Have Mercy!

robyn9804August 6, 2014

DH and I have been going back and forth over floor plans for TOOO long- I am completely tired and need some vision. Would anyone chime in and give me some?!
I had posted many months ago but since then have changed a few things.
I will recap-
We have land with a view- the view is mainly from the front of house- where you enter- which also faces N
There is a view also to the SE- which is where the living room currently is..
DH wants to see the view view view..Light is best on East and South sideâ¦.the kitchen and Living room face south.
Husband works long hours and can do some at home hence the study. We will have a basement.
I have 3 children- homeschoolâ¦.cook EVERYTHING from scratch due to allergies.

The main thing that gets me is the kitchen/morning area.
I am open to ANYTHING. Currently- thinking of scratching the morning room- which the way drawn is totally separate,which I thought I wanted and am now not so sure... and opening up the kitchen to "morning" room to make a breakast nook/keeping roomâ¦.

I really want the kitchen to be functional but also have enough cabinet space- right now in my home I have 2 lower and 3 upper small cabinets and am dying⦠:)
If kitchen is open to dining room and "morning room" that makes essentially a one wall kitchen with island which may not be bad-or maybe it is?? what do you think? Feedback??

Any suggestions- let me know ANYTHING you wantâ¦
I need a closet for entry somewhere- just noticed this plan doesn't have one.

Please don't be shy- I am desperate! really...

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If the best view is toward the north and you have the land, why not build the house so you can see the view from the common rooms? Unless you are trying to limit the number of windows on the north side, but it doesn't look like that is the case.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 8:52PM
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You have a very nice plan!!!!! I actually like the morning room (if that's where your breakfast table will be).....I think you may give up cabinet space if you open it up. Also, do you need a keeping room since you have a large family room?

Can't figure out where to place entry closet.....sorry.

Love the openness of the plan!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 11:06PM
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I like open floor plans, but this one takes it to the extreme -- this plan is going to look (and live) like one big room:

- First, I don't like that the front door just sort of tosses you into the middle of the living area. Does the piano room really need as much space as the living room? I wonder if you could divide the piano area /living room area with a half-height bookcase -- or some book cases with "peek-a-boo holes" that would allow some privacy in this music room . . . yet would also allow some connection. I'm thinking I saw something like this in one of the Not So Big House books. Another option: Place the fireplace between the living room and the music room -- that would be a lovely differentiation between these rooms.

- As for wanting more kitchen cabinet space, I think you have an appropriate amount in this plan. I suggest that you make the laundry room 2' wider so you can have laundry on one side and a loooong pantry on the other side. Storing your stuff in a pantry is much, much cheaper than storing it in expensive cabinetry, AND you have the benefit of being able to see it all in one big glance. I'd include a pass-through between the laundry/pantry and the kitchen.

- The morning room . . . I don't like something about it. I think what I dislike is that it's preventing natural light from reaching the kitchen. I suggest that you move the morning room to the current dining room area -- and make this a blocked-off room, which can serve as a quiet, away-from-the-hustle-and-bustle area for you and the kids (I don't say your husband because he's getting the work-at-home office). Since your views are this direction, it's appropriate that this quiet room would face them. Then use what's now the morning room as a brightly-lit dining room. It'll be nice to be able to look across the kitchen counter into that large, bright eating space.

- Definitely lose that strange little "alley" formed between the garage and the morning room. It'd be cheaper to extend the garage just a few feet, even if you don't think you need the space.

- The little half-bath near the kitchen looks cramped, and I don't see any purpose for it -- not when there's a secondary bathroom over by the kids' room, which is available to guests.

- I hate the master bath. Too much stuff crammed around the edges, too many doors, and then empty space in the middle. I think the real issue here is that it's a square room. Squares don't make nice bathrooms.

- Is that a skylight or an island in the closet?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 12:34AM
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Sophie Wheeler

You need an actual architect to design the plan to the lot and your family living style.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 7:18AM
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Thanks for the replies so farâ¦appreciated.
dekeoboe: yes that makes sense but the way the land works- the best spot to build is up on a hill and we drive UP the hill to where the house will be, so we will be driving toward the front of house and parking on the side⦠Its a north facing hill unfortunately. I have considered making the common areas in the front of the houseâ¦..have you seen this done? But I still don't want to lose precious light from the southâ¦.so thats why it is the way it is so farâ¦.
Hollysprings- we are working with an actual architectâ¦.it has been a long process thats why I am reaching out :0
stefsims- thanks for commentsâ¦
Mrs Pete- thanks for all your suggestions. I can handle it. I have considered moving the dining room to the back- I will consider again⦠we will do a lot of hiking and possible pool so wanted access from back yard to laundry/bathroom- without dripping all over house. Like your ideas about pantry etc.
How else would you "walk into" the front? Not expecting you to have an aha answer but hey it can't hurt to ask!

That is an island in closet- I personally am not a huge fan of the entire master suite- feels large but DH likesâ¦

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 12:56PM
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The "walk into" question is about the entry to the house, right? A very definite answer exists: in a good plan, you'll enter into an entryway that is set apart from the main living room -- this doesn't have to mean big space or expensive materials, but it needs to be a place where the guest enters and feels a bit of transition from the outside to the inside. For example, our first tiny house had only a narrow space set apart by a pony wall and a different flooring. Ideally this space would also contain a place for the guest to leave keys, phones, purses, coats, whatever.

In contrast, this plan doesn't provide for a gracious entry in any way. Your guest walks in, has nowhere to "feel greeted" and is simply thrust into the midst of the multiple rooms.

I think the entryway is a big issue.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 3:28PM
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We managed the out to in transition by creating a covered porch over the front door so that visitors (and us) can get in out of the rain/snow and protect the front door from the elements, but the door then opens into a single very large room with eating, kitchen, and sitting area. We looked with our architect at creating an indoor vestibule, but that would have cost 20-50 sf (at ~$400/sf) depending on functionality (double doors, closet, etc) for something that adds very little to our quality of life. Our friends still come see us, and we don't miss having a more defined interior entryway.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 1:14PM
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Maybe something like this could work? Click for a bigger version.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 1:12AM
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I really think you should pay attention to the comments on the front entry issues, master bathroom, and the large great room. The entry has no gracious or welcoming area. If you carved out a area you could make it be part of a coat closet and break up the space. The great space is going to be loud and not terribly live able. The master bathroom is really bad if you want honesty. The other bathrooms are really small. Add a foot to each one and they will feel better and you will have room for storage in them. Have you mocked this up in sketch up and "walked through" the space? Have you written out where everything will go? Storage seems like an issue. I highly recommend you seek the help of a professional designer or architect.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 10:07PM
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Again, I do like Nicke's plan! Well done!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 10:19PM
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I like Nicke's plan a great deal! It's still all one big room, but it includes the necessary differentiation to make it feel like separate spaces:

- That entryway can't be more than 10-15 square feet, but it provides the necessary transition from outdoors to indoors that really does make a difference.

- The piano nook is "set apart" from the living room, and it's an appropriate size.

- The laundry, pantry and bathrooms -- that is, the things that actually make the house work, make the house live comfortably -- are appropriate sizes and look like they'll work well.

And I'll echo SillyLady's sentiment: Definitely do a sketch with a computer program that'll allow you to "walk through" the space. I know I've learned a number of interesting things by doing this; for example, "seeing" my living room in a sketch helped me see that I had too many windows. It didn't look like a negative on a floorplan!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 11:08AM
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nicke, you consistently offer up some amazing suggestions! Love that floorplan... a real problem solver for folks with large pianos.

robyn- you've gotten some great suggestion, and the only thing I would add is that the morning room seems a little big in comparison to your kitchen on the original floorplan. Since you cook everything from scratch, you might want a little more privacy on the "formal side" of the kitchen. Putting a wall there would give you a great place for an art or library wall, and cut up that large space making your other areas feel more delineated. Running a wall on that side also gives you the opportunity to put in a butler's pantry- which is something I enjoy a lot.

It is probably much more important with the kids to have the kitchen flow visually into the morning room where I suspect you and they will spend 80% of your time. Just think of the happy messes they could make back there with no one to see:-) In and out of the back door grabbing snacks all day with none the wiser in the front of the home.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 3:57PM
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Wow, nicke, that's a great plan!! I didn't care for the original but I love his.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 6:57PM
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