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krelos

Floor plan advice... Kitchen layout. Cathedral ceiling advice.

krelos
3 years ago

Hello! I have been enjoying all the great advice I see on this page and now it's time to ask for some advice myself! I'm building my first house on my mom's farm. I put this one together finally and this is what my draftsman sent me. It's just me and my boyfriend and pets. The house is in northern Indiana and will be built into a slope. The basement plan is not done yet. Waiting on my first floor to be confirmed.

Advice: how is my kitchen layout? I know of the kitchen triangle and it seems okay but the only other option I have is putting the refrigerator on the sink wall but I don't have uppers on that wall so I think it would stick out visually.

Second: do I have enough room going from my foyer into the house past the stairs? Since they're open maybe it will feel open enough?

Third: the cathedral ceilings in the dining and living... They're different depths so they zag over... A "ceiling break"?? Is this odd? I can't find any pictures online of what exactly that is. And what is the best option to cover the cathedral ceilings? Beams? Wood? Drywall? Is the wood the most expensive way?

Feel free to chime in on any other parts that you think could be improved? Thank you!

Comments (55)

  • A Fox
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Ideally for both the size of the work triangle and keeping all of your appliances out of the main walking path across the house your refrigerator would fit somewhere within your L of cabinetry. In the long run I think you will be happier if you can make that happen.

    Options include:

    1. Move the range to the sink wall. The kitchen may need to grow by 1' in width. If you don't have anymore length available on the lot, I would steal that foot from the 3 season room and slide the dining and living down. You could then put the refrigerator next to the hidden pantry cabinet.

    2. Replace the hidden pantry cabinet with the refrigerator and move the pantry door around the corner. You will have to take a few extra steps getting into the pantry, but once you get all of your ingredients, will spend much less time walking around the kitchen.

    3. I agree that while it functionally may work well, having the refrigerator right of the sink makes it too prominent when entering the house.

    In all cases, the cabinets where the refrigerator was located are ideal for storing less used items and appliances, and more formal dishware, and the counter would make good serving space.

    I think the open stair will feel open enough, but it will feel more comfortable walking around it if you can even shift the stairs one foot to the right. Especially give yourself more room if you ever plan to put a console against the left foyer wall. You can't put anything there right now without having to zigzag around it.

    I would keep the vaulted ridge in the same place across the whole space centered on the living room and have the stair wall protrude into the slope. That will look the most natural. What is drawn right now is going to look extremely awkward at the corner of the stairs where the wall will suddenly jump up then back down.

  • tira_misu
    3 years ago

    One thing that would bother me is that guests coming in first see the kitchen, and then walk through the dining room to get to the great room. I like the greatroom to be easily accessible from the foyer.

    The guest bathroom seems really tight.

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  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    I'm trying to remember comments while I post this responding to some of the comments.... I know the pantry and mudroom are big, I am coming out of a 1488 Sq ft 1890 farmhouse so I am dying for storage! 2 of those bedrooms are upstairs and I only use them for storage so I technically live in a small living room, kitchen, and my bedroom... I am used to being in a small area so I was appreciating the open layout but I do understand it may seem tight which is what I'm trying to figure out if it is working... I can move the dining table over as well, it looks tight next to the island but that is not the size of my table either!

    Someone said why such a big house for 2 bedrooms... It will have 3, I will finish the basement later. The house is right around 2000 Sq ft. I didn't think that was too big? It is also my forever house so I'm not worried about resale values. I have talked to the bank about a loan but have not shown them my house plan yet because I am still working on it.

    I like my sink at the window so putting it on the island is not an option. I had the big pantry because I want all my kitchen appliances put away and not in the kitchen. That's also why I wanted it to be accessible right from the kitchen. Thank you for all the thoughts! I'm still working on it and I appreciate it! :)
  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Here is the kitchen and dining closer.... It is almost 48" from fridge to island...

  • A Fox
    3 years ago

    To the point above, I think your sense of entry and flow would be improved if the stairs were mirrored, so that the top was at the right side of the foyer and went down to the left. Then with the swing of the door flipped, guests coming in would have their view pointed toward the living room and would flow out into the space between the dining room and living room, rather then being directed right into the kitchen. This would also remove the corner jutting into the living space. The trade off is that the star would interrupt the closet in the mud room, but with a little reworking in that room, that storage could be regained.

  • chicagoans
    3 years ago

    In your set up the island is a barrier between the ref and the sink. (Look for the thread called Ice Water Stone Fire for a basic principal of layout.) I like the idea A Fox mentioned of moving the ref to the current pantry opening (you could recess it into the pantry a bit so it doesn't stick out) with the pantry door opening off the hall, then on that run the sink and dw, and on the exterior wall the range. Then where your ref is could be a coffee/beverage/snack station. You'll want to watch clearance space between ref door swing and island seating. Do you need island seating with a table right there?


    Personally I'd rather the stairs were reoriented / moved left so that the entrance leads to the space between the DR and great room. I get that such a change will affect the basement layout so could be a non starter.


    You don't get much from that jog in the lower left of the master WIC. I'd straighten that out and use the space to expand the closet in the foyer.

  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    And the pantry is going to be more of a counter type at an L shape, not the 12" shelves all the way around like it's shown.
  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    @chicagoans I get the odd closet jut... But to have the windows on the front of the house equal on the porch he put the window in my closet rather than having it in my entry... I had a larger closet originally. I can probably adjust the stairs, my basement plan is waiting on the top floor to be adjusted. I'm pretty open in the basement moving around. I just don't know how they'll work! Thanks for the ideas.
  • zmith
    3 years ago

    Krelos, you have no landing space for the refrigerator with the seating in the aisle like you have it shown. It works only if there is no one seated directly across from the refrigerator.


    I'm including a link to a site (no affiliation) that spells out how to design a functional kitchen. I hope you will read it, and familiarize yourself with elements that makes for good kitchen design. I wish you the best with your build!


    31 Rules for Kitchen Design

  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    @A Fox I'm thinking about moving the stairs. When you say mirror them and have the top be at the right of the foyer do you mean the left? You mentioned it interrupting my mudroom. I like this idea. I could move that storage closet or not have it. Then the foyer would open into the living room and I could have the kitchen and dining be more the same size and I won't hwve any weird angles in the living room. Thinking about having 2 windows in front of my sink now and adding a bit of space to that back kitchen wall and putting the fridge back there. I was just worried it may look odd because I don't want upper cabinets on that wall.... Stress....
  • chispa
    3 years ago

    Your bedroom should be in that front right corner, not your bathroom. A master bedroom will feel much nicer with windows on 2 walls. You will never appreciate any views you might have from the front, by having those windows in the bathroom.

    You might also want to talk to an attorney about any legal issues that might arise in the future if the boyfriend is involved in this build in any way, specially when family land is involved. Things are great until they aren't ... hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    @chispa thank you for the advice! But it is my house, my loan. He's not going to be on it in any way.
  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    3 years ago

    Food for thought:

    There are a lot of other issues with the house design too.

  • Kathy
    3 years ago

    Cathedral ceiling issues - The best cathedral ceiling design is with trusses that leave 3 feet or so of space to blow insulation on top of the ceiling. Much cheaper than a solid cathedral ceiling and much less risk of rot in the roof.

    Also, recessed lights leak in the ceiling leak air. They leak warm moist air into the insulation on the cathedral ceiling, adding to mold, etc. Better to use lights that don't put a hole in the drywall.

    As for the drywall vs wood - put drywall in first. It will be your air barrier. Then, if you want, it's easy to put wood over it. Wood makes the house darker, but it is nice if you want a rustic cabin look.

  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    @mead0ws thanks for the info! The draftsman mentioned getting scissor trusses below the normal ones to vault those instead so I can have good insulation.
  • ashmcbash
    3 years ago

    My husband is a home builder and we just finished this ceiling in a house he’s building. I love the treatment. Just an idea.



  • Migraine Craftsman
    3 years ago

    That mudroom is huge! personally I would shrink that. I would move the Pantry entrance to the hallway and where the pantry entry (lol that rhymed) is now I would put the fridge there, better layout for the kitchen triangle. Also the entrance to the house would feel weird to me coming inside the house and looking at the stairs dividing the space. The foyer would look a hell of a lot better if you move the stairs. Also in the bedroom number 2 I would move the bathroom to the exterior wall so I could put a window in the bathroom. Thats where I would start.

  • PRO
    4Heidesign
    3 years ago

    I would definitely consider Mark Bischak’s modified rendering of the kitchen layout, which allows for much better flow and such an improved working triangle. As a retired architectural draftsman of 20 years, I find many issues in your current layout. Disproportionate sizes of spaces, such as a mudroom that’s so oversized that it’s larger than the master bedroom, for one. Ceiling break could be eliminated entirely by reducing mudroom size and enlarging kitchen. I would convert mudroom storage room into small powder room with door off the foyer, and eliminate public access to the larger bathroom past the kitchen, giving the 2nd bedroom a private bath. Perhaps unimportant now, there could come a time where two master bedroom suites on the main level would be an advantage. With size reduction and total rearrangement of the layout, the mudroom could still be large and multi-functional, including dog shower, storage, washer and dryer space and shelving - just with a different layout as shown here. With such a large pantry and storage in opposite mudroom, linen closet is totally redundant. That space could be used for 2nd bedroom/bath. That’s enough info to digest for starters.

  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    Thank you all! I am currently moving things around. I will suck it up and probably move my fridge where my pantry entry is and make it a hall entry and get rid of that linen closet. Then I won't have to worry about island space.

    I am going to move the stairs. That's my cause of panic now. I will probably also move my bathroom to the side of the bedroom... Make it flush in the front... Windows in the front... Make the porch longer and slide my door to the right...opening into the living room more instead of the kitchen. I can keep my master closet and have a small coat closet.

    Then have my stairs to the left of the entry going down, a landing, then turning to face into the basement and probably go into my mudroom some with that space too because I know it's huge... Just thinking about head space going down the stairs because my porch is solid and I don't know how that all works. Then... Will my stairs be open to my kitchen kinda??

    Thank you all for your help. I'm new! I just know I like storage and open spaces!

    I think I can also make my cathedral ceiling straight now too... But now I'm debating doing the dining and living room... Maybe just the living room. Oyyy...What an overhaul...
  • mama goose_gw zn6OH
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Another version of the peninsula plan, which would not involve moving the fridge. You'd still have quite a walk from the fridge to the sink, but the fridge would be convenient to anyone accessing it without entering the prep and cooking zones. The back entry to the pantry provides a wider prep area.

    If the DW is that close to the perpendicular corner, dish storage will need to be in drawers on the island, beyond the range of the open DW door.

    If you planned to prep on the peninsula, the DW and dish storage could be switched to the left of the sink, which would work OK for a helper loading or unloading the DW, but anyone gathering dishes to set the table would need to pass through the work triangle. Given the amount of floor space available, that shouldn't be a problem:

  • kmg11
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Feel free to chime in on any other parts that you think could be improved... well you're certainly getting some good ideas...:)

    -As far as the kitchen, the area where the frig is a bit of a blockade for traffic. We had something very similar. Between walking around that area and the counter stools, it will be a tight space. Another suggestion would be to recess that wall if you're still placing cabinets/appliances there. It would cut into the mudroom and the garage door would need to move down, but traffic pattern would ease up. Could also make it a 'reach in' pantry.

    -In the mudroom, where the washer and dryer are, I think it will be crowded too, especially if those are front loaders. You might find yourself bumping into the counter behind you quite a bit.

    -Considering the dog shower and master closet, It seems a little odd for those window placements. Maybe this is for exterior look, but I would want the most bang for my buck, since windows can be costly. Having them both be pleasing on the outside and also providing good light for an ample, lived in area is important. Re-working those spaces to be less awkward with less angles would help.

    -In the second bedroom, a reach in closet along the interior, might work better. Positioning the bath to allow for an outside window and linen closet within.

    -I noticed your master bedroom door opens directly into the great room, would you prefer a little more privacy? Maybe an alcove area off the foyer?

    good luck!


  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    3 years ago

    On that same note, the master bathroom's shower could (will) be cold with two exterior walls.

  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    Thank you all! ❤️ It is in process of being reworked! I will post the new version when I get it. Moving the kitchen around, the master, the foyer, the stairs, the cathedral ceiling...

    I appreciate all the opinions good and bad! Like I said it is my forever house and I am not worried about "what a house should look like" but I do want it to be functional of course! And not have weird wasteful spaces. Like I said I'm dying for storage because my house now has barely any and I love art and antiques- I have a lot of stuff! It's hard to imagine the look of things so I love all your thoughts and drawings. It really got me thinking... I couldn't even sleep last night! With all these changes... I'm just worried about my roofline now. It's going to change my whole house and front look.... Oh well... I'll work on that when the inside gets finished!
  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    @Mark Bischak thank you! I am moving my fridge too. But keeping the island because now I won't have the fridge in the way.... And you're right my shower may get cold... Hmmm... It does get pretty chilly here... I did move the shower but it's still exposed on a north and west wall... On the corner of the house now.
  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    3 years ago

    It is good to keep the kitchen's work triangle uninterrupted by other circulation paths. In the original plan, the refrigerator leg of the triangle was crossed by anyone traveling from the garage, laundry/mud, maid's quarters (bedroom #2), or bathroom to the rest of the house.

  • Heather N
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I haven’t read the previous comments, but my feedback - I’m sorry, but I don’t love the floorplan. It actually makes me kind of uncomfortable to imagine living there, because I think there is a poor division of public vs private spaces throughout the home. I would feel very exposed there and not feel like I had privacy. Here are my biggest issues:


    1) I would hate that people have to walk through your dining room to get to your great room. My last house was like this, and it was so annoying - every time we had guests, they would just hang out in our kitchen and nobody would move along to the great room or outdoor space.


    2) I don’t like the master bathroom door directly off of the great room. There should be some kind of little hallway or something to keep your bedroom door separated and private from your main living space with guests. That feels very awkward to me.


    3) Your mudroom can only be accessed from the garage - usually there is another door from outside to access the mudroom, particularly for a mudroom that is so big like yours. If that isn’t possible, then I would maybe put a door from the foyer to the mudroom so you have the option of quickly accessing the mudroom from the front door and not just the garage.


    4) Your only bathroom for guests has a shower in it. I understand that is sometimes necessary in a really small apartment, but in a large-ish house, I think there should be a guest powder room that doesn’t have a shower in it. I don’t like seeing people’s loofahs and shampoo bottles and razors when I use their bathrooms - again, there’s not a good division of public vs private spaces.


    5) I would put a window in the second bedroom WIC and a window in the kitchen pantry. You lose a little storage, but nice to get natural light.


    6) I feel like the layout is kind of odd in the personal vs private layout. The mudroom is at the front of the house and guests can look in the window and see your messy mudroom (they always get messy sometimes!) - usually this is hidden away on the side of the house and isn’t the front of your house. Think about night time when you light up your house and people can look in the windows - they’re going to see your mudroom on one side and your master toilet on the other side. These spaces are usually more private and the front rooms are the ones you want guests to see - dining room, great room, etc. This is why most people have the dining room and living room or study at the front of the house off the foyer. I understand putting the great room and kitchen in the back for easy access to the backyard, but the dining area could maybe be moved forward where the mudroom is somehow. Flip the master bedroom area with the bathroom so that the master bedroom has nice windows and the bathroom is more private and gets less prime real estate - just a side of the house window for the bathroom. Do you really want to be sitting on your toilet facing a window that looks out into your driveway??? Or standing at the counter brushing your teeth in a towel after a shower with your back to any guests that might be approaching your front door?


    7) Do you have a fireplace in your great room? It might be a nice focal point


    8) the space to pass through between the foyer and the dining area by the stairs looks very tight


    9) the placement of the sunroom seems kind of odd to me - I don’t see the elevations for the home, but it might look nice to bump that out at the back. I don’t know if you want the door to that to be a single door off the great room right near your bedroom - would expect something bigger and nicer, like French doors or something. It seems like an afterthought.


    10) I think it would be nice to have a power room somewhere between the mudroom and kitchen. That would be easy for guests to access when you’re entertaining, and also handy to have a bathroom off the garage so you can wash your hands when you come home or after you do yardwork, that kind of thing. Have you considered putting the dog shower in the garage instead of the mudroom? Might be nice if you want to rinse them off BEFORE they enter the house if they’re covered in mud or sand.

  • PRO
    Anglophilia
    3 years ago

    Coming from someone who also likes art and antiques, I must warn you they don’t “play nicely” with open concept and few walls. Do keep that in mind when you’re designing this. Be sure you have walls for those things you love.

  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    @anglophilia very true.... I have so much art I can't hang now because I don't have room... I see a few places for my favorites and I have my whole basement which will probably be where I put a lot!
  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    @Heather N.... I'll try to remember your comments so I can give you some insight: maybe it's just the app but I don't like how you can't see the comments when you're replying! I am moving the master bath to the side and moving the stairs to the left entry side...

    I've always liked the open kitchen dining living space. I don't have formal dinners so it's a shared space for friends and family so that is something I wanted.

    My mudroom is more like my entry and also my laundry at the end. We have lots of winter coats and Carhartts and boots to tuck away so I made a lot of storage so hopefully it won't get too messy. My dog shower is more to give them baths regularly... if they're filthy I'll hose them off outside.

    My 3 season room is on that side because the house will be angled. It's rolling hills and woods and the horses behind it so that is what I wanted to see when I look outside. There is a deck off the back so I couldn't put it in back and I'm going to fence in that area for my dog as well.

    The house is also about 700ft off the road in the country so I won't be worried about people seeing in my windows at night looking at not pretty rooms in the house. :)

    I'm thinking about putting a window in the pantry like you said. I agree with fresh air going in there!

    I don't mind my bedroom being off the great room, I get what you're saying but I don't have many guests that aren't close friends or family. Same with the shower in my guest bathroom. People won't see the shampoo bottles and such unless they look behind the curtain. That's more of a space for my nieces that stay over :) there will be a bathroom in the basement as well. Was just thinking 3.5 baths sounds a little silly for 2 people who don't really "entertain"... 3 is bad enough! I may just make a half bath in the basement.

    Thanks for your thoughts! :)
  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    @joseph thanks, noted. I have no idea about that kind of roof, hoping my builder will!
  • auntthelma
    3 years ago

    One random thought - can you move the dog shower so there can be an entrance to the mud room from the front of house? Picture your friend picking you up for a visit. She comes to the front door. You run through the kitchen to the mud room for your coat and hat and bag and then run back to the front.

    OR, you have access to the mud room from the front door. Way more efficient.


    Im a huge fan of mud Rooms!

  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    @auntthelma I am moving it to the other side of the room next to the washer but I'm also moving my staircase to the left when you come in now. And making the porch larger and sliding over the front entry... But there will be a coat closet in the entry/foyer as well for friends coming in that way :)
  • scottie mom
    3 years ago

    You’ve gotten good advice here. What I like about Mama Goose’s last idea is that you could shift that hall linen closet toward the kitchen, give it some more depth, and give space to your guest bath. Otherwise, just ditch the linen closet—it’s too shallow to be of much use IMO.

    One minor thing / pet peeve: your draftsman is showing miniature washer/ dryers. It’s just outdated CAD symbols, but I see so many laundry rooms and closets where today’s machines stick out like a sore thumb. Ask him to show a reality-based pair of machines with the required clearance for venting, etc. Get him a diagram. You have tons of room in there, but machines seem to get bigger every year. Good luck!

  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    This is one of my kitchen inspirations. Very similar layout except I won't have uppers on the sink side and my fridge will be where that door is instead of my pantry now...

  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    @scottie mom - yes I am getting rid of that linen closet. :) hmmm I am not sure about the washer dryer codes but like you said I have 8ft in there so I'll have plenty of room. I am going to get top loaders. I'm tired of front loaders. I always leave the door open because of the mold issues they get!
  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    3 years ago

    Consider something like this:

  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    @Mark Bischak I am making the front flush now but I want my 3 seasons door to be out of the way. My couch will either face the windows or the back wall so the door would be in the way in my opinion. I will probably put my Christmas tree in that corner too.
  • Hemlock
    3 years ago

    Your original looks great.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    3 years ago

    It can look greater.

  • damiarain
    3 years ago

    I think the mudroom could really be improved. With the swing of the garage door, you come and and either have to walk around the door or step aside and close it to get to the shoe/closet area. Also the shoe area plus the dog shower are between you and the laundry space - I personally not a fan of going thru ‘dirty’ space to get to ‘clean’ space

  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Okay... Updated plan... Changed the stairs and master layout and cathedral ceilings and kitchen layout. I think I still need to refigure the guest bath... Flowing better?

  • damiarain
    3 years ago

    Definitely improved. Tho The mudroom looks ver tight - especially at the top

    What wall are you planning to put your bed on? Have you laid out your furniture for the living room?

  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    I'm going to put the dog shower back on the other wall next to the closet where it was originally. The other wall will be a thin row of cabinets and a bench.

    I am getting a new sofa so I haven't laid anything out in the living room but seems plenty big for what I need. I'll have my TV between the windows or on the big wall.

    Debating making the guest bath go all the way to the back wall and making a regular closet for that bedroom since it's so long too...
  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Something like this on the long wall in the mudroom. And the closet and the dog shower on the opposite wall.

  • Heather N
    3 years ago

    Krelos - make sure your bench is extra deep. We have a fairly standard depth bench in our mudroom, and it is a little hard to sit there with the jackets hanging behind you. Would go for a deeper seat if I had to do it all again.

  • damiarain
    3 years ago

    It's plenty big, I was more thinking about sight lines into your master bedroom (thus the question about what wall you're thinking of putting the bed).

    A thought: bumping out the master bath, putting the closet between it & the bedroom and moving the laundry closer to the master.

    Also, a regular reach in closet is fine for the guest bedroom

    I would also shift the kitchen sink (plus windows) towards the dining area - right now the area between the sink and range (and fridge) are the main prep areas, leaving the island and that large expanse to the right of the sink "unused"

    (pic below... click to expand if it is cropped)



  • krelos
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    @damiarain very interesting.... Maybe I will move my sink over, more centered. I like your guest bath but I wanted to put a window in so I'll have to put the bathtub maybe against the wall with a cabinet if it will fit maybe it's to narrow. Then the sink and toilet on the other wall?

    The mudroom laundry idea is nice but I don't think I want my laundry right next to my living room because of noise. Cool master closet idea too... Not sure which wall I'll put my bed on yet either. Could be any 3 walls!

    My draftsman said I could also gable my bedroom again but it'd look better if I bump it out ....which means more square footage! Just wondering what the front will look like now because I'm changing it around so much! Thanks for the ideas!
  • Heather N
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I think the back of the house could use a little dimension...it all seems a little flat right now and not sure how that will look from the exterior? I don’t know if there’s any specific nice view out the back that you want to preserve/enhance, but having 1-2 bump outs might be nice. They could also get you some new windows in different directions, bringing in some different light. For example, you could bump out your living room so it’s not in a flat plane with the rest of the house. If your living room currently has a western exposure (I forget what the orientation is), you could then get north and south exposure by adding windows along the sides of the bump out. You could maybe even add some doors to the outside on the side of the bump out so you don’t have to squeeze by the dining table to access the sliding door - that’s how my house is currently and it is sort of annoying sometimes. I’m not an architect, so I don’t know the term for it, but adding a little dimension along the back might be good, unless you’re going for a super formal symmetrical aesthetic, which I don’t think you are.

  • Heather N
    3 years ago

    Take a look at the backs of houses in real estate listings...most homes tend to have some bump outs and dimension in the back.

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