Ideas for reconfiguring the back of my bungalow?
Hi! I've been hanging out over in the Home Decorating forum, talking about the quick-and-colorful update I'm doing in the 1923 bungalow I just bought. For the longer term, though, I want to think about how to reconfigure the back of my house to have a more open kitchen, more functional back entry, and make better use of the southern exposure over the back yard.
Here's the situation. My bungalow is this one:
and has been modified as indicated in this attempt at a diagram by me:
That is, an older porch addition on the back has been incorporated into the back bedroom to make one largish L-shaped space. Here's the addition from the outside:
and here's the view from inside the room formed by opening that addition onto the back bedroom:
It's a nice, sunny room, facing south, with windows on three sides, but the frustration is that it's the ONLY room in the house with any view of the back yard. The kitchen is completely closed off from the back. In this pic of a corner of the same room, the back yard is to the left and behind that blank wall on the right is the stair to the basement and behind that the kitchen:
The other frustrating thing is that the only transitional space from outdoors to in is the cramped little landing where the back door opens off the kitchen, seen here from the inside and then the outside:
I would love to 1) create a mudroom, or at least a more spacious and sheltered entry at the back; 2) open the kitchen up to a view over the back yard; 3) preserve some sitting/sunroom-type space overlooking the yard; and 4) preserve space for a study, which is what I'm currently planning to do with the part of that L-shaped back room that used to be a bedroom.
Creative suggestions? I went to dinner at a house with an almost identical layout, and they had moved their kitchen wholesale into their enclosed porch overlooking the back yard, and used their tiny old kitchen space as a butler's pantry. I'm open to the idea of taking down the addition, which, among other problems, just sits on piers and has no foundation or insulation under it, but an addition replacing it couldn't be much bigger than the current one, because of city regulations about what percent of the lot can be covered. I've thought of replacing the old addition with a new one that would sit closer to grade, and having a mudroom and four-season-room-type space down at back-yard level, and then having the kitchen and study spaces look down into that space from their current locations. I thought it might work to reorient the back entrance so it goes at 90 degrees from the way it does now, into the room that runs along the back of the house instead of into the kitchen - in which case, maybe the space now occupied by the door from the kitchen to the back stairs could be used for storage. But all this has yet to gel into a coherent, three-dimensional vision. I'd love your ideas, especially if you've done something similar to your tiny bungalow.