Ideas & Comments on one level house plan

SMC0904April 17, 2014

We are working on a design for our future one level home. Currently it's approx 2,780 sq feet, were hoping to keep it at a max of 2,700 sq feet but can't commit to decreasing room sizes. We are looking for a open layout between kitchen and great room. Also looking to keep the overall shape of the home to the least complex possible but still looking nice in order to keep costs down, i.e. less corners, etc. Family room will be a play area for the kids with french doors to keep it closed off when not in use. We are concerned with the width of the house and how it will look from the outside. We do not yet have outside renderings but we do have the space on the land. Our other concern is the lighting in the great room due to the covered porch but are considering either sky lights or some type of dormers in that room. We have not yet made final decisions on location of kitchen appliances/sink. Also, I don't love the idea of walking in from the garage into the laundry area so any ideas on how to seperate that laundry/mud area within the space that would be great. If you have any suggestions to help with flow, function i would appreciate it. Thanks!!

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When guests come in the front door, where will you hang their coats?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 12:41PM
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DreamingoftheUP...that is one thing i have yet to figure out. There is a closet in the family room and one down the hall near the bedrooms but would like one closer to the foyer area. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 12:49PM
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You could put a closet where the living room wall is. It would take only a couple of feet off the LR.

In the mudroom, you could simply divide it across, with the laundry at the back, with sliding doors. Bigger than a laundry closet, with room for laundry baskets, but separate from the mudroom.

Is that a big banquette? Be still my heart! Love it.

Have you considered how you will arrange furniture in the LR? TV?

Do you need a home office space of some kind, a place to pay bills or file stuff?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 2:04PM
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There are lots of things I like about this plan: nice big mudroom/laundry (will it have a door to the backyard? That would be great with kids), easy access kitchen to DR, big kitchen pantry, master with windows on 2 sides. Nice!

You might want to consider swapping the powder room and the pantry, to put the PR closer to the FR and LR and the pantry closer to the garage for unloading. OTOH, the current location of the PR puts its plumbing closer to the laundry, which could be more efficient for your build. So I guess that's personal preference.

I'd rather have the master closet open from the bottom wall of the bedroom than the hall to the bedroom. I'm usually walking from shower to closet in just a towel, and I wouldn't want to round that corner to get to the closet in case I left the BR door open. Plus it just seems like a circuitous route to get to the closet. I'd play around with rearranging the master bath so that the door is in the bottom left of the bedroom and you have a longer wall for furniture on the left of the room. Place some to-scale furnishings into the room and see how your paths are to the bathroom, to the closet, to see where the best placement for doors is. (For example, if in your current plan your bed will go against the lower wall, it looks like you'd be walking around the bed to get to the bathroom, and back around it to get from the bathroom to the closet.)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 2:27PM
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What's the long, skinny space between dining room and garage? And the grid area in the master bath?

The hallways to the bedrooms eat a lot of space, but I can't see a way to avoid them, and still keep the master in the back.

Can you steal space from your large master closet for the WD? That would free up the large mud room for ... mud room stuff. It also puts all your big hot water users (showers and washer) in closer proximity.

How do you see using the family room? You could save a few feet by squaring that and the dining room off with the front bedroom.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 2:30PM
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bpathome...we plan on putting the TV on the wall opposite the kitchen and then having a sofa with it's back toward the kitchen. The one thing i don't love is that i'll most likely have a loveseat with it's back facing the front door but i could put a sofa table behind with some pretty decor.

I'm thinking of putting a counter opposite the pantry with shelf for mail, etc. I do not have an office space and can't manage to fit one in without increasing sq footage or making other rooms smaller. We considered putting a little desk area against the pantry wall that faces the kitchen.

chicagoans...a door from the laundry to back yard would be great but i need all the wall space for washer/dryer/sink/counter. We will have a door in the storage area in the garage so the kids will have to use that.

I like the powder room closer to the garage so that the kids could run in and out without brinking in dirt, etc too far in.

I agree with the master bath door, we are redesigning that bath. The bed will go on the back wall in between 2 windows. We will have a furniture piece on the bottom wall so we will be unable to move the closet door closer to the master bath which would be idea.

Annkh....the space between the dining room and garage is stairs to the basement. The grid area in the master bath is the shower but we are redesinging that bathroom.

I agree with the hallways eatting up space but unfortunatley the only other option that i see is to have the master bedroom open to the great room and we don't like that option.

We initially were giong to put the laundry next to the bedrooms but decided against it due to noise and other reasons.

Family room would be for kids play area and then covert into second living area for kids when they get older. The dining room is already smaller than we would like so squaring it off is not an option.

Thanks for all your input and's nice to get others points of view in order to get the wheels working :-)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 3:32PM
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I agree with the hallways eatting up space but unfortunatley the only other option that i see is to have the master bedroom open to the great room and we don't like that option.

Have the master closet go all the way to the great room. Then have a small, L shaped corridor to get from the great room to the master bedroom.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 5:49PM
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This is just an observation...but so many of your living areas only have light from one side. Corner rooms give you so much more light and change the way the room feels. I don't know if that will make any difference in your plan...but even making the mudroom a breezeway and moving the stairs to the foyer or garage would make the dining room seem brighter.

Do you plan to have windows on either side of the range? That might be nice, too. There's something very inviting about a room with windows and light on two sides...sunny and more views I guess :)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 4:31PM
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    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 7:36PM
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lavender_lass i do love rooms with many windows but in order to make it efficient and not any wider as i find it a little wider than i would like, i have to keep the garage tucked up close to dining room. We are hoping to have sky lights or a cathedral ceiling with windows up high in the great room to allow in additional light. Maybe larger windows in the dining room as well. We are working on the kitchen layout but if we can work 2 window in the kitchen that would be great.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 1:17PM
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I'll reiterate something that's already been said: I would be disappointed NOT to have windows on two sides of so many rooms. For me, that's a major item -- it makes such a difference in the feel of the room. I personally would embrace some serious change to make that happen, but if you're not in the same camp, I would make these suggestions concerning light:

- I'd move the fireplace to the wall shared with the master bedroom. This would allow more light to enter what otherwise could be a rather dark family room.

- I'd flip-flop the master bedroom and the master bath. This would provide a bit more privacy for the master bedroom and would put it on the corner.

- I don't see the sink placed in the kitchen yet, but I'd place it (with a nice big window above it) in such a way that when you walk from the family room into the kitchen, the window is straight ahead of you. Sight lines are a part of making a house really comfortable, and it's always more pleasant to walk towards a window, a door, or another focal point (i.e., fire place).

Other thoughts not related to light:

- I would move the laundry room over to the bedroom wing (so many steps will be saved). I'd place it next to the kids' bathroom, perhaps, which would require enlarging the bedroom wing a bit . . . but you could then slice off a bit from the garage end.

- As you enter from the front door, on the left you have a hallway . . . on the right you have open space, which really is a hallway. I'd want these two spots to match -- my choice would be to remove the wall creating a dark hallway. It's not providing any necessary privacy for the bedrooms anyway.

- I'm afraid the dining room will feel "enclosed". People on the back side of the dining room will be somewhat "trapped" in the back corner. I don't think you can actually do away with any of the walls . . . but I'd consider perhaps a cut-out up high -- too tall to see through -- between the dining room and the family room -- it would provide light and openness. Another option would be a piece of stained glass or decorative glass (installed into the wall).

- This is somewhat opposite, but I'd add French doors to the living room so this room could function as a quite "away space".

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 1:46PM
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I have a plan similar to yours - the garage is to the front right, with a huge laundry/mud room, walk-thru closet that can be used at the front door, with another closet at the front door. When we have large parties, the issues is a place for shoes, so the front entrance has a shoe shelf that can be pulled across the closet opening allowing a place for shoes, without all of my guests seeing into my walk-in mudroom closet. The bath is close enough to the mud room for use from outside And not right in the mudroom, so guests can use it.

Kitchen island is 8 feet so I can use it as a serving buffet for parties. Frig and Freezer can be set back into the hidden closet so they will be flush with the cupboards on that wall. There is a walkin pantry, double ovens, and the cooktop is on it's own wall.

The fireplace is in the gathering room, the chairs could be moved so the main dining table could be put lengthwise to seat 16 people.

I have also opted for a W/D in the master closet, my hubby is not thrilled with this, so the master bath and closet are still up for discussion. The closet has a bench down the middle. I prefer to have a window in the closet - so still more discussion on the specifics of ours.

I have tried to label most things - keep in mind the wall depths are not accounted for in this picture. Yellow space is closet space or storage space as in the mudroom and pantry.

I have tried to keep hallways 4 feet wide

Hope this will stir some ideas for you.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 1:14PM
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