Please critique our floor plan

mcgmrApril 8, 2012

Hi All-

We have been trying to decide on a house plan for over a year now and below is our latest idea. My husband and I are having trouble visualizing how the interior will look (especially the kitchen) once finished so any feedback is greatly appreciated.

We want to stay at 2800 sq feet and have an open floor plan. I have only posted the first floor but the upstairs will have 3 bedrooms and two baths.

Thank you!

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Is the wall separating the kitchen/great room necessary? (the angle wall). I am also having trouble with your kitchen space, and visualizing how it will look (and I don't usually have too much trouble with that.

But, the thing I notice right off--although it looks like you have a 10' walkway by measurement between powder room and garage wall, it looks more cramped than that. Is that the full width of the finished area including powder room? The reason I ask...

You have no drop zone. No area for cubbies, no area for coat hooks, no area for winter hats, NO CLOSETS ANYWHERE in this lower floor plan.

A no closet plan is not a good plan for an open concept house.

If I were you, I'd start by making the powder room a square powder room (rather than long). Then, you will have a longer wall on which you can put at least a few cubbies and/or closet or bench for entry from outside and garage. This would be very important to me.

As for front hall closet... not everyone needs one. But, where will you store your kitchen broom, vacuum, cleaning supplies? All in the laundry area?

Something to think about for where and how you live.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 11:17AM
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When you say you want to have an "open floor plan," what exactly does that mean to you? I ask because for most people, "open floor plan" means one where the living room, dining room and kitchen (and sometimes breakfast nook) are all be encompassed within in a single large room with no doorways/passageways between them. Typically in an open floor plan the demarcation between the various areas will only be indicated - if at all - by a change in flooring, the placement of the kitchen island, and/or the arrangement of furniture. Even though you have wide doorways/passageways between the various areas mentioned, your design strikes me as a much more traditional plan with clearly separate rooms for living, dining, and cooking.

Not having an "open plan" is not necessarily a bad thing tho. It all depends on what YOU like and how you live.

In many ways, your basic layout is very similar to my own - and I would describe my floor plan as "semi-open."

Where you have a family room, I have a somewhat larger "great room" that serves as both my living room and dining room. My dining room area is indicated only by the location of the dining room furniture - so it and the living room area are truly "open." Then, where you have your study, I have a "library" that is separated from the great room by a railing instead of a wall. My library is also raised one step up from the great room and the flooring changes from tile to hardwood. So, the two rooms are very much open to each other but are still very clearly two separate rooms. I'm not sure if those two areas would be considered "open plan" by most people or not. Meanwhile, my kitchen and breakfast nook open off of the great room very much like yours does. In my case, the cased opening between them is 6 ft wide so traffic flows very easily between the two rooms. However, while one can easily see into the breakfast nook area from the great room, most of the kitchen is hidden until one actually enters thru the cased opening. And, even then, the work area of my kitchen (sink, stove, most counter tops) is tucked down behind a kitchen peninsula with a raised bar. Thus, if someone drops in when I haven't totally cleaned up the kitchen, they don't get a view of dirty dishes in the sink or pots/pans still sitting on the stove. I'm pretty sure most people would NOT consider my kitchen part of an "open plan." I really like the set up though and it is plenty "open" for me.

So, how open do you really want your plan to be?

If you think it would be helpful, I'll be glad to hunt up some pics of my house to show you.

But, while your basic design is similar to mine, my floorplan is a bit bigger than yours and I'm afraid the kitchen you've designed may not be nearly big enough. I think the sketch below will illustrate what I mean. Basically, I added some base cabinets (in red)in the most logical places for them estimating the size by making the cabinets the same depth as the ones you show in your laundry room which I'm assuming will be 24" deep just like kitchen base cabinets. I then marked off the areas that will need to be kept clear for a 3 ft wide aisleways (using the green arrows).

As you can see, the door from kitchen to dining area will need to be moved it you want cabinets along the wall next to the stairs. And, once the necessary aisleways that must be kept clear are shown, the only leftover space where you could POSSIBLY put an island is indicated by the lavender shape in the middle. Perhaps you have a totally different idea for how you will arrange the kitchen so if I'm totally off base here, just ignore the above.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 12:12PM
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kirkhall - The wall separating the kitchen / great room is not necessary. We are at the point now of trying to determine where the interior walls will be. These plans are in no way final. We were just sitting down with the builder trying to come up with something that both my husband and I could agree on. The reason our kitchen and breakfast nook is so long and narrow was so that my husband can keep his wraparound front porch. ( I have posted a picture of the exterior of the house).

Yes, the 10' includes the powder room- and the utility room is 13 feet long. The Laundry room is 9'9x10. We were discussing bumping this area out to be even with the back of the house because we would like a large closet here and cubbies. You don't think cubbies would work in 10' area? This is so hard for me because I cannot visualize anything!! And yes, I do want to place a closet near the front door next to the study.

bevangel - I want more of a 'semi open' floor plan (as you describe). I want the floor plan open yet still have some separation between the rooms.
Yes, if you wouldn't mind can you please post or send some pics of your house. Again, as I stated above I have a really hard time visualizing how a finished plan will look.

Wow - thanks for the input on the kitchen. How large is your kitchen?
When we sat down with the builder to create these plans and he is supposed to finish off the interior and send us a copy of the 'finished' plans (will post once he sends them). Looking at cabinets, that kitchen seems way to small because I would like to have a good size island. I just don't know where we could pick up more space for the kitchen.

bevangel and kirkhall - I thank you both for the comments on our house plan!

Below is what the front of the house will look like.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 4:23PM
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My kitchen is 15'6" wide. I don't have an island (which requires an aisle along both sides. Instead, I opted for a peninsula. I had posted a sketch of my kitchen/nook area once before here on GW and was able to find that.

There is actually a wall that runs beside the bar up to the patio that I forgot to include. The 6' wide cased opening is in this missing wall. The 15'6" is the distance from the wall behind the fridge to the short wall between the bar and the kitchen. It doesn't include the bar area.

DH totally reorganized our computer a couple of weeks ago and I can't find any of my photos of the house right now. They were in a folder on the computer "desk top" and he put them "away" somewhere. And unfortunately I don't think I have anything labeled so running a search on the computer won't work. I'm just gonna have to hunt thru a bunch of folders till I find the house pics.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 7:27PM
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If you can't visualize in 3D, and aren't going to work with an architect, then you need to at least take your 2d, put it on graph paper (simple 1 square equals 1 foot) and make some cutouts of furniture and start placing them.

In a mudroom 10 deep, with 3 to 3.5 feet of powder room running across the back of it (leaving 6.5 to 7 feet) you *could* put cubbies in the hall, but opposite the bathroom. The problem you have is your door placement from mudroom to stair hall. With the door where it is, there is no corner for your cubbies to start in. Does that make sense? If your doorway was moved 2 feet closer to the base of the stairs, then you could tuck some cubbies along the garage wall opposite the powder room. And, if you are a tidy household, then the 6.5 to 7 feet of space will be sufficient to be a hallway space (but, you can't be a household that spills their shoes/jackets/etc out of the cubbies and onto the floor, or you hallway to access the powder room will not be large enough).

If you were to cut out a cubby bank on graph paper of at least 18" (up to 24" for bench seating infront) deep and however long you want, you will see what I mean as you try to place it in that space.

If you like the doorway from mudroom to stairs where it is, then if you change your powder to a square powder room, you can put your cubbies going "north-south" (as your plan looks on the computer, may not be true north-south), along the right hand side of the powder room wall. They would also then be out of sight from the stair hallway.

We can help you some here, but it would greatly benefit you, if you are a person not to see 3d, to work with at the very least, a designer.

I like your front elevation, and I think a lot of interior "plans" can accommodate that wrap around porch.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 11:38AM
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Here is an idea for the mudroom (I didn't do anything else as you have good feedback above.)

Moving the door from garage to mudroom does a few things:
- can exit garage without walking around the car nearest door
- room for cubbies in the mudroom
- moving the short wall b/w mudroom and stairs means that there is not a straight view from your main hall into the laundry/mudroom area

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 3:08PM
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