Floor plan for a one bedroom flat

Posted on 31 December 2008 4 comments

After trying my hand at designing the floor plan of a studio flat, I’ve had a go at creating a layout for a one bedroom flat. This flat is intended for a couple or a single person and would form part of a block of flats. Click the image below for a larger view.

floor plan for a one bedroom flat

Designing flats that are part of a block can be difficult because you may only have the option of placing windows along one side of the flat (the front) unless the flat spans a corner in the apartment block or the block itself is designed in such a way as to allow light to stream in from many different directions. (For an example of this, see the 1930s London tower block by Berthold Lubetkin in the post Contemporary Flat Design in the UK.)

Flats with windows on one side only are known as single aspect. More desirable (and preferable) are dual-aspect or double-aspect flats where the front and back of the flat have windows (just like a house). Dual aspect flats benefit from cross ventilation and no flat will have a purely northern-facing orientation – a problem that can arise with single aspect flats.

In the single aspect design above, it would have been all too easy to put the bathroom at the back of the flat (near the entrance) away from any windows, but as I’ve said in many previous posts, I dislike windowless bathrooms (or kitchens) and have tried to avoid that here.

I would have liked the entrance hall to have some natural light and this might be possible indirectly through clerestory-style windows above the doors in the hallway.

The entrance into the flat should not be parallel to any doorways inside the flat so as to maintain privacy.

An alternative approach might have been to make the flat span two floors, although I’m not sure if that would work so well for a one bedroom flat!

As always, thoughts on the layout are very welcome.


Elizabeth Jackson

5 June 2011 7:41 GMT

Thanks for this. This design is great – just what I’m looking for in a one bed. Bathroom with windows (minimise mould and allow natural light), kitchen with windows (allow proper ventilation when cooking), bedroom and living room with windows (to allow in natural light); Hallway to maintain privacy in rooms (should there be any guests present!) I’d like to use this image as an example layout to show agents in my search? Would you mind?

Thanks again.

A. Hussein blog author

5 June 2011 11:22 GMT

Hi, you’re welcome to use the example layout. One major flaw in the layout is that it is not a dual-aspect design – a particularly important consideration if the flat is facing north (i.e. no direct sunlight in the apartment in summer). Good luck in your search!.

Adam Sims

5 August 2012 23:33 GMT

Its an excellent layout and well written thoughts

I agree with all points. I’ve got 4000m2 to build mostly one beds and i want to make them homes not BTL no storage no light jobies. Are you working professionally? Please get in touch thanks

A. Hussein blog author

6 August 2012 19:27 GMT

Thanks for your comment. It’s great to hear that you want to build good quality homes. I am not an architect though and have no association with the architecture field. It's best if you contact a real architect.

The London Housing Design Guide has lots of guidance on designing flats. It’s a free publication you can download. I’d recommend taking a look.

Another good source of guidance is the Housing Design Handbook. It’s not free, but it covers the design of flats and houses and is a fairly recent publication (2009).

If you are looking for more layout ideas, here are some posts that I wrote that include scans of one bedroom floor plans from different sources.

Good luck with your development!

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