where do I eat and where do I watch TV

heartspeaceJuly 15, 2012

I was going to post this in the message about the lady who is having problem with the kitchen next to her living room, but didn't want to hijack the thread.

okay 1st you should know is I have a set floor plan and structure cannot change. Is not a true customhouse but a lot of it is custom after the main structure

on the main floor I have kitchen which is open to the family room. the family room then goes next to the stairs and then on the left is the dining room. the dining room is parallel to the living room and in between the dining room and the living room is the entranceway. the bathroom is right around the corner from the living room which the small hallway also goes into the laundry room which then goes into the garage.

there is a wall that is between the kitchen and the dining room. of the family room and the kitchen is a little bit small. there is a fireplace in the family room. there is a island in the middle of the kitchen.

I was going to the family room into the living room, but then had to rule against that idea because that would put the TV into what was the living room and then the noise go into the dining room because there is no barrier between the two.

I then thought of getting rid of the feeling room entirely and just moving it downstairs. that would allow me to expand the kitchen and have a proper place to eat more than three people with the exception of the dining room.

my significant other doesn't want a TV on that level or on the upstairs level at all, but she says in the end it's my decision. with all the consequences that may bring to bear. the other thing is with the smaller family room the TV maybe too high for our necks due to the elevator that has to be put in on the backside of the family room across from where the fireplace is.

I still wanted the main floor to have a tv. but I really want to place for a kitchen table also hold more than three people, or should I just get used to the dining room being the place to eat?

Any idea where to eat and/or put the TV for TVs?

the last part of this is I am handicapped and although I can walk some I cannot really sit in the normal position I have to be reclined. I also cannot carry too much.

hp

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Sophie Wheeler

Post a floorplan.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 8:10PM
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lavender_lass

Put the TV in the living room...and turn it off, when using the dining room. It sounds like you plan to use the kitchen eating area more than the dining room, anyway :)

Upstairs, put a TV in the bedroom or in a loft area...and if necessary buy headphones. You could do that downstairs, too. That way, you can watch TV and not bother your significant other. Just and idea...

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 8:48PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We have the tv in the family room which is open to the kitchen and we use that space 90% of our waking hours. It is great having it near the kitchen as we often eat lunch in front of the tv and watch the evening news while we have drinks and crackers. and I can watch tv while I'm cooking or doing dishes.

You need to think about what you do most often and making that most convenient.

Also think about if there is a way to add more seating to the eat in area, by building seating in, for example.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 10:42PM
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heartspeace

Here you go Holly Springs...

this is the main floor plan that I have.

The chicken scratches or my attempt on the tablet to make modifications to the drawing. for example add in the garage, crossing off the half wall, resizing the family room. Square 2 in the family room can be empty or can be a closet ( since there's basically no closet space on the entire floor) Square 1 is for elevator (disabled). I just wanted to quickly show you with a couple rectangles why this family room is smaller. The townhouse itself is a medium to large townhouse bordering on 2800 to 2900sq ft.

I don't really want to put the TV over the fireplace I don't See another option unless I place a couch blocking 7-10 ft of entering the room (Depending on the couch style fit, straight or a L shape). But then again that doesn't leave me able to make the area available for eating. There is a possibility of just removing the island in the kitchen but I don't like that too much, but if I have no other option I will.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 3:49AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I would put the tv on the wall to the right so you can see it from the kitchen and from the family room.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 8:51AM
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bevangel_i_h8_h0uzz

Not trying to be nosey, but when you say you are disabled, am I correct in understanding that to mean that you are wheelchair bound? I ask because I see some issues with just this floor of this plan that, IMHO, make it unsuitable for someone who uses a wheelchair.

First, the garage doesn't appear to be wheelchair accessible and may lack enough room to be modified for accessibility. It is barely wide enough to allow someone in a wheelchair to get in/out of a vehicle...and then only if the vehicle is parked as close to one wall as humanly possible. And, the steps leading up to the laundry would need to be replaced by a ramp. Even if the height differential is only 10 inches (I'm guessing b/c the drawing shows two steps), you would need a 3' wide ramp running across the entire front of the garage that was clear when your car is parked in the garage. (i.e., no allowing the bumper of the car to nose into the space). That means the length available for parking would only be 16'2". Not many cars will fit that small a space.

If neither you nor your significant other drive and therefore you won't be using the garage except for storage, then no problem. Otherwise, is it possible to have the entire garage floor poured higher so that the step up into the house was reduced to just 4" or so? That way you would only need a very short ramped area (kind of like at the edge of a sidewalk) to get from garage up to house level.

Then, it would probably be best if the door from garage to house were shifted to either the far left or far right - depending on whether you drive or are usually the passenger - so that the front bumper of the car doesn't partially block your ramp and so you don't have to negotiate a turn while still in the garage.

Second, that powder room is not wheelchair accessible. Unless you want to take an elevator upstairs every time you want to use the restroom, it would be good to have an accessible powderroom on the main floor. I note that the laundry says "opt w/d" which I take to mean that there is another possible location for the laundry. Perhaps you could put the washer/dryer in that other location and turn most of the space marked laundry into an accessible powderroom. This would work best if the door to garage were shifted to the far left.

Third, that island in the kitchen would make it difficult for someone in a wheelchair to cook or even help with cooking chores. Assuming countertops lowered to the proper height for your use and kneespaces left open under the sink and work areas, you would still have to back your chair up in a very tight space to go from sink to cooktop or from cooktop to pantry. I would definitely get rid of the island entirely in favor of a good old-fashioned kitchen table that could be placed further back from the perimeter cabinets. If you want the "look" of an island, have a table built for you with good thick solid wooden legs and a marble or granite top.

As for TV watching, do you have the option of getting rid of the direct vent fireplace or moving it to a different location? Do you really want a fireplace? I agree that with the smaller family room, putting the TV above the fireplace is a real problem. But, a week or so ago, somebody posted about a special mount that is now available for putting your TV over a fireplace and then, when you want to watch TV, you can push a button and have the entire TV drop down to a comfortable viewing height. Seems like this might be perfect for your situation.

Here is a link that might be useful: Solution for TV over fireplace neckstrain

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 10:02AM
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dekeoboe

I was going to the family room into the living room, but then had to rule against that idea because that would put the TV into what was the living room and then the noise go into the dining room because there is no barrier between the two.

How often do you have the TV on while using the dining room? I don't think the noise would be a problem for us, because we don't normally have the TV on when we are using the dining room.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 10:55AM
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mjlb

It's not clear to me where you would prefer to watch TV, prefer to eat, and whether any modifications are needed for your disability. But just looking at the plan - a few possibilities:

A much larger island could seat more people. Or you could use a large work table instead of an island, and seat people there. Your kitchen looks light on storage, so I'd probably lean toward enlarging the island. If the window sill height allows, you could build in a window seat, and add a couple of chairs on the ends (this might require rotating the island for clearance).

You could use your smaller family room as a fireplace'd dining room -- very nice. I hope that the elevator door opens toward the labeled dining room, and not the labeled family room. Yes, I would use a closet to square off the area next to the elevator. While not ideally located, it could serve as a pantry.

You could place your TV on wall behind range, and use the labeled dining room as your TV-viewing area. But this would probably work best if only a couple of people watch TV at a time. You could place your TV on living room wall behind the toilet. This would provide the most seating for viewing the TV. The TV could be hidden in a credenza/armoire, or hung on the wall.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 12:47PM
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lavender_lass

Oh, I would put double doors into the living room and make that the TV room. Then you can shut the doors and enjoy the TV...or leave them open when entertaining.

Then, the family room can be for seating or eating area, off the kitchen. Nice fireplace! :)

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 1:50PM
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heartspeace

There some really great ideas here. I'll get back to them tomorrow when I'm exhausted. I just want to answer one question quickly and it is I am not wheelchair-bound, nor on the others that are coming in at this point. But in the future one or two mightbe because they are elderly, but hopefully that is years down the road. I am trying to make sure all doors are wheelchair accessible. I think the minimum for a wheelchair is 29 inches if I recall correctly. For now I can walk. The nerve damage and atrophy has not taken that away yet.

please keep the ideas coming

hp

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 2:51AM
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heartspeace

There some really great ideas here. I'll get back to them tomorrow when I'm exhausted. I just want to answer one question quickly and it is I am not wheelchair-bound, nor on the others that are coming in at this point. But in the future one or two mightbe because they are elderly, but hopefully that is years down the road. I am trying to make sure all doors are wheelchair accessible. I think the minimum for a wheelchair is 29 inches if I recall correctly. For now I can walk. The nerve damage and atrophy has not taken that away yet.

please keep the ideas coming

hp

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 2:56AM
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bevangel_i_h8_h0uzz

If it appears that a wheelchair is likely to be in your future, or in the future of a housemate, I would definitely strive for a minimum of 32" wide doorways with 36 inch wide doorways would be even better. And definitely make the powder room, and garage (and at least one "full bath") wheelchair accessible NOW if at all possible.

Retrofitting later to widen doorways or make bathrooms or garage accessible will not only cost you more than doing it now, but it will disrupt your home and your life at a point in time when you have less energy and patience for dealing with construction messes. Better to do it now if you possibly can.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 3:41PM
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lavender_lass

Are you losing one wall of windows, in the living room....to garage 2? Unless you do a lot of formal entertaining, I don't see why that couldn't be your TV area. Again, double doors from the entry, would keep the noise out of the dining room...and the rest of the house. And, you can turn the TV off, when you have company.

The dining area is a very nice feature and there's room in the little sunny area of the kitchen for at least a bistro table for two. I'd close off that door and just keep the one by the fireplace. It will give you more space for the table.

The family room seems like the sofa should go against the big wall, not a TV...and while you could put a TV over the fireplace, I think they're too high. I like the TV out of the kitchen, so I'd keep that a cozy sitting area (by the fire) and have the TV in the living room :)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 8:24PM
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heartspeace

Does anyone think I should take out the island in the kitchen? I think the fireplace just would be too high to watch television over. After reading two articles in the New York Times they convinced me that it's not the place for a television. So I need to find one at eye level and 14 feet or closer. My niece told me they only need about 8sq ft. for their video games. So as long as I don't put fireplace in the basement, which is really where it should be, then I'm fine if it went in the living room. But the best place for tv is probably near the kitchen... which pushes the fireplace to the basement ... but will that lower resale value or make is less desirable (fire place being in the basement)?

Hp

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 4:01AM
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heartspeace

Well until Friday I thought it would be able to put a fireplace in the basement. That Friday he told me the day before they poured the first layer of concrete. He said it was the base but not the floor or the walls just the outline of the house. As such he said there's no way that they could add a fireplace to the house now in the basement.

So that leads me to ask if the builder is correct, But more importantly if he is correct and I cannot have the fireplace in the basement then should I just not have the fireplace at all? This would give me an additional wall in the family room and allow a couch/chairs on two walls. Then I could place the tv on the wall on the side of the elevator with a slight angle to the rest of the room so most of the room could see.

Where is very important in this day and age to have a fireplace somewhere in the house?

I really wanted it in the basement because I know some people in my family gets very cold even when it's not that cold. One person it could be 76 and they want to have a sweater on.

hp

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 1:56AM
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heartspeace

Well until Friday I thought it would be able to put a fireplace in the basement. That Friday he told me the day before they poured the first layer of concrete. He said it was the base but not the floor or the walls just the outline of the house. As such he said there's no way that they could add a fireplace to the house now in the basement.

So that leads me to ask if the builder is correct, But more importantly if he is correct and I cannot have the fireplace in the basement then should I just not have the fireplace at all? This would give me an additional wall in the family room and allow a couch/chairs on two walls. Then I could place the tv on the wall on the side of the elevator with a slight angle to the rest of the room so most of the room could see.

Where is very important in this day and age to have a fireplace somewhere in the house?

I really wanted it in the basement because I know some people in my family gets very cold even when it's not that cold. One person it could be 76 and they want to have a sweater on.

hp

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 2:33AM
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graywings123

I would put the fireplace in the living room, which would open up a lot of possibilities for furniture arranging the family room. I would want a more formal looking fireplace in a living room as compared to what you might be considering for the family room. That is easily done by getting a lovely mantle.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 8:54AM
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Xclusive

I would put the fireplace in the living room as well and to your previous thread if you are looking budget wise, I would get the 3 rooms of pre-wire for whole house audio. You can always add the equipment later and I dont think you will regret it at all!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 11:55PM
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