What can I do with the unused room, or rear reception room, as it is more commonly known? This is certainly something to consider when designing a rear extension. The most common brief is usually to create open planning living, kitchen and dining space that opens out onto the garden. In a traditional Victorian terrace, of which there are many in London, the rear outrigger is used to create the new space. The original front reception rooms are then retained as more traditional living areas. However, the rear reception room, becomes slightly underused. Or it is utilised as a second corridor. Here are some of the most common options for this room.

Retain a Formal Dining Room

This very much depends upon the size of your extension, or the way you live. Retaining a formal seating area might be the option for you. If your new kitchen can’t fit in a full dining table, this is a great way to use the otherwise redundant room. It can open up onto the new kitchen, with large doors, or an archway, like in this SE15 project above. A second sitting room is also a popular choice, as it can be opened up more directly to your new entertaining space. This gives a place to return to after dinner.

Games or Play Room

If you have children, then a games room is a great way to keep toys out of your new space. It will give them their own part of the house (and contain all their mess). You can open the space fully into the extension, as shown in this N8 project. Alternatively, close it off with doors to allow a separate haven for the children, and their friends.  

Divided into Service Rooms

Rear reception room as a utility room.

The desire to have downstairs bathrooms, a large utility room with laundry space, and even a walk-in pantry is a growing trend in many extensions. However, sometimes space and design don’t allow for it to be within the new extended room. So, by dividing up and re-purposing the existing rear reception room, you can neatly fit in the service spaces. Being able to have it accessed from the hallway, and also linking it through into the extension, means there are many options for configuration to make the space work for you. The added advantage being that your enlarged kitchen area is now free from service spaces.

Open It Up to Another Room

The alterations to your property don’t have to stop with the new additions. Taking out internal walls and reconfiguring the ground floor space means that you can completely redesign the way you use your home. You may consider knocking together the main front reception room with the rear, to create a large living space the whole family can enjoy. Also, incorporating the rear reception room into the new kitchen extension can drastically alter the space. As seen here in this N5 project, they have removed the walls to open up the space into the original hallway. This creates a bright, open lobby which helps to connect all the rooms on the ground floor.

Create a Snug, Library or Music Room

Rear reception room as a snug, music room or library?

One of the most popular ideas we’ve seen is to create a cosy, dedicated hobbies room. With space at a premium in London, it is great to be able to have this extra room. One idea is to a create a home library. This could be a place to settle into a nice arm chair with a good book. Or maybe you’re a musical family and need a place to practice your array of instruments. Or it could be that perhaps you are an avid sewer, and would love to have your own well-stocked haberdashery. Whatever your hobbies, we love the idea that you can have a room in your house solely dedicated to down time.

If you’re looking to extend your property and create more space for living please contact our team. You can book in a free Design Consultation with one of our team. Please call us on 0207 495 6561, or email hello@buildteam.com and we’d be happy to help.