Help with one level design plan

SMC0904April 30, 2014

Hi, I have redesigned my house plan mainly moving my laundry room next to the bedrooms. We are a family of four which includes 2 little ones. Any advice/comments on layout, flow, etc? The total square footage right now is about 2,850. If i could reduce that by about 100 square feet that would be great and also the house is a little wider than i would like but it will still fit fine on the lot. Thanks!

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Could you eliminate one of the dining spaces? If you have island seating that's 3 different places.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 2:00PM
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We will have the formal dining area near the front entrance and then the banquet for everyday dinners. The island will be more for entertaining.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 2:15PM
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Your formal dining room looks huge, I would bring the front exterior wall in. The mudroom looks like an odd space. The master closet is also massive, but that's personal preference.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 5:49PM
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The dining room is a little on the larger side but I have had numerous experiences where we can't get around the chairs when people are sitting which I am trying to avoid. I agree the mudroom is a little longer than i would like but based on the space i can figure out how to reconfigure. Master closet cannot be big enough :-)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 8:46AM
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Can you change the window on the top wall of the mudroom to a door? That way when your kids and their friends come in from playing outside they can quickly get to the powder room and/or be right where they need to be to take off shoes. Otherwise, it looks like they'd have to go through the workshop and garage, or through the kitchen, to get to a restroom.

Also, will your garage be large enough for the 2 cars plus yard tools (lawn mower, shovels, rakes...), bikes, etc?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 11:49AM
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Chicagoans, I like that idea of having a door in the mudroom to the back...i'll have to consider that.

We will have a shed in the back for all the yard tools.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 10:10PM
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May I ask what software program you are using?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 11:09AM
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I understand the point about wanting people to be able to fill in around the dining table comfortably, but the doors on two sides will go a long way towards eliminating that problem. If I'm reading the tiny numbers right, this room is about 18' square? That's big enough to be a great room. I suggest you measure some dining rooms and compare them to your proposed size. Mine's about 10x14 (but is open on two sides, much like your plan) and functions well; it's tight when we put both leaves into the table, but it's still workable.

What I HATE about my dining room is that it's a full 10' from the kitchen. The result is so many steps: Carry the plates, carry the glasses, carry the silverware, carry the food . . . and then do it all in reverse. Your kitchen is farther from your dining room AND you have the little hallway to navigate. Bring the dining room closer and simplify the pathway, or you'll find that you never use this splurge of a dining room because it's just too much trouble.

One more thought on the eating areas: You have FOUR, all of which are very large. If you're looking to lose 100 sf, this is the place to do it. You could easily cut down the casual eating area to a 4-person table (which fits your family for every day, and then you have the dining room for when you have guests). And you could lose 2' at the end of your kitchen "L" and 4' between the kitchen and great room -- that's more than the 100 sf, and no loss of function.

I know, I know, people say, "But I want a BIG kitchen". What they really mean is, the kitchen is important to me, and I want it to be efficient and comfortable -- but extra-large doesn't lead to efficient and comfortable.

I like the placement of the playroom, though little ones usually won't use a room that's this far from the adults. It will function nicely, though, as a quiet spot -- which will work well since the rest of the house is open plan. This room could potentially become an office, a music room, etc. -- it'll be space well spent.

I like that you have a window in the mudroom. Ever notice that EVERY picture of mudrooms includes a window? That natural light is key to a comfortable room. I don't think, however, that the room is wide enough for comfort. Once you put in the built-ins, you're going to have less than 3' of walking space.

Since the kids' bath is accessible from the hallway, I'd eliminate the one by the garage entrance as redundant.

I'm thinking the kids' hallway is about 2' wide. 40" is the minimum you want. Also, this is a long, dark hallway -- but you could change that with a trio of windows (placed up high, non-functional, placed directly across from the windows in the front of the house) between the playroom and the hallway. This will bring in some muted natural light, making the hallway much more pleasant. I'd also go with automatic lights for the night time.

Same concern: Does the garage hallway say 30"? I can't quite read it. This is your everyday entryway, where you'll be carrying groceries, etc. This is not a place to skimp.

If you lose that half bath, you could really have a nice, big pantry. This would allow you to store not only food but also things like your slow cooker, punch bowl, etc. -- things that aren't used every day -- in an inexpensive pantry instead of uber-priced cabinetry. I would add a pass-through between the pantry and the kitchen -- a small door, perhaps that can slide open and closed.

Another thought on the kids' bath: I'd turn that hall linen closet "inward" so it'd be accessible from inside the bathroom. It's so much more convenient to have towels and toiletries INSIDE the bathroom, and having these items directly behind the sink area would be ideal . . . and as a "plus", you lose one door in a very door-full hallway.

Also in the kids' bath, I'd work in some sort of a "horizontal laundry chute" -- just a little door through which they could toss their dirty clothes and have them land directly in the laundry room.

Having your washer/dryer so far in the interior of the house is problematic. You'll have a very long vent, which is a potential fire hazard.

The master bath could be improved. It's a large room, but the tub and shower look cramped together down at the end, while the sink area is wide open . . . and the window placement is odd. I do like the two ways to enter the closet, though the closet could use work. It's long but narrow. Once the clothes are in place, you're going to have 31" walking space between them.

In the bath/closet area you have so many short walls and corners -- this area will be very expensive to build.

On the porch, is that a fireplace near the table? If so, I'd move it to the middle of the porch . . . allowing it to share the great room's chimney. A masonry chimney is very expensive (think used car expensive), but it can easily support two fireplaces.

Parting thoughts: This house was clearly designed for entertaining. . . and you've allotted the space for that, not for comfort in everyday living -- you've skimped on width in the closets and hallways, and those are things you'll use multiple times a day. In 2800-ish square feet, you don't need to skimp, but you do need to allocate more effectively.

This post was edited by MrsPete on Sun, May 4, 14 at 13:58

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 10:38AM
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What did you use to make this plan?

Do you have a linen closet in your master??
I would make the linen closet in the kids bath. No need to have that closet wall out.
I would take away the 1/2 bath and extend the pantry.
I would move the laundry room out of the center area of the'll heat everything up and be a potential problem down the road, unless you put a drain and drop the floor there down.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 11:35AM
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Thanks for all your comments and suggestions. We love the convenience of the laundry next to the master suite but have decided to move it back and combine it again with the mudroom. It will away from the sleeping/main living areas so not as loud and closer to an exterior wall so easier to vent.

For those who asked I used the website to draw out the house plan.

The dining room is approximately 14x16.

We like the ½ bath near the garage so that when we are outdoors and need to use bathroom we don’t have to go across the house and bring in all the dirt, etc in with them.

The hallways will be about 3 ½ feet wide. It’s a bit cumbersome with this program to move entire rooms.

I have uploaded a revised plan with comments. I would like to keep the mud area and laundry room separated so I added a wall to separate entry to the laundry. I may move the washer and dryer up against the wall on the left so that there is more room in front of the machines. I still have to adjust some walls for example the wall between master bedroom/master closet. I am hoping to have some built ins put in my master bedroom in the indent. I also will need to figure out a better layout for my master bath and also add a linen closet as a previous poster has mentioned.

I agree the dining room is a bit far from the kitchen but without reconfiguring a lot of other things I believe this may have to be the way it is.

Thanks again and please keep the suggestions coming!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 1:04PM
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The circled area is too tight so you won't be able to use the clothes hanging space there as shown. Which makes for a much smaller closet space.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 8:43AM
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Here's an idea.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 8:56AM
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re-arranged the master bath too, but I'm not sure if the 18 ft there is really true. Just like it seems like you lost almost 4ft in the width in the bathroom based on the other measurement for the master being 16ft and then 28ft for that overall measurement.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 9:14AM
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