Need help with tiny house floorplan!

InvadersmallFebruary 17, 2011

Hello! I'm new to the small homes club.

My boyfriend and I plan on renovating my house and I'm having trouble deciding on a floor plan for the kitchen / living room area.

This is a tiny 1080 sq ft 3 bed 1 bath house on a slab.

I can't slide the dryer over due to the water line and tub access in the way but we've considered getting a stack able unit.

So far the thoughts have been:

-Knocking out the wall where the stove and fridge are leaving the area feeling more open.

-Cutting some of the laundry room space to make the kitchen 2 feet larger. My only negative is losing valuable storage space in that room. There's about 2 feet of space that can be cut out by moving the doorway to the hallway closer to the furnace.

- Eliminating the doorway into the laundry room from the kitchen completely.

Dining room space is over rated so I only need a small space for a table and chairs.

The other trouble I'm having is with the long skinny living room only having 2 walls that don't work well for my couch / tv setup.

Any suggestions? and thanks in advance!

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You said you are on slab. Where is your kitchen plumbing? Is your stove gas or electric? Is the room to the right of your kitchen just utility, or is it also the bathroom? You said the dryer couldn't move because of the tub. Is one of the bedrooms to the right of the living room? What kind of porch is over the entry door & patio door, and what kind of flooring there, slab, deck, brick? If slab, is it part of the original pour, or a separate pour from the rest of the house? Is it the same level as the house or a step or two down? Does the front door face the street? And last, what is your budget?

The only reservation I have about taking out the little wall by the stove/fridge is that your front door will seem to open into the kitchen and might feel more like a back door than a front door.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 5:09PM
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I do not really have any great thoughts on this other then built in furniture might help. As far as front door opening into kitchen we have exactly that here and it is not a problem. Actually what we use as front door is supposed to be a side door. Sometimes things just do not cooperate. LOL

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 6:18PM
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Hi Invader :)

You have such a cute home! I think you could make it feel much more spacious (and have better storage) with just a few minor changes.

I'd close off the doorway between the kitchen and laundry room...and get rid of that little wall. It does open up the kitchen to the front door, but you need the space. I'd also move the doorway over, in the hall to the laundry area...and extend the living room/kitchen wall a few feet, towards the front door.

In the kitchen, I'd put the fridge down in the corner, with the stove next to it and the sink under the window (as it probably already is) with the dishwasher on the end. It looks like you only have about 10 feet here, so a small island/cart (maybe with a few stools that can slide under it) would give you some prep space and some extra seating in the kitchen. Maybe on the wall to the living room, put beadboard part way up and pictures, calendar, etc. above.

The little table and chairs would be in front of the window, with access to the slider...and maybe some plants in the corner. It's nice that you have the space, if you're not using the slider, to add the two stools (or more chairs) and seat up to four, especially for lunch or tea.

In the living room, I would put the TV against the wall to the kitchen, with a sofa and two chairs, with end tables/lamps on either side...and a coffee table or ottoman. If you have the room, some bookcases behind the chair (against the bedroom wall) might be nice. They're not all going to be easy to reach (without moving the chair) but they'd be great for books and display space.

Around the front door, there's a shorter bookcase (or small table) for keys/mail on top and other items that tend to pile up by the front door. On the dining area side, you could have a few cute hooks, for company's coats.

In the laundry room, I would replace the washer with a stackable and make that space against the kitchen wall storage/pantry...even mudroom space. You could put a bench and some hooks for your coats, etc. in the middle, with pantry storage on each side...or pantry on one side, broom closet on the other.

So, this is just one possibility, but maybe it will give you some good ideas! :)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 9:53PM
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And a couple more variations, with extended kitchen wall:

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 10:26PM
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Don't have time to draw and upload anything tonight, but welcome and glad to have you among us.

I think both of the plans suggested so far are on the right track.

But first of all, I'd find out which walls are load bearing before doing any knocking out to change things. I

Two areas of comment:
1. The front door is not in line with the kitchen/liv room wall? That is a bummer, because I think you could put a sort of fold down or roll top small desk there, or make a shallow coat closet, or turn out an open backed display unit so it forms a divider to make a tiny "entry". I see that you have a sliding door over there beside the dining room. If you think you can do so, a drop leaf round table would save space. If there is usually just the two of you at home, this could give you a clear path to outside.

2. I would consider the setup of the kitchen as LavenderLass drew it, including (if possible) taking in 2 feet of the utility area. The kitchen is much more important to your enjoyment of the house than a larger utility area. Definitely a stacking washer/dryer is super space saving. Definitely close the door in the kitchen that cuts up the wall and limits your appliance arrangements. And if you like an island, it does not have to be a permanent or fixed piece of furniture. I have been very happy with two different wooden microwave carts, one a stainless top, the other a butcher block top, and they could be rolled around wherever I needed them. Some such carts have a drop leaf on the end, which could be lifted to give a little extra countertop, and you could even pull up a stool so someone could sit there and chat with you.

3. The living room arrangement seems okay with the TV on the kitchen wall, I hope it is a flat panel TV? At the end of that wall you might put a pair of bifold closet doors to sort of END that wall and block the view down the hallway from the front door.

I meant to say while ago that by putting a small divider by the front door, you can create another doorway which frames the view out your sliding door. Hope that is something that you can make look very inviting and visually expand your living space.

And 1050 square feet is a nice size house around these parts! We're used to hearing about some that are REALLY tiny. However, in the older homes, kitchens were pretty small and tucked out of view, not the way we do things these days. By having three bedrooms instead of two in your 1050 size, I can see how that puts the squeeze on furniture placement.

With small rooms, consider small scale furniture. And look for stuff which has storage spaces.

Oh. And it might be cheaper to leave the range in its present location, and swap the fridge to where Lavender has the range drawn. If it is gas OR electric, that could save you some rewiring costs.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 12:06AM
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So far the plans will hopefully include framing out the windows with a nice trim, bamboo floors, a concrete counter top, and a garden window.

I definitely like the ideas with extending the wall towards the door! Nowadays its all about an open floor plan but having 2 windows and a door wall in my kitchen / dining room does give the space a bright open feel.

I hadn't thought about making a pantry / closet area. I'll definitely have to include a full length pantry when it comes time to cabinet shop.

To reply to marti8a:

The water line for the kitchen runs along the exterior(top) wall up to the spot that the dryer is. the sink and dishwasher are on that wall.
The stove has options because it has a line for both gas and electric, the line runs in the wall separating the kitchen / living room area. (not a problem moving or enclosing in a small column if wall were opened up)

The room to the right of the kitchen is your average utility/ laundry /mudroom where the furnace, hot water tank, washer and dryer are. There is the access for the main water line in that corner above the washer. The bathtub isn't there, its in the bathroom (next room to the right) but the access panel to the tub is against that wall.

To the right of the living room is a 9 x 10 bedroom.

The entry door has a concrete walkway up to it, no porch. The glass sliding doors have a small wood deck built off of the driveway.
The front door does face the street and its a full brick house. (really pretty brick too!)

I don't have any set budget as of right now and don't have a time span. It's just a project to work on. We can get many materials at a nice price and don't plan on paying a thing for labor since since my bf and I are do it yourselfers. He does plumbing, electrical, drywall, ect. ect. I don't want the budget to include exterior modifications.

Thank you everyone for the input!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 1:23AM
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Invader- I think gw's first kitchen plan would work really well in your space. I like the pantry and the stove could be such a focal point...with a fancy backsplash tile...since your and your boyfriend both DIY.

There really isn't enough room for a big island, but I'm such a messy cook, my first instict is to put something in front of my stove, that I can set a big bouquet of flowers hide my mess! LOL

Another option for the dining room, would be a smaller sectional, against the long wall and wall to the bedroom...and a chair (maybe with a little ottoman) coming out diagonally from the corner. This would give you more seating for company...and the ability to stretch out, when you watch TV. You can still add some pillows and maybe a little dresser or table by the door, with a mirror or picture over it.

I don't know if you could move the kitchen back, since you have those water lines in the laundry/furnace. Plus, I think I'd rather have that long wall of additional storage, than two more feet on the sink and fridge walls. There's never enough storage in any home :)

Here's a quick sketch of the living room plan, with the other kitchen, suggested by gw.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 9:51AM
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The layout of your space looks like it would work really well for a completely open kitchen/dining/living area. Chris has posted a picture before and I thought I copied it but I can't find it.

I haven't had time to really study your floor plan but it seems that your utility room is larger than needed. How much room does the heater & water heater use? How often do you need to have access to the tub plumbing? Most houses don't have a back access panel to that plumbing. Could you put the washer & dryer side by side on the wall by the heater & water heater and just move them when you have a plumbing problem? Is the door there to the garage or an outside door?

I like gwbr's plan of moving the kitchen wall back and making more room for both kitchen and dining area, but if that door is how you generally enter the house when bringing in groceries, you won't want to close off access to the kitchen. Same if you put a pantry in there.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 4:09PM
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I'm wondering if your small deck creates a platform/porch landing for the utility room exterior door and for the sliding door in the dining area.

If it does, then you can bring groceries in through the slider and not worry about access from the utility area. Even if that means you come inside first, open the latched sliding door, and then bring in groceries.

There is also the option of a pass-through beneath the corner cabinet in the kitchen, just next to the utility exterior door. then you'd have a straight shot, putting the groceries on the counter near the fridge.

Another option is to have a pantry very tall, which has a door in the utility room so you can shelve the dry goods out there (on the laundry folding space, if there is one). And then another door inside the kitchen, where they can be selected for cooking. The passthrough will still work for things going in the fridge/freezer. By all means, your kitchen does not need to be a passage way for simply one chore that can be dealt with in other ways.

And your front entry. May I ask if there are several steps coming up to the front door, or is your house flat on the ground? If it is flat, then you can create a sense of entry out there, give some shelter from rain or snow to any arriving guests, and that will make your home present a welcoming front to the street. Depending on how long your walkway is, you can create an arbor over the entry way, with plantings or not.

And if your front door is up several steps, does it have a small landing for guests to stand on waiting for you to reach the door? And is there a covered area to stay out of the rain/snow? I've been reading about the NOT SO BIG features, and that is one of the things Sarah Susanka mentions as important to a good welcome entry. And then once inside, not to be dumped right into the activities of the residents....just have a small area to adjust to being inside. And that is where a shallow entry closet (or a tall cabinet that can serve as both closet and pantry on other side), could serve very well.

Before knocking down the interior wall separating the kitchen from the living room, decide where you want your entertainment equipment. I think that wall is serving a purpose for a good arrangement of seating on the far side of the living room. That setup balances the WEIGHT of the kitchen and eating space, with the bigger upholstered items.

How wonderful that you two are avid DIY-ers who want to take care of everything on your own. By not touching the exterior envelope of the house, that is an immediate savings for your redo. And you have defined the scope of your work as well. You will have construction mess to contend with, but at least you have not compromised your ability to heat and cool the house in the process.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 2:03PM
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Ok, I took a look at your first floorplan, the existing one. And I think there is another option available.

Your living room is a little more than 15 feet, and you said that it looks long compared to its width. It might be possible to make a window seat under the LR window , and have a tall storage unit (open shelves and some doors for coat closet)on both sides of the windowseat. Make the seat however deep you like to serve as additional seating as needed. This could give a lot of storage in a room that would not miss the space, and not mess up any furniture arranging. I also think that a TV/entertainment unit COULD be placed on the wall shared with that bedroom, if you could find a way to deaden the sound a little. If you make a unit which is 12 to 15 inches deep for storing your electronics, about 6 feet wide, you could also include there a shelf with a drop-front to hide your laptop computer or your printer, unless you have it in the bedroom butting up to that wall already. Having your connections close and sharing the wiring would be easier that way too.

Then, you could consider knocking down PART of the kitchen wall. I call a low wall a "pony" wall. That "L" part in the kitchen could come out. then part of the wall that remains could be rebuilt AT AN ANGLE to soften the turn into the kitchen and give more space at the dining area and a walk to the sliding door and the deck. If you locate the stove on that angled wall, with a cabinet (even a narrow one) at the end, you could put a small bar high enough (42 inches is called "bar height") then that would screen your stove from the living room AND the entry.

I would consider only horizontal upper shelving with doors that hinge upward (IKEA has some great units like that), and then the 42" wall could continue around a little further. Sort of making the wall only backsplash height, and no real BAR on that portion. Put in storage any time you have a chance, you will never regret it. I think with that wall opened up, wherever you locate the TV in the living room, folks will be able to view it from the kitchen.

I like this whole idea better, since it will give the living room a better proportion without altering your furniture layout TOO much, and you'll gain a more open feeling with the wall reduced to a sort of peninsula. You will gain a lot of storage space, and also improve the flow of the whole public area of your home.

In your utility room, which also serves as your mudroom, depending on how your washer/dryer stacking unit is turned, you can make room for a row of pegs/hooks with an overhead shelf, and then a boot drip tray below. No closet required.
I'd consider placing a clothes-folding surface between your washer/dryer and the furnace. That would also be a good spot to dump the bags of groceries as you bring them inside, and then you can sort them to store in the pantry, or pass them through for the fridge/freezer. All without bringing the big mess into the kitchen itself. If that room is insulated and maybe heated, no reason the pass through could not be left open so you can see the back door from the kitchen itself. Saves a lot of muddy feet marching all the way into the kitchen seems to me.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 4:13PM
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