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Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Posted by sweet.reverie (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 13, 12 at 14:16

Hello Everyone!

I am so nervous to post this here! But I want to see if anyone can give any other thoughts.

We are a family of four. My girls are 1 and 2.5. We plan to live in this house for a long time. We want a large mudroom and we want small bedrooms. We love openness and our table will go between the kitchen and the livingroom. I know that is not everyone's cup of tea but we have friends who have this layout and we love it.

We are already going to ask to push back the stairs so they are even with the kitchen so it does not have that awkward separate look to the living room.

This is 2050 square feet as is. I wish I could make it smaller but I cannot seem to do it with how we want it laid out (bedrooms in the front and open living space in the back- as we have little front yard and a huge back yard.)

I will also be adding in as many windows as humanly possible! I am terrified of a dark house. Ceilings will be 9 feet.

There is also a 300+ square foot bonus room above the two bedrooms.


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Front Elevation:

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Any thoughts to maximize space? I know there is not a good guest bathroom, but the hallway is not that long.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Welcome...don't be nervous....everyone here is very nice.

Is there a reason you are not building a 2 story home? If the front of the house is fairly close to the street, then having the bedrooms on the 2nd story would give you more privacy and less noise. Also, it may give you options for adding more windows, which you said you want. One of the must haves in our house was that bedrooms needed windows on at least 2 sides for cross ventilation. Also, the 2 front bedrooms will be quite dark as they are under the porch. Further, going 2 story might give you a bit more of a front yard without losing any of the back yard.

When you're looking to economize on space, you need to try to eliminate hallways as much as possible as they are space wasters. You have opportunities with the hallway to the left, the long entry way and then the hallway to the right. Much of this could potentially go away if you went to a full 2nd story.

Another must have in our house was that no 2 bedrooms share a single wall. I had that growing up and sounds from one room would travel so easily to the other.

I can't see the dimensions, but the office space looks very small...is that adequate for your needs?

Just some thoughts to consider....


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

I agree with Annie D - with the girls so young maybe they could share a room downstairs now and eventually have their own rooms upstairs.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

There is no street, our lot is 2.5 acres, but some is wetlands so we are building it with a large backyard out the back. It is just kind of the way the lot works.

Small office is fine. I am professional photographer so I just need a computer and a small desk. I actually like small spaces to work in.

I just do not like the idea of kids on the upper floor and us on the lower floor. My husband is a firefighter and I think that has a lot to do with it. If a fire started and I could not get to them... I dunno. Just scary.

Good thought about the bedroom walls sharing- I will see I could reconfigure the closets somehow.

And no way, these kids cannot share a room. lol. I would go CRAZY. The little one is the lightest sleeper in the world and the older one tells stories for an hour before falling asleep. I am often on my own overnight with them and I would be a crazy person if I had to keep going in there and telling them to quiet down.

I think I may be stuck in terms of configuring things.

Any other thoughts? Ideas? Critiques?


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Just a couple comments.
Master closet seems way too small. But only you can decide if it's enough for the two of you.
Mud room is large. What else are you putting in there?
Your office is small, but more importantly, I would find the location quite inconvenient.
The whole right side of the house will have only 2 small windows. Is that ok with you?
We have two guest rooms with only one single window each. I really don't like it, and wish I had at least two windows in each room. Something to think about in the girls rooms.
I'm assuming no basement, no garage. Where is storage?? Little girls have bikes, and there's the lawn mower, and garden tools, etc.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

"The whole right side of the house will have only 2 small windows. Is that ok with you? "

It says in the OP...
"I will also be adding in as many windows as humanly possible! "


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

"The whole right side of the house will have only 2 small windows. Is that ok with you? "
It says in the OP...
"I will also be adding in as many windows as humanly possible! "

Which, is why it is odd to put the office in a corner...a prime location for a room with LIGHT!

And, a room for which light wouldn't be beneficial (too much glare on a computer screen, for example.).

I'd try to put your office somewhere else, and open your family room to that outside wall so you can have LIGHT!

btw--I am a fellow light lover, living outside Seattle... I am with you on LIGHT! :)


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

I totally agree about the office- but where else could it go? Most of the light will be streaming through the kitchen/living room area for the longest time of the day. The office will have a pocket door, which will remain open most of the time, so some light will come through. I also asked about skylights- do you think that would be a good idea in the living room/dining? The mudroom has to be on that side of the house, and we want the mudroom to enter the kitchen, so it has to stay on that side too. The girls room will have morning light- so I am going to make those windows as big as I can, but I am not sure how I could add more windows.

Thanks to everyone who has commented! Very helpful! Keep the comments coming. :)


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Oh and there will be storage, lockers and a utility sink in the mudroom. I am going to move the washer/dryer towards the back of the room.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

You may not like kids upstairs away from a downstairs master, but if you did the two story with an office with attached bath downstairs, and a master upstairs, you could swap office and master and move downstairs away from all of the noise and hullabaloo when they get older. Personally, I'd much rather have kids be up a creaky stairs away from those windows onto the porch where it is so easy to sneak out undetected after the parents go to bed. They will be doing that a LOT sooner than you think, even if at first it's just to stay out later to play. Then come the teen years, and you want to make it as difficult as possible to break curfew.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

I would do at least a 1/2 bath in the loft area so it could double as a guest room/office/playroom. I'm not loving the left hand hall and MB closet size. I'd omit the left hand hallway and move the MB door down (also making the front door swing the other way) opt for a full 3' reach in closet across the wall and use the odd closet space at the left as laundry area. I would combine the utility with the pantry and have the door only on the left so you'd have room for a hutch or buffet. These changes would cut approx 3'off the left front side of the home, also cuts your porch size down to 8' which is still a good size.

I love the island kitchen but I'd also post your kitchen plan on that forum too for more topic specific advice.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

We measured our closet in our current rental and it is about the size of the one in the plan and it works well for us. It is really my husband who is against the two story. He just wants a one level. I am not sure I will ever get him to change his mind on that. I relayed all your comments and thoughts to him.

Houseofsticks: I am having a hard time visualize what you are saying. With the movement of the closet, which wall would it move too?


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

With that much land, a single story is easy to achieve, and if that's what you want, that's what you should have. We went one story because we are reaching the age where stairs aren't fun anymore, and any kind of leg injury or surgery would confine us to one floor anyhow.

I would keep working on the overall layout. If you like light, you should strive for light on at least two sides of every room, especially the important ones. The living room only has two smallish windows flanking the fireplace. Likewise, the master bath has tons of windows, but the bedroom itself only has windows on one wall. How much time do you really spend in the bathroom, looking out the windows? Also- you have windows over the vanity- Where does the mirror go?


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

I'll try to get some time to print and sketch out my changes. One other thought, I'd put the laundry closer to the bedrooms for ease of use.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

We went to the land today and the light will shine towards the front/left corner of the house and then afternoon will be on the kitchen and living room area. The corner of the house with office will not get direct light anyway. The light will be pointed at the bedrooms and direct front of the house only early in the morning. We are not really bedroom dwellers- I know the kids might be when they get older so I plan to make each of their rooms very snuggly and fun. I guess I am just struggling with making sure I make the right choices- aren't we all with these dang custom homes!

I just want a small house with a good layout and I am scared of darkness! My biggest fear is a dark NW cottage. But I tried to design it so that the rooms we will be in the most (kitchen, dining, living) are the rooms that gets the most light.

Houseofsticks- I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Any other thoughts are much appreciated.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

http://www.homestyler.com/designprofile/d11ba500-c367-4a93-a51d-4a4a3d7405d0

Hope this helps...

You could make the pantry a true mudroom by adding a wash sink and open cabinetry or shelving. This leaves space for lockers or a bench and hooks.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

You may have seen this but I thought I'd share since it's similar in layout. I also love her finishes.

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0700250325725.html?68


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Thanks houseofsticks! I will send that idea to our architect and see what he thinks.

And you are right! That kitchen/dining room/living room post has some gorgeous photos! It is similar to what we are going for. I too love the finishes.

Thanks again!


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

I don't fully understand you design objectives, but I'll offer a couple of quick observations.

1) Your guests will have to walk down a 20' long "tunnel", 30' if counting the porch, before they actually enter anything that will seem like it's a room. That's not very inviting.

2) The layout of bedrooms (the private part of a house) solely in the front and common rooms solely in the back is unusual.

3) No one ever builds a house with the intent of selling it, but everyone always does. To me, the common areas are too large for the size of the house, and the bedrooms are too small. I'd want to add at least two feet a side to the bedrooms and try to avoid the common wall. A bathroom is a good divider, a closet wall is usually not.

4) I don't know where you are, but it seems odd from a modern design perspective to have a covered porch on the east side of the house, but nothing similar on the south or west sides that (presumably) would benefit from the solar shading.

5. I agree with the comment that children's bedroom windows opening onto a front porch may not be such a great idea, and that'll make those rooms quite dark because the porch is covered.

Good luck


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Can you explain a little bit more about why smallness is such an important criteria for you? There are many good reasons of course, but they each may lead to different solutions. Is it cost? Trying to maximize yard space? Ecological/resource concerns? You like the "cozy" feel of small spaces? Etc.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Yes, we like cozy spaces. :) Easier to decorate and easier to clean.

What do you think if I made the bedrooms wider, instead of longer -which would make the hallway longer but we could move bathroom on the other side of the hallway (under the stairs) and move the office space to the bonus area? That would allow more light into the living room.

I just don't know how else to configure the bedrooms while leaving the open kitchen/dining room/living room in the back with direct access to the yard- which is how we want it. :( I have tried a million different things in my head.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

If you think of three blocks - the kitchen, the open room, and the kids bedrooms:

I'd move the bedrooms to where the kitchen is, move the kitchen to where the open room is, and the open room to where the bedrooms are. Or, if you don't like where that layout causes rooms to be relative to the compass, do the mirror image of the result I describe, with the common rooms to the left as you walk in, and the bedrooms to the right.

Or, switch the master bedroom with the family room, same idea.

With the common rooms running from the front to the back of the house, the other side becomes the private wing with a hallway entrance You could use the common rooms for traffic front to back.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Have you tried to relocate your stairs to the entryway so you have some interest in that long hallway? I know you've probably been through a zillion. Also, have you considered moving the MB to the back and having your expanse of living on the east/sun side. Your situation is similar to mine with wanting the expanse but you mentioned you were a sun fan and not bedroom dwellers. I your wanting the bedrooms located in the front but I would also consider the lack of privacy, and cost of the travel to the open area (hallways. On a side note, we have a similar front porch raised off the ground 4' with a 9'ish roof it makes it much darker than we desire as it's always indirect light even with 2 and 3 windows in each room. We will be installing solatubes to make up for this deficiency.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

I am totally in agreement with you about light. One problem is always how to put plenty of windows in the kitchen while still leaving room for wall cabinets for storage. Thought I'd share this image that I saw on Houzz.com that I think might provide a neat solution.

As for issues with your plan, I don't think anyone has mentioned it but, while your master closet may theoretically provide you with enough hanging space, at 4 ft deep, it is too shallow. Hanging clothing takes up about 24" deep space which would leave you only a 24" wide aisle. Getting to anything hung at the back end will feel like walking into a tunnel.

I hope you don't mind but I decided to play around some with your design to see if there might be some alternatives that might solve the master closet problem and some of the issues others have mentioned above.

My CAD program says this is 2044 sq ft and I think I've kept room sizes pretty close to what you had before except where it seemed that you might not mind a little "extra room." A bonus room would go into the attic space above the front left side of the house and could be sized pretty much to suit your desires. Most importantly, this should give you a nice bright Great Room and it allows all major rooms to have windows on two sides for natural light which you've said is important to you.

Photobucket

It may not be clear on the sketch, but the staircase is 42" wide and makes a left turn at the landing so that it passes above a 42" wide arched entry leading to the Great Room. Off to one side of the arch you could have a hidden panel that opens to allow you to use the space under the landing for storage. Might be useful for storing things like the vacuum cleaner and brooms, or you could tuck a wall safe there.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

I like what bevangel has done with your plan. She's worked under the principles you've stated are important to you and enhanced what you started with.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Oh Bevangel, so nice, the light will be fantastic in this plan. Bevangel always puts emphasis on the importance of having 2 walls with light and her soulutions are a great fit. I'm wondering about the square footage though, was your quote in the original post including the 300sqft upstairs?


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Bevangel! You have lifted a 4,000 pound weight off my shoulders! I love what you did! I showed it to DH and he is mad because he says he likes it so much it puts up back on square one with the designer! lol.

Do you think if we have a tv above the fireplace, there will be glare from the windows? That is only thing I am wondering about. (not that we watch that much tv during the day- we don't even have cable!)


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Houseofsticks- the original was 2050 without the bonus room- so this is right on track :)

I really feel that my girls can create great "hangout" rooms with better light. Plus the photographer in me was a bit heartbroken over one window per bedroom. I love that natural light!


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Your liking this just made my day! I get warm fuzzies all over whenever someone likes my designs. :-)

As for glare from the windows in the TV, that depends on which direction your house faces. I only recall a mention somewhere that "the girls' bedrooms (where they were originally) would get morning light" so I'm guessing the house will face east or maybe northeast. If so, then yes, glare from the setting sun could definitely be a problem for a TV placed above the fireplace in this design.

But given that the living room part of the great room is basically square, you could move the fireplace to either the window wall or put it up against the master bath wall between the window and the door to the masterbedroom.

If you moved the fireplace to the "window wall", you could still have a window on each side of the fire place plus the one window on the side wall and the two sets of patio doors. So it's not like the resulting Great Room would suddenly be "dark."

Or, if you prefer to keep all the windows, you could put the fireplace against the master-bath wall. However, if you do so you will either need to allow the fireplace to stick out further into the room OR do a bit of rearranging of the master bath fixture to make room for the flue (chimney) to be tucked back there. So you would probably wind up with a smaller shower and no linen cabinet in the toilet room.

When you start building, I want to see lots of photos. And since you're a photographer, no excuses!



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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Ok yeah I think I would want to move it to the window side. But DH is wondering if it will look weird or even be possible to put the fireplace there without the gable?

Here is how the current rear elevation looks with the gable and fireplace:

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And I have not lived in a house with good light for awhile. The rental we are in while we build does have great light in the bedrooms and it spoiled me!

A prime example: my littlest cheeky bean in her nursery in the rental:

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So yes, you will see a lot of pics of these little munchkins and our build since I don't know how NOT to share photos :)


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Now that you mention it, I guess most houses with gables do tend to have their fireplace chimneys on a gabled side or somewhere in the middle of the house. BUT there is no reason why it has to be that way. After all, lots of houses with hip roofs (no gables) have fireplaces on exterior walls which is just like having your fireplace chimney on a non-gabled side of a house with a gabled roof.

Just did a search on Houzz.com and found a few examples of houses with gabled roofs where the chimney is on a non-gabled side. Granted, these are all two story houses...but that's probably just because almost all of the exterior shots on houzz are big fancy two-story houses.

Of course, if you're not into wood fires and want a gas fireplace, you could opt for a direct vent fireplace that requires no external chimney at all. LOL!


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Oh those are all great examples! Thanks.

Well, where I live the power goes out a lot in the winter, so I want to be able to heat the house. I think the only issue we will run into is that the chimney will have to be really tall to be far enough away from the roof.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

I really like Bevangel's design! The only changes I might suggest would be in the kitchen. To get more light, I'd move the range to the other wall and have the main sink under a bank of windows. The dishwasher could be here, too...with a prep sink across from the range. This would give you more prep space across from the range, too. Just a quick sketch :)

From Cottage house plans


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Thanks Lavendar! And yes, I agree- that might make cooking a bit easier (they say you are supposed to have a triangle between the sink, range and fridge...or maybe I am off on that.)


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

I too tend to like the "work triangle" theory of kitchen design. I just have a hard time figuring out to make it work with kitchen islands. And nowadays you hear a lot about having kitchen "work zones." I was going to recommend that you post the kitchen area on the Kitchens forum for feedback from the kitchen design experts there but LavenderLass's suggestions look great!

BTW, a couple of things I learned along the way in designing my own kitchen...

1) Use deep, sturdily drawers in most of your base cabinets instead of standard cabinets with doors. Costs a bit more but, IMHO, is worth every penny. (My cabinet maker charged $25 extra for each drawer.) So much easier to get to things. Even my big pots and pans fit down into big deep drawers right beside my range.

2) Assuming your upper cabinets have adjustable shelves (most do), get extra shelves. Most uppers (whether custom, semi-custom, or out-of-the-box) come with two shelves. Lots of times you don't really need as much space between shelves as that gives you, so having an extra shelf will allow you to take advantage of what would otherwise be "air space".

3) 15" deep upper cabinets will hold a ton more stuff than 12" cabinets. Even most over-sized serving platters will fit nicely.

4) Remember to plan a convenient spot for trash and recyclable containers.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

And just BTW, if you move the fireplace back to the window wall, you can then have the staircase make a right hand turn at the landing instead of a left so that the bonus room winds up being over you master bedroom and closet. (You would wind up with an angled roof in a portion of your closet but it will be high enough not to interfere with full use of the closet.) This would allow your front elevation to be essentially unchanged from the original drawing you posted.... there is a few inches difference in widths but nothing noticeable.

If you keep the stairs as drawn, the front elevation will necessarily change significantly because the bonus room windows won't be over the porch.

Of course you might not want the bonus room over your bedroom. Depends on whether, when the girls are teens, you want to be able to hear what they might be doing upstairs after you go to bed or would prefer peace and quiet. LOL!


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Yes, I think we will turn the stairs. I really did the old front elevation. I think the house is small enough that we will hear the kids no matter where they are!


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Ok so DH played with this a bit and came up with this a slightly new plan. He did not like the master entry off the living room. He was on a 48 hour shift and I did not get a chance to tell him to move the fireplace to the window side so we could turn the stairs/take away the low storage (he has software to draw stuff at work). I really like this new entry since DH and I are the only ones who ever go in the master and think we could make that office a cute passage way. It would actually be nice for me to work there because it is away from the main living spaces and I then I can hop right into bed! We will put a long desk along the back wall.

DH is so cute because he is not "online" at all so he is always asking "did you show my floor plan to your online people?" lol. He is baffled at how we got a great floorplan from a message board. He said, "wait someone just took time out their day to draw this for you?!"


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So we are still slightly tweaking but I want to thank you again Bevangel, I wish I knew your address, I would send you a thank you note.

If anyone sees anything that won't work, let me know! I know the office might not be everyone's cup of tea but I like it. So don't hate on it too much :) There will be pocket doors on either side.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Oh and MB is not 20, it is 15 9. DH copied the wrong number over.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

No garage? Where are you located in the country? An attached garage is cheap storage space because at least 1-2 of the walls are part of the house.

I'm not liking the entrance to the master being soley through the office area. That also limits it's potential use a a guest room.

The utlity room is a lot of open floor space that isn't doing anything. Find a way to make it a bit smaller and give the space to a powder room somewhere. A single bath serving that many kids and possible guests is much less than ideal.

I wouldn't want an entrance straight from the family room straight into the master bedroom, but if you put a bit of a wall right there on the bedroom, you would be entering into a hall between the bath and the bedroom. It also lets the master bath serve as a powder room to the family room and kitchen area.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

hollysprings: The garage will be detached on the left side of the house- so you can enter through the mudroom with groceries and such. It will also have a MIL apartment on top.

I never intended for the office to be a guest room- we will have a bonus room with a couch that pulls out if someone wants to stay but in the 7 years we have been married, we have never had anyone stay at our house as we live very close to family. But if someone did, that bonus room option there.

I worry that there is not enough room in the living area for that door- we wanted to have the couch along on the back wall and another couch along the far wall, so I would think it might be awkward for people to squeeze into that doorway. 16 feet (especially with a fireplace is not THAT big). Maybe I am way off base. Plus, maybe I am weird but I think of the master as such a personal space, not sure I would want people filtering through that room- you know? Even if it was just to the bathroom.

I know the office will weird some people out, but I just need a small space to work about from the other family members. I think we could make it cute:

I linked a photo as an idea.

Thank you so much for your suggestions, I will show them to DH! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Hallway office


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Oh and we are WA state. But none of our houses we have lived in the past 10 years have had garages, so we know we operate fine without one attached to the house.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Would you want a door to the laundry area from the kids hallway somehow? 99% of the laundry is going to be coming from the front of the house and it seems counter-productive the way it is. From your room, you will have to walk through the office, past the stairs, around the kids bathroom, past the pantry, and through the kitchen.

I am loving the office inspiration photo, that is a very efficient use of space!


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

DreamHomeDreamer: I thought of that but I think I am ok with it. I can't think of a way to do that that without making the plan even bigger.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Actually, a simple passthru door to the laundry from the kids hall shouldn't be difficult to incorporate without adding square feet... We just need to think on it a bit.

My concern at this point is with your kitchen prep space... Prime prep is between the sink and the stovetop. And, you don't really have a good spot. What is the square on the counter run right next to the mudroom entrance off kitchen? Maybe that is a prep sink?

Also, what kind of door does your DH have planned for the MB toilet room? Hopefully a pocket door with this design.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Also, which side of the state? Are you in rain/mud country or snow/desert country (guessing E wash if you've never had a garage)? I ask because, you may need a larger coat closet than what you've drawn here... I realize you will probably allocate some space in the mudroom (though it isn't drawn), but you don't have a lot of other room for vacuums and guest coat space, etc.

If I were you, I'd figure out a way to make your mechanical room slightly deeper (by reconfiguring the spaces of pantry, bathroom, mechanical room) to get your passthrough (onto folding counter--not a full door) from bedroom hallway to laundry and also a little more space for vacuum, etc storage.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Kirkhall: Yes, a pocket door in the MB.

We are in the puget sound- so the rainy side :) My fear with adding another door which takes away cabinet/folding space.

And I agree- I need to take a good, long look at the kitchen to make it work well.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Been busy all weekend with a houseful of company so just got a chance to log back on and catch up. So glad to see that your DH has gotten into the game. LOL! Ultimately you'll both be much happier if both of you are fully involved in the design process.

I would recommend that when using CAD programs that are not specifically designed for architectural, he should see if he can set the width of the lines he uses for walls to approximate a 4 inch width on whatever scale he is using. Otherwise it is very easy to forget that walls have actual "thickness" and think that there is more floor space available than is actually true. (As far as I can tell, it does not look like your DH is making this mistake but thought I'd mention it just in case...)

Anyway, that's a GREAT IDEA about making the office a "hall office" and I love your inspiration picture.

Kirkhall's suggestion about a door from laundry area to the girls' bedroom area is another good idea but I agree that putting another door into the laundryroom/mudroom area makes it less useable. But, by making the pantry a little bit smaller, I was able to move the girls' bathroom over so that it is next to the laundry room which allows you to have a laundry drop from the bathroom into a hamper under the folding space. That might help some with packing laundry around.

Moving the bathroom over also allows for an enlarged "mech room" area so that you have plenty of room to store brooms, mops, mop bucket and a vacuum cleaner there.

Alternatively, if you should decide that the HVAC unit could go upstairs in a little room off of the bonus room, you could turn the mech room space into a guest powder room and a hall closet if you wanted to. I'm not a fan of water heaters or HVAC units in the attic (much prefer that both be kept within the heated/cooled envelope of the house. But since you'll have stairs up to the bonus room, it wouldn't bad to have the mech room in a small room up there.

Here's a revised sketch showing the changes.
Photobucket

BTW - as for total storage downstairs, do keep in mind that with the upstairs bonus room, you can put a door thru to your unfinished attic space allowing you very easy access to it for additional storage.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

I would take this kitchen design of Bevangel's and swap the location of the stovetop and the sink...
why? I think the kids are going to needing the fridge, sink and MW. As it is, they will be always in "your" space--between prep sink and stovetop. If you swap them, then the stovetop is out of the way--they really wouldn't be likely to go through that end of the island unless they were coming in from outside through the laundry room...

You'll like this much better. It is so dark over here. Having more windows in the rooms will feel so much better.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Another minor edit I would think about making is in the laundry area... I would move the location of the washer/dryer to the other side of the room so that if you fold clothes directly out of the dryer, you have a place to put the newly folded clothes. If you move the washer/dryer then you could put your cubby area where they once were. It would be a trade off though because it would then be a smaller cubby area for a countertop space near your washer/dryer. Just my 2 cents.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

From an ease-of-motion perspective, it would generally make more sense to have the washer/dryer next to the folding table area. I put them against the kitchen wall instead because OP mentioned that one of her daughters is a very very light sleeper. For most people, the sound muffling provided by the closet would be plenty, but in this case it seemed like it might be better to move the washer/dryer away from the bedroom wall entirely.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Bevangel & DreamHomeDreamer: I was thinking the same thing- don't they make pretty quiet washer/dryers now? All the washers/dryers have had have been more than 10 years old and nothing fancy. I agree it would be nice to drag stuff out of the laundry and put it right on a counter.

We met with the builder and he seconded the idea that we need to work on the layout of the kitchen but loved the new floorplan. The other one seems CRAZY now! lol.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

On less happy news, the landlord of the house we are renting has decided he wants to sell it! So we have to deal with showings with two kids under 2.5. My brain does not need another thing to stress about! :( I have not enjoyed my 4 months as a renter. Our house also has a rat problem and they have peed and pooped in the insulation under the house and in the ducts, so the whole house smells faintly like pee- when the heat kicks on as the weather gets cooler, the smell will get worse. We alerted them to the issue the 2nd day we moved in, in MAY and nothing has been done. Arrg!! I hate renting. Makes building seem that much more worth it.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Washers and dryers are pretty quiet. I have a Whirlpool Cabrio set (love it!) and when the door is shut to the laundry room, I never know if the load complete yet. The only time the washer is loud is if I put comforters or huge loads in and I don't put the stuff in evenly and it gets off balance. If it is off balance, the machine works to correct itself (by refilling and respining), and if it can't fix itself the machine stops the cycle until you come reorganize it.

Sorry about the landlord stress, not something you want to deal with when you are in the process of building. Crazy that the landlord won't come clean out your ductwork. It seems in his best interest to have it cleaned if he wants to sell.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

That is great to know, DreamHomeDreamer. I think if we get quiet machines, it will be worth it to move them.

To me, it makes sense why they have not fixed the rat issue- they are no longer invested in the property and just want to get rid of it.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

They have about 3 weeks until heat will be needed again...


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

New floorplan + other pics. Any other changes?


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

If you wanted to move your W/D to near the folding area, I'd do that still.

I like this kitchen rendition, but it would still be my preference to switch location of sink and stove (and therefore, the windows)... But, this looks nice, and with a prep sink it isn't as big a deal. You just have further to cart dirty dishes from the table and your back will be to anybody in the house when you are doing the dishes.

Can you put a second window in Bedrm 3? (left wall)

It would also be good for you to consider where you will hang towels in the master bath.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Nice improvements!

I would probably either switch the location of the sink and stove, not for functional reasons (though it could be more functional, i'm not very good at thinking out kitchen space) but because looking down that long room the two windows flanking the stove would look better. If you leave the set up as is, I would double the size of the window over the sink, that is, if you can afford to lose the cabinet space!


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Your layout is coming right along... looking good.

Just a few thoughts:

In the master bathroom, is there enough room to have both sinks side by side to the left of the entry and then swap the tub and shower locations? If so, you would have a place to hang your towels. You would possibly be able to have a small linen closet beside the toilet area. Or you could opt to not put in a true linen closet and buy a pretty cabinet to fit your storage needs and add to the personalization of the bathroom.

I don�t know if you are down to the nitpicky stuff with still settling on a layout but I thought I would mention it� I can barely tell what the door widths are, but some of them seem pretty tiny. Some look like 28"(master BR and office doors), and I would not put a 28" door on anything but a small closet. A bedroom door IMO should be at least 32" wide, but 36" is preferable.

In the kitchen, I like the layout as is. The main sink between the cook top and ovens makes sense to me. If you switch the sink and cook top like others are saying then IMO I would get rid of the prep sink b/c it would be unnecessary to have two sinks back to back.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Wow! Huge improvements!

I would add a window in bedroom 3 to get cross vent

I would question the window in the shower as a maintenance nightmare....if you use a glass surround and a knee wall, you can get lots of light in the shower.

Where will you put the tv?


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Yes, we too are going to switch the range/sink and getting rid of the prep sink.

I will ask about the doors.

TV above fireplace and I am pretty sure that shower window is small and really high up,

DH and I like the separate sinks because he is freakish clean and I am messier. lol. So I think we might fight less! But you are right, we will have to figure out a towel method.

I already alerted him to the missing window. :)


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Another thought I had while watching HGTV... exciting evening at my house - haha

With regard to your mechanical room - I feel like the door swing takes away storage space. I am all about maximizing storage space in a house... if you split the room, add an extra door across from the other storage door under the stairs, you would be able to gain stacking storage in the extra space otherwise occupied by a door swing. So you would still have space for a upright items (broom, mop, vacuum, etc)in with the HWH but you would gain an additional small closet. The pic is what I am thinking.

I would recommend you look into gib doors as an option for the mechanical room. I learned about them in another post that I have linked. A gib door is a door which is flush with and treated/painted in the same manner as the surrounding wall (drywall) so as to be concealed and has no visible hardware on the hall side.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gib door thread


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Another thought I had while watching HGTV... exciting evening at my house - haha

With regard to your mechanical room - I feel like the door swing takes away storage space. I am all about maximizing storage space in a house... if you split the room, add an extra door across from the other storage door under the stairs, you would be able to gain stacking storage in the extra space otherwise occupied by a door swing. So you would still have space for a upright items (broom, mop, vacuum, etc)in with the HWH but you would gain an additional small closet. The pic is what I am thinking.

I would recommend you look into gib doors as an option for the mechanical room. I learned about them in another post that I have linked. A gib door is a door which is flush with and treated/painted in the same manner as the surrounding wall (drywall) so as to be concealed and has no visible hardware on the hall side.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gib door thread


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

DH and I talked and we think we will keep the washer/dryer and do front loads will put a folding space on top. That way when people walk in, they can use the locker/bench to take off shoes and sit down. Hopefully that will work!

DreamHomeDreamer: Let me show that idea to DH! That is very interesting!

Kinda cool that this house will be completely designed by this forum! :)


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Cool that you're now down to the really nit-picky stuff! I'm curious what your designer said when he saw the sketches you brought him from this forum. LOL!

It looks like your drawing has the door dimensions shown. It's just too small online for us to read them.

We have 32" doors throughout our house and they are wide enough to roll a wheelchair thru. I have a friend who is in a wheelchair and she has no trouble rolling herself everywhere in my house. So while 36" might be nicer for a really big person who is also wheelchair bound, I don't think such wide doors are really necessary thoughout a smaller house. I would keep a 36" door between laundry/mudroom and kitchen because you'll so often be going thru that with your arms loaded. And, your mech room may require a 36" wide door in order to get HVAC unit out if you ever need to replace it. Otherwise 32" ought to be fine. And, you can even go a narrower with closet doors. Our previous house that we lived in for 25 years had 24" wide doors to all the closets and to the powderroom. Not ideal but "liveable."

Speaking of doors, you might want to swap the way the door swings in the master bedroom. Since you may not be able to hang clothes clear to the end under the stairs, you may wind up using the other side for stuff you wear most often. Probably better to have the door open so that you're looking at the side that you likely to access most often.

Yes, I was envisioning a small window in the shower...located at the far end away from the shower head so that it wouldn't get constantly doused with water. I mainly put it there to have a little natural light in the shower in case you wanted to completely enclose the shower with a tiled wall.

But if you go with a glass enclosure, you don't really need the window IN the shower because you will get plenty of light in the shower from the other two windows. BTW - I do think a glass would look terrific and it allows you to have a larger shower because you're not taking up space with 4" thick walls on two sides. I have a glass enclosed shower in my guest bath and it's looks great. But I hear that keeping the glass on a shower that is used every day from constantly being water spotted can be a real PITA. Maybe if you want glass, you should consider choosing a frosted glass or patterned glass of some sort that wouldn't show water spots so much. Linked below is a site where you can look at some of the many kinds of patterned glass that are available.

For towel bars, If you go with a tiled shower enclosure, you'll have a wall between shower and tub and between the vanity and shower where you can attach plenty of towel bars. Even if you go with a glass shower enclosure, you can have towel bars attached to the glass. On houzz.com, if you search bathroom for "towel bars on glass" you'll see some examples. So, towel bars shouldn't be a problem.

I like DreamHomeDreamers idea about the Jib door for the Mechroom. (In fact, a short Jib door is exactly what I was envisioning for the opening under the stair landing.) I'm just not sure you would have room enough for one that is wide enough to get mechanical stuff thru unless you decide to NOT do the "passageway" opening between foyer and great room. Since the stairs have been swung the other direction and no longer pass over that doorway, you could opt to just have a simple cased doorway between the two spaces and maybe extend the railing on up across the landing.

But, if you want to keep the sense of having a "passageway" between the foyer and the great room, I'm not sure a JIB door sized to allow removal of an HVAC unit will fit.

I keep going back and forth about the idea of swapping the sink and stove. I think I tend to agree that it would be nice to have two windows on the side wall instead of just one.

If you can afford it, I would suggest having built-in cabinets that match the kitchen cabinets in the dining room space where I marked "china hutch." While you could just set a china hutch there, you'll have room there for something like 8 feet of cabinets and most china hutches are a lot smaller than that. 8 feet of uppers and lowers is a lot of useful storage space. Probably I would do glass inserts in the doors if the middle four feet (to display china) and have regular doors on the sides for storing more mundane stuff... like the board games that the family plays at the dining room table.


Here is a link that might be useful: patterned glass


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

I really like your plan, but I believe opening the bedroom hall to the laundry room is almost certainly the most valuable change you can make. Everything else is small potatoes comparatively. I'm guessing everyone, on foot and in wheelchair, would greatly appreciate being able to just continue forward instead of forever having to turn around and backtrack, often nearly a full circle. And for cooks and launderers too often having to turn right around and do it all over again.

When we sliced the size of our main floor down, I was faced with the option of either: Keeping a nice-size sitting room with powder room/secret 3/4 bath but no circular flow (sitting room and foyer right next to each other not communicating with each other, so lots of backtracking. Powder room accessed only from one end of this circuit.

Putting 2 doors in the powder room as a halfway measure. Nixed immediately! I KNEW DH would always run through this handy "hall" instead of walking around.

Or sacrificing the size of an already cozy sitting room in order to create a small powder-room hall connecting the foyer at 10 o'clock to the sitting room at 12 o'oclock (and thus on to the kitchen at 2, and on around through the living areas, including stairs up and down at 3 and living room at 6).

I am SO glad this is the choice I made. It works so well. And we're empty-nesters, just the two of us, neither using a wheelchair. The sitting room IS too small visually, but the whole main floor not only works as it should, it feels right too. Spacious. Enabling. Never an exasperating waste of time and energy.

If you didn't want to do it now, a sensible option would be to lay it all out and equip it so a doorway could easily be added.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

At my mom's house, you go through a large laundry room to get from the garage into the kitchen (imagine on right side washer, dryer, laundry sink, and spare freezer, on left side cabinets all the way down). Most of the time people come through the garage ... friends too, not just family. So she finds she wants to keep her laundry room neat/pretty all the time. She now wishes you did not go through that area, but instead had a small entry "foyer" with laundry opening off of there. You may run into that same problem with your current plan.

My suggestion for your plan is to move the wall of the laundry even with the back of the pantry wall. Have the entrance from the exterior coming directly into the kitchen beside the oven stack where the w/d is currently showing. Even though the laundry room will be smaller, you are not giving up any useable space. The current laundry has a lot of wasted space in the center of the room.

One thing my mom has is cabinet built in bins in her laundry room for dirty clothes so they have a place to go until they are washed. Love it !! Google laundry bin images for lots of ideas on bins for dirty -and- clean clothes. She also has a short hanging rod. Clothes come out of the dryer straight onto the hangers, which really helps prevent wrinkles. Then all hangers go from laundry into the closet already hung up.

I second/third/fourth the suggestions to have a back door to the laundry going to the hall near 2 bedrooms.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

If you have any Doug firs anywhere near your house, I would NOT put the door directly into your kitchen.

I know you said you can live with a detached garage because so many of your houses you've lived in have not had an attached one, but, I am E Suburbs of Seattle, and my garage, though "attached" physically is not attached as a passage. And, for the last 9 years, I have loathed all the doug fir needles that track into the house all autumn, winter, and spring long... Wet shoes track in fir needles. If your garage was attached, and you were coming from a dry car through a dry garage, into the laundry or kitchen, it wouldn't be an issue. But, not your plan.

Also, while the idea of a circular path is a nice one, I am not sure it works for the same reason as above--you'll be tracking doug fir needles everywhere.

However, I would consider making bedrm 3's door even with the wall of the hallway (at a right angle to where it is now), so you can get a future passage if you want to make it circular, and/or at least get a wall passage for laundry baskets into the laundry room from the bedrm hallway. That really wouldn't shrink the bedroom size any to move that door 90*.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

With sooooooo much feedback about the need for direct access from laundry to girls' hallway, I'm wondering if you might be open to moving the mech room upstairs and then doing something like this....
Photobucket

A separate laundry room would also mean that your girls would never have to be embarrassed by bringing a (boy)friend home from school and having them walk right past a pile of the family's dirty underware! LOL!

I'm not certain a 32" wide pocket door would fit in the available space so you might have to drop down to something slightly smaller but I'm sure you could fit a 28" pocket door in. The laundry room door opening to the hallway would probably be the one you used most often when carrying baskets of clothes and it could still be 36" wide to avoid scraped knuckles. Thus, the narrow pocket door would mainly be for access to the machines when you're working in the kitchen and need to move a load from the washer to the dryer. Secondarily it would provide a route between bedrooms and mudroom without going thru the kitchen.

But, the only way you could do this would be to move the mech room upstairs. The mech room could still be located within the heated/cooled envelope of your house and, since you will have a staircase, I think it would actually work out fine to have the mech room upstairs.

Anyway...this is just another idea for you to think about.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Are you going to have a basement? (those aren't all that common around here). If not, you could also put the mechanical room under your stairs, where it turns.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

This idea has a number of optional changes. I put the two pics side by side so you can compare original plan on the left with my suggestions on the right. When you get more settled on your plans, post your whole plan to the kitchen forum. They will give exceptional advice on optimizing your kitchen, and good advice for the rest of the house as well.

A short wall next to oven stack allows for several things ... blocks chill winds coming into the kitchen from exterior door, extra walls for hanging decorations or other (key hooks, corkboard, etc), contain any dirt that may be tracked into the kitchen, save $ on cabinets by not having an end panel on that side of ovens. You could even put a pocket door from short wall to pantry wall (that would probably usually stay open, but could be closed on extra cold or hot days).

W/D wall for laundry room is moved with no loss of useable space/lockers in laundry. Wasted space in middle of laundry is reappropriated to kitchen entry. This hides the mess in the mudroom / laundry from people coming in by the kitchen exterior door. Ours is messy sometimes, I wouldn't want people seeing in there ! And I don't want to have to clean the mudroom / laundry for people coming in the exterior door. : )

Optional door from laundry to BR 2/3 hall. If door is not used there, lockers could go all the way down that wall.

Adding the door from laundry to hall increases the depth of BR3 closet. This allows shelving on the sides of the closet door just wide enough for shoes, folded sweaters, etc. Optional window in BR3 next to closet.

Wall for BR2 closet & linen closet moved to equalize the size of these two bedrooms.

Increased depth of kitchen island allows a large counter workspace for big projects (like laying out a posterboard for school or decorating a cake), additional seating, and cabinets that open to stool side for increased storage. Would keep rarely used items here. Decreases walk space from range to prep sink (was too far away). Also, this allows for 2-level island without sacrificing counter space. Trash pull-out next to prep sink !!

Entry door to pantry moved to off-center to allow for broom/mop to be hung to one side of the door.

One wall of the pantry increased in depth to allow a message center. Something like this that Buehl did is 20"W x 47"H x 7"D (+1"H for bottom shelf) ...

Example of what my mom's bins look like (hers do not have words). This could be right across from the W/D with cabinets above and a short rod for hanging clothes straight out of the dryer. The cabinets that back up to the double sinks could be lockers. Smallish baskets in laundry room for clean folded clothes and kids/adults can use basket to take clothes to their room and put them away.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Sorry I have been so busy the last couple of days.

I don't think many people will be coming in that door. The driveway comes from the other side of the house so most people will park right in front and come in the front door. They would have to walk around that side of the house to come in that way. That entry is mostly for kids and us after being in the yard and such.

I like the idea of a seperate laundry room but I don't think I want to make the pantry that small and one thing I loved about the new plan was the bigger, more open mudroom. So I think I will keep it how it is. We will just have to implement a good storage plan for clean/dirty clothes.

Bevangle: My drafter was a little surprised that I came back with a brand new plan from a forum! But he was able to quickly and easily make the changes because the plan you did was to scale. :)

Kirkhall: No basement. :)


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

LOL, the pantry size did not change at all, except for the 4 inches to the depth of the one wall to add the message center.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

sweet.reverie - doesn't look to me at all like your pantry got smaller in bevangels plan, but rather larger.

I like bevangels re-work as this will keep you from having to drag the laundry from ALL bedrooms around the whole house. With the entry from the girls hallway it is also just a straight shot from the master AND you still have a decent sized mudroom.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Oh, I just re-read this ... "I don't think many people will be coming in that door. The driveway comes from the other side of the house so most people will park right in front and come in the front door. They would have to walk around that side of the house to come in that way. That entry is mostly for kids and us after being in the yard and such."

I misunderstood, I thought you were going to have a detached garage on the side of the house where the kitchen is. Which would mean people other than immediate family would be coming through the messy mudroom/laundry. Sorry !


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Okay, so without the basement, don't let the space under the stair return go to waste. Use it in some way that makes sense--mechanical room would be GREAT. You might not loose the space you think you would in either of the 2 suggestions above.


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Actually the pantries in both my designs have almost exactly the same total internal square footage. Pantry in original design is 6'6" wide by 3'6" deep. Pantry in the design with a separate laundry room is 8'6" wide by 2'8" deep. However, my separate laundry room design would require that you move your mech room upstairs and apparently you (or maybe your DH) don't want to do that...which I can certainly understand. I suspect that you might also not particularly like the idea of having the laundry room stuck into an internal space with no windows.

Angela's design was another nice idea but unfortunately it made bedroom # 3 smaller and with two girls very close in age, you probably want to keep their bedrooms as close to the same size as possible. Angela's design also got rid of the mud room cubbies - or at least moved them into another room - and away from the direct path in/out of the door. While that would tend to keep the side entry looking a lot neater, I don't think I would like it because the cubbies wouldn't get used as freely as they will if everyone passes right beside them on the way in/out of the door. The entry hallway would stay neater at the expense of more junk winding up on the kitchen island because that was the first flat surface available.

Ultimately, EVERY design requires some compromises and exactly how best to do your side entry/mudroom/laundry appears to be your spot. Different people will have different ideas about what would work best for them if they were the ones making the choices.

What would drive one person nuts would not particularly bother a second person and might actually be seen as an advantage to a third. Eg, one person would see the lack of a direct path from the laundry to the hallway as a huge negative because they "have to lug laundry clear around thru the kitchen." To another, it would be no big deal because the laundry chute from girl's bathroom minimizes how much laundry has to be carried. And a third person might decide that not having a direct path from the side door to the girls' hallway is a distinct advantage because "when the girls reach that age where - among other things - they start wanting to wear clothing/makeup that Mom & Dad might not approve of, they at least have to walk thru the kitchen on their way out giving the parents a chance to check out their outfits before they head off to school." LOL!

So, while you're getting loads of advice, pay attention to the comments only to the extent that they help you to think about issues that you may not have previously considered... and then choose what you think will work best for you.

BTW, I do agree with Kirkhall about not wasting the space under the stair landing. I just don't think the mech room will fit under there. For one thing, HVAC units have to be attached to duct work that then has to be run thru walls/ceilings to other rooms. There is just not enough head room under the stair landing for that kind of thing. It is a great spot tho for storage tho and with a JIB door, it can be "hidden storage" that no one but you and your family has to know even exits.

Hope everything goes smoothly with getting your loans, and various building approvals. Can't wait to start seeing you post pictures on the monthly "How is your Build Progressing" thread!


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RE: Any ideas? One level floorplan, small house.

Bev, both BR2 and BR3 are smaller by 7 inches. This makes both bedrooms exactly the same size. Each is 10'6"x11'1" vs 10'6"x11'8". Each is only 2sf smaller than her original design of 10'5x11'4. BR2 has a longer closet (as before), BR3 has a "step in" closet (where before it had a smaller closet than BR2).

Correct, Mudroom cubbies aren't removed or moved. But the door to them is moved, so you would step into the mudroom from the side entry rather than the side entry being the mudroom.

Pantry stayed exactly the same size.

The hardest thing about coming up with a plan is the compromises. We worked on our plans for 5 solid years before building and the end result was so much better than what we started with. You can compare the plans and see they are the same basic design, but way better. You have to look at the pluses and minuses that others give you from their experience with an open mind to their reasoning, and then consider and decide what is right for YOUR family and the way you live !!


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