Need advice on Plan

pors996December 10, 2011

I posted over on the remodeling forum and people were seemed only interested in knocking my architect so hopefully I can get helpful tips here as this is the forum I read the most. The current house is a 1596 sqft ranch and I am adding 2200 sqft which include kitchen, family room, guest suite,laundry room,mud room and converting garage from 2 to 3. I The room to the left of the entrance will be a small formal living room. In a year to two I will add a new master suuite and one more bedroom. I know going up is cheaper but I want a ranch. I am now working on new elevations that will include redoing the roof pitch. I am posting before plan and current. So any feedback is much appreciated.

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Try one more time, I uploaded the existing house so I am reposting so will be easier to read.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 9:48PM
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I realize this may be a hard process, most people here really are trying to help. We all come from different backgrounds and have different opinions as to HOW to help you get what you want. For example, I have never lived in a house as large as you will be making yours, so some of what I say is generally just how I like to arrange space or about places I've been in that had an arrangement that was cool. For kitchen details, I've lived in a lot of different places and remodeled too many kitchens.

From your plan and words, I don't know what your goals are for your addition or for your kitchen. I feel at a little bit of a loss as to what to comment on. Take all this with the traditional big grain of salt.

What I didn't like about your plan:
--- it leads people to use the kitchen as a cut through path from the laundry, the mudroom and the hallway between the guest room and the garage.
--- If I was spending the kind of money that additional will take, I'd want a lot more kitchen.
--- The public/semi-public/utility/private spaces have a lot of crossover or duplication or are just plain awkward - like I'm not sure why you want the laundry on the other side of the house from the bedrooms.
--- There is a lot of square footage being used as circulation space.

As a really good example of I just don't know what you're looking for - sometimes a person with a home office would rather be near the front door (guests, mail and packages, nosie), if I was going to kill that bedroom near the front door, that's where I'd place the office. Sometimes, you might be looking for a home schooling space.

So, this is a little bit different. There are likely hundreds of ways to layout the space and layout the addition. This is just an example of getting more kitchen, a different shared bath, a single "mudroom" in the back hallway, different public room assignments, and different utility space location. I think the guest room is more usable, but maybe not to you.

The kitchen plan isn't specific - just an allocation of space big enough to do a kitchen with outline cabinets.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 8:58AM
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Thanks appreciate the advice,and appreciate the rework. Couple of things. The first is that the kitchen is pretty large and the windows and doors are not by any means finalized. I Will try to post a picture of a quick layout. The small room to the left in the entrance is actually going to be a small formal living room. I will rarely use this so I am fine with its current size. I was trying to make the layout a little more traditonal by having LR to rt and dining room to the left. My needs are a little different right now because I am single dad half the week so some things are less important to me. I will do a big master suite and add another bedroom in a couple of years and the rooms will be more proporionate.

I liked the pass through butlers pantry. That will be like a prep area with stemware another sink and dishwasher.

I am going to post a couple of pictures which have been my inspiration, I really liked he layout of ace of diamonds kitchen with the hood as a focal point, however I am going to do more modern and I am also posting my favorite kitchen. This will be the style of cabinets I am doing as well as appliances.

Ace of Diamonds Stunner

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 12:37PM
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Again, I'm still at what do you want out of doing the project. You're saying back what you want the finishes to look like.

I'm thinking of stuff like
"form is more important than function and I want it to have two islands"
"I am an accomplished cook and want a range top and double ovens with the ovens both at waist level"
"I need a space where we can dine as a family. Right now its me and (insert number and ages of children".
"I don't cook, but I'm planning on hiring a live-in who will cook for the kids"
"Appearances are important"
"I just want enough to fill lunch boxes in a stress-free way"
"I throw large parties that tend to feature cocktails"

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 3:03PM
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Thanks bmore, I do like the look of two islands. I enjoy cooking but work crazy hours and a single dad I dont get a lot of time. I reallt dont need more space as its just me and my 4 year old son, most of the time now we at the barstools. I do enjoy entertaining.

I am the type who more just goes with the flow, and try not to over think everyday decision. Right now I am under the gun for time and dont have the time to start over with a clean slate at this point so I if there are tweaks and little things I can do at this point I will but, cant re work the whole plan.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 7:34PM
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Pors- I like your inspiration pictures, but I notice that many have a fridge and wall oven on the side wall, across from the big windows. I think this would be a big improvement over your current plan, since it will give you some much needed storage...and a place for the fridge.

Two island can be nice, but I think you need a purpose or function, specific to each one. For instance, in your plan, the main sink is on the first island, so maybe you only have a few seats at that island...just to chat with someone, while you're working. The second island, with the prep sink, could be a bar sink and you could have that be your entertaining space, between the kitchen and dining room.

Another idea would be to tuck in a small banquette, behind the first island, since your little boy is still so young. It might be nice to an informal dining area that's easier for him to reach...and then the higher, adult sized stools at the bar area. Maybe something like this?

Love all the big windows and Bmore's living/dining room makes a lot better use of your existing space. If you want the bigger room for dining...maybe the smaller space could be an office? Hope this helps :)

From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 8:21PM
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Pors996, you're going to have some gorgeous spaces there. I love ranch homes for the way they spread out so nicely. I miss the calm of strolling about the one we had long ago. It was only about 2000 square feet in an irregular L, but I remember it as seeming as large as yours actually will be.

Regarding just the food-prep functions, I can see that you do have a really good-size kitchen planned. Big enough for everyone but a hobby cook with pizza ovens, etc. What I thinking it misses is a chance at discretion, for instance when one might prefer caterers not be clattering away amongst the guests, or just maybe a big party mess not on full view at all times. Both the kitchen and butler's pantry are currently wide open to everything.

The pantry/secondary prep area, in fact, actually straddles THE major view line down the house. It would be very nice if it were positioned so that its mess and noise, and any hired help, could be closed off when desired and at worst not particularly noticeable at any time. When you're working alone, you also very much need a pass-through you can shove all the mess through and then CLOSE so you can get back to your guests, and you most definitely do not have this here. I am tending to assume hired help at least part of the time, though--like when both areas are busy, because even a very redoubtable single cook would be hard put to work in those two large separate spaces at once. I know I would.

Regardless, assuming both areas will be used, how about if the entry off the garage were moved to what is now part of that back car bay, opening closer to the family room? That would free up that prior entry to be a perfectly positioned place to hide the secondary prep area/caterers' kitchen, their comings and goings, etc., with doors to kitchen and a small serving area for the DRM, plus quick ingress/egress to garbage cans, utility parking area, etc. It could really function well.

The side-by-side halls leading to the family room could be reconfigured as one very powerful one.

BTW, I love the style you've chosen. It's going to be fabulous.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 1:19PM
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Thanks Lav,

I have a CKD working on kitchen plans, I agree would be nice to put a table in there. I have more than enough room. I am thiking of having bar setup in servie area. What are your thoughts on that?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 1:41PM
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A bar setup would be nice...but do you plan to make all the drinks yourself? Do you want to be interacting with guests or off by yourself, when making the drinks?

Maybe I'm just a traditionalist, but I love a big, cozy, wooden bar...whether it's in a great room or a separate den/library. There's something wonderful about a 'man space' that gives you a place to congregate around the bar and have a drink. Since you have such a large house, it might be fun to incorporate the bar into one of your living spaces...maybe add some shelves and put some books/collectibles...possibly a fireplace.

Or, you could go much more modern and have a rec room feel. Either way, it would also be a great place for a pool table! The best part of having a big house (IMHO) is having the space to do some great entertaining areas, just like this. You don't have to include them in your house...but it's so much more fun if you do :)

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 1:53PM
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I am going to do a bioethaol as a fireplace, you are right I def need a bar somewhere. I am going for a comtemporary classic feel. This is the fireplace I am doing a different design.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 5:02PM
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Nice fireplaces! They look like the ones I've seen on Divine Design, with Candice Olson. She loves the more contemporary styles and I think they'll look great in your home :)

Here's what I think looks like a sleek, contemporary bar. Maybe scaled down a bit, for a would be quite a feature. I also like this bar stool, but keep in mind, contemporary is not really my style.

From Kitchen plans

From [Kitchen plans](
    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 5:24PM
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Def what I was thinking, contemporary is not my style either but all my houses have always been traditional so I want a change. But I am thinking that the lines will me veyr clean and give me the option of making it more traditional down the road.

Couple of more pictures that I love and getting some ideas from.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 5:58PM
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Try this guy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mick

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 6:41PM
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I may be getting old, but I can't read half of the dimensions or room designations in your plan. If you could make it easier to read, I'm sure you'd get more suggestions. In the mean time, here are some random thoughts. You come in the entry and look straight through the home to--- a powder room. That's a very bad location for that. You want the entry way to your home to look straight through the home and out to to a presumably nice property view. And the space there between the entry and the powder room, you envision using that as a formal living room? It seems much too awkwardly shaped and small for that. And then the passageway from the old part to the new park is also awkward and too small. If you envision the family room as family space, it's a long way away from the bedrooms and if you envision it as entertaining space, it's a long and awkward journey from the entrance to get there.

The addition itself is really too large for comfortably usable family space unless you create multiple seating zones and multiple food preparation zones or maybe "games" area between the two as Lavender suggested. Larger isn't always better. Sometimes it means just a lot more walking. I suggest plugging in normal sized furniture silhouettes to get some ideas. Keep in mind that for comfortable conversation, you don't want to be further than about 10' from the person you are conversing with or it becomes uncomfortable. And, while negative space is great, too much negative space feels cold and unfriendly. That is why I believe that you could reduce the width of the addition by about a third and the length by at least a third and still get everything you need, but it would be psychologically more homey feeling.

I see that the room on the end is office space but I can't read what the other space might be. If it's a guest room, you might want the bath between it and the office if you spend any time in the office. It would also be better access for being able to access the bathroom from the office space.

Your entry from the garage area also needs tweaking. That is where I'd place the powder room, pantry, and mud room areas. It might make sense to swap this with the guest room (?) space and just lose the powder room all together in favor of a better structured full bathroom.

Again, perhaps I could give you more pertinent comments if the plan was more readable.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 8:26PM
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Live Oak thanks so much for the feedback, I am going t the architect in the morning and going to print everything you wrote and bring it with me.

I love your idea of connecting the office to the guest suite. Makes good sense. The room when you come in is going to be a guest suite, but will serve as my temporary master until I do the other side of the house.

I already changed the entrance to the powder room so you dont see it when you walk in. I am going to post that plan. I am envisioning art work on that wall where the powder room room was.

The room when you come in I was going to use it as a large foyer. The room to the left when you walk in the foyer I was going to have as a small formal living room, I didnt care that much it was small because I did not think I would use it much. Do you have another idea?


Guest Suite 23X12'6
Office 21X14
Kitchen 25X20
Fam 25X20
Mudroom 21X6

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 8:49PM
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Rosie I did not see your notes tell now, I think thats a good idea about moving the door. My architect was busy and I could not meet on Thursday.


I went over to the house and tried to get a feel about the foyer, you are right its to much wasted space. I was thinking of ditching the formal living room to the left when you walk in and push it out about 2.5 feet and making it a larger bedroom. Then ditching the small bedroom across but I am not sure what I would do with that space.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 11:14PM
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Your ideas are very fluid right now, and it's going to be fun seeing what direction you go. With so many, many options, though, don't forget to keep a list of the basic functions your want in front of you so they stay top priorities. Happy holidays.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 8:01PM
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