Several questions concerning layout

mrspeteJuly 16, 2013

We're haggling over a couple issues, and I'd appreciate thoughts on them:

1. Can a Craftsman Bungalow have plantation shutters as window treatments, or do those things not "match"?

2. In the bedroom we're deciding between 1) having two windows flanking the bed /nightstands in front of them. OR 2) having a long, narrow window above the bed. These won't be the ONLY windows in the room: We'll also have a window seat /reading nook that'll include two large windows, letting in lots of light . . . but I have to have some windows on the bed's headboard wall because it's the front of the house! If we go with the two windows flanking the bed, what if we one day want to downsize to a queen-sized bed (which I would prefer)? The windows'll be "in the wrong place" then. But if we go with the long, narrow window above the bed, won't it give an odd look to the front of the house? I'm thinking that perhaps the answer is tall plantings underneath the long, narrow windows.

One thing my husband wants is a drive-through garage. By that, I mean he wants roll-up doors and a drive way on each side of the garage so that we never have to back out of the garage. We have 40+ acres, so space isn't an issue. It sounds like a pretty good idea to me, but I'd like to hear feedback from anyone who has experience with this concept.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you have on these topics.

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Annie Deighnaugh

I don't happen to like shutters on a craftsman.

I don't like the tall narrow windows and I think the front facade is very important in how the house looks. If you downsize, it won't look odd as the windows will still be symmetrically placed.

The drive thru garage has 2 issues I is you lose all that storage...walls and corners in garages are critical for stashing stuff. Two, the garage will likely be much colder as you will get cross vent through the doors making it much less weather proof.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 9:12AM
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Oh no.... no shutters for Crafstman houses!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 10:44AM
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I assume when you say shutters you mean the interior plantation style ones. Not on the outside?

If interior ones then you could make them work unless you are really strict about wanting it to look arts and crafts. If you can live with more of a cottage look on the interior they would work.

On the outside - no it won't work well.

I'm with Annie on the other two items.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 11:24AM
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I say use what interior window treatments YOU like and will make you happy every time you see them. Your home should be a reflection of who you are and not what someone else thinks it should be. Some of the most souless (but" technically" attractive) homes I have been in have been where people hire a decorator and then do not put in what makes their heart sing, just because they have been talked into, or out of something because it doesn't "match". It would make me very unhappy to always feel I "settled" to meet some standard someone else set.

My home is completely filled with things that make me happy, and take my word for it when I say everything ends up looking wonderful even though I didn't give a hoot about the "correct" colors or styles. It makes for a happy and comfortable home that friends and family like to linger in with you.

As far as the bedroom windows go, we did put a window on either side of the bed. It looks nice and lets additional light into the room. I once rented an apartment in my youth that had a long window above the bed as you describe. I did not like it at all. I had to climb on the bed to open and close it, and the same with cleaning it. What a thorn in my side!

The drawback to a window on either side of the bed, that may or may not be a downside to you is if you can reach over nightstands to open and close them. I offset mine a little to make that easier. Cleaning is not a problem because nightstands are easy to slide out of the way.

We paced ours to look optimum with a king sized bed. When we first moved in we needed a new bed so we tried a queen size, since we snuggle and the king seemed too big. Or so we thought. A strange thing happened. My husband started to claim my space and I would wake up several times during the night almost ready to fall off. His side would be empty. We went back to a king bed and no problems. During the time we had the queen bed, our windows looked just fine. We just spaced things to balance it out.

As far as a drive through garage goes, I think it is a great idea. You have the room for it and if you don't do it your husband will constantly be annoyed. He will always say "I wanted a drive through garage". Evaluate how much stuff you really want to store anyway. Most of what we tend to hang onto is junk that we don't need, and we waste space storing "stuff" that just sits there, and has to be cleaned around. I find it ridiculous when people load their garages up with things they can't seem to get rid of, and park their vehicles outside. I'd rather not have the garage.You have plenty of room for a small outbuilding if you want to store "stuff".

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 12:32PM
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Yes, I meant interior plantation shutters -- I didn't actually know that they could be used outside.

I love tall, narrow windows. We had them in our first house, but I'm not sure whether I want them for this application.

Yes, I had thought about loss of storage in the drive-through garage, but I hadn't thought about it making the garage colder. Fortunately, it's not important since we're in the South and keeping things warm isn't a big issue for us. Whether to do this isn't really in question -- he wants it -- rather, I'm just looking ideas on how it might impact the outcome and details on how to make it best.

I appreciate the advice to just do what I want, and of course I will in the long run, but some things do have right-and-wrongs, and I'm looking to understand the rules and patterns at this moment.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 10:22PM
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MsPete I just brought it up since others seemed to respond like it was exterior shutters and I see no issue with using on the inside with any period stle as long as you are not trying to be real strict to the period.

If you do a drive through garage just make sure you have enough drive way clearance for easy turning around. Guess it would be similar to a semi circular driveway with a straight portion in between (the garage).

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 10:43PM
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I don't know about plantation shutters, but wood blinds might work. Maybe the medium tone wood with the brown cords? I'm sure I saw those in a craftsman book, at one time.

As for the tall windows, if they seem out of place, would they work better with a trellis in between? Not a light weight one, but something you could grow wisteria on, if necessary.

I like the idea of a drive-through garage. Rather like a drive through covered parking area (porte cochere?) except with doors. (Yes, I know they don't normally have doors) but with a little creative design, it might really work!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 3:59AM
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Shutters for window treatments aren't the best choice for a low maintenance retirement home. They are expensive to purchase, collect dust and other allergens, and are very difficult to keep clean. If you really like them for their looks, put them in a few key areas that you are OK with having the extra expenditure and work and do standard window treatments in the rest of the home.

Tall narrow windows don't specifically "suit" any type of house except for perhaps one that is trying for a contemporary vibe. They certainly don't belong on a Craftsman. Unless you are trying to cross it with something space age and merely using Craftsman as the starting point for the explosion.

The biggest problem with a drive through garage is the amount of land needed to make that work. You'll need more room than a side load will require. The drive through the back has to go somewhere. It either makes a loop around the house and joins out front again (making the house sit in the middle of the hot pavement) or it goes to a loop off to the side it's on where the drive passes the house again and joins with the main drive. Either way, that's a LOT of pavement to pay for. That's money that doesn't go to the house. Garage doors aren't cheap either. You'll have to have two remotes for them, and be sure you don't mix them up. Times two vehicles.

This may be "non-negotiable" but it adds considerable expense and complexity to your build without adding much of anything to your actual quality of life. If your DH is finding backing up difficult, then perhaps it's time to have the vision checked. Or, give up driving.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 7:57AM
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Ouch! GD, I have a difficult time backing up because of a back injury. I can do it, but if I turn to far it sometimes causes a bad headache. Most people don't drive while facing 180 degrees from the steering wheel.

Of course, backing up a few feet out of a parking space is much different than backing up a driveway. I can do either one, but I would prefer a longer driveway over backing up a great distance.

While many people say 'use your mirrors' we have barn kitties and other obstacles on our drive. Since OP has plenty of space, why not make her DH happy and have the drive through garage?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 11:21AM
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Bridget Helm

in the house we are in now, we designed the bedroom wall for a king size bed for resale even though we have a queen. so we have 2 windows spaced apart for a king headboard with our queen headboard on the wall. the end tables go in front of the windows and it looks just fine.

i think you should always worry about the exterior more than the interior when it comes to front elevation windows. but it looks just fine on the interior, anyhow. so it's a win win.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 11:34AM
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Our "headboard" is a large windowâ¦three of them actually, joined together. The two side ones are smaller and each are double hung, the middle is just a large plate glass window. Privacy is not an issue for us because of our backyard. With 40 acres, it may not be for you, either.

Our bed is a platform bed, with no actual headboard, so the window not only lets in a ton of light (which we love), but also gives a pseudo-headboard look to the bed. It works for us. Our bed is king size, and the window is roughly 8' wide.

This post was edited by theballs on Fri, Jul 19, 13 at 11:45

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 11:44AM
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if dh wants entrances on both sides of the garage
tell him what a good idea it is and be glad that's all he's
requesting (at the moment)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 4:14PM
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FWIW, Craftsman style were built throughout the South in that era, and note that the shutter question is very much a regional issue.

That era did not have air conditioning, requiring people to find other ways to protect against the heat. Since louvered shutters were highly functional, allowing breezes and views while stopping direct sun, and were already widespread throughout the South, I strongly doubt they were at all rare in these houses. Especially since they were made of wood, had traditionally been hand crafted, and were entirely consonant with the spirit of Arts and Crafts.

The deep overhangs of A&C would have made them less necessary than on the Greek Revival, say, that preceded A&C, and many homeowners may have copied the style's origins from England and the Northeast. However, all southerners know the blast of heat that hits as soon as the sun stops the trees in summer. When a home is surrounded by fields, overhangs wouldn't protect the windows for literally several hours.

However, it is likely that where installed they would usually have beenof wood finish and less refined/more masculine in appearance than plantation-style shutters, taking on A&C proportions and weight. They would usually have displayed their hardware boldly, hand-forged preferably. The typical "plantation shutter" would look as different as the typical antebellum style did.

In any case, anyone wanting to create a home true to its region's history should be careful not to be limited by a small set of design cliches that result from limited knowledge. Only a few homes made it into publications in those days, and those were usually homes of the wealthy. And right up until early last century those were designed by architects referring to pattern books brought in from elsewhere, Europe usually.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 6:03PM
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" 2) having a long, narrow window above the bed. "

I loathe those windows since they are tricky to cover up. It might not matter to the OP if they never want to block out light, but I would not want to buy a house with those... I also agree they don't look right in anything but a contemporary home.

I would use the two windows (one on either side of headboard) designed to a king bed. I don't think there is any problem if your bed is smaller than the space since everything looks balanced.

RE: the garage... I don't think it would add much expense or complication in life/the build. We have multiple garage doors and can juggle the various openers without issue. "Pavement" could be gravel..... (everyone with that much acreage here has gravel for most of their driveway.) MrsPete-what climate are you in? In our summer months, I would LOVE to be able to open up the garage on both sides for a cross breeze. That would be a big benefit.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 8:20PM
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all southerners know the blast of heat that hits as soon as the sun stops the trees in summer. When a home is surrounded by fields, overhangs wouldn't protect the windows for literally several hours.

This is only true for windows on the east and west sides of the house. Overhangs work quite well to stop the summer sun from coming in on the north and south sides of the house.

In our summer months, I would LOVE to be able to open up the garage on both sides for a cross breeze. That would be a big benefit.

I'm curious lolauren, why would you want a cross breeze in your garage? We don't usually spend much time in our garage, so I don't understand the need for a cross breeze. I must be missing something.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 9:47PM
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RE: cross breezes in the garage--shaded, cooler, work space...

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 9:55PM
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RE: cross breeze, kirk is correct... we do various projects in the garage... woodworking/build things, refinish something, paint something, sort through fishing tackle, vacuum our cars, fix things with the tools out there, whatever. We live in the country. The projects and reasons to be in the garage are endless, but sometimes it is too hot to be out there long.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 12:37AM
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The most important thing to me concerning the bedroom windows would be to make sure they looked correct architecturally, as far as balancing the facade. I would either work around the furniture placement issues, or move the bedroom to a different location.

As far as plantation shutters, I think they would look lovely in a craftsman house. They make stained wood ones, which would be nice if you had stained trim. There are absolutely NO issues with cleaning them if you get the wide slats (3.5" or bigger.) Seriously, I just run a dry Swiffer over them every other week or so....much easier than blinds.

I think the garage sounds like a good idea...sort of like a Porte Cochere (sp?.)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 8:57AM
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ah, we work on projects in the basement. And with painting in the garage, we don't want the cross breeze due to dust getting in the wet paint.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 4:57PM
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Concerning the long, narrow horizontal window over the bed: We had one in a 1927 former home. It was four individual panes and very appropriate to the age of the house. The window treatment was a then-popular balloon shade, which was easy to raise and lower ... not that we did it often. A simple Roman shade would also work well. I don't remember whether we ever opened the windows themselves or even if they were operable; there were several other windows in the room.

How it would work with your facade is another issue! Do you have a sketch of the exterior?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 10:20PM
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deke: oh, that makes sense. I live in an area that rarely has basements. You can drive around and often see people working in their garages. :)

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 1:54PM
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I think I've decided these are okay in a Bungalow (interior windows). I do like the look.

I'm talking about shutters in the living /dining rooms . . . and they will get sun from the East and the South, so the answer to the question "Will overhangs help?" is both yes and no.


No, I don't think my husband needs to give up driving in his late 40s just because he doesn't much care for backing up and would like to avoid that small hassle in his own house. We have 40+ acres for the driveway and won't be paving it all -- it'll be mostly gravel.

I do love a cross-breeze; we had the nicest cross-breeze in our floor-to-ceiling windows in our old house. However, I don't think it'll either help or hurt in this situation because this garage will be JUST for parking cars. We do not plan to use it for storage or projects.


Yes, covering them is a problem -- I hadn't really moved on to the thought of window coverings in the bedroom yet.

No, no exterior sketch just yet. I'm getting there.

Thanks for your feedback, all.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 11:23AM
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