Of all the tingly feelings you can get with interior design (yes, there are many), coming up with the perfect floor plan for a renovation is one of my favourites. I have friends who admit to getting the sweats when trying to figure out how their floor plan layouts could work better. But for me, it’s the most enjoyable challenge. It often takes time for the perfect plan to emerge, and in my case, living in our house for nearly a year has perfected the ideal design.

In my previous post here I talked about our Phase 2 renovation, opening up the back of our house. Here are our Top 3 requirements that will direct this, the largest of the renovation phases.

Our first need is to open up the living, kitchen and dining into one open plan space.

Ah the all-important modern open plan living space. It can’t come too soon for us. Our current configuration is a hotchpotch of old rooms semi opened up. It works for the short term but is simply unrenovatable. Yes, new word there. ‘Back in the day’ when the house was last configured, they didn’t really give much thought to important things like sunlight and floor plan flow, and our darling house is in desperate need, bless it.

The current dark, random rooms at the back of the house. Beyond the fridge (which is opposite, not actually in the kitchen, is the ‘light filled’ laundry and garage!)

The second must-have is to connect the house to the garage at the side of the property and make proper use of that space.

Our driveway leads down the side of the house to a garage at the rear. And as with most garages of course it doesn’t house a car, but a mass of ‘things’ acquired over the years. You know how it is. It also happens to receive the most amount of sunlight anywhere on the ground floor, genius. The driveway is too narrow for a modern vehicle to fit comfortably. So, it’s ripe for conversion into to a light filled studio/study with laundry and powder/shower room.

Amber Interiors creates my kind of swoon-worthy studio space. Image via Amber Interiors website.

The third requirement is to have all of these areas at garden level (the ground floor is currently nearly a meter above ground level).

My design Eureka moment came when I decided to drop the floor level of the current back rooms to the same level as the garage and gardens. House footings permitting, as I’d rather not have to underpin anything. Luckily, we’re not changing the external lines of the house, other than creating a 1.5-meter-wide connection from the house to the garage.

We’ve always had timber floors in previous properties, but I’m open to a polished concrete floor and I think it could look stunning. My husband and I are suckers for heating, having both grown up in cold climates. Sydney tends to kid itself that it doesn’t get cold, but it bloody does! So, installing a hydronic solar heating system in the concrete flooring would be a must.

Having the studio connected to the house and this new floor plan at ground level will also create the perfect sun-drenched outdoor living courtyard. But more on that one at a later date.

Next up a sneak peek at the design direction for the individual spaces including the kitchen.

A strong contender in the finishes department – polished concrete, marble and light oak.