15)

  • PRO
    Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman

    If you're looking to split a flat in to two, be aware of all the problems that this entails.

    Firstly, you'd need to identify if it's possible to get drainage to the other end of the buliding. This is because you'd need another kitchen and bathroom. It's unlikely that you'd be able to feed in to the current drainage at the front.

    Secondly, understand that all the utilities have to be split, gas and electric and that you have to separate supplies for each flat.

    Even if you wanted to convert to 2 1 bed flats, you would need:- A kitchen, a bathroom, a living room and a bedroom for each. There is definitely not the room for that. Maybe you could squeeze two studio's?

    The cost is higher than normal builds due to the utility supplies and the drainage. Also, you have to have planning permission for everything even if you own outright or part of the Freehold.

    Re-designing the interior layout is a great idea...............Maybe you could come up with what you 'd like in your flat?

    You need a budget and then you can say what's possible. Anything is possible up to a point, but it boils down to cost.

    It doesn't state on the plan what the rooms are currently used for, so maybe you could put that on, say what you'd like and go from there?

    Dalida D agradeció a Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman
  • Jonathan
    This plan makes it look like the soil pipe and water supply are only available at one end of this property so according to this plan it won’t be possible to split it into two- they would have been two tiny flats as well so it wouldn’t have been ideal.
    If you reconfigure you would need the freeholders permission and building regs in the UK which might make changing it difficult .
    However most of the walls seem slim so it reads to me like this was previously one big space such as a warehouse which suggests that most of the walls can be moved.
    An architect might a good place to start as they can better tell you what is possible before looking at the creative side of things. You also need to consider your budget and work out what you can afford.
    Dalida D agradeció a Jonathan
  • Dalida D

    Thank you Jonathan and Man About the House (lol love the name!)! Both of you are correct, the water and drainage pipes are indeed at the back end of the flat. Jonathan, this flat used to be a hat salon, the building was built in the late 1900s. All walls are movable. Initially I thought of placing the second bathroom and kitchen close to the wall of the original bathroom and toilet. It would be possible to bring the pipes further out but certainly not easy and it's costly as well. I'd also have to battle the house to allow me to use the back entrance as at the moment the house stores its garbage at the bottom and I'd have to fight through the bins. Btw, this flat is in the very heart of Budapest. This is all I have and I want to make sure I do a really good job with the renovation. I'll ditch the idea of splitting, you guys are right. The flat has been rented for a very low price for years but I'm coming to the end of saving up for the renovation so I really need to come up with a good floorplan. The largest room is the living room btw, the first two rooms are bedrooms and at the very back I have a bathroom, a toilet, a pantry and a kitchen. The previous landlord told me he brought the most out of the floorplan and I shouldn't spend much on redesigning but I'm still hoping it's possible to make it into something impressive.

  • Jonathan
    In a small space I think you need less corridor.
    Perhaps you should enter into one bedroom, go through the next and then have the living room next. For privacy there are some great folding wall ideas, glass partition or curtains.
    Dalida D agradeció a Jonathan
  • Jonathan
    If you don’t need two bedrooms I think it makes an impressive one bed home
    Dalida D agradeció a Jonathan
  • PRO
    Mirasur Proyectos SL

    Hi Dalida!

    Yes, your flat needs a renovation, specially in the bathroom and kitchen. The wooden floor looks nice.

    Before starting the redising, it will be necessary you make a 'wishlist'. I would recommend a bigger kitchen . Have you considered having only 1 bigger bathroom? How many peple wil be living in the flat? How many bedrooms do you need?

    Is the kitchen entrance as nice as the main one ? Would you consider turning the kitchen entrance onto de main entrance to the flat? Then you'd be able to enter to the kitchen space ( it can be an attractive open-plan design - look at this one we fitted in a small apartment)

    Vivienda en Almuñécar · Más información

    Imagine that where the mirror is, is where your window is.

    If you turn this entrance onto the 'main one', you'll be able to have a big bedroom on the other side of the flat ( where the main entrance). You can keep the entrance and use it, but not for guest ( not nice to have visitors entering through your bedroom).

    As you can see there're a lot of options to discuss. I would recommend you to contact a profesional that helps you with the process, because if you meet him/her you can design together a really nice flat.

    Which style do you prefer? Would it be posible to change the position of the gas boiler? How much storage space do you need?

    For the new bathroom I would recomend to have storage space, and a large mirror will help to make the space feel bigger.

    Vivienda en Almuñécar · Más información

    As you can see, there're a lot of questions and lots of decissitions to take. Don't hesitate contacting a profesional to help you in the process it will sabe you money and headaches! We're based in South of Spain, so we're not close to help you with the renovation, but I hope my comments help you!

    Good luck with the renovation,

    Sara Leiva

    Architect @ Mirasur Proyectos SL

    PS- My recomnendation is not to divide the flat into 2 smaller ones - it will be much more expensive, messy, and you'll have 2 non- attractive tiny flats

    Dalida D agradeció a Mirasur Proyectos SL
  • andrewbooton
    I think you could gain 2 flats, subject to freeholder's consent and planning consent. If you keep it as one, the biggest waste of space is the corridor. Try to minimise corridors and if they are needed, place them along inside walls to ensure principal rooms gain the best views and daylight.
    Dalida D agradeció a andrewbooton
  • PRO
    Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman

    Sounds very exciting. I'm sure that the layout can be improved upon. The drainage is the key issue as has already been mentioned.

    However, you could aim for something like this and see what's possible and what isn't:-

    You could have a further play with the room sizes as it's possible with a re-jig that you may even get a third smaller bedroom by reducing the size of the others. Anyhow, nice to have a little play. Anything you undertook would be best achieved i'm sure by employing an architect.

    Dalida D agradeció a Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman
  • Dalida D

    Man About the House, thank you so much for your tips, I like this plan the most so far and your line of thinking is closest to how I envisioned the flat with my limited imagination, but yes something like this and the third room is a possibility! I am SOOOO happy for signing up for this site, I cannot tell you how grateful I am for everyone's advice, ideas and time in general. I really do need every encouragement because I've been sitting on this forever and it's scary to get started. I will play around more with your floor plan and think about how it would look with furniture etc over the weekend. Thanks so much again!

  • Dalida D

    Jonathan, thank you very much for brainstorming and for your floor plan ideas! They were great and made the flat quite airy, in fact I just remembered that the neighbour below me has his rooms aligned similarly to your floor plan, however my issue with that is the lack of windows. It's so unfortunate that all my windows are on one side of the apartment, which did work when it was a hat salon, but would it not get depressing to have rooms without windows? And this is when not knowing what modern, practical and aesthetic solutions are out there to get around this problem really comes up. So maybe it is possible to have windowless rooms and still make them look pleasant and even impressive? Regarding your idea about having it turned into an impressive one-bed flat, I did think about that myself but it's just not practical enough and would be too selfish to have all that space for one bedroom so I gave up on that idea. Thank you Jonathan again!

  • Dalida D

    Man About the House, the more I look at your plan, the more excited I get, I am 100% sold on this idea as I am loving it so much! I don't think it's possible to come up with anything better than this as it ticks every box I had. It's perfect, I'm so so happy with it, thank you so much!

    Regarding the 2-bed vs 3-bed option, which one would you chose? My idea btw was to have the flat renovated nicely and to create something impressive, which is why I absolutely love the large lounge area because it would indeed make it possible to create an impressive entrance. But because I intend to rent the flat for a few years, I was also thinking about squeezing in another room, I just don't know if it would cramp the flat or not. So my idea is to renovate the flat to a nice standard and to rent it to 2-3 people or a family for a few years and to move in myself in my older years (I'm 44 now). You made me so excited now, I wish I could find people like yourself in Budapest but all the good builders and construction professionals are abroad trying to make money. :-( Including myself although I'm clearly not a builder, I wish.

  • Dalida D

    Sara Leiva, thank you very much to you as well for brining in your ideas! I never thought of turning things around and have the back entrance as my main one, I think it could actually work because the back entrance and stairway is only slightly more narrow than the main one, however I'd have to fight with the house management as I'd be the only person using the back entrance on that stairway and they'd have to rearrange or even move all the rubbish bins that are currently stored at the bottom of the back stairway. So for this reason, I would not go ahead with this plan but I really liked and appreciated the idea otherwise, thank you very much!

    Regarding your questions, I intend to rent this flat after renovation to suit 2-3, maximum 4 persons and then move in myself after a few years. Yes, I'd need good storage space but as to the bathrooms, I'd like to keep two. As to the gas boiler, yes it can be moved.

    I will certainly hire an architect for this project and my brother recommended one so when I'm back in Budapest in March, I'll meet them which is why I'm so glad I've reached out for help here because I've already received some great ideas. I really needed this! Thank you very much Sara!

  • PRO
    Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman

    I personally would stick to the two large bedrooms, one with the En-suite and the second with a family bathroom. It doesn't involve moving any windows. It provides either two couples sharing with plenty of privacy and amenities. It provides for a family also. So better for either purpose.

    Squeezing in another room with stop it feeling large, spacious and airy everywhere, not just the kitchen and living room. So i'd always go for the big and airy 2 bed, 2 bath.

    Glad you like it. Go for it and good luck. Over here, and I have no idea what it's like in Budapest, you have to have agreement from Freeholders, obviously structural engineer drawings and planning permission first. Plus, along the way everything signed off by building control. I'm sure it can't be much different where you are, lots of red tape!

  • Dalida D

    Man About the House, you are totally right and I will take your opinion on the 2 Vs 3 bedroom option, thank you! I can't believe how this has motivated me and has taken me out of the idle state I've been in. I needed this so badly, thank you! Regarding red tape, believe it or not, it looks like I will need no permission of any sort for the renovation except for the gas heating system. I've already consulted with the inner city council and they said I didn't need their permission if I won't change the external facade of this listed building but they are happy to look at my plans and give their opinion if I wanted that. I don't have any main walls in the flat so I'm free to move them around. The only permission and opinion I'll have to have which will be costly is for the gas heating system. And of course I'll talk with my neighbours (there are only 5 of them in the building) plus the house management and put out a note that I'll be renovating. I'm sure things will come up as I go but for now it looks like it won't be too complicated in terms of red tape. Now I cannot say that in relation to finding the right professionals as that will be extremely difficult and expensive. But I'll go for it all this year, that's my big plan! Man About the House do you know if people offer interior design ideas with those 3D design softwares over here? I'm happy to pay for a few ideas just so that I can visualise how the floorplan would actually look furnished. I tried a few online pages a few years ago but god was I terrible at it... Thanks very much again!

  • PRO
    Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman

    A lot of the 'Concept Planners' on here, such as Karen @ OnePlan amongst others are able to work remotely. Which means they can help with all of the 3D imaging and do it very accurately, which is what you want. Luckily as you have no walls that you have to stick to, you may be able to save money on an Architect and go straight for a concept planner. I'd contact a few and see what they say. Keep posting as you go and start a project book, would love to see how you get on, sounds amazing.

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