Am I heading in the right direction?

pay_it_forwardMarch 19, 2012

Hi All!

After three weeks of illness in our household (first my daughter, then my husband, and finally me) I'm back at it trying to figure out our floor plan!

I appreciate any feedback you can offer!!

Thanks a bunch!

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it's looks pretty good to me!

did you mean to have 2 doorways into the bedroom to the left of the entrance? or am I reading that incorrectly?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 1:31AM
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Thanks, Desertsteph! That bedroom is going to be used as a playroom/classroom for the time being. The extra door from the kitchen will actually be a sliding barn door to allow for supervised playing while I am cooking. If we have another child (hoping to foster/adopt), we can easily utilize this space as a bedroom by having a lock on each side of the barn door (we figure we can put a shelving unit in front of the barn door on the bedroom side for added storage and to camouflage).

I am continually trying to find ways for rooms to serve double purposes as needed!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 11:11AM
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I like everything except the 1/2 bath location. I can't tell exactly what you have between the bathroom and the living room, but if it's open, you won't want that as your view from the living room and guests won't be comfortable using it, especially the way sound travels.

But I love having the laundry area so close to the master bedroom.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 11:16AM
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Thanks, Marti8a! That is a large bookcase between the living room and the little hall to the guest bath and family room. We were hoping this large built in would provide both great storage as well as privacy for the bathroom (originally this was just a wall).

I too love that the laundry is close to the bedrooms, though I am concerned that it might be too small??

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 11:28AM
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It looks like you're getting closer to your finished plan! :)

I would make the kitchen sink a bit larger and move the fridge (and wall oven?) further from the range/cooktop. If you move them to the ends of the cabinetry, then you'll have a lot more prep space, around the cooking area. Also think about putting a trash, on the other side of the sink.

The dining both sliding doors lead out to porches or outdoor areas? I like the slider on the living room side, but what about evening off the wall on the other side, so it matches up with the kitchen...and putting in built in storage, there? Maybe a hutch or combination dish display/office printer, paper, etc.? That would be making a more flexible space, without losing any floor space. Just a few ideas...

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 11:44AM
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That bedroom for supervised play has an awkward door swing on the wide doorway. How about turning that into a pair of french doors which can each open back out of the way, and you might see through the doorway even if closed. A curtain on the inside later on when used as a real bedroom could give the resident some privacy. Or, one of those doorways could be simply paneled over for a floor/ceiling closet, even as a pantry to your kitchen area.

Then, I'm looking at the large square closet area in your master bedroom. It is a double-deep space for a reach-in closet, and you are losing a lot of potential usable hanging space with that setup. I suggest you consider widening that square closet to be about 6 feet wide, thus taking off one foot of both the shallow closets which are back to back in those two bedrooms. You'd lose some space there, but would gain by having 2 4-foot long hanging spaces in the larger closet. I'd also change that from a sliding door to a bifold door so you have FULL ACCESS to the closets.

Also in the master bedroom, you have only one wall where you can position furniture, so moving the bed around is not an option. And, where will you have any chests for drawer storage? Do you plan to use part of the laundry space? I'd not want to put my undies in the laundry area if other members of the family might be using the laundry when I am dressing.

And I'm concerned about how many doors do you have to LOCK to make the house secure? Do you have ONE KEY? And, how about the windows in the bathrooms? Are they HIGH UP where privacy is not an issue?

Also, I'd think it was more secure to have two separate garage doors for each bay of your two car garage. If you live where wind or hurricanes are a problem, the garage door is a point the winds will destroy and thus take out your house. And, having TWO doors will, in my opinion, make it less likely that your door opener will fail to work and keep you locked in...or out. A single big door is pretty heavy to lift, and might get torqued so it won't open easily. I'm thinking about the maintenance issues, as well as the security.

I love the layout, you are headed in the right direction. Think about the flow from one room to the next, like the location of the exercise room on the house front with that full bath having a shower.

Oh yeah, in the bedroom which will be the supervised play room, look into Murphy bed for that spot. Good guest room?
Grandparents room?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 12:48PM
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You've done a lot of tweaking! I like that you've gone ahead with the attached garage. Some thoughts:

- there is a 2' opening between the garage and the family room. Is that meant to be a door? A window? I think it needs to be an actual door - at least a 30" door if not a 36" door.

- you did away with the office entirely. Are you going to move those functions to the family rooom? Or to the playroom/classroom? I just want to make sure that if there is a need for an adult to work at the computer (does somebody work from home part of the time?) that there is a reasonable way to do it without being amongst all the kid stuff.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 1:57PM
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Thanks Lavender Lass, Moccasinlanding, and Jakabedy! You all have pointed out things that illustrate my limited skills with the Chief Architect Software!

Lavender Lass ~ I do plan to have a bigger sink, but can't seem to figure it out in the software. We are also thinking of having a small garbage and compost bin under the sink.

The plan before this one we actually had the built in "office" space in the dining room (in line with the kitchen cabinets). Some problems with this are that the full wall of cabinetry from the kitchen through the DR felt and looked (in 3-D view) really overpowering, the top (south) side of windows in the DR were off balance from the exterior (it probably shouldn't, but it bugged me), and finally we were concerned about not having enough eastern light entering in the mornings with built ins along this wall. So... the "office" currently is in the cabinet closest to the DR and to balance that out, I have the pantry on the other (north) side of the kitchen. The refrigerator and the wall oven are closer to the stove than preferable, but I'm trying to determine what trade-offs are acceptable. We do plan to do all of our prepping on the island, so maybe this will be okay?

The slider on the right leads to the "playground room" and the slider on the left leads to our proposed "secret garden room," (you may remember that there was a screened porch here which I miss, but we are trying to find ways to appease the budget).

Moccasinlanding ~ The door you are referring to is actually supposed to be a sliding barn door but I cannot figure out how to do this in Chief Architect (french doors may work well too).

As for the master bedroom closets... as of now the weird square one is doubling as a safe room. However, I am also looking into some below ground options that have a sliding hatch. If something like that is a possibility (affordable), then there can be two back to back reach in closets that should provide plenty of space.

I'm okay with not being able to move the bed around in the master. We also plan to store all shoes in the entry, leaving space for drawers in the closet (I do not want a chest/dresser).

I too am questioning the number of doors... we'll have to give more thought to this. I really like the idea of windows to ventilate showers, but also want to be careful with privacy. As of now, the windows in each shower area are double awnings and we are thinking about making the bottom ones opaque.

The garage is actually supposed to be a carport (the carport options in Chief Architect were not looking right). On the front (north side), we are planning to use horizontal wood slats to camouflage the automobiles with a sliding gate on the side nearest to the front door. Given our climate and our budget we are hoping the carport will work out well (and we can utilize it as a pavilion for outdoor entertaining!).

You read my mind regarding the Murphy bed! That is the rectangular item in the current family/fitness room which we plan to utilize for guests.

Jakabedy ~ The garage is actually a carport and that is a window in the family room to provide a nice line of sight across the house (each end of the hallway looks out a window). The access from the carport to the house will be through a sliding gate on the left (east) side with a covered path to the front door.

The "office" is now in the kitchen cabinet closest to the DR. I still plan to utilize the DR table as work space as needed.

Thanks so much for the feedback everyone!!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 3:31PM
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Oooh, I love the idea of a secret garden room :)

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 3:42PM
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I worry that your dining room will be cold (but that entirely depends on your climate). If you have much wind, those sliders on either side of the dining room will let the air move through after a few years...

You might consider fewer sliders and more windows. I see you have 2 sliders to the porch. Maybe just one door, and one tall single hung window... You can dress them up the same with curtains, so they look matched, but functionally they wouldn't be, and they'd also be easier to lock up.

Are you in an urban area? Far out to the country where you never have to worry about locking up? climate? I can't remember these details, sorry if you've said before.

I like your laundry arrangement, and wouldn't worry about it being too small. You can always fold elsewhere--your bed, the children's rooms, your school room.

I do wonder about the wasted space of the double doors to the play room. I understand the concept. Do you need to put both doors in now (before you have foster/adopt) and the closet too? Or, can you wait until later? I feel like that closet is just so small. Maybe wait to build the closet (use wardrobes, or shelves for now) until you have your "final arrangement".

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 6:09PM
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Lavender Lass ~ You and I certainly share an affinity for outdoor living spaces :)! As a child, one of my favorite things to do was to create "rooms" in the great outdoors, so I guess I'm staying true to my roots!!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 9:53PM
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Kirkhall ~ thanks for the feedback! We are indeed in a very rural area with a mild climate (NC). However, I too am concerned about the number of doors. We really like the modern look of tall/large windows but equally want to make sure we have enough ventilation opportunities (we get some wonderful breezes at our site) ~ that's what led us to so many sliders in the first place.

Across from the washer and dryer is a folding table that I'm hoping won't feel too cramped to use effectively. In the house we are currently renting, I fold all of the laundry on our bed and you're right, this works just fine.

Thanks for the advice regarding the playroom/bedroom concept. My understanding is that if a room does not have a built in closet it cannot be counted as a bedroom. Our concern is that this would hurt our appraisal. Is this a reasonable concern?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 10:07PM
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Is the builtin wall between LR/hall/family room going to be all facing into the LR or split with half into LR and half into FR? If part of it is builtins into the FR, could you use that area for your office stuff?

I also think I'd move the fridge and ovens about a foot farther from the stove top. would a 2' cabinet area be enough for 'office' use? have you thought about putting in a drop down front on it (like a sec desk)? or you could have a pull out shelf to sit at w/lap top. outlets in back for charging phone/laptop.

on the other end you could put a door on the end (facing hallway) for a foot deep pantry and still maybe have room on the front for a 6" pullout for storage. I'd do 2 at 6". an upper and a lower. I wouldn't want to (or be able to) pull out a floor to ceiling pullout loaded with products. In splitting them you could use the upper for dry goods and the lower for canned goods (or whatever). It'd save pulling out the whole thing if you're after one type of product or the other. or pull out both because you're not sure which one has the type of item you need.

the laundry area has two open spaces - 1 left and 1 to the right. what will be on the side w/out the w/d?

do you have a linen closet/storage anywhere? I don't see one in any bathroom or in the hallway.

also, in your deep bdrm closet/safe room - I'd put a regular type door on that, not a slider.

have you considered any french doors? also bifolds on closets? not louvered tho - those are H to paint and to clean. I hated them!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 12:14AM
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On the built in closet for bedroom... I am not sure. It might depend on your location. I am sure you need 2 points of egress (the door and a large enough window, usually). Not sure about the requirement for a closet though.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 12:30PM
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Desertsteph ~ The built-in wall is going to face the LR, however I do plan to use some of this space for overflow office supplies. We really feel we would use the kitchen/DR area for an office more so than a separate room. It's funny because I really thought I wanted the office in its own room. However, having to cut square footage from our plan really forced me to think about how we really live. In our very first home, we had a separate room for an office and you probably guessed it, we never used it! We would always sit at the DR table or the bar in the kitchen. I figure if someone needs more solitude, they can retreat to a bedroom.

Ideally, I would like more room between the refrigerator and wall oven. However, I really want a reasonable sized pantry cabinet because we prepare 99.9% of our meals at home, most from scratch.

I am contemplating having a roll out cart for the "office" that would call the cabinet closet to the DR home, but could easily be rolled out and over to the DR table.

In the laundry area, that is a folding table across from the W and D. I plan to have storage shelves or a cabinet above and rolling laundry baskets below. I also plan to have a linen cabinet above the W and D. We have this in the home we are renting and it works well for us.

On the safe room closet, we are hoping to be able to have an in swing metal door that can rest/hide against the wall only to used when needed (hopefully never!). We are thinking about externally mounted sliding doors for that entire closet wall (to cover both closets).

I absolutely agree with you about louvered doors ~ I refuse to have any of those! I also do not love bifold doors. French doors may be a possibility in a few places.

Thanks for all of your feedback ~ I really appreciate the time you took to help me!!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 5:54PM
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Thanks, Kirkhall! I'll have to check more into this closet/bedroom/appraisal concern...

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 5:56PM
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Hi All,

My daughter had another long bout of illness, so I am now playing catch up here! I hope you are all well!!

Here's the latest version... I'd love any thoughts you may have!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 6:10PM
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Yeah, the last drawing corrects a problem with the front bedroom adjacent to the Entry.

However, I'm thinking that moving the bed to the outer wall, so the headboard is between the two windows, and such, will allow the large open space to appear visible from the kitchen. A bedside table can have a lamp on each side of the bed in front of each window, just like the master does, and it would present a nice illumination for folks approaching the entry. Where the bed is now, if I was to express it according to "feng shui," I'd have to say the bed crossways of the door like that BLOCKS ALL THE POSITIVE ENERGY. :)

Where did the double garage go? Detached now? I liked it not facing the street--garages facing the street always looked so cave-like, and exposed too much of your private lives.

I'm thinking the plan you just put up has great flow, for entertaining, for family events, whatever.

I know in the master bath it is just a drawing now, but I think the tub drain should be on the other end (next to the shower), so you can reach the controls easily. And, I'd think about putting the toilet on the other end to share the wall with the shower, else going in the toile will be an issue if DH or you are standing at that first lavatory.

I'm sure the fine tuning will get every detail in place. It seems to be the most sociable house plan you've found so far. Good JOB!!!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 8:16PM
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Thanks for your comments, Moccasinlanding!! I probably should have removed the bed you are referring to as that room will currently be used as a playroom/classroom (the sliding barn door affords supervision from the kitchen!). If we are blessed to need to use this room as a bedroom, the barn door would be locked off.

I removed the carport for now as I'm thinking it will not be affordable at this time. I too like it not facing the approach to the house.

So good to know that you think there is a good flow as this has been one of my biggest concerns (I have spent HOURS walking around in the 3-D version :) !).

Thanks for the tips about the master bath ~ I agree with you and will make those changes!

I really appreciate your feedback!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 10:47PM
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Ahhh, a surface mount barn door!! How wonderful!!

That is what I'm planning for our new bedroom door location, and I already have the door. It was a cypress fixed louvered door used as a storm door on our house destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. I've held on to it, and its mate, hoping to use it again. I blasted most of the old layers of exterior paint off of it, and the wood is gorgeous, don't want it to be finished like new--will have to stop my DH before he "helps" me by sanding it to a fine furniture finish. Oh no, don't want that look. I want it to look old, which it is. Not antique, but at least 70 years old now, and made of my favorite wood. I'll be hanging it from the top with barn hardware.

Everything doesn't have to be expensive to give a custom look. Choose what is most important to you, things that make a difference, and go with it. I think the barn door is going to be a high visibility feature in your home, and make the space very special.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 10:48PM
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Oh, it looks so nice! I really like the new plan...the flow is great and everything seems to fit together, so well! :)

The only thing I would think about to take that tiny closet out of the 'family room/guest bedroom' and make the shower larger and extend it to the corner, in that bathroom. If you have parents staying in the future, you may need to think about universal design/handicap accessible...which means larger walk in shower, grab bars around the toilet and a sink you can roll a wheelchair under.

Also, you could put a closet in the family room/guest room if you wanted to, along that entire wall to the bathroom. Just an idea :)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 12:59AM
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even w/o parents staying it helps to have a bit larger shower in case someone is injured (broken leg? knee cap? I know about that knee cap one!) and needs a shower bench chair and hand rail. best to put a bench and hand rail in while bldg it and have it done. It could be either of you needing it. you should still have space in FR/GR for a small closet.
what's the 'extra' space to the right in bathroom as it shows now? looks like 2' or so just there empty. Are you putting in a linen closet?

also, is that a FP on the far right wall of the FR? how about shelves on either side for books, pics, misc w/doors on the lower part to hide games, puzzles etc.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 3:16AM
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A few things:
Your entry now feels closed in with the wall delineating the hallway space there. You might make the opening a little larger into the hallway from the entry (just use a stub wall, or something).

Your sink and stovetop are back to back. This makes it necessarily a "one-bum" kitchen. You might instead figure out a way to stagger them.

I think your fridge is on the far side of the kitchen in comparison to your dining area. Is that right? If so, I'd consider changing that. Not sure I'd move it to the other end of the lineup though, since you will likely have littles needing drinks during prep time and coming from the hallway... Somehow, that needs to be thought about, and make sure it is the way your really want it.

On the family room closet--I'd probably skip that. Put in a larger shower base for wheelchair use, etc. And, then put in a full wall (along the bathroom wall there in the family room) of built-ins for storage. You have the space.

I am assuming you have left such a big space in the hall bath (near FR) for wheelchair accessibility too. In that case, you don't need a linen closet there, but I would put in some IKEA shelves or something similar for storage of towels, etc until the time comes that you need that space for an accessibility issue. Otherwise, it is quite wasted space.

Finally, I've wondered all along, and cannot figure it out... what is that little closet/sink looking thing behind the entry door?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 3:53PM
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Moccasinlanding ~ your barn door sounds beautiful and full of character (definitely keep your DH from "helping!"). I'd love to see a picture when you get it done!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 5:31PM
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Lavender Lass ~ Thanks for your thoughts! I agree with you and just updated the plan accordingly. This house continues to evolve :)!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 5:37PM
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Desertsteph ~ thanks for more of your time! You and Lavender Lass are on the same wavelength regarding the larger shower. I changed it and do like it better. The extra space in that bathroom is for accessibility. I figure we can put a moveable storage cabinet there that can be taken out as needed.

In the family room, that is a Murphy bed cabinet. We are planning to use this room as a fitness/guest room now and a potential parent quarters or teenage rec room later. I just added cabinets on each side of it (below the windows) to increase storage. Thanks!

I'm sorry about your knee cap injury ~ that sounds very painful!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 5:46PM
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Kirkhall ~ I really appreciate your thoughts and ideas! The opening into the hallway is now larger and I like it better! As for the lining up of the sink and cooktop, I was hoping four feet would allow a "two bum" workspace?? The placement of the fridge has been a process. Originally, we were planning to have it right next to the dining room. However, when we decided to make our dining room serve a dual purpose, we designated that cabinet as our "office."

You, Lavender Lass, and Desertsteph have all convinced me about having the larger shower in the guest bath! You are also correct about the extra space for accessibility and we do plan to have a moveable storage cabinet there that can be taken out as needed.

Behind the entry door is a utility sink and counter with drawers below and cabinets above (storage for things like flashlights, batteries, screwdrivers, etc.). The idea is to have this housed behind a sliding barn door allowing for our entry to serve dual purpose as a mud room.

Thanks a bunch!!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 6:01PM
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Looks like a great floor plan. I really like the open kitchen living room. We have that here and it is really nice for us. Also agree on making the guest shower larger. We had that small version and I really did not like it.Fun idea to make the entry double as a mud room. I do not think you will regret that one bit.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 7:19PM
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PayIt, you are so logical, and moving along like a well oiled machine. Nice to see how it is coming together for you.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 12:38AM
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Thanks Shades and Moccasinlanding!! I hope we are close to finalizing this plan!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 6:52PM
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Is there a reason you can't just have the 1 door that looks into the kitchen and get rid of the second one in the hall? That room with the 2 doors split like that is really odd, and doesn't leave much room for furniture. It also might hurt resell if thats ever in the picture. I really like the french door idea, maybe with glass insets, you'd still be able to see in from the kitchen, and you'd actually be able to get a full glimpse of the room rather than just a tiny section of it. As it is now, you'd have to go in to check on em anyway since most of the room is blocked by that wall.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 7:09PM
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    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 7:14PM
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I've wondered about the two doors in that one bedroom too. It sure takes away a lot of the wall space, plus will allow a lot of kitchen noise into that bedroom.

I love that you have a Murphy bed planned for the exercise room. I can't wait to see how you like it.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 7:34PM
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Oh sorry, I read back through and see that it is primarily a playroom. In that case, I second the idea of glass French doors. Later, if a bedroom, you can put curtains on the French doors. Playing can get really loud.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 10:15AM
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