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Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Posted by redheadeddaughter (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 21, 13 at 0:17

Hello everyone! We are a homeschooling family of 5 building a farmhouse with detached garage on 8 rural acres. We also have lots of extended family/friends we will host overnight frequently in this home. I have a handicapped mother, a father and MIL who will be using the guest space often. My husband likes to live outside when he is home, and I like to be able to "see" him and the kids from windows while I do my chores inside. We are over the moon to have this opportunity to build a home special for our family.

Well.. We closed this week finally on our lot and already have a first draft of our plan from our designer. He came highly recommended by everyone in the area (even another GW member!), and worked on this piece of property during the prior site approval process (we have some restrictions in where we can place the building, the color of paint (no white house, bummer), and the county in general etc. - buildable land is reaaaly scarce around here).... so we feel fortunate to have him and really like him. I basically asked him for the moon and he came back with this plan.

There are things I really like about it: the sight lines in particular and the numerous exits (my husbands request). The herb garden is fabulous. The guest area is in a nice and quiet spot. Lots of great hallways, which I happen to love and makes living with a wheelchair much easier for all involved (fewer smooshed toes and baby fingers). I can see a door or window down almost every hallway. These are great things that are hard to find in a plan.

The many "bump outs" took us by surprise as we asked for a pretty simple box that looked like an old house. But I also asked for light and bright without 2 story areas and I can't have everything. ;) Any problems you see in these plans are likely a result of something I asked for at this point and not the designers fault. As an aside, he mentioned that at least in this area, those "bump outs" aren't really going to move the needle cost wise. We were really surprised! The square footage will change the end cost, even if it is just bedroom sf - its the way they price things around here I guess.

Either way, we are looking to shave off some of the space downstairs without losing a flow that will work for hosting large groups of family (15+ at a time for days) and also multiple homeschool families for class coops and events. I have a garage full of books I access frequently and hubby wants them out of his garage... thus all the book locations. I'd love to find more storage space in this plan. Should I get rid of the powder bath?

The kitchen will be swapped out with the "hearth" room to gain more light and windows (and a view of the backyard), and the laundry room will be moved to the other side of the house so the pantry can go there and hog up that space. The number one thing on my list is a big pantry... we cook at least 3 times a day and bake as well, so the kitchen will get a much closer look down the line. That is the only thing that wasn't big enough in this plan (the pantry I mean) I've sketched that out roughly in the flickr photo stream.

The areas I've already cut are the classroom, which looks huge now that I see it in comparison to other rooms, and the rest of the southern "wall." But I wanted to get some GW'ers opinions on the entire beautiful original plan first before I butcher it and get rid of all those lovely bumps.

We haven't seen an elevation yet (grrrr... its killing me! I can't figure out the windows), but the porch will extend across the front, instead of as it is now. So I can put all the extra visitors who can't fit inside but need a shady spot to eat their pie and drink their sweet tea.

Anyway. Short of lopping off the whole front part of the house, can you suggest some smart ways to lose square footage here? Is the guest space already too small or can I shrink that down a bit? Will the pocket doors provide great versatility or will it limit furniture placement? We can't have direct access to closets or bathrooms downstairs because our septic limits us to the 4 bedrooms (upstairs). Oh and no basements possible at this site. The views are awesome (agricultural valley and hills) from every room.

If you are still reading...Any and all comments are welcome on this plan. I'm ready. Take your best shot! (now lets see if I can upload the photo properly... its my first time so please be patient with that part! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: bigger view on flickr hopefully?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Here is a link to the sketch up idea I have for the kitchen /hearth room area. Will this help to lighten up the kitchen area? Or does this ruin the whole flow of the house? I don't think I want everyone in the house traipsing through the "business" end of the kitchen... i want to keep them in zones if they are helping, and at the island if they are not. ;) It will be at least a 3 but kitchen. With multiple little buts running around.

Here is a link that might be useful: kitchen hearth room flipped

This post was edited by redheadeddaughter on Mon, Sep 23, 13 at 2:02


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

It would be helpful to know what the current sq. footage is and how much you would like to shave off. I don't know if I would be so quick to cut the homeschool room. You don't mention how old your children are, but I'm guessing they are younger. I homeschool also and am very excited about having one in our new house. It will be nice to have a spot for all our books and a dedicated space.

Without knowing how much you want/need to cut, I would start by cutting the hearth room. I would open your kitchen up into the great room area.

Could the book area be combined into the homeschool room area? I'm planning on doing a wall of bookcases along one area of our new build. Would that be a possibility for you?


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Congratulations, that's great news and very exciting. It might help to know why you want to cut sq ft -- it is just to save costs, or because you feel like the house is too big? There are lots of things to like about your current plan.

For some reason, your floorplan reminded me of the one in the attached link below. Even though the linked plan also has "bumpouts" the roofs and elevation look fairly simple and elegant. Just thought you might find it interesting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Allison Ramsey


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Oh I forgot to add the sf. - sorry guys! It's at exactly 4600 with the upstairs (4 bedrooms). I think the main is about 2900 sf. I'd like to cut about 3-400 off ideally.

Good question Oaktown: I'd like to cut for 2 reasons: 1 Even though I think 4000+ sf is large, I want it to feel cozy in each room. I've lived in large spaces that just seemed wasted, and I want each space to be used well. Except the kitchen. I want that to feel cavernous. Everyone lives there with me. ;) and 2) I think it will be an easier way to save some costs (according to our designer) than cutting back on flooring choices, and my ridiculously adorable range that will be putting out all those pies. :) And my husband says cut. I think that last reason is pretty important come to think of it

As for the books... one of the things I'm most excited about is having wall space for all our maps and timelines and art, so having some kind of closet for most of the school books nearby kind of clears up a wall for me (if I get rid of the pocket doors). I kind of don't want to cut the school room... but comparably I'm being selfish if I don't. Cutting the hearth room out completely.. now that's an idea! Do you think I can fit 15+ people in the middle "parlor" comfortably for a football game though? It'll have a large dining table in there as well.


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Oaktown Thanks for leading me to that plan! I love that Allison Ramsey exterior. The plan is pretty neat too. I just couldn't imagine those front parts bumping out and how they would come together into a farmhouse style... and now I can. Whew.


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Just wanted to say that this is looking like a wonderful plan. I teach and understand the desire to have wall space in a classroom. I would think about having some low shelves so you can use the walls above. You might be able to have a shallow closet accessed from the classroom for more books and use one wall too. I would agree with the idea of cutting out the walk in book storage if possible. Is you classroom storage needs only books or is it bulkier items?

I wondered about you laundry location. I like laundry areas near the kitchen, but your location looks to be far from the bedrooms. Are you okay with that. Also, it is not that large for a family your size. I bet you guys generate tons of laundry.

I look forward to seeing your design develop.

Carol


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

OntarioMom thank you for your comments! That's a great idea about having some low shelving but maintaining some wall space. Will. def. implement that idea. The book vault will be for books, craft and science materials, and have a computer for online classes (so we can close the door for quiet). I wish the laundry could be huge... thought about maybe losing that right exit hallway and making that one big utility room, but I think that would kind of destroy the great sight lines the designer implemented. Maybe it's worth sacrificing that though. The location on that side of the house works for me since I'm in the school room most of the time anyway... at least its far enough from the bedrooms as to not disturb sleeping babies. I'm lobbying for a laundry chute from upstairs. ;)


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

First, I'm having trouble reading the words; thus, I'm not able to comment on everything.

You say you want to cut square footage . . . are you looking to fit the house into a smaller space, or are you looking to cut costs? I can see ways to do both:

- The book vault -- is that like a library? First, I'd ask if you're using books at the same rate you have in past years. I personally find myself using fewer books. I LOVE my Kindle, and one of the big reasons is that I don't need space to store books. Also, one of my summer projects was typing up all the recipes I like . . . and ditching the cookbooks I'd been saving for the sake of 2-3 recipes. How-to books are largely being replaced by internet helps. Although I love reading (and some people love books more than they love reading), I find myself clearing out books, books, books . . . and I like my house better for it.

But I digress . . . I was really going to point out that you have an oversized entryway. And a book vault. I'd ditch the book vault and line the entryway with bookshelves. Imagine knee-high bookshelves flanking those columns, a wall of bookshelves across from the staircase, and bookshelves under the staircase. You could come up with just as much shelf space as you have in the current book vault. Then the entry does double-duty, and you save square footage.

- I do not care for the kitchen layout. The sink and the cooktop are divided by that massive island, which will cost you many, many extra steps each day. It also looks somewhat disjointed. I suggest you take this over to the kitchens thread and see if you can't streamline the design a bit.

- I do like the built-in casual dining area in the kitchen.

- What is the purpose of the hearth room? If it's just a gathering room, couldn't that gathering be done at the kitchen table?

- This is more of a money-saver than a square footage saver, but I'd ditch the three doors in the great room. Replace two of the three with windows, which are less expensive to buy, more secure to lock, and more energy efficient.

- Also on the money-saving front, your plumbing is strung from one end of the house to the other. If you could consolidate these rooms a bit, you'd save a lot.


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Mrs Pete - really appreciate you taking the time to comment. You always have some great insights.

I'm with you on the kitchen layout... it will be completely reworked. And then I will submit to the kitchen forum.

The "hearth" room is really the football room which is kind of where the guys hang out.... while I imagine the parlor/dining to be a slightly quieter place for the moms and grandmothers to gather while the less rowdy kids do puzzles or projects on the dining table. That sounds awfully old fashioned but it really does break down that way in my family. But usually the women have no place to go except the bedrooms. I'd like to change that a bit. ;) Hubby wants a huge 10 foot island (Ha!) and a football watching room right near it (for food) ! ;) This will be swapped with the kitchen location, but I am trying to shrink it a bit and still fit everyone in there. Easily 15+ people at a time. Some of the gathering can take place at the island, but not all of it.

As for books, a great portion of them are not "pretty" books, but textbooks and school books for grades 1-12. I've only gone through grade 5 so far, but I'm collecting and buying used when I find the books I want. Which are usually out of print or expensive (of course). I've also marked them with stickies for all my lessons! Those books and craft supplies I'd like to keep less opened up for aesthetics. The rest of the bookshelves in the house will be for nicer books I've been collecting forever: theology, crafts, sewing, philosophy, art and military history, geography... the kind of books that don't transfer well to a kindle (which I have and use for my homeschool alot). For me my riches are my family and my books. To have a spot for all these will truly feel like the ultimate luxury! I know it isn't practical though and wish I could squish the school books especially into a smaller space. I will cut here but it pains me. :)

And I really like your bookshelf/entry ideas... I just might use them all!

Plumbing spread noted... will discuss with the designer. Same for the french door/window swap.


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

The floorplan looks lovely.

Will you have an attic? Perhaps rather than a book vault in prime first floor space, you can have some conditioned attic area for storing textbooks and materials for future years. Perhaps you could add a dormer and have a small reading nook in the attic along with the book storage?

If you are looking for ideas to cut, I'd suggest the first-floor book vault and the sunroom -- especially if the front porch is going all the way across. Folks can just sit on the porch, the weather is so nice here! The first floor book nook is nice to have, but you could also fit the powder room under the stairs and fit the nook somewhere else.

Also, please keep in mind that any cutting will impact the second floor.

Good luck!


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Is the guest bath wheel chair accessible? It looks very tight there to me.


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

I like the floor plan, but I agree with others that if the book vault is primarily for storing things you aren't using now, it might make more sense to cut that square footage, and keep books for future years in non-habitable space.


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Oaktown: I hope we have attic space. I requested it, but I'm not sure what the elevation looks like yet or how high the roof is with the site restrictions.

Lyfia: Oh the wheelchair in the bathroom... I do need to revisit that area in the plan again. Thanks for the tip.

Z4N: okay, okay... looks like I need to cut that room further. ;) You are right I will just use a wall in the garage for for my upper grade material for now. But I do need at least 4 bookcase for the current school year (and don't want to take up wall space), so maybe I'll just do a walk in closet with shelves on one side and no window. And here I thought I was being so clever with my book vault idea.

Thanks everyone for taking a look at the plan with me.


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Football room -- I don't think it's old-fashioned that the guys gather in one room, the ladies in another. I think that's how everyone's family does it . . . except for meals. It's practical to locate this room in/near the kitchen. The football viewers will want munchies, and the island is a perfect spot for you to set out your appetizers . . . and then you have the table for eating.

However, if you're hosting a regular football gathering, I assume you pull for a certain team . . . and if it were our house, I know my husband would insist upon decorating in team colors, perhaps with team memorabilia . . . and I don't want that in my kitchen. How would this work: Decorate your school room in "team colors", and let that double as the football room. You'll never be teaching class during a football game, and the school tables could double as food tables. Seems like a good use of space.

As for well-loved-but-not-so-attractive books . . . if my books were going to be very visible, and I wanted to hide ugly stuff, I'd buy a couple rolls of pretty wallpaper (from the $2 leftover bins) and make bookcovers. I'd categorize them: Perhaps burgundy with a gold stripe for all 1st grade books and purple for 2nd grade books . . . or the burgundy for all math books and purple for science. Perhaps dusty blue for all family geneology, and green-on-green print for gardening books. Write on all the spines in the same black sharpie marker. Yes, it'd be a big project, but you could attack it 20 books a week, and it'd disappear in a hurry. It would look good when you're done, and you could always re-adapt with new colors or to include new topics.

A garage wall sounds like a practical place to store not-this-year school books. Remember, too, that these books probably aren't keep-forevers. Once your youngest finishes 3rd grade, sell those 3rd grade textbooks!


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Thought I would share my pinterest boards with homeschool room ideas. Maybe it would give you some ideas of more storage for the room, so your book vault area could be shrunk. However, I do like the idea behind it. Books sure have a way of accumulating when you homeschool. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Homeschool Room Ideas

This post was edited by neroselover on Mon, Sep 23, 13 at 14:50


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

I think your plan sounds lovely, but I can't read many of your room names...it gets too blurry, when I enlarge it.

Can you repost? The herb garden and sunroom are wonderful...but I didn't know they were there, until you drew the other version.

From what I can see, I prefer the original kitchen plan...the window overlooking the herb garden and the L-shaped banquette. Much nicer, IMHO :)


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Red,

I think you should look at doing a shallow reach in cupboard or closet for your books and not a walk in closet for the books. You could make it in the same spot you show but just 12 inches deep or whatever depth you need.

Carol


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

neroselover: love your pinterest boards!

Mrs. Pete: Ha! You are such a good sport. Huge Packer fans here and no green and gold in my house thank you very much! I'm not a very good wife in that regard. The cheese heads stay at the door or live above the garage... except on game day when they have a very short welcome window. :)) I don't mind mud and dirt tracked in or dog scratches... but no one enters the "school zone" without teacher supervision. Too many important papers. I'm turning crotchety in my old age....

Lavender Lass: I will give the picture thing another go... I see what you mean. You are the champion of cozy spaces and I really value your opinion. I will revisit the kitchen idea as well... I am pretty determined to have that eastern light and multiple windows in the kitchen though... and then I will be able to watch my kids play in the backyard and pool area. And people walking past my stove to get to the fridge makes me uncomfortable... I'm kind of clumsy and don't want to burn anyone! My mother likes the original plan too.

Oh that book vault is a dilemma. We can't have a closet entrance from the school room itself because of the septic limitations. I guess pocket doors (a secondary access) might be okay though. I really want that wall for the chalkboard and maps, so I need a hallway access for books, near the schoolroom... I don't think a shallow cupboard could house enough books (even for just one semester!) without a ginormous amount of wall space that I don't have. (Well except in the entry, but my husband nixed that pretty quick) And the book vault gives me a tech center/computer center as well, with a door to keep out the toddler/visiting small kids from the supplies ! ( I was originally going to put the tech center in the laundry room but realized that would be kind of mean to make my 10 year old have his writing class next to the laundry machines. ;)Teaching multiple grades is tricky stuff! Lots has to fit in that corner of the house and I keep measuring and trying to figure it out. Between the designer and all the great ideas here I'm sure my books and supplies will find a good home... it's a dilemma I'm happy to have. I'm so excited!!! Thanks for every single comment friends!!!


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

wait wrong photo. that's a nice one of the building site, but here is another go at the first floor original.

Here is a link that might be useful: larger flickr photo?


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

wait wrong photo. that's a nice one of the building site, but here is another go at the first floor original.

Here is a link that might be useful: larger flickr photo?


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Thank you! So much better :)

Your land is beautiful! Where are you located? I'm a bit confused about the placement of a few things...but I know things are different in other areas of the country.

The north side has the sunroom and the herb garden, but in our area (eastern Washington state, more similar to Idaho/Montana than Seattle) we have to have herbs and sunrooms on the south side or southeast corner.

I LOVE so many of your details! I have a few ideas, but want to get a little more info, before I post. If you lived closer, I would so want to visit! Your house has the type of details I would love to have in a home :)


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

LL: The siting issues are at the top of my list for our next meeting with the designer. You are so right. We are limited as to where the house and garage can sit and at what angle, even though the lot is huge (to us)... I sketched out the sunroom on the south side originally, but everyone here seems to think there will be plenty of sun most of the year even on the north side. I think there will be some sun and lots of shade from the house in that area... But I can grow quite a bit in dappled sun/shade, and we will have a much larger garden on the south side too. Plus the highs were above 115 this summer...whew! So some shade is good. The sunroom will have sun from the west I think, but I want to do a sun study. Maybe it can be the sunset room? ;) My original idea was to have the entire back of the house facing south, but that just isn't feasible on our site sadly. :(

I would love to hear any other ideas you have...
You are speaking my language Lavender Lass!!


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Oh I forgot to add, we are in Northern California, but with more of a central California climate. Very very warm in the summer, but cooler at night. I think it's zone 9a.

Lavender Lass, do you think I should switch the sunroom over to the south side near the guest room? That was my original idea. North is the left back corner of the house plan now, with west being the front exterior corner of the sunroom now.


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

I'm glad you're happy with the first draft and how it's bringing together what you're looking for. I do encourage you to push for some elevations from your designer before he or you invest too much time on the plan, though. Even if they are just rough sketches. Or design some elevations and then come back to the plan. It's just that I've seen too many times when well-intentioned owners and designers spend months nailing down the "perfect" plan and then discover problems with elevations, roof, or overall form that would require revisiting the plan...but at that point no one has the stomach for changing the plan. Hopefully your designer is capable and willing to design from multiple viewpoints.

It sounds like because of the activities you'll be hosting and the need to accommodate family members with disabilities, you might have the right amount of space already. The best way to cut may be to find a way to cut some rooms as others have suggested and have some spaces do double duty, rather than making everything 10% smaller. But I wouldn't cut anything until the designer shows furniture in the rooms and you can see clearances around the furniture and spaces for wheelchair turning wherever someone might need to turn. Lighting, finishes, and placement/size of openings factor into coziness just as room sizes do. I also think elevations of room interiors, showing the heights of things like built-in cabinetry/shelving/seating and height of plumbing/electrical fixtures will be important in your case so that everything works well for someone in a wheelchair. Good luck, and have fun!


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

dadereni: Yes, we need to see the elevations. Before I hired this designer I specifically asked if he would work within the confines of a certain farmhouse "shape" and work from the outside in. He said it was unorthodox, but he could do it... we are still waiting for the first elevation. :( I'm hoping he wants to get it just right and that is the reason for the delay? Anyway, I've measured and done my own hopeful elevation sketch below. As long as it doesn't have double gables and weird pitches I think we will be happy with something close. I think I want to change the windows from clustered to individual double hung. We are wrapping the porch a bit and for some crazy reason I think a wrapped porch can fix just about anything. ;) But as soon as I get a real elevation I will be posting it up for critique. It's amazing how window placement can really change things.


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

I would want the sunroom on the east side. It's morning light, so it shouldn't be too hot, no matter the time of year. It would be a great morning room, maybe off the kitchen? Then you could still have a banquette/eating area in or by the hearth room.

While I love all your details, I think you might want to go back and sketch general ideas of 'best' locations for each room. (This is the time to do it!) Then, you can add back in the details that makes each space so inviting. And a wide overhang or side porch on that south side would give you some much needed shade...but maybe you could have more windows overlooking the garden.

I also think you'll need a bigger pantry, mudroom and maybe laundry area. I live in the country and I wish I had more space in all those areas. I know you're trying to cut down on square footage, but I think you can still do that...and have the space where you really will use it.

One other thought...have you considered a 'walk through' office, between the guest room and class room? Maybe books and maps on the inside wall and a window and computer stations on the other? That might give you more storage and still consolidate some square footage. I'd include bookcases in the guest room, as well...maybe have that as a little library, when you don't have company. If you switched the bathroom and guest room locations...you could have some nice windows facing the garden.

I've got to go 'to town' today...but I'll check back later and try to draw out a few possibilities :)


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

I love your plan! We're working on a farmhouse style plan as well, but am new to posting and using this forum, and not sure how to load it :) I really, really love so many of the details, including all the "book nooks." I too am a huge book person and need them around me!

I like the idea above to do a walk through office space, along with utilizing the guest room for bookshelves. We do that in our current home, and also have lots of overnight guests.
Your reworked kitchen and family room configuration makes a lot more sense, and I think the range flanked by windows on that back wall is such a nice focal point for the entire space.

We are building in Northern California, too, in Moraga. It sounds like you might be nearby? Who is your architect?


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Maybe we could have a California gardenweb house party after it gets built. You must bring some seeds for the garden as admission! BBQ and pies and ice cream! Lavender Lass you will just have to come on down and join in on the fun... I think I want you to decorate my house. ;) Sara... we are close but further south a bit. Can't wait to see those plans you have for your farmhouse!


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

I would love to...but it's hard to find a sitter, for these kids! LOL

From Lavender's Garden


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

I'm swooning... literally swooning. I wouldn't want to leave that place ever. ;)


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Thanks! It's a LOT of work, but I really love living out here :)

This is a quick sketch...just the right side of the plan. The bathroom is a bit wider (universal access) and there are windows on each side of the bed, facing the garden.

I changed the book vault to a walk through study/office for the kids...and added window seats and bookcases in each room. Also added bookcases on outside of study...either side of pocket doors.

I don't know if you plan to have a bed or fold out sofa in the guest room...but if you did a sofa (comfy one!) then you could use this as a bit of an 'away room' for yourself or older kids to read, while little ones are working on computers or in classroom.

With the south porch extended, all the rooms will have more shade but still enjoy the view.

For the 'left side'...do you want seating in your sunroom? Is this more for plants? Do you want easy access from the kitchen or mudroom, to get to the herb garden? Have you considered a potager/kitchen garden here, as well? This would give you veggies, maybe a bit of fruit and flowers...that you use while cooking, as opposed to the larger garden on the south side.

From Kitchen plans

This post was edited by lavender_lass on Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 13:37


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Garage

Would you consider moving the garage forward? The front of the house is facing west, so if you moved the garage forward, you would block the harsh/afternoon sun, in the garden.

Here's one option...a large, combined laundry and mudroom, with access to the sunroom. The garden could be off to the left or right. I also added a little courtyard (with small fountain) off the hearth room. It would be shady and cool, maybe with vines and a couple of chairs?

Also, you could flip the guest bath, so you still have access from the class room, but more private access from the guest room.

From Kitchen plans

This post was edited by lavender_lass on Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 15:32


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

I agree that I would not like my kitchen decorated in a green-and-gold cheesehead theme. Nor, if my husband expressed the desire, would I like him to decorate in Carolina Panthers electric blue; an upstairs room, sure; my kitchen -- no.

I wouldn't mind, however, having a classroom in that theme, and I can't share your concern about someone being in the classroom without me.

Too bad your husband doesn't like the idea of bookshelves in the entry. At the risk of sounding immodest, I thought that was solid gold.

I do like Lavendar Lass' walk-through book room. Very practical, if you have books floor-to-ceiling.

Chalkboard -- I wouldn't have one. Instead, go for whiteboards: better contrast, easier to read, you'll never look back. Use backing board that's meant to go behind tile. It'll be less than $20 for a large piece. It's also nice to cut those boards up into little boards so kids can work out math, etc. on them. A SmartBoard would be better still (you'd be amazed at how versatile it is), but they're in the $5000 range by the time you've had it installed. It would, however, take the place of your chalkboard, all your maps, and serve other functions as well. And it could be a nice big screen for the football games.

I am totally against having your children "take classes" in the laundry room. Oh, the distraction.

A new thought: You won't be homeschooling forever. What will you do with the classroom after the children are grown? I wouldn't build that much space without a plan.


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

MrsPete- If it's not a classroom...what a great craft/hobby room, after the kids are grown :)

Did you see the cover of Romantic Homes this month? So many great ideas for craft rooms!

From Kitchen plans


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

I would just use the whiteboard paint for the class room. We have it at work and it works awesome. Better than our white boards as far as erasing it too.


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Oh my goodness LL... what awesome sketches you did for me. Thank you! Unfortunately we cannot move the garage or house (or driveway) much at all... we are fitting it within a "bubble" allowed by the country for a previous design. It's not ideal, but it will save us a bundle in fees and time. But that courtyard! And the laundry utility room! And that huge sunroom facing east! Aah! I'm taking all these ideas and sitting on them for a few days as I rearrange furniture in the rooms. Maybe we can still use some of them without the house getting too much larger. ;) The walk through office looks like a really neat idea... and a larger guest room with a better view is awesome. I noticed the furniture fits much better now. The only thing we really lose is that side entrance... which was going to be for the pool as well (my husband is a fish.pools scare me to death.. any advice on extremely reliable pool fencing is welcome). Truly every room is doing double and triple duty. I am putting that on my list to discuss with the designer for sure. It might help simplify the elevation as well. And it gives me a nice comfortable bathroom for my mum... I realllly like that. Thank you so much.

Mrs. Pete: I'm telling you that you are a much better wife than I... no green and gold in my farmhouse cottage except on game days. Not even upstairs. Strict rule. ;/ Okay, well maybe his office.

I think the schoolroom would work better as a multi-purpose room if: it were large enough for couches and recliners and a TV (right now its pretty full with 3 desks, a teachers desk, a central project table and a science table, and I'm trying to find room for a little loveseat for reading)... and it were closer to the kitchen... and I didn't have toddlers and lots of guests with toddlers prancing through my home so much. ;) I actually close the door and block it once we are done with school for the day, because the papers don't get properly filed until the weekend (or dinner doesn't get made) and I've had too many lesson plans torn apart by precious 3 year old hands. I learned the hard way. It's really my only "no go" room for visitors unless another teacher or mom is in there too. The exclusive space is such a luxury, but boy will I feel less anxious about records and the like once I have one. I did mention cutting the hearth room to my hubby and making a little more space in the parlor for him and all his recliners... but he is set on a kitchen adjacent football/game room. In the off season its really a basketball room. Ha.
I did revisit the front hall bookcase idea. Not to replace the book vault, because that's kind of hard to do, but to make it smaller and add storage. It would work well especially for literature and history books... maybe my vintage collection of nature study books. They are all prettier. I also mentioned the idea of wrapping the outside in pretty paper. He laughed at that idea, but its still floating around. Personally if I am welcomed by books in an entry I feel comfortable. And I get to know those people pretty quickly by the books they read.

Future plans: With my youngest being 18 months, I have at least 16-17 years left of this wonderful schooling to share with them barring some kind of sickness or real learning disorder I couldn't teach through. I expect with our rapidly growing family, there will be some others to school at least occasionally as well (9 cousins so far!), and then I hope for some grandkids shortly after that... but if we ever truly are empty nesters I would love a place to quilt and sew and make jewelry and art. It could also work as a downstairs master in a pinch, converting the book vault to a closet. We have 3 aging (but energetic) parents with some health issues... and I hope they will consider shelter with us if it comes to that... so great to have extra space for that as well. Our designer suggested a "media room" for resale? But if I could kick out all TVs and computers I would. But that would mean no GW help and I would truly be up a creek!

Interesting about the white board rec. - I've had 6 and they drive me nuts. 2 really expensive rolling ones. Eventually they just stopped erasing properly and the pens are a toddler weapon of mass destruction. I go to make a snack and come back to a mural on my wall. Maybe I'm buying the wrong kind? My daughter loves chalk and learned to read and write with it so quickly... something so hard to explain, but it really was a great thing for her. I would ideally like to have a rolling chalkboard on one wall and a large whiteboard higher up on another wall. I will have to research those smart boards. And what is whiteboard paint? Oh off to google!


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

If you can't move the garage, I would still vote for the larger laundry/mudroom combination. What do you think of the kitchen?

I like the hearth room! It does give you the ability to split up, when you're entertaining large groups...and it will be nice to watch football, right off the kitchen. What about soft yellow and green accessories (think spring daffodils). LOL

I have always liked this older house plan. I think it's from the 70s...kitchen work area is very small...but I do like their 'clutter room'. I would love to have something like this, when we remodel. And that greenhouse :)

From Kitchen plans

This post was edited by lavender_lass on Thu, Sep 26, 13 at 11:26


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Bathroom

Also, if your mom or other relatives might be staying with you in the future...keep the powder room! In fact, I would think about adding one by the mudroom.

The guest bath might need grab bars, taller toilet and other handicap essentials. This is not a good fit with small children...everything is too high. Also, not a great company guest bath...and parent will prefer their privacy.

My grandmother had to have a lot of these additions to the bathroom and while they make living at home much easier...it is nice to have a separate powder room...or two. One for company and one for muddy family members :)


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

I'm surprised you have paper lesson plans, which can be injured. I keep all my worksheets on my website (backed up to a flash drive), and I keep all my tests and lesson plans on the same flashdrive. The flashdrive is backed up to a portable hard drive, which I keep in my house. I keep absolutely nothing (well, nothing in the way of tests) on the school's hard drive, which has proven itself to be hackable. With things in multiple places, I don't worry a bit about losing anything.

Bad white boards? I don't know about that. I've never had one "stop erasing". Sounds like a thin coating of something that might wear out. I didn't know that whiteboard paint existed, but it sounds cool.

SmartBoards are the coolest thing we've added to the classroom in a while, but, oh the price.


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

LL - what a fun 70's plan! Love that utility room... yours was better with the sunroom off of it though. I have to weigh all the great ideas with square footage limitations, although I have "plan fatigue" at this point... and its only been 2 weeks! I will discuss the bathroom issues with my hubby... there are only so many things I can accommodate for handicap access before he goes crazy, if you know what I mean. But that bathroom needs those bars and a decent turnaround at the very least, because having her around is just such a wonderful treat for us.

Mrs Pete: I know, I know... I do have a basic lesson plan saved online, but most of the nitty gritty stuff will change from week to week, and the extra stuff that we do I want to add in as we go... and its just easier to keep the paper copy out and make notes. My situation is a little different, since we are at home ( and under more scrutiny), so I want to be ready at a moments notice to show the work and the plans. Every state and college seems to have their own requirements and I want to try and meet as many of those as I can. And the student work, which is more important, is not readily "computerized." Although I do want to invest in those paper scanners and slowly start doing that. In case of fire: those files are the first "things" I would grab, even before photos! I have 17 binders of student work so far (that's just the stuff I keep), and 14 for lesson plans (broken down by subject)... so that's alot of scanning! I'm also thinking that real schools invest in decent white boards... all mine were terrible. Next time I won't chintz out on that. ;)


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Most of the bathroom accessibility can be added later. Even doorways widened. As long as you have the space, to do it.

I understand plan fatigue. You have so many great ideas and lovely details...it's a lot to keep track of, but you'll end up with a beautiful home! Just don't cut the areas you'll use the most. For me, that would be kitchen, family room, laundry/mudroom and kids' play areas/school room. Bedrooms can be smaller and even smaller bathrooms (except for handicap) and closets...as long as you have room to 'live' :)


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Did you see I recommended Rsc try a 'book nook' under his stairs? :)


Can you take a look at my plan? I'd really appreciate your input!


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Not yet... I was too busy happily staring at my birthday present: a 1970 baby blue ford ranger pickup truck (that needs alot of work) thinking the neighbors might find it offensive to look at... and then deciding I didn't care. ;) I'm dreaming of all the plants I can fit in that big bed.

And I would love to look at your plan! And totally flattered you would ask... off to go see!


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

Oh my gosh...that sounds great! I would love to have a truck like that to haul plants. My blazer fits quite a few, but not the tall ones! (LOL)

Baby blue sounds perfect :)


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

redheadeddaughter et al, we are currently at drywall stage of a similar plan/elevation to yours and the farmhouse plan referenced above. i'll try to post a picture. we homeschool and are building this on 11 acres in iowa. go new old farmhouses.


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RE: Farmhouse Round 1: Will you help me cut sf?

carlrocks ... your home is incredible! Amazing details. Can't wait to see finished photos. :)


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