addition of studio

touringFebruary 17, 2014

My 3 bedroom/1 bathroom home is 850 sq ft. I would like to increase the square footage of my mother's bedroom and make it a studio apartment. The studio would include a bathroom, kitchen and washer/washroom.

That side of the property is in a trapezium shape and so there is not too much space for expansion. In addition, there is the bathroom window on that side of the house which would be blocked if I "attach" to the house directly. Also the back-door step is in that direction so I have left a "walk-in" space of 5 ft.

These irregularities reduce the size of the studio. I have attached my proposed plan for the studio where the washer is in the bathroom. The red lines depict the existing house.

Since I have been unable to add more than one image in this message, I would attached another plan with the washer in the kitchen in a follow-up message.

Grateful for your advice on the better solution or perhaps you may have a better one

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As promised, please see the plan with the washer in the kitchen. The appliances seem to be crowding each other but I have gained a pantry/cupboard outside the bathroom.

Not sure if I would really gain much space if I move the walls of the bathroom upwards to decrease that space that now holds the pantry/cupboard. If I do move them, the kitchen would have a narrow space before the L shape (L shape to avoid the existing bathroom window).

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 12:13AM
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In the 1st one vanity and W/D are very close. If you move the bath door to the middle of the wall you can have the vanity on the bedroom wall and W/D can face the shower, but I'm l not sure if you'll have enough space b/w the shower and W/D.

In the 2nd, there won't be enough elbow room for the sink when it's next to the W/D.

Do you need 2 openings to the outside?

Plumbing may cost more' but if you move the bath to the other side it may be easier to arrange the other parts of the studio. I'm no expert, but just to give you an idea I came up with this. I could fit just one exterior door though.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 7:49PM
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Did not think of putting the kitchen in that corner..... will study your suggestion. Thanks

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 8:32PM
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How big is your mothers current bedroom? Is it possible to do the bath and kitchen there? You may have more functional spAce by using this as the living/bedroom area area?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:43AM
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First, a question. Who will be using this studio, your mother, who presumably has access to the rest of the house, or a tenant, who will have access only to this room?

Here are my thoughts, in no particular order.

Do you need two exterior doors? If not, closing one up will give you more wall space and more usable floor space.

Do you need the door into the bedroom? Again, closing that up, or at least allowing a tenant to block it with furniture would help.

You have a lot of wasted space in the kitchen area. I'd consider extending the wall immediately above the range in the first floorplan, to allow you to put the refrigerator on that wall, or at least put it over on that side of the kitchen. That would allow room for a table on the opposite wall.

I'd be tempted to put the bathroom where the kitchen currently is, blocking off that exterior door, and a galley style kitchen right above it. That would leave a large open space for the living area.

The current design chops the space up into small sections. There doesn't appear to be enough room for a bed. Many people prefer a real bed. There's no good wall for a tv, or room for a table or desk. I'd try to move the bathroom and as much of the kitchen as possible into that narrow area at the bottom of the room, leaving as much unbroken open space as possible.

And I'd try to find space for at least one closet. People have stuff that needs storage.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 4:06PM
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Based on the feedback received earlier I had modified my suggested plan. The kitchen has been moved and I have increased the living area since that is the only section that could be extended. Although longer, that wall is now narrower so I have placed a wide door there which would have window inserts to let in light.

In the plan I have also shifted the existing bathroom window so that the adjoining wall could be extended. Not sure if this is a necessary expense since while it could allow the planned bathroom area to be increased it would reduce the living area.

Although the area is to be used for my MIL, if we have out-of-town visitors, that studio could be locked away from her bedroom and become self-contained. The sofa there would be a sofa bed to accommodate such visitors.

I will look at the other suggestions received and see where I can incorporate them.

Thanks all.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 4:15AM
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Forgot to mention that moving the kitchen should not incur too much of a cost since all the pipes empty into "wells" behind the existing bedroom.

The current bedroom cannot be changed.

My updated plan shows more countertop space, hence more storage. Perhaps if I reduce the right side area I would have more wall space for the living area. Suggestions for the layout of the kitchen/laundry would be welcomed.

There is a narrow closet on the wall in front of the bathroom. That could be deepen to include a wardrobe for the out-of-town visitors or to hold thingy for the washer which is nearby.

I am sure that there may be other ways of optimizing the space. Looking forward to your continued suggestions.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 4:55AM
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Oh, so your mother will have a separate bedroom, and this new space will be her kitchen and living room? Sorry, I misunderstood.

My main concern with your current plan is that over half the space is taken by the kitchen and bath, with the living area crammed in at the bottom. My inclination would be to reverse the amount of space each function takes up--I'd have the greatest amount of space for the living area, so your mother could have friends over, then the next largest space be the kitchen, then the smallest space be the bath. The only reason to take up so much space with the kitchen is if your mother cooks a lot and needs storage for a lot of food and equipment.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 6:10AM
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I liked the widened entry, even though you now have less for the living area. Maybe you can add an armchair or recliner to the left top corner in the living area. Will there be 2 tables or is it something else? I wonder if there's room for the table in the entry. Maybe something like this under the window?

We used to have one in our summer house. Ours was longer but narrower and counter height, also served as extra counter. But I think you have enough counter in the kitchen, and maybe MIL would prefer table height.

I think you have alternatives for sink placement. I wouldn't prefer the corner sink because it would be too close to the range, moreover, it may be tricky to fit a sink cab there (but I'm no expert).

Touring & Camian, I share Camian's concern about living area, but when I suggested moving kitchen to the upper corner, I thought this would help with furniture placement, as having seating furniture at the upper part of the room seemed to create very tight aisles. Since this new layout has more in front of the bathroom, furniture placement may be easier in this case.

I have astigmatism, so may be wrong, but I think there's not much difference b/w the size of the kitchen and living area in this last layout. I'm sure there is a proper way to do it, but I come up with this.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 9:07AM
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As Senao1 pointed out, there is not too much difference in space between the two layouts. However, I preferred to go with the kitchen at the top of the plan since it would be closer to the bedroom and the bath (perhaps more convenient for an elderly person)

Although this area is an extension to MIL bedroom, the bedroom could be closed off (hence the door) to enable the area to be a studio apartment for out-of-area guests (the sofa would be a sofabed). Therefore, I have been trying to make the kitchen smaller/shorter (she does not do much cooking) to accommodate more living space. I would also try to find tall storage space but that may not be required for the plan to be passed.

Based on the feedback I have received, I was able to submit some alternatives to the architect who wanted to know my preference. Thanks everyone.

This does not mean that I would not welcome additional comments.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 10:15PM
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I think you're devoting too much space to a kitchen that is rarely used. I think you could do something more euro inspired for the kitchen area. A table could double as prep space. I think you could gain valuable sq ft for the rest of the studio.

Good luck it sounds like you've found something that works for you.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 6:37AM
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Removed duplicate. Sorry

This post was edited by NashvilleBuild42 on Sat, Feb 22, 14 at 6:39

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 6:38AM
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There may not be much difference in the actual square footage of the two areas, but there's a lot of wasted space in front of the bathroom and in the kitchen area. That means that the furniture for the living space is squashed into the tightest area in the studio.

I would make the space in front of the bathroom narrower, perhaps by adding closets.

Then I'd reduce the counterspace in the kitchen, running the kitchen just along that top wall, but not extending it down the side wall. Get an under the counter refrigerator to save even more space. Float the table in the middle of the space to serve as additional work area.

Move the exterior door to the kitchen area and close up the bottom of the space so you have a solid wall. Put the tv on that wall, and float the sofa in the space facing the tv wall. That will give you a much better viewing angle--right now, you'd pretty much have to wall-mount the tv on an articulating arm to be able to see the screen comfortably from the sofa. That would also mean that you probably wouldn't have to move furniture to open out the sofa bed.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:42AM
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These are plans of the existing house and the proposed layout of the extension.

The kitchen is now along one wall and the living room is at the wide end. The bathroom has because narrower but a little wider.

Even with narrower counter space in the kitchen, it still appears to take up too much space. Also for health reasons, I do not believe that the kitchen can extend towards the front of the bathroom.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 12:56PM
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Oops... here are the two layouts.

Sorry the images are so tiny

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 12:59PM
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..and the plot of land

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 1:00PM
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