Eliminate hallway? It's crunch time, please help.

lexmomof3October 1, 2012

I'm down to the last major plan decision, I think (HOPE!). This picture has the hallway as in the original plan. Should I eliminate it? I will post the revised plan without the hallway in the next post. A third post will be a picture of the house as built with the hallway. Please let me know your thoughts.

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Here is the plan without the hallway. I have no idea if the tub or a small shower will fit under the stairs. Ceilings on first floor are 10' high. Any thoughts on that? If one won't fit, I'll have to work with the architect to figure out a different plan if we decide to eliminate the hallway.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 10:32PM
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Here's a photo of the plan built WITH the hallway. Please excuse the paint shop hack job.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 10:48PM
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I like the hallway. It defines the space, but make it feel smaller. I am not a fan of the door sitting there however.

Can you do both. Put the archway and move the door to this side if you reorient the bath layout like in the second one.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 11:51PM
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Do you plan to use the secondary bedroom as a bedroom? If so, I would not like having its door opening directly across from the master as in the hallway-less plan. So I vote to keep the hallway, but I agree with the previous poster in moving the coat closet regardless.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 1:06AM
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"So I vote to keep the hallway, but I agree with the previous poster in moving the coat closet."

Me too!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 8:42AM
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Yes, the other room will be our two year old's bedroom until our 9th grader goes to college, then it will be her "home from college"/guest bedroom. We have four children and there are three other bedrooms upstairs. Evenually, the secondary bedroom may become a study as in the "stock" version of this house plan.
OK...this leads me to another question. There is a 1/2 bath off of the back hallway, past the laundry room but that is not my intended guest bath. Question is...should it be? Should I move the door for the secondary bedroom to the hallway so that the bathroom and closet are inside the bedroom or leave it so that the bathroom can serve as the guest bathroom? FWIW, I do intend on keeping the laundry room door closed and since the cubbies are in a "room" it should stay pretty neat back there. That bathroom is intended, though for the kids to use when they're out playing.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 8:52AM
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I personally think that while the hallway defines the space, it takes up valuable square footage that could be used for everyday living vs just a walkway. I vote to remove the hallway and incorporate the space into the family room.

As far as the bath, the top of the tub under the stairs only has a head room clearance of ~5.3" if your stairs are 7.25" high each. At the stair landing (about 1/3 of the tub length)you have 7.5' of head room clearance. If you flipped the tub around and placed the faucet and shower head on the family room wall, and were ok with the back of the tub having lower head room clearance it would work as drawn (5'3" to ceiling is not enough height to put the shower head and expect an average sized adult to be able to stand beneath it.) I definitely think that is doable especially if this is a tub that is not used everyday.

Another thought is to remove the access to this room and bathroom from the family room wall altogether and have access to the room from the foyer and access the bathroom and closet from the room itself. If you did that, you could also add a closet to the alcove hallway across from the master entry depending on the setup you chose for that bath & closet. You have a powder room off the garage entry which works nicely for guests as well as family use that is easily accessible to the common areas of the house + you have all your areas that tend to get messy (laundry & cubbie areas) set up so they can be closed off when you have guests. It's the perfect setup! FWIW, this is the scenario I would likely choose.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 9:19AM
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I would hybridize your plans.
Move your closet/basement door to the foyer side.
Get rid of the hallway by eliminating the big arch, but keep the far end of the hallway (the one that lends privacy to the sleeping quarters.) Basically, if everything is builtins on that master bedrm wall of the FR, I'd bring your bedroom arch out even with the end of the builtins, rather than having them hang in the space. (So, it might be 2 feet of "hall" space additional than your plan #2).

Check your headroom in the bathroom in option 2. That would be a valid point.

But, with a 2 year old in that room, I don't think you want the access to that bedroom via the foyer (at least, I wouldn't).

And, I'd think twice about using the 1/2 bath for the guest bath; but that really depends how long until your college kiddos are to college... I'd think situating the bathroom like in option 1, but moving the door down into access from the hallway (this also keeps the sightlines so that you can't see in the bath from the FR). (for example, it could be a pocket door bathroom with center door and sink, toilet on one end, tub on the other, but in the location of the 1st bathroom).

or, if you don't want to see directly into that bathroom from your master (because, who would?); then make bathroom 1 flipped--with sink and toilet backing up against the "short hall's wall" and door nearer to the bedroom door. This also gets rid of the sightline from FR to the bathroom sink.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 10:48AM
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OK, so far, we have move the coat closet door to foyer side. Can do. I'm thinking about paneling the side of the stairs (like pic) so I may be able to do a "hidden" door.

Still have mixed reviews on eliminating the hallway.

mydreamhome: putting the doorway in the foyer certainly makes for a better closet/bedroom setup but I'd rather have the doorway to my 2 yr olds bedroom close to mine.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 11:18AM
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I'd eliminate the hallway, move the closet door, BUT I would kep a short wall at the end of the built-ins to create a little bit of a hallway to the bedroom area for a bit more implied privacy.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 12:22PM
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Your family room appears crowded with the hallway. I would eliminate it.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 1:51PM
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I would eliminate the hallway, move the closet door and maybe the arches? I like the idea of wood paneling on the stairs. If your are going to have stairs in the front - make them nice. Maybe entering the family room put in clearstory windows over the opening.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 5:53PM
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Removal of the hallway does nothing to add to the family room, and it eliminates some wall space. With a wall as definition, you would be more likely to put furniture closer to the defining boundary. Without it, you will pull the furniture closer into the center of the room. You still need the walkway regardless of whether the wall is there or not.

I see this when people remove their small vestibules here. With the vestibule, people will put furniture on the other side of the wall, essentially less than six inches from the front door. When they remove it, they do not put furniture that close to the door. It actually makes the room look a bit bigger but Live smaller.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 6:24PM
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lexmom-I think you were posting as I was typing my response so I didn't see the part about your plan for that room--I agree, I wouldn't want the door to my 2yr old's room that far away either.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 6:31PM
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You all have been great! Still not sure which way to go but you all have given me more to think about which in the end, will at least make me feel like I've made a thoughtful decision. The plans posted were part of a stock plan and the furniture was already in it. I've edited with the furniture I have. I was ready to eliminate the hallway but after palimpsest's comments and several others mentioning furniture placement, I decided to see how MY furniture will look in both versions. I kept the furniture placement the same in both, just eliminated the wall creating the hallway in the next post down. What do you think now?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 7:04PM
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Here it is without the hallway. BTW, I've spread out the furniture some from the original placement. It can be moved closer together but wanted to show it the same for this consideration.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 7:06PM
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I think I'd do option 1 or hybridize. If you hybridize, put a small arched entrance at the wall/LR hall entrance so the bedrooms are still defined out of the space of the FR.

What hybridizing would do, is open it to the foyer a bit more--I think you'd be able to look straight through easier from the front door (I think, unless I missed something you'll do different than shown). What I dislike most about the presence of the hallway is that left hand wall/block that seems in your face from the foyer...

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 7:41PM
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Here's the hybrid. I totally got it when several of you described it but now that I put it on paper, to me, it seems to make the room a little disproportionate. Of course, it could just be that I've stared at this for 1000s of hours.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 8:13PM
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I'd do either the latest plan posted at 19:06 or the one at 20:13. With your furniture in place in the original with the hallway, the space behind the sofa that backs up to the hallway gets tight and can make the room look smaller & the furniture squished-in visually. Removing the wall alleviates that. As far as whether or not to extend the hall wall to the end of the built-ins, you could go either way and it will look fine. You will gain ~4" in the doorway if you go without the little extra wall along the built-ins. If you're worried about privacy for the master and the hallway to the bath & 2 yr old's room and that's why you're looking at adding the little wall and extending the hall, I can tell you that you'll be fine. We have the same setup from our family room to the kids' rooms. DS2's room is in the same position as your master--we can't see into that room at all from the FR and we can just barely see the doorframe and a bit of wall from the hallway. DS1's room is where your hall, bath & 2yr old's room is and all we can see of his room from the FR is his door and if open a bit of carpet. Framing that area out in some way to highlight it is a good idea to set it apart. Here's a pic of ours from our FR to give you an idea:

From far corner of FR:

Closeup of hallway and woodwork:

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 9:01PM
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I'd still be very curious if your tub fits as you think under the stairs. If I did a hybridized one, I'd take your original layout and extend the way/doorway to that hallway; rather than this backward bathroom one.

But, now that you've got it there, I might actually prefer your first option (1904 option), except with the bathroom fixtures on the hall wall rather than the bedroom wall...

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 9:44PM
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