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Master bedroom right next to living room

4 years ago

I'm seeing this in a lot of new houses . I even see some where the door to the master bedroom is right off the living room. Ive never lived in a house like this and I always thought private areas should be separate from public.

It used to be that I saw a lot of plans where the master bedroom was right next to a couple of other bedrooms(a big no- no)


thoughts?







Comments (52)

  • 4 years ago

    We had this in our first custom build. We "didn't know what we didn't know" at the time and both agree that it was not a great setup and we'd never intentionally have a layout like that again.

    In our last house, the master was also right off the living room (we didn't build that house!) but we added an alcove when we gut remodeled. That was definitely a better approach.

    In our upcoming remodel/addition, the master will have a 15 foot hallway leading to it so it will definitely be more of a "retreat" from the kids, who are all older now. Being farther away from all the noises of the kitchen, tv, and kids bickering will be heavenly :)

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    The bedroom opening off the living room is for condos and apartments, not for houses. Not so bad if they share a wall. Although, as a kid my bedroom was next to the living room. Not bad because we also had a family room with the tv. But the piano was right on the other side of the wall where my bed was. At parties, a couple of my parents’ friends really got going on the keyboard and I’d hammer back on the wall.

    Another setup I see is master bedroom leading into the kitchen or mud room. That’s for Alice the housekeeper.

    But, I give up. I’ve mentioned it here and get told “well, get over it, that’s the way it is.”

    In that first house you show, it’s also an obstacle course to the master bedroom. Sheesh. Halls are not all that bad and can be attractive functional elements. Design counts.

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  • 4 years ago

    bpath, funny you say that. I dont mind the master bedroom off the kitchen.I actually kinda like it. I just feel like as an empty nester I want the kitchen to be right there. I can see the potential downsides of that though :)


    I dont mind halls either - my thinking is if a house is 80 ft long, to walk from end to end you are going to walk 80 ft, whether its through a hall or through living space the amount of space for circulation is still the same. What I dont like is a hall and ciculation space right next to each other. I think thats a waste as they could have been consolidated.


    lol at obstacle course. that house design won 100k but it has a list of houzz faux pas a mile long. I personally like the design - a lot

  • 4 years ago

    shead

    "We had this in our first custom build. We "didn't know what we didn't know" at the time and both agree that it was not a great setup and we'd never intentionally have a layout like that again."


    Can you expound on the negatives? or what you didnt like about it?

  • 4 years ago

    Our master is off our living room. Doesn't bother us in the least. It's usually just DH and I. We rarely have guests. Our kids come home from college a few times a year. We will watch tv together and then when we go to bed they retire to their rooms downstairs. It's plenty quiet. What would bother me would be having all the bedrooms near each other. We lived in a rental house with this set up and hated it. When the kids were home I would hear them get up to use the bathroom every night. I would hear doors opening and closing many times.

  • 4 years ago

    @vinmarks


    thank you for the feedback. Like you we rarely have guests.

    Also like you, I really REALLY dislike having the master bedroom be next to other bedrooms. We have that situation in our current house and it is not ideal.

  • 4 years ago

    I don't mind the master being near the living area just as long as it doesn't open right into it. 6 out of the 7 houses I've lived in (house age range 1979-2018) all had the master sharing a wall with the living/family room. The only house that didn't is my grandparent's, built in 1967. The master was next to kitchen and the two secondary bedrooms shared a wall with the living room instead.


    I dislike any bedroom that opens directly into a living area. I want a little hallway to separate public from private. I don't like being able to look directly into someone's room from the couch/chair/dining table.




  • 4 years ago

    I even see some where the door to the master bedroom is right off the living room. Ive never lived in a house like this and I always thought private areas should be separate from public.

    Isn't it nice when we find things to agree on? LOL.

    One of the reasons I loved our condo was because all the bedrooms were on one side of the condo and the public rooms were on the other side, so no overlapping. The bedroom that abutted our master was used as an office/studio and the guest bedroom was off its own wing. It was a great layout.

    It used to be that I saw a lot of plans where the master bedroom was right next to a couple of other bedrooms(a big no- no)

    Kids bedrooms can be next to one another and all bedrooms can be in the same wing as long as there's good separation with bathrooms and closets being used for noise barriers.

  • 4 years ago

    @cd7733


    I appreciate the voice of experience.


    how about number 2 I posted where it opens right into the living room but because of where the door is there really isnt line of sight into the bedroom?

    what are your thoughts in that?


    thanks

  • 4 years ago

    cpartist

    "Isn't it nice when we find things to agree on? LOL."


    lol. even republicans and democrats agree once in a while - on things like quantitative easing. but dont let me get started on that.

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    The plans of small houses are always subject to compromises. The example plans appear to have sacrificed some privacy for other benefits.

    Without any knowledge of the owner's program, its pointless to guess at the designer's rationale.

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    how about number 2 I posted where it opens right into the living room but because of where the door is there really isnt line of sight into the bedroom?

    what are your thoughts in that?

    I wouldn't find it ideal and wouldn't purposefully design it that way but would live with it if I had to. Since there's a media room, late night TV wouldn't be a problem until late night meals or snacks happen. Then light and noise would travel into the master if the door was open. Even with a solid door, noise could be an issue. Cracks around a door let in a surprising amount of sound.

    I've stayed in a lot of vacation homes and rentals with a bedroom right off the living room. It's always the least wanted room. No matter if it's a large group or just two little families, it's always a toss up of who's stuck with it.

    I don't know if it's just me and my hubby, but opening right into a gathering area steals all sense of privacy. Door or not, I feel like everyone right outside of it is super close. While having a tiny hall, especially if you have to turn into the room, creates a nice private area. I might be a weirdo. LOL.

  • 4 years ago

    LOL

  • 4 years ago

    #2 looks like it has some unique site requirements or owner requests.

  • 4 years ago

    @cd7733

    you make good points.

  • 4 years ago

    bpath Oh Sophie

    "#2 looks like it has some unique site requirements or owner requests."


    2 and 3 came from an online plan website.

  • 4 years ago

    Really? #2 really looks like it’s designed to go against a hill or up against a forest. Like a vacation home.

    #3, I’m not surprised.

  • 4 years ago
  • 4 years ago

    Hmm, the description calls the media room a playroom, with media cabinets in the living room. But of course, descriptions are generally just suggestions, you can use rooms however you like.

  • 4 years ago

    I would not like that. I live in NJ where the norm is all of the bedrooms on a different level than the living spaces.

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    "#3, I’m not surprised. "


    what dont you like about that plan?

  • 4 years ago

    Pretty much everything. Well, maybe the window from the back hall to the front porch, and the third garage bay. Handy for bikes.

  • 4 years ago

    "Can you expound on the negatives? or what you didnt like about it?"


    I didn't like the lack of privacy and I didn't like the feeling that I always had to have my bedroom perfectly tidy and the bed made...lol. However, I DO make my bed everyday but just not always as soon as I get up. The alcove at the last house helped make the bedroom feel more secluded even though it was still in the same location.


    After the renovation work on this house, the master hallway will come off the kitchen but it just has to be that way. Like you, though, DH and I like that because when we're empty nesters, it'll be less steps to get coffee in the mornings :) The hallway will be a buffer for DH's early morning kitchen noises. Our addition is planned so that he can get up, go to the bathroom which our closets are attached to, and exit through his closet into the laundry room to kitchen. I'm hoping to get a lot more sleep this way :)

  • PRO
    4 years ago

    "I always thought private areas should be separate from public."

    Me too.

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I can make an incomplete list for #3 if you like.

    Jack-n-Jill bath, toilet and shower in same room, AND two sinks at the small vanity in a tight space. The other kid bath is also the powder room. Nope.

    Kid or guest bedroom opening to dining room and kitchen.

    Birds-on-a-wire seating at an island.

    Sink across the aisle from the cooktop, inconvenient process to put dishes away from dishwasher, not storage space for specialty cooking and serving, no window, eating space on top of the clean-up space.

    Laundry without a window, and dryer probably venting to front porch.

    Kid bedrooms so close to the garage.

    Tight driveway, driveway that goes all the way to the front stoop, no space for green or landscaping at front of house, driveway goes right to the wall. (Personal preference, there, no other reason really.) So many windows in the garage! And the driveway leads straight to the master toilet! And closet! I suppose those windows will be small and high up, but still. Unless you keep them covered, the people across the street will see your head go by (don’t tell my neighbor across the street why I know this).

    Master closet through bathroom. I know it’s odd, but I like a well-designed reach-in. I don’t like to walk into a space where everything is out and in view, including my spouse‘s stuff.

    i don’t get a sense of “discovery” walking in the front door. The foyer is nice, but when you get to the LR it’s all right there in front of you; you could even see the bed from the living room. I’d probably use it as a den.

    Largest part of the porch is in front of the master bedroom windows. I hope I made the bed including the throw pillow.

    In general, I do not like kitchen open to all the living and nice dining. When I’m eating, I don’t want to see any mess in the kitchen (especially if DH cooked). While cooking or cleaning, I like to watch tv on a small kitchen tv, not share or conflict with the other room. And cooking and cleaning can be rattly, I don’t want that noise in the LR. And when I’m done in the kitchen, I want to be done in the kitchen. I will go back in for a chocolate or another glass of wine, but then I want to leave.

  • 4 years ago

    #2 is very similar to the double-wide trailer house that my brother is going to put on his lake property. Since he hasn't lived in it yet, we don't know how it will live - but since the master bedroom in their home opens to the dining room, I doubt they will have a problem with their bedroom opening to the living room. And the price was right.


    #3 Typical fat plan. I'm not sure why bedroom 3 needs access to 2 bathrooms, especially since neither of those bathrooms has any storage space. Though if they get locked out of the Jack and Jill, they have access to the other one. Where will the dryer vent?

  • 4 years ago

    @bpath


    to be fair I did ask what you didnt like about it but Im still suprised that you were not surprised that it was made by a plan mill - reason being a lot of the things you didnt like about it Ive seen in several ARCHITECT designed plans


    case in point - a lot of the things you dont like about number three also apply to the architect designed, award winning, number 1 plan. I think we are too hard on plan websites and too lenient with architects.


    @AnnKH


    can a house be fat and still live skinny? if you put all the important rooms at a corner I think it can. you?


    @Mark Bischak, Architect


    "good" or "bad" design seem to be ever evolving ideas


    @shead

    thanks.

  • 4 years ago

    "can a house be fat and still live skinny? if you put all the important rooms at a corner I think it can. you? "


    This house certain doesn't "live skinny". Most of the public/common areas will be dark: foyer, mud room, laundry, halls, half the kitchen and half the living room (more, depending on orientation). The only public room with great sunlight is the dining room - the room that is probably used the least. And if the back of the house faces west, blinds or drapes will probably be needed to keep out afternoon heat.


    Of course there's no way the roof on that house could pass for any kind of skinny.

  • PRO
    4 years ago

    Every client is different and every site is different. What work for one does not always work for others. One size does not fit all. That is why there are so many canned plans on the internet, designers trying to hook someone that thinks it is their forever home that's perfect for their site (kind of like fly fishing).

    I have designed houses with features that I would not have for myself but it is what my client wants and it meets their needs and/or wants. I had a client that wanted a two sided fireplace, one side that opened to the master bedroom and one side to the living room; and he wanted to live in the house for five years and then sell it. I pointed out that some potential buyers may want a higher degree of privacy in their master bedroom and that feature may kill a sale.

    Some people may know my disdain for what I call gas chambers. For whatever the reason is for having one, you would think they would want to make it a pleasant space to be in as much as possible, much like any other space in the house. But everyone is different and priorities differ, regardless of the better which is many times just beyond one's grasp.

  • 4 years ago

    Master off the living room doesn't both me. It's just my husband and I and I make my bed every day (besides being a bit of a neat freak). I can definitely see situations where it wouldn't be ideal though.

  • 4 years ago

    @sheepla

    "Master off the living room doesn't both me. It's just my husband and I and I make my bed every day (besides being a bit of a neat freak). I can definitely see situations where it wouldn't be ideal though."


    I have a cousin who lived close by- neat freak - he had a master off the living room. Anytime he had a party he left the door to the master wide open, I think to show off his neatness :)




  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    @AnnKH, I certainly dont think every space needs to be light filled.

    a media room painted black for watching movies on a projector, does not need a window. It should be dark as night. A laundry room should be dark . I dont think it should have a valuable external wall assigned to it.

    halls are dark unless they have an external wall- again a potential missed opportunity to assign that external wall to a more ideal space - also , internal rooms absolutely do not have to be dark. Roof windows admit 2x more light than a wall window.

    just my humble opinion

  • 4 years ago

    D E, ha ha, well, you didn’t ask me what I like or don’t like about the others!

    Apart from things I like/don’t like, I’m curious why #1 doesn’t have a step from garage to house? That’s not to code around here anymore. (And perhaps I’m wrong that you posted it before; I think the other house had a hall on the left leading back to bedrooms. But they have some similarities. Same guy?)

  • 4 years ago

    @bpath


    I want to know what you like/ dont like about number 1 :)


    when you say the other house, which one are you referring to?

  • 4 years ago

    Other house, oh, just something I had mentioned upthread, I thought you had posted #1 in another thread about rust claddings. But I might be wrong.

    So, I’m not sure it’s fair for me to say what I don’t like about #1. It‘s very personal. But, since you asked...

    I don’t like coming the garage/front to a bowling alley. It’s all right in front of you, but it’s in its own way, kind of. You have to walk around the living room furniture to sit down on it. I might have arranged the foyer/powder/closet a bit differently.

    J&j, although the tub and toilet are at least in the same room. This bath appears to be also a guest bath, so I suppose the two sinks are okay if the occupant of the bottom bedroom isn’t good about wiping up their toothpaste spatters from the sink.

    WD venting issue, probably through the ceiling? I’d have solatubes in that hall for sure.

    Lack of general storage.

    In the master closet, I’d look at it as a dressing room and put doors in front of the clothes. I had a setup like that and liked it. Also makes the path to the bathroom better. (We looked at a house where you walked through the closet to the bath, and I really did not like brushing past clothes and errant shoes on the floor.)

    I’m Not sure I understand the relationship between the right-side seating area and the back one. Perhaps there’s Reason for it, I just don’t understand it. Is almost like they took a rectangle and gave it a twist in the middle.

    The garage looks too small to hold the garbage cans or bikes And still get around. But those are needs I have, others may not (We have one car and A two car garage, so that solves that issue!) And I do need a step up into the house.

    I do like that the master bath is not enormous. I don’t mind a tub-shower combo, others do mind.

    This plan looks like it’s for a warmer climate than I’m in. Not a criticism! Just an observation.

  • 4 years ago

    D E said, "A laundry room should be dark . I dont think it should have a valuable external wall assigned to it."

    Why do you feel a laundry room should be dark??? I like to be able to see any spots that may need pretreatment before going into the washer. I also like to be able to see the dryer lint filter, to make sure I've gotten all of the lint out. And being on an outside wall is much better for venting the dryer. And having good light means being able to properly match black socks to black socks and navy blue socks to navy blue socks.

  • 4 years ago

    We viewed a house for potential purchase/remodel that had the guest bathroom directly off the living room (you could see into the bathroom from the living room) and the master suite directly off of the dining room (again, you could directly see into the bathroom and almost into the bedroom from the dining room). The other bedrooms were also open to the living room. We passed for a variety of reasons, including the layout and not having ample space to reconfigure with a bedroom / bathroom hallway for more privacy. That house is still on the market and I would guess most people disliked the bedroom/bathrooms being open to the public spaces.

    Our current home as one of four bedrooms that is visible from the main living space. We use this room as an office and like the sight lines as we can see out another window "through this room" from the main living space. When we tried to sell our house a couple of years ago, 9 out of 10 buyers listed the location of this bedroom as a negative comment.

    Hopefully people who post floor plans for feedback here take the comments about sightlines into bathrooms seriously because it is one thing to see it on paper and another to be standing in the living room and see a toilet! :)

  • 4 years ago

    D E said, "A laundry room should be dark . I dont think it should have a valuable external wall assigned to it."

    Wait, what? I didn't notice that comment. Having natural light in my laundry room is an absolute must-have for me! Between that and the comment about democrats & republicans agreeing on quantitative easing, my mind is blown :)

  • 4 years ago

    @bpath


    the only prior mention of this house was here


    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/5777398/free-modern-near-net-zero-house-plans


    the architect won $100k for the effort and the city of phoenix has kindly provided ALL the plans to anyone for free. The full plan is the 88mb pdf.


    It is designed for a hot climate and I think the dryer is designed to vent to the roof.


    its a one car garage so it shouldnt be too bad.


    Im glad you didnt mention not having "windows on at least two walls" :)



  • 4 years ago

    Lindsey_CA

    "D E said, "A laundry room should be dark . I dont think it should have a valuable external wall assigned to it."

    Why do you feel a laundry room should be dark??? I like to be able to see any spots that may need pretreatment before going into the washer. I also like to be able to see the dryer lint filter, to make sure I've gotten all of the lint out. And being on an outside wall is much better for venting the dryer. And having good light means being able to properly match black socks to black socks and navy blue socks to navy blue socks."


    yeah for compact houses I prefer to have the laundry not have any external walls if possible. it will be dark if you dont turn on the lights. but paint it bright white and put in plenty of lights and it can be just as bright as you want it :)


    I did visit a beautiful house with a 20 ft wide laundry room and with a huge window. it was gorgeous. but it was a 4500 sq ft three bedroom house so not very efficient use of space.

  • PRO
    4 years ago

    An architectural design for a single family residence is about an organizing design concept and a series of priority decisions about how that concept is developed.


    In the process, some spaces are going to be adjacent to other spaces. Whether or not a living room is adjacent to a bedroom depends on the priorities in play.


    For some folks, a living room adjacent to a bedroom is completely acceptable. For other folks, perhaps not.


    For me, a major design priority is to have all public spaces facing south to take advantage of natural light and passive solar strategies. I feel so strongly about this priority that I would never buy land to build on which didn't allow this to take place.


    Other folks could care less.


    My point is simply that it's important to understand where our priorities lie and not deal in generalities.



  • 4 years ago

    I think a cozied-up great room and master bedroom CAN be okay ... or it can be BAD. I say the devil is in the details. Thoughts ... and I realize I'm echoing parts of other people's posts above:

    - If you're placing the headboard against a wall shared with an entertainment center, you're almost certainly making a mistake. On the other hand, if the headboard is on the far side of the room and the "edge" of the great room is a pathway, you're probably okay. I mean, consider these two quick diagrams; one is clearly less of a noise issue than the other:

    - If you're saying this concept is okay for you because you're a couple and mainly keep the same hours ... I say you're walking on thin ice. Your life can change; maybe you'll house a grandchild or a sibling (even just temporarily). Maybe you'll sell the house, and this won't suit the new buyer. Don't count on your current lifestyle (which may change) supporting a questionable design decision.

    - When you're talking about whether to bunch-up your bedrooms or whether to separate them, don't forget natural light. If you separate your bedrooms (at least in a one-story house), you're almost certainly condemning yourself to a closed up living room without enough windows. Since you're likely to be awake in your living room /great room /whatever you call it ... and asleep in your bedroom ... do think about how your bedroom placement affects light.

    - I have no problem with a master bedroom opening off the kitchen ... preferably with a bit of a hallway (to increase privacy). Such a placement usually means the master is close to the garage entrance, and isn't it convenient to come home and be able to go straight to your room to put away your shoes /etc.?

    - Depending upon your stage of life, consider placing those bedrooms in such a way that your secondary bedrooms can be "closed off" from the rest of the house. Once you're an empty nester, you'll like not paying for those rooms to be heated /cooled.

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Not going to lie I kind of wish we had done the traditional/modern 70s style ranch my grandmother had. They had a neat L shaped hall that wrapped around the living room that separated the bedrooms from the living space and reach-in closets separated each of the three bedrooms from the other. But the bathrooms and bedrooms were very small. They also had a cool vaulted ceiling in the master bedroom with floor to ceiling windows and a window wall in the back! I think she clipped it out of better homes and gardens or maybe the sears magazine and had to call to order it lol The good ole days of ordering from a catalog!

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Third design is very similar to my Florida home. Very common Florida split ranch has the master bedroom off the living room or entrance and the other bedrooms at the other end of the house.

  • 4 years ago

    Free plans! But how much are alterations? I’d almost like to build it on a lot with an alley. Put the entry by the living room, even where the living room’s outside door it on the side of the house, and have the garage at the back.

  • 4 years ago

    I considered building with those plans! big savings. but it doesn't meet the minimum size requirement for the ccr.

    bummer

  • 4 years ago

    @D E, I keep thinking about #1. Sometimes there are things I don‘t care for in a plan, but at least I understand them. In #1, that applies. But there is one thing about the house I can’t wrap my head around.

    To help me understand the house better, are there are things you would have changed about the house, if you’d been able to use the plans? (And If Phoenix would give them free to be built out-of-state?)

  • 4 years ago

    bpath, I wouldn't use sips for the walls or roof-can't afford it

    I might do something different with the lighting plan.

    I dont think id put the air conditioning system on the roof.

    I wouldn't do the roof chimney.

    oh btw

    the plans are free for anyone to download . not just phoenix residents

  • PRO
    4 years ago

    As a number of others have pointed out, a home plan should be evaluated in the context of a particular site and owners' requirements. For example, a young family may wish to have all the bedrooms in close proximity. Empty nesters whose sleeping schedules are aligned may find it perfectly acceptable for the Master Suite to be adjacent to a Living Room--or that may be a necessary consequence of a small lot coupled with the desire for a 1st floor master.