Thoughts on Mountain Cottage House Plan

kam76February 4, 2013

Hi everyone, this is my first post though I have been reading and learning so much! Thank you all for your thoughtful insights. My husband and I own 5 level acres in Western Washington State and we are looking to build in the next year. We have two girls 3 and 6. We are moving because our current house layout is frustrating, not conducive to entertaining and dark. We want more land because we want to expand our garden, orchard and poultry flock and my husband wants to build "garage-mahal" as he calls it to house all his toys and woodworking equipment (this will be a separate building, nothing to do with the house). We have looked over 100's of plans and this one comes closest to what we *think* we want. I will rely on you all to tell me the things I think I want won't work.

Some of the things that are very important to me:

1. A separate covered mudroom entrance this is almost the number one thing as I sweep up fir needles, mud and chicken "stuff" off my formal house entrance (only entrance to the house) 2x a day and it drives me batty! Not to mention the piles of shoes, jackets and backpacks in my entryway.

2. I cook three meals a day, bake at least 3 x a week and my girls are big helpers in the kitchen and will continue to be so I need a very functional kitchen that will comfortably accomodate a chef and two sous chefs. I also do tons of canning and drying.

3. I like the one big kitchen/dining/great room layout for entertaining (which we do 2 x a month and all holidays) I do not have a need for a formal dining or living room.

4. I like that this plan has a "guest suite" with a full bath for guests and also in the likely case that we will be taking care of a grandparent some day. We have overnight guests several times throughout the year.

Although I am sure this will change the girls desperately want bunk beds and to share a room. We will likely finish the top floor with just a bonus/tv type room and bedroom (probably no bath, though rough in for plumbing if we want to add later). We don't really have a need for a formal office and plan to add a desk/storage in the kitchen area for a laptop.






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I see the guest suite and bath, is that for guests or will that be the kids' room? For anyone using BR 3 on the first floor (guests or family members) it's an awkward walk through the foyer, dining, kitchen and hall to get to the bathroom. I'd want to finish the upstairs bath sooner rather than later if you plan to have overnight guests. (And of course the kids will grow up fast and probably want their own spaces.)

I like the beams in the picture you posted of the great room.

Post the layout on the kitchens forum, too. They'll help you get the most functionality for you and your two sous chefs. :)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 6:43PM
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It's a pretty house, but I wouldn't like having the only path from the garage to the main living spaces go through the kitchen. I'd want to rework things so there was a real hallway-- maybe by giving up the pantry.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 8:31PM
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I agree with zone4newby that it's a very pretty house (love that picture with the big, open room and the beams), but the flow is lacking. I'd combine the pantry and laundry room -- not really ideal, but do-able -- and carve out a hallway leading from the front door to the back entrance /master bedroom.

I like the great room, but the kitchen has too many cabinets. Yes, you can have too many cabinets. I do right now. We're also a family of cooks, and what I'm aiming for is a small kitchen and a HUGE pantry with space to store things. A small, well-planned kitchen beats a big kitchen every time -- even when two helpers are involved.

I also don't care for the upstairs. Why a living room AND a sitting room? And you should expect the girls to fuss over who gets the bigger closet.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 9:20PM
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Thank you so much for all the input. Yes, the upstairs is horrible, we would just do the one bedroom (maybe the bathroom, sounds like we should) and the one bonus room, nothing on the right side of the stairs. I plan to no (or very few) upper cabinets in the kitchen, just some shelves...if that makes any difference in the number of cabinets but appreciate the comment that it might be too big, I was afraid of that. I will def. post in the kitchen forum because I already know I want to change around some appliances and such. I was under the impression that hallways were kind of "dead space" and that they should be avoided if possible? I see what you mean about everything having to go through the kitchen but I would have that wall be a desk not kitchen cabinets so there wouldn't be anyone cooking that you would have to brush past. I will have to think about that. I definitely don't want to loose any pantry space and not sure how I feel about combining a laundry and pantry. I constantly battle lint residue in my tiny laundry closet now, I can't imagine trying to keep it off my boxes/canned goods. Maybe flipping the bathroom and laundry so the bathroom is more centrally located between the two rooms. Bathroom would need two doors for entry on either side. Weird to have a bathroom right behind the front door though?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 3:38PM
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I agree with much of what people have said.

Kitchen - We have a 4000sqft home being built and our kitchen is only 310 sq feet (this includes space for a 6 person kitchen table that is sep. to our dining room); but we did include a 53 sqft pantry in addition to the kitchen. While our kitchen is not huge, we really wanted a large walk in pantry as it is much more useful.

Upstairs - I would see if you can configure it to have two bedrooms for your girls, and TWO baths with each having a walk in wardrobe. They want to share now but in a few years perhaps not. Sitting/living space upstairs is a waste.

I love the flow of your kitchen/living and dining areas. Our last home had that and it was brilliant! Our new home does not :(

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 5:07PM
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I'd make the wall between the master BR closet & the guest bath perpendicular to the guest BR to get rid of that useless acute angle in the closet.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 9:37PM
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I'd make the wall between the master BR closet & the guest bath perpendicular to the guest BR to get rid of that useless acute angle in the closet.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 9:41PM
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Yes Anne my thoughts exactly when I saw that angle...I can think of the ginormous dust bunnies that would accumulate in a corner like that.

We actually tinkered with the idea of flipping the location of the family room and the kitchen so that the kitchen could have more windows and would face south (yes in WA we WANT things to face south as we get very little sun). and the family room would be on the inner wall (fireplace would maybe do a better job heating- though we plan for a propane fireplace so not like we are getting a ton of heat). I was worried what the increase in pluming charges would be as it seems all the "water" is in the center of the house. If I squeezed the kitchen down we could have a decent sized pantry on that side...we wouldn't be using that staircase that is on the plan b/c we are not doing a basement and those are stairs down to a basement. What do you guys feel is the "right size" for a kitchen. not too big but fully functional for some serious every day cooking and occasional entertaining?

dpusa - What are your room dimensions in your 310 sq foot kitchen? This kitchen would be 237 sq feet as drawn.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 2:22PM
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This is crazy!! We are building this house right now!! We haven't broke ground yet, but we have our preliminary drawings and are waiting on the final sketches. We changed a lot of it though. We cut off a lot of the angles to make it more rectangular to lessen the cost. I just went yesterday to the cabinet maker and she was saying how big this kitchen is!! We are looking at $15,000-$20,000 in cabinets alone. I love the size of the kitchen and spend a lot of time in there. Also that it is open to the rest of the great room will make it even more worthwhile. We shrunk the master suite a little more to get more space for the great room(kitchen, dining and living). This is where we spend our time. My daughter will have the downstairs bedroom and my son the upstair room with a bathroom and little lounge area. We are at 2600 square feet and climbing. We are discussing pushing the fireplace wall out a few more feet. We added a powder room on the study. We changed the hallway to the master because it was a lot of wasted space. We are keeping the same look in the great room with the beams and dark floors. I can't wait for this house!!! We have literally searched for 6 months on the perfect floor plan and finally found this one. It is hard to find a plan with the openness of this great room. Good luck to you, I think it is perfect;)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 7:28AM
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I am in the early process of looking to build and really like a lot of this plan. Where do you order something like the beams used in this plan?? Not many houses around here have wood beams and I would not know where to go for those as I assume most local lumber yards dont carry them.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:41AM
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freebur2 I'd love to see what changes you made, sound like wise choices. Where are you building this plan? Do you have an estimated cost yet? Just curious.

Marjen, one of the builders we talked to said they can do a lot with beams now and do facings on them to make them look like solid beams when they really are not. I don't know what area of the country you are in the Pacific NW you can find beams like that on craigslist.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 4:10PM
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"I cook three meals a day, bake at least 3 x a week and my girls are big helpers in the kitchen and will continue to be so I need a very functional kitchen that will comfortably accommodate a chef and two sous chefs. I also do tons of canning and drying"

First off, I love the living room! As far as your kitchen needs, you should have no problem. In the layout, it looks like your kitchen is very open, which is good. Look into kitchen zoning. This is the strategic way of laying out your kitchen to optimism work flow.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 6:09PM
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freebur2 are you working with the original designer of this plan or do you have your own architect? I was just wondering how easy they are to work with.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:23PM
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we are working with our own architect. It is a process, we are on our 4th revision right now. We are trying to cut off all the angles to make the foundation one big rectangle to keep costs down. We are hoping to be ready for an April start time. The architect told us he needs 6 weeks from start to finish for all his work. Hope that helps

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 12:55PM
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By the way we are in Michigan and are waiting to hear from the builder now on a bid. We are hoping to keep it around $100 sq foot. I don't have our new floor plan on my computer to share.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 12:59PM
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The decorative false work in the front gables and the oversized battered "tipple" post supports are a bit of a cliche. I would look for a fresher more interesting inspiration.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 2:01PM
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