Connecting rooms without halls

Fori is not pleasedOctober 16, 2013

Hi all,

Are there guidelines for connecting rooms without halls? We are doing an addition but due to several factors including suburban setbacks, the only way to get to the new part of the house will be trekking through the old. We aren't talking about a lot of distance, but if you enter at the foyer, you'll have to go through the old living and dining rooms to get to the new kitchen/family room. Is that necessarily awful?

The dining room is a little larger than 22'x13' so you wouldn't actually be scootching around chairs to get to the kitchen; it'll have dedicated walkways as well as being quite open to the living room.

Is that too much? Is there a rule out there? I don't want to end up with a shotgun effect!


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It is what is has to be ... arrange the furniture so it's clear where to walk and let it be.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 6:12PM
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Well, do you see the living room and dining room, being where you want to entertain guests? Will the family come in through another area?

I like the kitchen further from the front door. (But, I'm a messy cook! LOL) So having two nice, spruced up rooms to see first, would be a definite advantage. I wish I had that now...and plan to, when I remodel :)

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 6:23PM
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There are whole houses set up this way, at least for the "public" rooms, it's called enfilade.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 7:35PM
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Fori is not pleased

Thanks, y'all.

Yes, that's the idea, LLass, although in truth I expect the dining room table to be just as covered with art projects after the remodel as it is today. :) We waste no potential work surfaces in this family which is why I don't consider a dedicated dining room in a small house to be a waste.

The family will have to go through the LR/DR or through a more circuitous, yet-to-be finalized laundry room route. (There will still be sensible garage access to the kitchen.) Currently our house just ends at the DR, and that's the main exit to the back yard, so we're certainly accustomed to dodging the table. The bedrooms all take off in another direction from the foyer in typical '50s ranch style. With a proper hall.

Lazygardens, you're probably right. It's what every other expansion in my subdivision has had to do. But I should plan for it better and maybe remove the huge fireplace that is currently interrupting flow through the LR. So now I have a reason for that.

You're right of course, Ineff! But I'm sure it works better if planned before you build and not just tacked on 60 years later...

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 7:50PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Thank you ineffable! I never knew what to call our hallway that wasn't...the open space between the LR and DR...enfilade. Love it!

fori, we used visual cues to create the feel of a hallway without actually using walls...we used things like soffits and columns and lighting and flooring changes to help define rooms that were open to each other...if there's a way of adding visual cues, it might help your situation.

We used flooring change and soffit and wall color change between the kitchen and FR to help define the spaces separately. You can also see our enfilade (love it!) which runs between the DR and LR and leads to the back hall. It was defined with ceiling treatment, columns and flooring.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 8:51AM
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Fori is not pleased

Thanks, Annie. Your home is lovely, and the planning certainly paid off nicely. I'd be delighted with half that nice! I'm concerned it'll instead look like an accident. :)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 12:17PM
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Fori- Your home is going to be great! Look at the old Dick Van Dyke show...they didn't have hallways back then (at least not on TV).

Oh, and what do you mean, this gives you a reason to take out the LR fireplace? :o

LOL...Just wondering, can you put the walkway between the fireplace seating and the coffee table? That might look nice, since you don't plan to have a TV in the room.

This post was edited by lavender_lass on Sat, Oct 19, 13 at 12:58

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 12:53PM
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Fori is not pleased

Exactly, LL!! And wasn't that guy Rob ALWAYS tripping over a piece of furniture???? :)

The LR is about 22'x14', and you need to walk the long distance to get through. And the fireplace juts out in the middle of the long wall.

I'm not sure there is space to have a real walkway without eliminating the fireplace, although we navigate it hundreds of times a day now without any complaints. Maybe it's not so bad.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 1:49PM
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Only in the first few seasons...then he dodged it! LOL

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 2:27PM
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so all the shotgun houses I lived in while in
New Orleans were infilade...hmmm
never heard that term before!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 4:30PM
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