Summerfield (and others) lost a doorway/added a porch

lavender_lassJune 20, 2012

Yes, another porch! I think I will go down as the most 'porch happy' person ever, on GW :)

The sun porch/greenhouse is so perfect for plants and a sunny spot in the winter...but too small for summer dining. We're also thinking about having the outside access on the front, to eliminate some of the stairs. With the lilacs on the side and well in back...the sun porch can't get any bigger. So, we decided to add a screened porch (screens on two sides) behind the kitchen.

To help with roof lines and keep the steps somewhat covered...we're thinking about having steps down from the kitchen and the porch even with the rest of the outside deck/patio area. No steps between dining and BBQ or barn kitties lying in wait to trip us, as we go outside. They do that, especially when it's time for them to eat! LOL

Also, the 'long hall' effect from the kitchen to utility room was feeling to 'manufactured home' for the farmhouse. (I say this, because we live in a manufactured home now...with a 40' open area.) So, I took out the doorway between the kitchen and hall/living room and turned the kitchen work area 90 degrees. This lines up the island better with the front window and sink windows.

Since parking is on the left/front of the house, we can enter through the front door with groceries...or drop off kitty litter, laundry supplies, long term freezer storage through the mudroom. The freezer is a bit far from the kitchen, but our only other alternative would be the basement! Been there/done that...much rather have everything on one level.

Overall plan... From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

Close up of kitchen... From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

What do you think? We really want the two main living areas a bit separated...for noise control and to have two groups talking during larger family gatherings. With one big space now, it gets a bit crazy with more than five or six people! Thanks for taking a look :)

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I do like your new porch and can totally understand about the kitties trying to trip you up.

Do you love it?

If so, stop reading. :)

--if you aren't sure, and want to vet this a bit...

I'm not crazy about the kitchen rotation. It wouldn't work for me, so make sure it will for you.

Here is why. I am a younger mom (and I know you are past that). But, when I am in the kitchen, the kids usually aren't in the hard areas (kitchen/dining). They are usually in the LR (carpet). If you have a daughter with grand kids over (maybe you are past this too?), and she wants to help you in the kitchen, she will be having to constantly go around the big wall, and actually walk up the hallway a bit, to check on the kids.

This is more than a little separation between the spaces.

For a little (more) separation between your spaces, I would think about putting in an archway from hallway to LR with substantial ends, for example. (essentially, match the Left short wall with a right short wall--this limits your sight line from front door to back of house, though).

Just you and your DH, you won't be able to hear anything he says from the LR if you are in the kitchen, or probably even if you are sitting near the fireplace.

my 2 cents. Take them or leave 'em. They are only 2 cents. :)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 11:15PM
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Kirkhall- Ouch! Not the floor plan, but how old do you think I am? Past having young grandchildren???

I have nieces and nephews, horses and kitties. We don't have any kids, but we certainly could if we wanted to...we just like how quiet everything is, when niees and nephews go home! LOL

Don't worry...I'm not offended at all, but I don't want cyberspace thinking I'm collecting social least, not just yet :)

As for the plan, maybe I should rename the keeping room 'informal dining/living room' and the living room the 'TV/rec room'. One thing I like (which probably works because it's a farm) is that the kitchen area is what you walk into from the front door and the TV area is in the back of the house. We have it the opposite now...and most of the farmers don't want to sit on anything in the living room, but walk past to the kitchen. They think they're too messy to sit in the 'nice' room and feel more comfortable in the kitchen.

This leaves the TV room for watching TV at night, conversation with friends/family 'from town' (LOL) and we are thinking about adding a beverage fridge to the TV wall, tucked into the corner shelf area.

Seriously, thank you for the critique and I do appreciate your insight with the plan. Except for the doorway...what do you think of the kitchen layout?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 8:36AM
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To give this idea a 'trial run' I'll see how things go, when we have little kids over to the house, next week.

I am excited to see my 'niece' and her family this month! She's the daughter of our good friend...and she has two adorable little kids...a boy (4) and a girl (2) so I guess, in a way, I will be 'great aunt' to them :)

That being said, my mom's grandchildren are still teenagers (my brother's kids) and most of my huband's brother and sisters are older than he our nieces and nephews are now in the 7 and up it will be fun to have little ones over. Finally, someone to play with the Fisher Price toys, besides me and the cats! LOL Yes, they do like to play with the fairy tree house, if I leave the pieces out!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 9:34AM
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Lavender, I posted on your other thread, but it sounds to me like you have it figured out for what will work for you. It also sounds as if most of the kids in your life are growing out of the stage of needing constant supervision, so I wouldn't plan anything because of that need.

Oh, and i didn't think you were grandmotherly! :)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 11:25AM
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Laura- LOL! When you like to cook, garden, don't have kids at home and talk a lot about your's probably a natural assumption. I love kids, but we just haven't made having any a priority. Truth be told, if we had decided to have children in the first few years we were married, they'd be in upper elementary/middle school at this point :)

Maybe it's because I don't have kids all the time...but when we're in the kitchen, they play in the kitchen area. I'd probably have a small TV in the corner by the fireplace and do what I do now...put on a Disney movie and let them color, play games, do puzzles, etc. They don't just 'watch TV' because it seems like such a waste of time!

Granted, we have movie nights and like to watch a favorite show (I love Burn Notice when it's me and DH) on DVR, but not just sitting in front of a TV all day. When they're 'multi-tasking' it's really cute, because we'll put on Aristocats and they'll be coloring and playing with their toys, while adults are baking/visiting...and we all stop and watch one of our favorite scenes or sing a song...then they go back to playing.

Of course, as they get older (and are able to do more on their own) they could watch TV by themselves...but out here, they want to play in the garden, see the horses, play outside and run around, etc. In the winter...well, that's why I need all these porches :)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 2:04PM
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Laura- I meant to ask you...what is this nook you mentioned, on the other post? I like your kitchen in front, since it opens up the views off the main living areas...but are you thinking about a little informal eating/seating area in the kitchen? Or maybe just off the kitchen? Do you have any 'inspiration pictures' of what you'd like to do?

The only reason I mentioned access to the BBQ on your other that someone asked me that. It made me think, how much do I want to wander around to get from the kitchen to the BBQ? That was one reason I decided on the screened porch. I mean, there's this big corner, great view...why not use it more efficiently? :)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 2:10PM
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Ha! Lavender, sorry. I didn't mean to make you feel old. Farmer's never get old anyway. :) As you said, you just always talk about family visiting rather than your own children (and now we know why). So, I assumed you were past that point in life...also because you have planned a house that will take you late in life--main level living all around.

That said, I can totally relate to the farmer mentality of "too nice for the furniture". I was raised on a pig farm in Central Washington... I think Dad just got his last load of pigs in this last month. But, as for farmers and dirt--well there is a reason the mudroom is the main entrance and it leads right to the kitchen. :) I get it. :)

On the kitchen layout...I'm not the best person to ask, as I've learned most of "my stuff" from reading the kitchen forum. But, how do you use your MW? Ever use it to defrost things? And, where do you plan to do your baking prep? I wonder if your island might be in your path for either or both of those things.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 2:30PM
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Kirkhall- Honestly...I'm lazy! That's why I want all my main living on one floor. After living in our current one level home, I don't miss stairs. One home we lived in (when I was a kid) had three floors and all we did was run up and down stairs. Bedrooms up, laundry in basement and living areas on the main floor.

We have horses instead of pigs, but they do live in the former pig barn (from the 1950s) and they love to roll in dirt! Most of the farmers out here grow wheat or grass seed, but there are some cattle, horses, etc.

Oh, good question about the microwave. I only use a microwave to melt butter/margerine and baking prep would be at the counter by the wall oven. Occasionally we defrost ground turkey, but I don't like most meats defrosted in the microwave...and my husband will sometimes heat up a TV dinner if he's in a hurry, but prefers to put them in the oven.

Since we do a lot of cooking, that's usually if we're just too tired after working on horse fences! More to do this weekend, too. No one tells you how much work they are...the messes they get into or how much you're going to spend on them! You just see how cute they are and you're hooked. (LOL) I'm guessing it's the same thing with children! :)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 5:37PM
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Yes. Many messes with children.

If you are an organized chef, you will probably be okay having the baking center opposite the island from the fridge. But, if you are like me, I would be spending a lot of time going around the grab an egg, or the milk, or a stick of butter.

Of course, I live with a kitchen that is about 70sq ft! So, I can reach anything by just turning my body almost (1 step at the most). And, that really is just too small. But, it makes it easier for the un-organized "chef" that I am.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 6:02PM
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I'm with kirkhall on the closing up of the entrance to the kitchen, but I already told you that on your kitchen thread.

I thought you started a thread saying your husband thought you had too many porches - did you convince him otherwise?

Where is the BBQ going? I don't see it on the drawing. Is the back porch covered or not? And will it be heated or, like the sunroom, not heated by you main heating system?

How close to the house are the lilacs? You might want to speak with your contractor regarding how much clearance he will need around the house for his equipment and the proposed route to get his equipment to all sides of the house. It would be awful if you restricted you floor plan to save some plants that in the end couldn't be saved because they were in the way of the build. It looks like you are adding on/renovating all sides of the house.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 6:13PM
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I'm not really counting the hot tub or mud room porches. The hot tub is for my husband (and he loves it) and the mudroom porch is functional, not really decorative. This means all I'm being held accountable for (so to speak) is the greenhouse/sun porch and the screened porch. Since the screened porch is for eating outside and close to the BBQ (which will be just beyond it) my husband really likes that, too. So, I guess I just had to convince him about the greenhouse/sun porch...and he knows how much I really want that for gardening/winter sunshine :)

We really like the changes to the kitchen and no one seems to mind the slightly longer walk to the living room, in exchange for more separation/noise control. Of course, we're not used to the living room and kitchen open to each other, so that might be one reason it won't be missed. We have a 7' wall now, which blocks the view, but not the noise.

Just in case Summerfield stops by and decides to update my new kitchen layout, I have a few more changes (small ones) to the rest of the plan. The cool farm sink with drainboards, would be great out in the sun porch, against the wall to the ovens. With the screened porch for entertaining, this can be more of a greenhouse/small seating area...and we're moving the door to be opposite the sink. The lilacs don't go quite that far back and it will be easier access to the vegetable garden. This would also give us space for a small table with two chairs (bistro style) on the sink side and maybe a couple of wicker chairs on the other end.

Since we're moving the sink, I'd still like a sink in the utility room, but something a bit smaller with more storage space around it. And, the front door/vestibule, I'd like to change that to a single glass door instead of double doors, since it will usually be kept closed. As for the basement door...anyway to make that a pocket door, but with glass?

Thank you all for your suggestions, insight and help! Especially Summerfield, not only for the beautiful plans, but the constant support, great ideas and amazing changes that came up with this final plan! :)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 3:41PM
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You all know I want an informal dining area/keeping room. But, it would be nice to have a little more seating in the kitchen...since it's now more separate from the main living area. So, I found this picture again (which I've always liked) and think it will work. I think we've even figured out the roof lines...need to run this past contractor.

So, here's the picture. From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

Here's the kitchen layout (dining table is a little too big, but I'm out of white out, so please imagine it a bit smaller and a little to the left) From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

Overall plan...with porch accessible from living room and kitchen/keeping room. Steps would be off the back, going down to the patio/BBQ area. Greenhouse is more of a work area with some seating possible, but mainly plants. From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

My mom thinks this is the most 'me' of all my plans, since the table is in the middle of the kitchen. I've always liked this, even if it's not the most functional layout. And, with the porch having a dining area, as she pointed the summer we'll be eating out there and during the holidays, we can expand the table and decorate the entire space. And...with the doors the cats can't get onto the table, while we're setting things up!

Obviously, this would be a glass/screen porch, now...and heated...either on same system or with baseboard heat, so we can use it as we need it. The greenhouse would be baseboard heat, just to keep the plants at 55 degrees in the winter. Thank you, once more, for taking the time to look at our plan :)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 1:10PM
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I love the greenhouse and sunporch switch. Great idea, and it gives you a lot more options with the space.

However, I'm not sure about the dining table in your kitchen, while it looks nice, it may get annoying for many many reasons, which I'm sure you have already considered. That said, it doesn't look like you have changed the arrangement of your appliances, so you could plan it this way, live with it and see how it feels. If down the road you decide you want an island then it would be an easy change.

As an aside, we did a mostly DIY kitchen remodel in our current house. We bought cabinets from a discount Chinese cabinet importer and other than the hardwood floors and granite we did everything ourselves. The only problem we couldn't deceide how big to make the island, or if we wanted one at all. We did have a 6' run of granite left over so we left in the garage while we lived with it for six months. After awhile it became obvious that we needed the island, and what size it should be and we installed it all about a year after we started the kitchen renovation.

One thing abuot this plan, as far as I can tell the only thing you have changed is

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 1:00PM
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Laura- I think you have a great point about the island! I've tried every combination I can think of and when I measure out the space in our current kitchen, none of them seem just right. My mom pointed out that I really don't need that much 'dedicated' dining space (table and island) on a daily basis. We don't entertain all the time and we don't have why not put the table in the kitchen and have the softer seating area, by the fireplace? Especially since the living room is further away, since I closed off that doorway.

She also thought that if I combined the screened porch 'summer dining' with a glassed in/heated winter space for 'holiday dining' I would use that space a lot more often. Moms...they're so smart! :)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 4:34PM
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