Layout Advice?

mrwilsonMay 11, 2013

I'm wondering if anyone could help me figure out how best to configure this space? We can take both load bearing walls out and put beam in to open everything up or we can make 1/2 walls with columns? I am somewhat stuck on the best layout.

We were thinking of replacing the shorter wall in the kitchen with an island but then do you have the dining room right there or do you swap it with the living room? the sunroom right now is wasted space so we don't know what to do with that either. We want to take the windows currently in the sun room and put sliders or french doors to the deck. The door in sunroom is going to be taken out when we do the siding on the house.

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a lot of that is just personal choice. Why don't you use the SR?

how many in your family? kids? ages?

you should draw the LO out on graph paper (free online) and mark all doorways and windows with their measurements. all wall measurements too.

Is your kitchen now only 8' from ext wall to DR wall? How big of a table do you plan for the DR?

If you were planning to put an island in place of wall to DR - how wide would the island be? and would you be putting all other cabinets / appliance lined up along the ext wall?

the writing on your LO is light and difficult to read.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 12:19AM
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You seem to have some serious numerical discrepencies in this layout, since the rectangular layout ranges from 235" at one end, to 270" at the other. I assume there are some closets or something not shown?

Also, you don't seem to have allowed for wall thicknesses.

I threw together a google skethup based on your numbers, and making some assumptions about door widths, since you didn't have them on there. Is the wall I marked pink the one you are thinking of making the island? I assume the wall I marked yellow is where the cabinets / cook surfaces are currently?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 8:33PM
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Thanks so much for the reply!! I'm putting a link to a video of the floor layout which might make it more clear.

The wall I'm thinking of removing and inserting an island would be the yellow one (toward the back of the house). Yes, it currently has some appliances but all the appliances and cabinets you see in the video will get ripped out and replaced with new ones.

Let me know if the video helps! Thanks again.

Here is a link that might be useful: Video of the floor plan

This post was edited by mrwilson on Tue, May 14, 13 at 20:14

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 8:12PM
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What is your ultimate goal with this renovation? What, when all the dust has settled and the walls are painted and everything is Done, do you want to have in your house?

That could be a combined dining/cooking area, a family room/kitchen area, a formal dining room plus new, efficient kitchen plus play room for the kids, or a great room combining dining and play and cooking. Are you looking for a space for your family to enjoy, or do you want to open the space up for entertaining?

Only you know what your family needs and wants.

You have some space to work with, and lots of light from the windows. But what about your traffic patterns with the stairs and the outside doors? Those need to be taken into consideration, as well.

Off the top of my head, if that were my house, I'd take the dining room and sunroom space and turn that into a kitchen/family room with a breakfast nook, with the access to the deck, as long as that didn't mean having to lug groceries very far. Then I'd take the old kitchen and make that the formal dining room. Because it looks as if the existing kitchen is small, and I'd prefer a larger kitchen and a smaller dining room.

If you are happy with your living room the way it is, what I'd do is look at the rest of the space without walls--draw a floorplan that doesn't show the existing walls, except for the outside walls and the living room walls. Then brainstorm about what spaces currently work well in your home, and what spaces don't work. And what spaces you wish you had (reading nook, hobby/craft room) that you don't.

Then return to that big space that the dining room, kitchen and sunroom currently take up, and plan how to fit what you really want in that space.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 1:16PM
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As camlan said, a lot of it will be personal

I, personally, like to watch TV while I cook, and I need to keep an eye on my daughter at the same time. So if it were me, I would take the yellow wall down to a food prep island. All your floor to ceiling storage cabinets and wall ovens and stuff like that would go on the wall opposite, and the island would have your prep sink, cooktop, (and oven if you go with the oven under the cooktop instead of on the wall) and lots of counter space for cutting boards and prep bowls.

I'd leave the wall between the Kitchen and the LR, and make the living room the new dining room. I'd combine the Dining room and the sun room into a play / social space with a TV opposite the kitchen and take out the walls between them.

I might use pocket doors to create the ability to isolate the social area from the dining room, I might not, I'm not sure. But it would be nice to have that option.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 1:40PM
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We like the idea of an open floor plan and a house that's good for entertaining. We have a young baby (6mo old) so we like to be able to see what's going on in multiple rooms. We're not a very 'formal' family, we're more practical in how we use our space so I'm just thinking a big formal dining room would be wasted space.

When I go to friends homes, everyone always seem to end up in the kitchen anyway. The other consideration with the kitchen would be the cost to move all the plumbing around if we were to put it where the DR/SR is currently.

At first I thought removing all the walls and making it totally open would be the best idea but then someone told me with 8' ceilings it would be proportionately incorrect to do so. Not sure if that's a fact or just that persons opinion though.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 7:00PM
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If I'm reading correctly, you'd like a large room for entertaining, and cooking, and for your child to play in. I'm also guessing you'll eat in this space and watch some TV.

Here are my thoughts.

One, you do need to consider resale value down the road. Many people do want a dining room. So I'd consider keeping a space that could be used as a dining room. You won't use it as such, but it could easily be converted to a dining room when you go to sell the house. A "swing space," as it were.

Not knowing what other rooms are in your house, I'm wondering if you have a room for quiet activity, like reading or listening to music. (Or just escaping briefly from the noise of the everyday household.) Check out "The Not So Big House" for a description of the "away room," a small room that can be closed off from the rest of the house. If you don't already have such a space, I'd consider making one.

Do you have or need a home office? This is a good time to add one if you do.

Do remember that the larger the space, the more noise echoes around it. There may come a time when you don't want to hear your kids.

Also keep in mind furniture placement. Large rooms can be tricky, because there aren't enough walls to put all the furniture on. A big space needs to have enough furniture to fill it, and that may mean floating some of it in the middle of the space. You may need electrical outlets in the floor for lamps and laptop cords and such.

Based on what you've said, I'd consider taking down the wall between the dining room and kitchen, and making the space into a kitchen/family room, with a breakfast nook or other eating space. I'd keep the sunroom, maybe adding french doors to close it off from the rest of the space. The sunroom could be your away room, a home office, or a future dining room.

I'd also urge to you post this on the Kitchen Forum. I'll warn you, the people there pull no punches. But they have a keen eye for things like traffic flow and good utilization of the space. And once you get a rough idea of what you want the kitchen to look like, they can give you really good suggestions.

The one thing I think you really should do is not just open up a wall because it seems like a good idea. You should take some time and think about how you live in this house. What activities you want to do in the house and whether or not there is room for them now. Look at a lot of pictures on Pinterest and Houzz. Look at floorplans of houses. Look at your friends' houses and ask them what works and what doesn't work, what they like best about their floorplans and what they hate. I'd spend a good deal of time thinking about what changes you want and *why* before committing to a single thing.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 12:40PM
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