Review our floor plan please.

FosaMaxAugust 29, 2012

We a planing to build a new waterfront home. The plan is for a 2-storey with an l-shaped design. Have a look and see if you have any suggestions.

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Site Plan

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 11:16AM
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I really like your mudroom setup with the entrance from the front porch as well as from the garage. Nicely done.

I would add a shower to the half bath between the office and living room. Shrink down that closet, make the bathroom larger - add a shower. If in the future you or other family member has a hard time climbing stairs due to a broken leg or other illness then you have could use the office as a temporary bedroom. In a house that is over 5000 sq ft. you really should have a full bathroom on the main level.

Also, I am not keen on the two story great room... that is a prime view of the lake. Why not make that area something, anything - your losing a prime viewing spot. You could still have taller ceilings downstairs and just have a few steps up to the area above. There are a TON of people in this forum that hate two story great room for tons of reasons. Although I understand that you might be one of the few that really like them. My 2 cents is that you are paying for prime real estate but not using it to its full potential.

Those are my main concerns at this point. Hopefully others will have some suggestions as well.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 12:48PM
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I generally like the downstairs layout but agree that, unless you want to find a spot for an elevator, it would be good to have a downstairs bath with a shower at least.

I also don't care for the smaller island in your kitchen. It is a barrier between the stove and sink and a partial barrier between sink and ovens. I personally would take out the smaller island entirely...but then, I will readily admit that I am not a big fan of "island kitchens." But, if you must keep the smaller island, at least add a prep sink to the corner so you can work between rangetop, prep sink, fridge, and ovens without having to dance around the island to reach the main sink.

Upstairs, I'd urge you to rethink the J&J bathrooms. If the bedrooms attached to the J&J are meant to be used by guests, be aware that guests may assume that the second door leads to a closet rather than to a second bedroom so they may not lock that door. Even if they are told that the bath is a J$J, they may forget to lock the second door. This can result in some embarrassing moments for both the forgetful guest and whoever inadvertently walks in on him/her. Or, a guest getting up to use the facilities in the middle of the night may remember to lock the second door but then forget to unlock it when going back to bed - thus locking a guest staying in the other room OUT of the bathroom entirely for the rest of the night.

If the two bedrooms rooms are meant to be used by children, be aware that kids will sometimes accidentally (or accidentally-on-purpose) forget to unlock both doors when leaving the room thus locking a sibling out. this can result in squabbles when little Janie has no choice but to go thru little Johnny's room in order to unlock the bathroom door on her side.

IMHO, a shared "hall bathroom" is a much better solution for all concerned.

I'm also not a fan of two story great rooms and urge you to review some of the many threads that have been posted here on Gardenweb on the subject. I understand the desire for tall windows to overlook a beautiful lake view and I'm sure the Great Room and the view from the flyover bridge will be enormously IMPRESSIVE to visitors. I wonder tho whether it will be COMFORTABLE for your family. Furthermore, since those great room windows will face southwest, they're going to get hit with a lot of hot afternoon sunlight. The deep overhanging roof will help but, if the lake is where I think it is (southwest side of your lot) you may get sunlight glaring off the lake and the overhanging roof won't do anything to stop that.

I also find the curving corner of the master bedroom rather off-putting. It gives the masterbedroom a weird shape that is just enough off of symmetrical to be uncomfortable. And I don't think that curved wall really goes with the curves in the flyover bridge either due to the different radii and the different angle at which it is placed. My preference would be to simply square off the corner of the bedroom so that it fits over the top of the lower stairway landing. I think that would look best from both the hallway and the bedroom. But, if you don't have quite enough headroom over the lower stair landing, then I would just straighten the curve so that you have an angled wall there that matches the angled wall leading to the master closets.

Finally, it looks like you have one of those "plant ledge" things over the front door. I know those things seem to be popular with builders these days - but I've often wondered just what homeowners actually DO with such spaces. Seems like a very inconvenient spot to put plants - at least not live ones because you can't get to them easily to water. And fake plants or anything else you put up there will need fairly regular dusting because you will be able to see their top (dusty) surfaces from the fly-over bridge. Guess if you can afford to hire cleaning people to do the dusting, then no problem but I wouldn't want to have to drag in a ladder once a month to clean up there.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 3:17PM
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If I fill in the great room. What should go above it?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 11:58PM
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Well, I have a different objection, and I'm not sure how to get around it: Your two "formal" rooms, where you should knock the socks off guests, have a lovely view of ... their cars. Neither of the rooms look out onto the lake. While you certainly want the lake view for day-to-day living, it would also be nice to have at least one of those rooms share it.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 9:34AM
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One other minor objection: There's no outside door to the mudroom, except all the way around the house from the waterfront. Could you rearrange that area to allow access where the toilet is now?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 10:39AM
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As far as what you would put above the great room - I don't know your family make-up and what you and your family activites consist of. Is there anything that you or someone in your family wanted that was not put into the plan? I assume there are kids, so you could make it a teenage hangout room. If someone is a reader - make it a library, put in a window seat and you would have a lovely quiet place away from the downstairs to read overlooking the lake. I could see a craft/creative room up there. I could go on, but I don't know what would be nice to have for your family but I am sure someone would enjoy the space.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:24AM
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FosaMax-could I trouble you to give your kitchen dimensions? I am looking at a similar layout (smaller) and I can't read your dimensions. Sorry I don't have any input - I obviously like it because I am looking at something very similar but I am not skilled or schooled in home design. ;) I am foregoing the 2 story rooms though. The upstairs will have 2 bedrooms, full bath and a bonus or play area.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 12:29PM
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The kitchen is 20' x 17'.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 10:31PM
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I realize that this is a waterfront home in which the whole focus of the home is to the rear, but the facade presented to the street is pretty unattractive. And the design is schizophrenic in that it can't decide whether it is going to be formal or casual. That translates into the decision as to which of the rooms have the premium view. If you want the gathering spots to have the best views, then the more production oriented spaces like the kitchen should perhaps occupy the road frontage. And there is a duplication of function in a living room and great room and dining room and breakfast room. Sort those priorities out first, and then the design will flow from that. Right now, the home seems to be all about the garage, the driveway, the covered porch, and only incidentally about the water view.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 12:07AM
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I like the house. We have an old lake house that we plan to tear down someday. My biggest objection is that the kids (and everyone else) have to come directly into the living room wet and into the house tracking water through the house. Then I have to retrieve damp towels or yell at them to--and find a place to dry them or put them in the dryer.

Now, imagine if kids could come in a more ideal outside entry -- change clothes there, put their damp towels and swimsuits directly into the washer or dryer, and then when they are dry, store them in the same room.

I'm assuming a lot. Maybe you don't even have kids!!

Plus, with your house that far away from the water are you taking full advantage of the views?

Congrats on building a new home. Is it on a lake?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 9:37AM
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The property is on a large river which leads to the ocean about 2 miles upstream.

I've had some difficulty in determining the need for the livingroom and dining room. I can't seem to figure out how to remove or repurpose these rooms without wrecking the whole design.

The house has a walkout basement which will deal with the wet children ((2) girls).

I agree the design is a bit challenging. On one hand we want some formal parts but mostly casual. We want to live our lives day to day looking at the water. We want a cozy, comfortable, relaxed place to live.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 3:11PM
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I would make the living room a guest bedroom & agree with others to make the powder room a full bath. Guests can enjoy the view while they're hanging out in the living room but when it's time to sleep they don't have to have a view of the lake. Like others have suggested that guest suite could become a temporary master bedroom down the road.

You have a lot of nice storage which is wonderful but I would make a powder room out of the WIC off the mudroom.

If you wanted to convert the dining room it could become a study/library.

I generally like J&J baths but this set up is not ideal. You could easily convert it into 2 full baths or maybe put the sinks in the bedrooms, the tub next to the toilet & create a common entrance from the hallway to the tub/toilet compartment & then have a large long WIC on each side. But you're probably already done with framing & plumbing...

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 12:46PM
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How much room is there between the breakfast table and the bar stools? It does not look like there is enough passage space if the chairs/stools are occupied. The dishwasher needs to be moved a bit further from the sink. As it is currently shown, you need to step away from the sink in order to open the dishwasher door.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 2:20PM
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