Foyer idea -- built-in bench as a room divider?

minneapolisiteJune 1, 2012

I'm still trying to identify ways to resolve my issues with the default floorplan with minimal structural changes. Here's my latest scheme...

I can't find a picture that's exactly what I envision, but I'm hoping you guys might be able to help me parse through the logistics of this idea.

Extend the dining room wall out a few feet, add beadboard and hooks like this:

Bench/post like this, but wider and longer:

Model home on left, Photoshopped idea on right

(Pretend the wood is painted white and the hooks are at the right height--my photoshop skills aren't that good!)

The room would be home to an upright piano, some comfy seating, and maybe a bookcase.

Do you see any logistical issues with this idea?

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Didn't you say something on the other forum...about having a beautiful dining table that doesn't fit in your kitchen space? If that's true...why not use it in this little dining room area? If it's too narrow for chairs on all sides...what about a banquette against the wall to the garage? This way, it could be for dining, homework, paper work, crafts, holidays, etc.

I do like the hooks, but I think they would look better on the other side, behind the door. Would that work on your den side? I like the 'country vibe' especially if you use a banquette in the dining area :)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 9:33PM
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Actually, the beautiful dining table DOES fit in the kitchen space but DOES NOT fit in this "dining room" space. :)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 9:46PM
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I think this solution turns your fairly formal entry into an informal space... How do you feel about that?

Have you decided where you'll be entering the house from the garage yet?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 10:47PM
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Hey kirkhall, I feel just fine about making the formal entry informal if it means it becomes FUNCTIONAL. I'm going for a casual "beach house / lake house" vibe.

When guests arrive, I want them to have a place to toss their coats, take off their shoes, and make themselves at home. :)

I think we're going to go with the semi-custom option (can't beat the lot location!), which means we can't move exterior walls without incurring some costs that I'd rather avoid. And that means that the elevation of the house has the 22.5-deep third stall next to the dining room. I'm not sure, but I kind of suspect that consolidating the guest/family entrances isn't feasible.

So that leaves me with trying to find a way to create a "landing zone" for guests. :)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 9:24AM
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Min- Congrats on the lot...I think it's going to be a wonderful choice, for you and your family :)

An informal entry is great, because it means it gets everyone! I'm so glad you get to use your table. If that's the case, then I vote for making the 'dining room' the piano space, with bookcases and maybe a couple of comfy chairs in the corner, by the window.

One thing about the entry...if you put the hooks by the door, everyone stops to take off their coat and you get a bottleneck at the doorway. Instead, I'd move the hooks down to the area between the den doors and the stairs. This way, everyone gets inside, before they stop to sit down or take off their coats.

The bench idea is interesting...but I would put it opposite the hooks, towards the kitchen. Again, you don't want people stopping too soon and there would be more room to sit down and not block 'traffic'. Instead of having it open, I think I'd put a back to the bench and have the piano tucked behind it, against the wall to the kitchen. A piano should be against an inside wall, so that's where I would put it, instead of against the garage.

Then, you could have chairs in the corner, by the window (against the garage and window walls) to sit down, read a book, listen to music, etc. It would also be a nice 'adult' space, when the kids get a little older :)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 11:50AM
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Lavender, we really like your idea! I am still thinking I would have the bench be backless, but I feel like we're headed in the right direction!

I did some measuring, and I think this is how it's going to fit together...

This idea doesn't do anything structurally different from the original floorplan, but creates the guest landing station that we need.

That space against the kitchen is the perfect size for an upright piano. I think the bench will be similar to the wood inspiration picture.

I am finally feeling really confident about this!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 1:04PM
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So, your third stall is nearest your dining room, and is the smallest, that is what you are saying, right?

And, you will be using your third stall for a lot of snow blowers, equipment, right?

I guess it depends on how you think you will use your garage. But, I wouldn't eliminate the option of entering from the side, instead of the back. Plus, if you have the piano room be your dining room, that can be toward the front of the space, and you can have your entrance in the rear of the dining space.

I definitely think you are making a great choice with the shorter commute/lot location. Commute time really makes a difference in our family happiness. :)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 2:09PM
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Yep, here's the garage layout:

24.6 feet deep @ the two-car part, 22.5 feet deep @ the one-car part.

For now, the third stall wall be used for snowblower, lawn mower, a motorcycle, etc. In about 15 years we'll have a third car for awhile (teenagers!)

My husband just pointed out another advantage to this lot--the freeway that he'll use to get to work has an HOV lane, so when he commutes on his motorcycle (April through October) he will be able to zip right by the traffic! :)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 4:29PM
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Personally, I like the garage entrance 'as is' since it will keep the cold contained in your mudroom area. Think about a pocket door between the cubbies and the kitchen, for especially cold days. If you had an entrance from the side (into the piano area) you will be getting drafts when you open the door, since the garage will not be heated. If it's too cold to store the hockey equipment...

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 6:03PM
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That is a really good point, and good idea on the pocket door!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 8:48PM
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