Front entrance ideas?

AbiStewJanuary 7, 2011

Does anyone have any thoughts on how to 'fix' the front entrance and front room of my home? When it was just my husband and I, it didn't seem that bad. The tiled foyer area has always seemed small and it is annoying that it doesn't extend in front of the closet. However, we now have a dog came and she tracks her muddy paw prints all over the hardwood flooring. Then came our daughter and we now have muddy stroller wheel prints all over the hardwood flooring. Our "formal room" (which never seemed large enough for a TV + sofa and feels too far away from the kitchen to call a dining room) is used for stroller parking, a car-seat staging area, bookshelves and a desk + computer. We used to call it our quiet "library" but it feels anything but at the moment.

I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do with this space and how to make the main entrance more functional for a growing family. I've thought about shrinking the closet and rotating it so it faces the door and extending the tile area. Ideally, I'd like to partition the space slightly so we aren't tempted to walk in the front door and step into the "formal room."

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SummerfieldDesigns

a possibilty ... relocate and enlarge the closet ... add a column and box beams to define the spaces ... where the closet is removed , extend the wall of the powder room 9" and possibly add a decorative niche in the wall cavity ... tile the area indicated , and add a runner to the foyer floor to capture the mud ...

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 5:44AM
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AbiStew

Wow. Thanks SummerfieldDesigns! I certainly hadn't thought of that. I should add one peculiar feature of those front windows is that their only 15" off the floor. I'd also contemplated thought of putting in a window seat and using that to jut out next to the foyer but it ruins the room symmetry.

I'm wondering if just altering the tiles and bumping the ceiling height will give it enough of a partition without the column. I'm going to put some green tape on the floor and see what it feels like :)

In terms of resale, does anyone have an opinion on the value of the formal room?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 11:27AM
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Moccasin

I really like Summerfield's idea. I think the boxed beams would lend the strength the design needs, as well as visual separation. I would not leave them out.

With the dining moved to the back, it looks pretty formal to me, if you furnish it formally. No little early American maple table or chrome dinette, but a real dining table with some extra leafs for it. A friend of mine has that sort of layout with her house, and she got one of those HIGH tables and chairs, looks really great.

As far as resale, I'd think that with a smaller home buyers want rooms that really WORK, and who says you cannot still put in a round 36" diameter table up front? Of course, even a study desk/table could serve as dining space. Versatility is the key word with smaller homes.

Looks great, Summerfield!!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 10:12PM
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Shades_of_idaho

WOW what a transformation. Summerfield you are so good at this.

We also have low windows and just had to get used to putting things in front of them At first I was horrified of the thought but it is fine. For the most part our chairs float our from the windows and the TV and stand block part of the window and it is fine. I do have it set about 6 inches out from the wall.

Resale. I think the new design is much better then what you have now. Ask Loretta,idie to live. She wanted a room just like this for her house and ended up enclosing her porch. For me I believe this space is great and could serve many different ideas.

Welcome. So glad you posted.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 12:10PM
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marti8a

I hesitate to say this because I don't really know what your long term plans are with the house. But I don't think I'd do anything more than putting down a runner or two.

I think Summerfield's plan is really cute, but it makes the formal room so small for any furniture other than a couple of chairs. If you are there long, you might want to use that space as a playroom. And if you sell soon, having more space for furniture is more of a plus than being able to have a tiled walkspace.

Our formal living room is a little bigger than yours and when we first moved here, we tiled across it similar to Summerfield's plan. The only way from the front door or garage to the kitchen was through the living room and it was carpet. So we tiled across the back to keep the carpet from getting so dirty. We took up that tile a little over a year ago and put wood from the living room through the hall and it makes the living room seem soooo much bigger.

On the other hand, if your den is big enough that you won't ever need the space in the formal room, and if storage is an issue like it is with most small homes, a larger closet would be worth it's weight in gold.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 1:16PM
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AbiStew

The house is only 10 years old and we actually just bought the house 8 months ago. We decided to live in it (as built) for 6 months and then make a list of things we'd like to change before breaking out the hammers and recip saw. The entry way is top of the list as the tiny tile area just doesn't work for us. We live in the snow-belt and while we have a huge porch, snow still makes its way inside and onto the floor. We refinished the hardwood before we moved in and it was very evident that the previous owner also had issues with the small entry... most of the polyurethane finish was worn near the front entry tiles and in front of the hall closet.

I agree that the boxed beams are a good idea to visually separate... I'm really just contemplating the need for a column as it doesn't really fit with the openness of the remainder of the main floor. In terms of furnishings, we both like to read and a quiet reading area with a pair of comfy ekornes recliners away from the living room sounds perfect.

Another open question is whether to put the closet into the room, or bump out the wall. We do have space in the north-east side of the house, and the bump out would be in the direction of the floor joists travel. Of course, this would raise the cost a fair bit and would delay implimentation until it warms up in May.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 11:52PM
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Moccasin

I cannot judge where the north-east side of the house is, but assume it is off the LEFT side of your front study? If that is the wall which has no windows along it, and behind it is the coat/stroller closet, and behind that is the stairwells for up//down, then I'm thinking you could add a deep storage area to encompass all those spaces along your outer perimeter, and even go UP to the second floor, so there is only one shed roof added to the outer wall. Maybe 3 or 4 foot deep to serve as a walking area inside the closet. It would make a really big utility out of season storage area. Just wondering how much space you have between your house and the property line, what the setback is for your building codes. With no windows on either side wall, it seems that you might have neighboring houses built close by.

I'm throwing this into the pile of ideas, because you might as well think of broader options while you are at it. :)
If you don't want to bump out, I think Summerfield's plan is super.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 2:31PM
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peoniesandposies

I agree with Summerfield totally in repurposing the front room into a study. Currently, most home buyers don't want a LR & a FR, they want a great room. By using the front room as a different type of room, you've expanded the appeal.

We've had multiple friends that repurposed their Dining rooms into a toy/playroom for their children (even ones that are next to the front door). If you ever want to put your house up for sale, it could be easily refurnished with a desk/table and some chairs. But in the meantime, you've vastly increased the usage of your space. Isn't that what a home is all about? Living and enjoying it?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 8:35PM
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desertsteph

you could make it all into one big entrance area - a bench with 2 drawers under it for gloves, scarves, hats with a slide out shelf under that for shoes/slippers. A rack with hooks over it for light weight jackets, sweaters...
a parking space for the stroller (with 'parking' sign over it on the wall?). maybe another bench with cushion on a lid that opens to be the toy box.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 10:56PM
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AbiStew

Just to update, I think we're going to go with SummerfieldDesign's sketch. The next consideration is how to re-jig the kitchen/eating area. Unfortunately, our home has a wall that separates the kitchen/living room (not as shown above) but that was the only drawing I had at the time. I've started a thread in the kitchen forum but it is probably equally applicable here. I'd love to get some feedback on this from everyone here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sketchup drawings in the kitchen forum

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 3:45PM
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AbiStew

Sorry, I messed up the links. Here is what it should have been:

Just to update, I think we're going to go with SummerfieldDesign's sketch. The next consideration is how to re-jig the kitchen/eating area. Unfortunately, our home has a wall that separates the kitchen/living room (not as shown above) but that was the only drawing I had at the time. I've started a thread in the kitchen forum but it is probably equally applicable here. I'd love to get some feedback on this from everyone here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sketchup drawings in the kitchen forum

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 3:48PM
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