Another small layout

flgargoyleJune 7, 2008

This sketch is an evolution of design ideas, so I need some input to see if I'm going too far one way or another. Shown is the main floor, which is about 1200 sq ft heated. The stairs go up to a 16X33 room (in the main gable only) for future expansion, or we might use it as a Master suite while we are still young enough to climb stairs LOL. The end of the house with the big wraparound porch faces a mountain view, as do most of the main floor rooms. That end of the house is also elevated due to the slope, and there will be a walk-out basement. One change I'm currently tinkering with would be to make the area marked 'Kitchen' into a living room, and have the great room be a large kitchen/dining room instead. We don't entertain often, and when we do it is small groups and very informally, so it might be nice to have a larger kitchen area. I'm also still struggling with the entrance to the Master BR. The extra wall next to the hall seems superfluous, except that that is the logical location for a TV, and I don't want people in the great room to be able to see into the MBR. Let me know what you think!

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Hmm I think your kitchen would be plenty big either way. The question is whether you want an isolated kitchen or would like others to be able to chat with the cook. If you want to chat I would switch the positions, personally that is the set up I prefer, with the living room more isolated/quiet.
You might consider trying to cluster your plumbing a little more. Maybe move the bath so it is next to the utility and master bath which would also help take care of the wasted space in the hall by the master closet/bath. You would have change the door though so it was directly opposite the entry which isn't the best situation. Or maybe move the master bath between the bath and utility. Is the second bath a half bath? If so it could probably be a bit smaller. If it is 3/4 I am not sure how the layout will work with the placement of the door. I think you may want to just rethink your bathroom/closet layout.
You could use a coat closet, maybe put it under the stairs.
What does the roof line look like?
Is there a reason you don't want a more rectangular/efficient layout?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 12:12AM
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I was wondering about the one bath too. It appears to be almost as large as the master. Could be much smaller if just a powder room. There seems to be wasted space in this area wich includes the opening into your master area.

Fly, you mentioned you don't entertain much. I'd keep the kitchen where it is. Your garage and utility areas are near it. My livingroom as 16X22 and as small as I would go, about the same as yours shown. Adding a kitchen would seriously cramp the greatroom, although doing so would allow entry to a livingroom and the stairs rather than the kitchen.

The front door to the kitchen bothers me with another door into the closet. Actually I don't understand how the closet layout works.Can you have a long path to a door into the greatroom? Or are you on an incline which poses a problem doing this?

I'm not much help as I can't seem to think of changes. I know you are trying to get as much view as possible from all living areas.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 8:03AM
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There are a variety of reasons for the layout. I originally started with simple rectangular houses, but then too many rooms had poor windows for view and ventilation. We have the doors and windows open a lot of the year, so I really like the major rooms having 3 outside walls. The house is on a slope downhill towards the wrap around porch, so the entrance needs to be up near the garage. Likewise, the garage has to be on that end. Since we're out in the country, with all the mess that entails, we really want an attached garage. The garage is parallel to the street, but the house can't be seen from the road, so I don't really care what it looks like from that view. The reason for the door going from the foyer to the master closet is to prevent having to haul the laundry all the way through the house. I'm still not happy with the whole closet/bath thing yet. While we're still young and able, we might have the master suite upstairs, and use the downstairs BR as a den.

As far as living room size goes, our current one is 10 X 14, with a 4' passage along one side. As little as we use it, it's fine. I'm thinking of a cozy small parlor with a fireplace and seating for 4-6 people.We can't have anything under the stairs, as that's where the cellar stairs go. I might make the 2nd bath into a smaller powder room, and have a shallow pantry facing the great room (if I use it as a kitchen/dining room).

One more idea- maybe enclose some of the front porch to make a foyer area?

I'll post a crude sketch of the front of the house to show the roof lines when I get home tonight.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 9:38AM
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che1sea- Here's a rough sketch of the front elevation. The gable over the kitchen is just for looks.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 5:35AM
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The exterior design is absolutely darling. I want your garage! And baement and 2nd floor.....

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 8:41AM
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I like how your elevation view turned out - very charming. The kitchen gable looks good.


    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 7:01PM
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Very cute elevation. I really like the garage also. Which direction do the stairs run?

I think that if you rework your closet bathroom situation you will have a very cute little house. Just think carefully to be sure you have enough storage, though with a walk out basement that shouldn't be a huge problem.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 7:49PM
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Thanks for the kind words. I'm trying to keep the garage as small as possible, since I hate having the garage in front, but there really aren't any other options with the slope of the land. The garage will strictly be for parking one car. We'll have a good-sized barn for everything else. The basement will be good storage- we're going to go to great lengths to build it dry. Being a walk-out, heavier items can be hauled around back by truck, rather than up and down stairs. The bottom of the stairs is roughly at the front door, and go up to the left in the elevation.

I'm re-working the plan to reverse the bath/closet locations, and I'm liking it better already.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 5:38AM
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I'm looking forward to seeing the plan with the bathroom/closet area tweaked a bit. I LOVE the elevation. It's a charming cabin.

I would recommend considering pocket doors in some places. The master bath and closet, etc., could benefit from those. That way you don't have to factor in the space for the swing of the door, and it makes a smaller bathroom more usable.

Also, was the intent to have an entrance to the master closet from the back hall? If not, consider moving the small bath there, where the plumbing can be more clustered with the utility room and the master bath. Also, accessing the small bath there will be more convenient to the folks sleeping in the loft (at the foot of the stairs) and would allow a bit more privacy than if it opened into the great room.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 11:24AM
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OK- I've turned the kitchen area into a cozy parlor, and put the kitchen and dining area into the great room. I think (?) I like that better. I swapped the master bath and closet, which also seems to work better. Half of the jog in the master bath could be taken for a front hall closet, or I could make space in the utility room. I was going to put a shower in the jog in the master bath. I reduced the size of the second bath, and took some of it to make a shallow pantry facing the kitchen/dining room. I think I'm getting closer....

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 5:55PM
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Just a thought, do you really want to trek through the house with groceries? Having the kitchen closer to the garage would be more convenient.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 10:55PM
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It's definitely a trade-off with our lot- the garage has to go where it is, as does the front door. I'm still undecided about kitchen location. On the one hand, as you pointed out, it is further to carry the groceries. But on the other hand, people visiting would then have to go through the kitchen to reach the living room. It's actually the same distance from garage to kitchen as our current house, and I've never thought of it as a problem to walk another 15' or so. And since we don't use our garage as a garage, it's actually quite a bit further to haul the groceries in our current home. A sloped lot definitely limits some of your options for house layout.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 5:30PM
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I would say that because your house is small that it would be difficult to get the kitchen annoyingly far from the garage, there just isn't room and with this layout you have a pretty straight shot. It isn't like you are dodging living room furniture to get to the kitchen. I also personally prefer to have the kitchen and dining room combined rather than the dining room and living room. Just makes more sense to me.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 2:33AM
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I am thinking that the front porch can be smaller, 6 ft deep instead of 10. With 6 ft you do have room to put porch chairs out. That gives you a more "foyer-like" entry inside. The front door and the utility door are not so close together. A laundry/utility room can use the extra four feet, as well. It can be a cedar closet for out-of-season clothes that you enter from the utility room. Or it could be a place to hang the drip-dry clothes. A place for cat boxes or dog crates, too. You could even put in a small coat closet opening into the foyer area just inside the front door, although that might be too cramped.

The parlor room will then feel more like a welcoming living room, since you see into it better with its right wall four feet shorter. You will enter the home and it is right there. In your current layout the parlor feels more like a cubbyhole room that you pass on the way from the front door or utility/garage on your way to the kitchen.

If you were going to move the kitchen and put the parlor in the front of the house, I am glad you did not put the kitchen on the MBR side of the great room. My mom had a mobile home once where the guest bedroom was next to the kitchen. Every time she shut a cupboard door in the morning when emptying the dishwasher, the "slam!" would almost make me jump out of bed! Gotta watch for noisy things on the other side of the wall from the bedrooms, though no house is as flimsy and those old mobile homes were.

I don't think I miss the access between the utility room and the master closet. The old layout made your wall space in the closet less usable.

In your front elevation drawing, it looks like the 10 x 16 porch is not there in the front, but a small stoop leads into the house as a front door. It appears that the porch area in the floor plan drawings is included in the "inside" of the house in the elevation.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 12:53AM
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Yeah- my artwork is not the greatest! I've thought about making some of the front porch into foyer space myself. The front porch isn't really for sitting- it was more a covered area for someone at the door to keep out of the weather. With the back porch having 3 sides, I think that's enough room for sitting!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 6:42PM
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Just another opinion: If you move the long wall on the front porch forward, you would have space to move the powder bath into the utility room creating a small hall to the garage. That would free up space for a small kitchen pantry and a larger Master bath or use the extra bath space as a small linen closet in the bath.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 9:58PM
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