New home - 1st draft

done_againMarch 4, 2013

This is the first draft of the floorplan and exterior. I appreciate all feedback.

Late 20's/early 30's couple in the St. Louis, MO area. Home will be on a 2 acre lot in a custom development. No kids or future plans for any. We do a lot of informal entertaining with adults and kids. I work from home full time and other half does part of the time. Home will have a full, unfinished basement.

The kitchen cabinet & appliance layout are incorrect along with some of the lighting/fans, so please disregard for now. The master bath is drawn with only a walk-in shower for now which may change to a tub and separate shower.

Areas of concern: exterior materials, roofline, gables, master bath, master closet, and 2 story great room.

Exterior - 2649 total sq. ft.

1st floor - 2109 sq. ft. (from the front door office to the left & dining room to the right)

2nd floor - 630 sq. ft.

Aerial view - North is up, approach to house from top left street, lot outline in red, house roughly drawn in black, driveway will be to side street

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I can't read the dimensions, but based on the size of cabinets and things, it seems like there aren't any spaces in this house that would be comfortable for two people. The great room is huge, and will be good for entertaining, but will be cavernous for two. And don't you want a breakfast nook at least sized for just you two?

It's a nice house, but it seems like two people would rattle around in it.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 9:47PM
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Congratulations on your new project. Floor area and size of house is certainly more than able to contain what's needed and desired for two people. I'll let others comment on the floor plan.

Your elevations are full of builder's cliches: stacked gables, a tall hipped roof unrelated to the gables, decorative vent panels for the attic truss space (are these really vents and designed as part of an energy-efficient "tight" house construction, or just more exterior decoration?) and a serendipitous assemblage of exterior siding materials.

The elevations would greatly benefit from simplifying and unifying the shapes, forms and materials into a much more harmonious design. For example, pick a roof type (gable, hip, shed, etc.) and use the type consistently throughout the design without adding other roofing types.

Your plan has more than enough bump-o's and notch-o's so as to avoid the dreaded "slab" elevation, and a dull, lifeless exterior. Pick one or two favorite materials and stick with them throughout the elevations. Any needed vitality and life can be injected with carefully coordinated trim and window color.

A good architectural reference for large houses such as this is the shingle style, which emphasizes large, horizontal elements wrapped with a continuous exterior finish material. Google shingle style and study the horizonal massing, the types of roofs that harmonize and the use of a consistent set of exterior materials.

Your site plan seems uninspired and utiliterian. With such a large lot, why wouldn't you set back from the streets and create the opportunity for integrated landscaping, front and rear?

With all of your living spaces along one side of the plan, why wouldn't you orient that side to the south to take advantage of passive solar-energy strateties?

If it was my house, I'd consider locating it in the green oval space toward the north end of the side, and orient the living areas to the south. I'd open the east-west line of trees so that there was a directional view to the south, and plant screening materials so that I did not have to see the road intersection at the extreme south end of the site.

Floor plan, interior spatial sequences, exterior massing and site planning should all be considered together and be harmonious and reinforcing with one another.

Good luck on your project.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 10:28AM
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It's pretty cramped around the entrance to the house from the garage. Do you plan on storing shoes and coats inside the garage?

The master bath layout is a bit strange with a linen closet and then another closet beside it, and the toilet is in a tiny cell of a room. Regardless how it's reconfigured that bath is narrow for its length, making me think the entire left wall should be out a couple of feet further to give more options with the bath, and also giving the walk in closet and the bedroom on the lower left some better proportion. I would take away space from the kitchen and great room to keep the already generous square feet per person count from getting even more generous, by making the upper exterior walls of those rooms even with the master bedroom.

Alternately, since it's just the two of you I might throw the laundry pair into the bigger closet in the master bath, and turn the space it currently occupies into a mudroom. No point walking across the whole house to carry the laundry back and forth from the one place it's generated.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 9:52PM
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Thank you all for the feedback.

Exterior: The front elevation was drawn with shingles on the body along with stone and board/batten. I agree it's too busy and want to eliminate at least one. Not sure the entire house will be shake. Does anyone have a suggestion for the roof type and where to use the materials? I don't want to end up with a home full of builder's cliches. We were shown several elevations with different roofs/windows/siding and this is the first pick but not the final one. We don't want the full brick home that's very common around here but want to make a cohesive look with some of these materials.

Kitchen: Plan to reduce cabinets for breakfast table space but island will accommodate a lot of seating. Any ideas regarding the 4 support columns between kitchen island and great room? Will that look too busy or should we put a built-in there?

Master bath: Extra linen closets were thrown in but don't work well. Would prefer the closet connected to the bathroom. Good idea about laundry being closer.

Great room: It is large and the back wall may be brought in to line up with the master to reduce size.

Lot: While the lot is 2 acres there isn't a lot of flexibility to change the location of the house that much. I'd love for it to be set back with integrated landscape but we'll have to add that ourselves.

Anymore ideas?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 10:46AM
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Google images for shingle style:

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:45PM
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