Let's try again--floorplan feedback please!

okpokesfanFebruary 3, 2012

Finally figured out how to convert my pdf to a jpeg.

We are a family of four: me, DH, two kids ages 8 and 10 and a dog. I teach piano part time so a study for the piano is a must.

Here are some issues that I'm looking for help with.

The study on the left is actually the formal dining room, the name just didn't get changed from an earlier version. I'm not really sure I want a formal dining room. The architect was just playing around with ways to fill in that space. Any other ideas? I would rather enlarge the nook in the kitchen as my "formal" DR.

DH isn't really crazy about the about the mudroom/laundry room setup. He would like the mudroom to be entered from the garage and go into the kichen, without the hallway. Any ideas for that whole block of space?

I'm not crazy about how the pantry is laid out as well.

Also, any master bath layout suggestions? Not crazy about the vanities being back to back right as you walk in the door. Also want to have 2 separate masters or at least a little wall in between two of the sections. Would rather not have a window.

Things I like about the plan? Love the big open great room/kitchen area. Love the open entry and think the stairs are pretty.

Don't have the upstairs or facade because the architect wants to get the first floor figured out first.


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Traveling to and from the garage and laundry requires passing through a back hall AND the kitchen. One or the other of these travel restrictions should be eliminated.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 10:55AM
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There's alot of similarities between our plan and yours. My wife also teaches piano and we made the study on the left a flex room - ie we roughed in for a chandelier but actually use it as a living room/waiting room for parents complete with couch and TV. The setup segregates the commerce area of the house from the living area.

The nook for the piano looks tight if you tend to sit off to the side to watch fingering. I suppose you could build in a desk area for theory students and storage for books instead.

I know the kitchen is a rough plan but be sure there's enough room between fridge and island...48" at least. A standard depth fridge also protrudes quite a bit - a consideration when configuring your cabinetry. The drawing looks a bit misleading that way.

I dig the double fireplace. Might steal that one for the next house build. lol

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 1:35PM
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Dyno, thanks for the input. I usually don't have parents come in. They drop them at the door so that probably wouldn't be used in that way as well--good idea though, just don't know if it would get used anymore than a formal dining room would. As far as the piano, I had already thought the piano wouldn't work there because I sit in a chair beside the piano bench so it would be kind of a tight squeeze!

The patio area and fireplace area was something I really liked!!

Renovator8--any ideas how to get rid of that hallway by the kitchen and reconfigure?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 1:55PM
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I like the piano room/half bath setup -- that looks ideal for teaching piano, and you can always put chairs and such in there for reading.

I like the master ceiling.

I don't find much to like about the rest of the plan.

You will use the master bath a lot--and someone at the sink shouldn't be at the way of other spouse--and always will be, since the standing area is the access to the bath *and* closet.

The kitchen isn't particularly functional.

The hallway from the garage doesn't look wide enough to line with cubbies (which are in the mudroom), so it's just a hallway--one you'll use multiple times a day.

The laundry room is off pretty far for access (although it'll keep the noise from the rest of the house)

I like open kitchen/great room plans--but draw out some furniture in here--this is a huge chunk of open space. (Also get some ideas of cost to build, since there aren't any support walls)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 1:59PM
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bethohio--thanks for the feedback. I agree about the bath vanities. Don't care for the master bath setup at this point. I'm working on looking for examples of the setup.

You are right that I need to draw out furniture in the great room. However, I know that most of the furniture will have to sit out from the walls/bar with at least 3 1/2 feet for walkways. When you do that it starts compressing that space pretty fast.

As for the kitchen, I would like to add a small island possibly. Saw a model home with that setup and loved. Any suggestions for the kitchen?

the hallway by the kitchen definitely has to go. I really need suggestions on what to do with that whole area, including the dining room (labeled as a study).


there is a support beam in between the kitchen and living room that will be hidden in the ceiling.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 3:09PM
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Hope you don't mind - I played around with your floor plan some this afternoon while I was killing time. I don't know if it will solve any of your "problems", but maybe you can get some ideas from it.

I moved the piano room into the former dining room. I left the area blank, but you could put the piano anywhere and add in some closets or built in storage cabinets/shelves.

Where the former piano room was, I have made this space laundry/powder room/coat closet/waiting area. The bench could be for someone waiting for piano lessons or a parent or could just be a nice place to take off your shoes.

The laundry will be accessible from the master hallway and from the master closet. The closet access could be a full door or it could be a smaller pass through.

I increased the breakfast nook size to match the exterior wall of the garage and tried to match the angle of the island and fireplaces.

I took out the previous pantry and extended the line down. This space could now be filled with a free-standing pantry, uppers and lowers to match the kitchen, or even a small desk/mail center.

I repurposed the old laundry room as a large pantry/storage area. The mud room could be expanded into this area also.

I didn't know where you were putting your water heater, but it could easily fit in the new laundry room and would be centrally located to the hot water sources on the bottom floor.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 5:47PM
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aa--thanks for all your input! I will show these to DH tonight. I really like the extended dining. I also like the idea of the place where the pantry used to be as a desk area.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 6:09PM
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Alex House

If you don't like the study on the left, then get rid of it. Doing so allows you to slide the garage forward. Now a part of the garage sticks out into open space. Slide the mudroom over to the right and now you can exit the garage into the mudroom and then into the kitchen.

If you need the study in order to balance the left side of the home with the right, then you can do the above and simply diminish the size of the study, heck, pictures tell it better than words.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 6:52PM
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At this point, it's not so much as having 'ideas', but asking what the architect is bringing to the table. I'm not seeing "inspiration" here, or even "basic floorplan".

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 7:18PM
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Do you mean from the architect or from us bethohio3?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 7:23PM
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I'm betting she is thinking from your architect. You are paying them to take your needs and draft something good. Your current layout option has way too many hallways, and space you admittedly won't use/don't know how to use...

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 8:59PM
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Since you're working with an architect, I'd have no bones about telling him to go back to the drawing table and draw up a more functional plan.

I'd list out what you like about what he's drawn and every single thing that you don't like and why. Be blunt and then sit back and see what he comes up with. If he doesn't get more functional then I'd have no problems with taking your business elsewhere unless you are totally in love with him/her for other reasons

I can tell you realize that there are quite a few basic flaws with the plan. Go with your gut and if you don't need a room, there's no reason to have it in order to "fill in the space". Your architect shouldn't give you a room you don't want just because he's got a gap in the house!

Starting with walking in the house from the garage. How would you get in? The door would either be limited to a 90 degree angle and then bump into the bench and block the way to the laundry room or it would open across the other hallway.

To get from your bedroom to the laundry room requires 5 turns.... that's an awful lot of weaving around.
You're right about the back to back vanities .... tell the architect that you expected better! You'd need to thread that gauntlet everytime you needed something from the closet.
If you leave the MBR in that location, I'd insist on a sound insulated perhaps double wall. Your kids are still young, but eventually you'll be hearing every noise and rumble of the TV from that wall if they are up later than you.
Try and picture yourself and the kids doing the ordinary things and walking about the house, eating, drinking, sleeping, opening doors, hanging up coats, letting the dog out of the house, running to the laundry room for a shirt you forgot,

Good luck and I hope I didn't come off as too harsh! Really! Since you are still at the beginning plan stage now is the time to ask these questions and not be afraid to make drastic changes if it's necessary.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 9:28PM
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I know that all of us are willing to help design (and some stick around--we've been in our house almost 5 years), but you're paying an architect to create and design something for you.

What I meant (didn't mean to be so cryptic) was that you were coming to us with questions that I don't think an architect should have *created*. Most of us could find a more usable plan on-line, without hiring an architect to design it.

I think you should take the questions you posed to us to your architect--and be prepared to walk if s/he can't come up with some answers and some improvements.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 9:34PM
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Thank you all for your very detailed feedback. Last night DH and I sat down together to talk about what aspects we wanted for each room. We are both very detail oriented and have distinct opinions about what we like and don't like. We finally ended up sketching out a first floor that had all the aspects of things we like.

For right now, we have ended up keeping the formal dining room but turning it into DH's office because he does a lot of work from home. Later it can also function as a guest bedroom or other room.

Right now we are working on the master suite area. WE are a little limited because to get a side entry garage we have to keep the overall width under 75'.

We hope to finish that today and then I am going to send it to the architect, then call him and discuss why we like each aspect. We can't meet with him face to face every time because we live in a very rural area and his office is 2 hours away (the nearest city).

Also, we are talking about soundproofing the walls between the master and living room. WE tried to put a buffer room there but made it too wide. We wil have a bonus with a TV upstairs that the kids will probably use more when they have friends over or at night.

Again, thanks for your comments/help. I have a few questions I will be posting on here later as well.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 11:18AM
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