Need help with layout

lv7310March 13, 2011

Hi, first time poster....long time visitor. We are desperately in need of a second opinion. We have a vacation home that is a brick one story teeny tiny house (32'x32') that we completely gutted and are renovating ourselves. We are not that far along and are getting ready to lay plumbing lines in the concrete slab. All that is standing right now is the four walls and window/door openings. Hubby has slaved over layout and we are knocking heads over the bathroom and kitchen areas. Hoping an outsider may see potential problems we have not. We have already purchased cabinets off we are limited on configuration. We would love any suggestions thrown our way. Thanks in advance!!!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Layout

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Does the kitchen and bath have to be in those locations, or is it a clean slate within the existing walls?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 10:08PM
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The only thing I see I would for sure change is to add a foot to the sun porch. We have 8 foot wide now and so many times wished it was 10 foot. 8 foot is not enough and I do not think 9 would be either. If you can add the foot I think you will be much happier.

I am not seeing much storage space. I like the idea of one really large bedroom. Assuming it is for kids or guests? Our master bedroom is 12'6" by 14' so your 13 by 14 is good. We also had an 11 by 14 once and it was a great size.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 11:37PM
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Thanks for the replies. We are planning a very large outdoor kitchen/patio area, so I am not too concerned about the sun porch. We are located in Southern AZ, so we are temperate all year pretty much. We are anticipating spending the majority of our time outside under the ramada/kitchen area. We have not thought of switching the kitchen/bath area simply because that is the entrance from the driveway area. We are pretty limited in our windows and light exposure and I wanted to have this window for the kitchen sink. The storage situation hasn't been thought out yet. Not too concerned about the guest room and we have a very nice storage/workshop building for any storage needs, we also have a nice casita/studio on the property.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 1:28AM
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Hi. Nice plan.
One thing, to reduce the cost and trouble with plumbing in the future, would be to have a common plumbing wall.

I would move the tub and toilet to the wall shared with the kitchen. If you have the fridge and wetbar already there, that would consolidate everything except the sink and dishwasher as water supply and sewer lines and vent stacks through the roof.

My DH had a chalet style house 25 x 25 on Lake Winnebesoke (sp?) in NH, and it was really nice. The area over the kitchen and bath had a loft which allowed for some extra sleeping when his kids had guests. Nothing fancy, just a sort of bunk room which they all enjoyed. A spiral stair going up to it could be easily located depending on the shape and direction your roofing gable takes. Since it is square, it is probably a hipped roof like a four sided pyramid? Maybe flat on top? If you want to allow for good air circulation without having to turn on the a/c, how about a skylight up in that apex of the pyramid, which can be opened and that would create a chimney effect. A storm door with screening on the top or bottom would provide a source of fresh air coming in, the skylight would exhaust it.

For storage, up in that loft under the eaves can be a great spot for building that in. I notice that you say southern Arizona is a "temperate" climate, but you'll probably need to insulate the heck out of everything to keep from ruining anything stored under the eaves. have a casita, that is wonderful. Will you be using "swamp coolers?"

A misting system for the patio and outdoor kitchen is something I'd consider as well, if you don't use too much water that way. I've always lived where there is lots of water and very high humidity, so do not know how to even think about conditions in the southwest.

Good luck with your little house.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 1:12PM
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At this point, the only thing I would add is that I would make the bathroom a bit smaller and the kitchen a bit larger. 10x10 bathroom is huge, and your kitchen seems cramped.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 1:33PM
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Thank you again. LOL. Yes temperate was a nice way of saying pretty darn warm;) The roof will be a 4/12 pitch with scissor trusses allowing a vaulted interior. The plywood used on the roof has a reflective barrier to assist with limiting heat penetration. The cooling system will be housed in the "attic" space of the sun porch and although swamp coolers are very common, we will be putting in an ac unit.

Pushing the kitchen wall out has been discussed. However the thought that cooking inside for 4-5 months out of the year can cause misery and thus an outdoor kitchen that will not affect heated interiors and time spent in the "real" kitchen may be minimal compared to other geographical locals. As to that thought, I would rather have the larger bathroom. Which leads to the argument between DH and I. I think the bath area is large enough for both bath and separate shower, configuration however is puzzling me. He would rather just throw in a bath/shower combo. UGHHH. So,,,,I am looking for some inspiration. If anyone would like to tweak/toy with or totally destroy my layout PLEASE feel free:) Happy Monday!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 5:56PM
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Lv- I agree, the kitchen could be only have about 30" (if I'm reading the plan correctly) between your peninsula and wet bar. Recommended width would be 36" or even better, 42".

If you want a separate bath and shower, I think that would be a great idea. I think you're right...the bathroom does look kind of like fixtures were just randomly laid out.

How do you plan to set up your living area? It's very small...are you planning to have a TV or any kind of books, music, seating, table area? If you're going to have A/C (great idea) then this living area may get a lot of use, when it's just too hot to go outside.

Do you need the two bedrooms? Could you get by with one nice bedroom for you and DH and maybe a pull out couch and/or futon? Could the casita be made into a guest area? Is it close enough and is there a bath?

I think your home has a lot of potential :)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 6:07PM
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Lv- I know you said you already bought your cabinets, but if we could help you come up with a new layout, would you be interested? Does the kitchen have to go in that part of the house?

Also, how are you using the sunporch? Seating? Dining? Other?

Here are some pictures I've saved, to give you some possible ideas. I don't know if this is your style, but it's mainly vintage cottage...and may provide some layout ideas :)

L-shaped kitchen with table?

I just love a table with vintage table cloths :)

Easy to see and access storage...great for guests

This is a 'yurt' from an episode of Sarah Richardson's Design Inc. on HGTV. If you get a chance to see the video (on the Internet site) it might give you some neat ideas. It's amazing how much they fit in such a small space :)

Could you put a day bed like this, on the sunporch? More sleeping space...

Are you planning to have a window in the bathroom? If we can rearrange the space, would you want one? What kind of tub, would you like? Here's another design, by Sarah Richardson, from her farmhouse series. In a fairly small room, she fit in the sink, claw foot tub, toilet and separate shower.

Here's the link to HGTV, if you want to check out any of the episodes!

Here is a link that might be useful: Full episodes of Sarah Richardson on HGTV

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 6:29PM
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Lv- Here's a quick sketch, to see if you even like this idea, before we go into any real detail :)

All the windows and doors are the same...can you add a window in the bathroom? I did change the sunroom door, so it swings into the sunroom, not the kitchen.

So, as you enter from the left, this is your new entry/storage area. On the left, or top, you have some hooks for hanging items, a nice bench under the window, and cabinet storage past that. On the other wall, storage (maybe some of this storage could be extra kitchen cabinets?) the washer and dryer and more storage.

The kitchen is in front of you, with a big window, over the sink. The fridge is in the corner, by the sunroom, with storage, dishwasher, sink, trash pullout (?) then turn and base cabinet, range and another base cabinet. The uppers are on both sides of the window...or you could put some open shelves. There's a raised counter, behind the range, for seating.

The dining table is in the middle of the kitchen, with the hutch and door to sunroom, above (on the plan) and the wet bar, over on the wall, around the corner from the laundry. A pull out couch or futon, with a table or ottoman, as well as an end table and chair, are in the front (other side of the stools) with a TV and media storage. Great place for hot days or in the evening to watch TV and a space for overnight guests.

The sunroom could also sleep an overnight guest, maybe with something like the daybed (picture I posted earlier). Add a small bistro table and a couple of chairs, and a great place to see the view. Even curl up on the daybed, with your book or laptop, if outdoors isn't an option sometimes.

The bathroom is in the same place (same size) with the door moved over a bit. This allows a nice sink with vanity, tub (claw foot?) a toilet and a separate shower. I based this on the design from the Sarah Richardson show, I mentioned earlier.

The bedroom has closet space, as well as a small closet, by the front door....and a linen cabinet to buffer the public area from the bedroom. The bedroom has plenty of room for a nice sized bed, chair, dresser and even a bench or trunk, at the foot of the bed.

So, don't know if this is your style or not, but it's one idea. If you want a bigger area, for the sofa/TV, let me know. Sorry, I don't have any pretty software, but hopefully you get the idea (LOL)

Best of luck with your little house! :)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 7:13PM
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Wow! Gorgeous pictures! Great idea about "daybed" in the sun porch. Hubby is set on 2 bedroom layout:(


ekks, I know the kitchen path is narrow. Maybe eliminate the BB? I was planning on having a banquette right off the bb area.


The cabinet sizes are in the picture above...if readable. They are hazelnut maple. This will be more of a craftsman/ranch style (even though cottage is my preference) due to location. I am just having fits about the bath. Kitchen....meh. I do not prefer galley layout but....that means hubby has to pound out more concrete. (G) Love the ideas though. Exactly what I am looking for...someone elses views.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 7:16PM
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Oh, I posted just before seeing your response Lavendar lass. What an interesting layout! Very creative. I love the switching of the kitchen/LR area. I am not sure yet whether DH can work with this. He is currently at the houses site and I am meeting him there on Tues...Hoping to bring ammunition when I get there :))) I know currently water lines come from outside through the kitchen window, straight through bathroom/laundry area and end going out second bedroom to septic.

We are not adding any additional windows:( I sooooo wanted one for the bathroom, but probably not in the picture. We do have two large skylights and two solartubes to help with darkness. Solartube in bathroom and hall and skylight in kitchen and LR. We have the two bathroom vanities (a 48" and a 36") however, I would rather have a separate shower than two sinks....

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 7:54PM
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Oh, i like your banquette idea! That's what I'm hoping to do, too :)

I think the skylights and solar tubes will be wonderful! I can see why your DH doesn't want to cut into that brick.

Why does DH want two bedrooms? Do you have a lot of guests? Any chance the casita could house some people?

Here are a few more banquette pictures...

I love this kitchen picture. Even though it's not your style, I couldn't resist :)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 8:17PM
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Ohhh, love those. Yeah, this is in a very remote town and both our families are originally from when we all decide to get together, we will be housing some bodies:) The casita will be able to hold 4-6 people and get togethers potentially we might need 10-12??? Since this isn't a main residence, more of a common gathering ground for family and friends. Eating most likely will mainly be outdoors or sun porch may house a big banquet table if weather gets pesky. Love the idea of making it a possible sleeping porch though. It will have windows and screens.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 8:40PM
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I see no closets anywhere. I'm assuming that if you're going to do laundry, you will need some space to store clothes ;-)
Of course, you could do what college students do -- have a pile of clean and and pile of dirty laundry hung up on the floor.

It would be good to have a closet wall between the two bedrooms.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 10:37PM
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LOL. No, there will definately be closets. The common wall between bedrooms was the obvious spot, however with the current layout of trying to fit two queen beds in #2 BR we may place on the bathroom wall. It leaves the room long and narrow...Not sure yet. Also still playing with a possible teeny coat closet if we do a built-in entertainment wall. Bathroom and kitchen layout were what I was trying to get straight first.


Does anyone else ever have problems with their posts going into lala land? A couple times now I have sent replies and poof....

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 9:41AM
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Wow, I did not realize those beds would be both QUEENS.
Is there any reason why you could not make those into horizontally mounted Murphy beds? They sell the hardware for it at Lee Valley Tools, great quality. Then, if only one bed is used, the other is up and out of the way. Of course, they could be vertically mounted if that window was centered on the wall, and the beds hinged to come down from either side of it.

Once your DH is done jack hammering the existing slab to put in plumbing lines, he will have to repour cement. Is there a house built already around this slab? Or, it seems to me, why not lay the plumbing on the existing slab and then pour an entire new slab on top of it, covering all the plumbing without touching the original? I'm wondering about that because we just had a new six inch slab poured over our existing damaged slab in the Teahouse, plus they filled the block walls with a cement slurry too, so it can be done. I'm not sure how this would work if your climate has to allow for a deep foundation to avoid heave, but what could that be in Arizona? New England it is FOUR FEET DOWN, but south Alabama it is 12 inches. Just wondering about that.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 10:17AM
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If two bedrooms are a must (maybe even more visiting) then I would definitely try to add more sleeping in the sun porch...the daybed would be a cute way to do that...especially for children :)

Since you don't have a lot of living space left, I would make the kitchen a little bigger. Could you use a stackable washer/dryer? That would give you a little more space, and you could add a couple of feet to the kitchen and take it from the bathroom/laundry area.

Since the kitchen seems to be a major traffic pattern through the home, I would push the fridge wall back a few feet. This would give you room for the fridge and the outside door, to be open at the same time. The peninsula is a great feature, but the extra space would give you an extra foot of stool space (you need about 5' for two stools, but hopefully 54" would be enough) leaving you 42" for the walkway.

Are you planning to put your banquette, on the other side of the peninsula? That would fit nicely...and then your seating area, facing the wall to the bedroom? Sounds like you're planning to put an entertainment center there...that would be great!

In the bathroom, I think you could easily fit a nice tub/shower combo (with a nice sized tub) and toilet on the outside wall...and a 5' vanity with sink, on the opposite wall.

Would that be a possibility? Oh, and I have to ask...are you putting a french door in the main bedroom...with access to a deck or terrace? That would be lovely :)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 10:27AM
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Murphy beds are totally a possibility. I have looked at the hardware online before and hubby is clever enough to build.

Moccasinlanding, The house was an existing red brick home that we completely gutted, down to just four exterior walls. We also had to slurry fill the brick. The slab has existing lines laid that we are re-doing. Thankfully the pipes seem to be rather large so we are using existing as a sleeve and sliding new pipes in. We also will be pouring a new slab over the existing. The footings are sufficient depth to avoid any problems with heaving. Good night! FOUR FEET? That would be ALOT of concrete. I will have to ask DH about Southern AZ depth requirements. What a lovely name for a house...."Teahouse"...makes me think of a quaint, relaxing retreat.

Lavendar Lass, thank you for your encouraging comments. You are dead on with the kitchen being the main thoroughfair. I will definately make that point to DH as I agree that it will get crowded quickly with any kind of traffic. The entertainment center will be on the MB wall. The MB will have an all glass door out to our little private terrace.

Thanks again for all your help!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 11:33PM
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