Floor plan for a studio flat

Posted on 09 September 2007 2 comments

Here’s my first attempt at designing the floor plan for a studio flat. This is designed for a single person only and would form part of a block of flats.

floor plan for a studio flat

Here’s the floor plan with the dimensions:

dimensions for studio flat floor plan

Here’s a slightly different layout, where the kitchen and entrance hall are located on the right-hand side of the flat:

alternative floor plam for a studio flat

A few comments about the layout:

The balcony is recessed so it’s not overlooked by neighbouring flats in the same block (although it may well be overlooked by neighbouring blocks or houses!).

The living area is sandwiched between the kitchen and the bathroom. This would help insulate the living area from noise from adjoining flats (although, ideally, the flat would be soundproof anyway).

The kitchen and bathroom have their own windows. Windows would also run across the length of the balcony letting in plenty of natural light (although this will also depend on the orientation of the flat)

I wanted to give the sleeping area its own alcove so it didn’t jut too prominently into the living area, hence the recessed part of the room where the bed can be placed (of course, residents don’t have to put the bed there). I also like the idea of being able to wake up in bed and look across the whole room which the current bed position allows.

Another aspect of the bed’s position is that it is adjacent to the bathroom, so trips to the bathroom at night can be made without crossing the studio room!

The small room next to the kitchen is a utility room for the washing machine and for hanging clothes. A clothes rail could hang from the ceiling which can be raised and lowered.

Both the entrance hallway and the utility room can have some natural light by placing windows at ceiling level i.e. where the wall would extend to reach the ceiling, a window is placed there instead. This would allow light from the kitchen and living areas to spill into the utility room and the entrance hallway.

On the ground floor, a recessed balcony area would still be included, but the block of flats would need to be sufficiently set back from the main road so that passers-by couldn’t see into the flat.

I am not a fan of combined kitchen/living areas. It means, for example, noise and cooking odours from the kitchen intruding on the living space. In Winter, it also means having to heat both kitchen and living area (since there’s nothing to separate them), even when the kitchen is not being used.

Internal doors should be at least 80 cm wide and 210 cm in height.

The height of the flat (floor to ceiling) should be at least 2.7 metres.

I think that’s about it. If you were looking to buy a studio flat, would you be happy with a layout like this?

Comments and criticism are very welcome :-)

Update: I’ve now created a few more studio flat layouts. For details, see the post More studio flat floor plans.


Mikaela Harrison

26 January 2009 18:52 GMT

Hi there! Im hoping against hope that you may be able to help me with a project that i am currently undertaking with a group of teenagers in the classroom. I am a maths and english tutor and am looking for ideas/resources that would allow me to compile a 4 week project on ‘designing your own flat’, right from the dimensions/ drawings, to putting in furniture on a budget etc. I am hoping to attain a key skill for all 15 students based on this project but am currently struggling to know where to start!

If you have any ideas or may be able to assist me with any aspects of this potentially wonderful project, I would be extremely grateful!!

A. Hussein blog author

12 November 2008 22:29 GMT

Hi Mikaela

I’m not an architect (just someone interested in architecture), but here are some ideas and links that might help.

Perhaps get the students to list the features they’d be looking for if they were buying a flat? Things like the size of the flat, number of rooms, open plan layout etc. It can be hard to visualise the size of a flat. Is there space where they can measure out and lay down some string or tape to mark out some dimensions to help them get a feel for size?

What would be their ideal flat? What do they like and dislike about homes from their own experience of where they live? Is there something that would always put them off buying a flat? If they’re a bit stuck, perhaps get them to search for pictures of flats or floor plans on the internet and pick the ones they like and the ones they don’t like and then ask them to explain why they picked the examples.

How could they improve the ones they didn’t like? What would they change? Get them to swap their examples with fellow students. Do they like the examples chosen by their fellow students? If not, why not? If everyone has a different opinion, how do they think it’s possible to build a flat that could please everyone (or as many people as possible)?

You probably don’t want them to just copy flat layouts, so perhaps challenge them to design something that would make a potential buyer pick their design over the flat layout they picked from the internet. How could they make their flat even more appealing a place to live?

If your class doesn’t have access to the web, you could collect some floor plans and photos for them and print them out and let them pick the ones they like and dislike. If you visit the websites of the major housebuilders (Fairview, Barratt, Taylor Wimpey, Countryside Properties etc), you can search for properties and grab images of floor plans. Or go to a property website like Foxtons.co.uk. They tend to list photos and floor plans for most of the properties they sell.

How would they go about deciding on the size of their flat? Some factors that might help them decide: what are the minimum items of furniture they think are needed in a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room? (it might be interesting to compare the items everyone comes up with). How much space is needed to move around that furniture comfortably? How many people are there living in the flat? How will that affect the size of the flat? Should the size of a living room be the same if it’s one person living there or two people living there? How much bigger should the living room grow each time you add another occupant?

Perhaps get them to cut out or draw different room shapes – narrow rectangles, wide rectangles, squares, maybe even a circle! Why do they prefer one shape to another? Where would they put the windows? How large should the windows be? Can they go out and take photos of as many different styles of windows they can find? (it will help them quickly realise the variety of window styles is infinite). Where would they put the doors? The placement of doors and windows will affect where they can put the furniture in that room. It might be a useful exercise to cut out simple shapes to represent furniture and let them play around with the placement and arrangement of the furniture. Does it change their opinion about the shape of the room?

Does a kitchen need a window? Where would you put it? Near the sink or somewhere else? Or maybe it doesn’t matter to them? Does every bathroom need a window? Where would they put it so it maintains their privacy?

Where would they put the different rooms in relation to one another? Should the bathroom always be next to or near the bedroom? Should the kitchen always be next to the living room? What is the ‘flow’ inside the flat i.e. moving from one room to another? Does it feel easy and comfortable? Imagine they had to get up in the middle of the night to go to the loo – what is the route from bedroom to bathroom?! What would they put in their hallway e.g. coat stand? Space for a bike? How large should the hallway be?

When they first produce a rough sketch or idea, you could pose the following questions to get them thinking about all the small details in the design of flat. For example, how wide should the doors be? Are they wide enough to fit furniture through? How high should the ceiling be? (Low ceilings can give a cramped, claustrophobic feeling sometimes). Is there a space to store a vacuum cleaner? Where would they hang any clothes they’ve washed? Have they gone for an open plan kitchen/living room? Is the washing machine in the kitchen? Have they thought about the noise from the washing machine – would that be annoying while they’re sitting in the living room?

Perhaps when they’ve finished their flat designs, everyone picks a flat they would like to live in from each others designs? Why did they make that choice?

The life of a house or flat is usually measured in decades. If they look forward 50 or even 100 years into the future, do they think their flat would stand the test of time and still be a desirable and well-designed place to live?

Here are some links that might be of use to you. I’m sure if you contact some of these organisations, they’ll be able to give you some good advice.

Design for Homes – a great website with lots of useful information about homes design. For example, check out the ‘Swing a cat’ link for information about how much space we need in a home.

CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) – there’s a wealth of information and free publications you can download, although much of the information pertains to wider issues of urban design and neighbourhoods.

Good luck!

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