Colonial/Georgian House Layout - v2

sarah_chNovember 18, 2012


We are building a house on a 74' X 109' square lot in a suburban division. Since the preliminary version, we have changed the garage to a front-loading double car garage and reworked the layout of both floors following suggestions made by GW members.

The preliminary version and list of our wants/needs are here:

Thank you in advance for any help or advice.

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I really like it. Just a couple of comments.

1. I'd swap the sink/toilet of the powder room to the other wall to avoid the sight line from the living room. You could still see some from the entry hallway, but not nearly the same.

2. Will you have somewhere in the mudroom to sit and put on/remove shoes?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:53PM
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I like it too, but I'd swap the locations of the master bedroom closet and the master bath. Then your closet would be more efficient (no breaks in the walls for windows) and you could have natural light in the bathroom. I know it means your plumbing isn't stacked as efficiently, but I think it would be worth it.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:04PM
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Where will you store linens and towels?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:23PM
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Thank you for your comments Lyfia, Zone4Newby and LuAnn_in_PA.

RE: Downstairs powder room
Excellent suggestion, I made a note.

RE: Place to sit down in the mud room
The dog bed will actually be a daybed (dimension 42'' x 78''). We can sit down there if we need to put on shoes, etc.

RE: Location of master bedroom and master bathroom
We will give it some more thought. Thank you.

RE: Linen and towel storage
Linen will be stored in the laundry room and towels will be stored in the vanity in the kids' bathroom. The vanity will be 24'' (sink) + 24'' (storage) + 24'' (sink). Additionally, there will be a shallow closet (12'' deep) in the master closet (shown behind the door in this plan).

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:44PM
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Will you have a basement, with the stairs below the stairs to the 2nd floor? I'm asking because if not, you'll have some open space on each floor (on the first floor under the upper stairs; on the second floor above the the lower stairs.) You can use that space for additional storage, like a small closet.

Post your plan on the kitchens forum too, to get some feedback on your kitchen set up. (Is the round table just a place holder in the graphic or do you really have a round table? An oblong, square or rectangular one would work better - as you can see on the graphic a round table would let just one person on the bench use the table comfortably; 2 other people would be too far away.)

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:37AM
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Good point about the stairs and storage. If possible, I would try to create a centralized storage closet for linens in the hall. We have never had one until this house and it is a great place for extra toilet paper, upstairs cleaning supplies, towels, sheets, extra pillows/blankets/sleeping bags, etc.

There is a ton of room under a set of stairs!

Also, your laundry room is very narrow. I assume you have top loaders? I don't think a front loader would work in here, particularly since they recommend doors being left open. It would be awkward and cut off the room.

Also, your dryer seems to be far from the exterior wall. We were told to avoid that. . .

I would probably swap the washer/dryer and the sink as I prefer the sink to be closer to the door (the sink is a holding spot for me for dirty socks found on the floor, dishrags and cloth napkins that need to be washed, etc.)

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:08AM
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I like the plan a lot, too. Your kitchen looks really well laid out.

How much room is between the kitchen island and the couch? What are the dimensions of the kitchen island? I'm asking to make sure you have enough room as a walkway when people are sitting in those stools.

RE: dining room. Personally, I would put double (glass? pocket?) doors on the dining room just like you have to the library (and make the openings even, for symmetry.) I'd also put a pocket door to be able to close off the dining room from the butler's pantry. To me, that would make the dining room space more flexible to be used for other purposes in the future. It would also give you an option to shut out the noise/hide the mess in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:16AM
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Good point about the spacing. You need 4' behind stools to be able to walk behind them. This is what we have and it could be larger for sure.

Also, we don't have a door on our dining room which has a similar set up (butler's pantry and pantry in between). This was a mistake by the builder which no one caught until we were about to move in. We decided to leave it off. We have no view other than of the island from the dining room and I like the openness and not having to deal with another door (probably swinging and I hate those). . . Just another perspective on the dining room door - we don't have one and don't miss it at all!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:27AM
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I also wouldn't put doors on you dining room into the hallway - doors are problematic as they take up a lot of room so they would either open into your foyer, blocking it, or open into your dining room blocking it.

I probably would match the openings to the study and would consider putting pocket doors on the study which would look like a cased opening and match the dining room when closed. The only reason I wouldn't do that is if you plan on keeping the doors closed most of the time.

Pocket doors can be tricky and many don't work well. They aren't always easy to close, particularly as a pair. If you need the doors closed to close off mess and quiet, I would leave the french doors as is and match up the cased opening to the size of the french doors.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:31AM
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On the downstairs powderroom, rather than swapping walls, I'd turn it 90*. This way, you won't really see a fixture from either the entry or the LR unless the door was wide open.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 12:06PM
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Thank you for your replies!

RE : Basement
There will be a full basement, so storage under the stairs on the first floor is not an option.

RE: Kitchen layout
I have posted a detailed kitchen plan in the Kitchens forum, I will respond to comments tonight or tomorrow morning.

RE: Centralized linen closet
I like the idea, I will have to play around to see if I can integrate this. How big is yours, athensmomof3? I thought the laundry room was large enough to perform this function (we currently have basically a 5' closet with the washer and dryer side by side, and 5' of upper cabinets.)

RE: Laundry room
We do have a front-loading washer and dryer. Athensmomof3, how much clearance would you recommend in front of the washer and dryer? Thank you for suggesting to put the dryer on the exterior wall, that makes a lot of sense.

RE: Distance between kitchen island and couch
The distance from the cabinet to the back of the couch is 54'', but this would probably be reduced to 48'' once you factor in the countertop and the back of the stools. Other dimensions are posted in this thread in the Kitchens Forum:

RE: Dining room
We were thinking of putting 30'' sliding doors in the butler's pantry (one in the kitchen and one in the dining room).
Also, I would rather have a simple opening instead of doors. I agree it would be more aesthetically pleasing if the opening for the library and the dining room were equal. Would 60'' be enough, or should be plan for a larger opening?

RE: Library
I agree it would look better if we used sliding doors instead of swing doors in the library, but if we do this, the maximum opening would be 48'' because of the closets flanking either side of the opening. This would in turn imply a 48'' opening to the dining room, and I think those are rather small compared to the length of the front hall (14'). What do you think?

RE: Powder room (Kirkhall)
I like your suggestion. Thank you.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:06PM
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I just measured my front loader and from the wall to the end of the open door is 56" - so 4'8". That would block almost your whole laundry room. I would move them to the far wall and then you wouldn't have an issue if the door was left open. I am sure there are a couple extra inches in there because we have a countertop on top and their is a cabinet panel with bracing behind them.

I can't tell if there is room on the rear wall for them or not. . .

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:44PM
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Thank you athensmomof3.

The washer and dryer wouldn't fit where the sink and window currently are because that space is 42'' wide. I think you are right that there should be more clearance in front of the washer and dryer, I will try to incorporate your suggestion in the next iteration of our plan.

I just measured the clearance we have in front of our front-loading washer and dryer. The distance between the closed doors and the opposite wall is 55''. I find it is enough.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 8:43PM
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Here is a revised layout.

Some changes since the previous version:
- Put master closet on inside wall
- Cut 1' from kids' bedrooms and added 1' to laundry room and kids' bathroom
- Changed opening for study to match opening for dining room
- Created a nook for dining room storage
- Changed powder room
- Pushed the garage back, creating windows in dining room
- Changed kitchen layout
- Created a morning nook in the kitchen

I have two concerns with this layout:
- This added 200 s.f. to the layout - will have to see repercussion on cost.
- We may not be able to have a bonus room above the garage (with access from the second floor right in front of the stairs) because the garage was pushed back too much. If that's the case, we would expand the master bathroom or move the laundry room and make it larger.

Any comments are welcome.
Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 8:27PM
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