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How should I create an entry in my floor plan?

M
4 years ago

This floor plan is not set in stone, and I’d like to have an entry space on the first floor. I’m just not feeling the current layout and need a little help. I REALLY need a place to drop off coats and shoes when we first enter the home, but I just can’t figure out a good place for the entry. Everything, from the windows to the walls, to the placement of rooms, addition or subtraction of rooms, can be changed since I’m still in the early stages of building. Any help would be greatly appreciated. If you have any idea how I could add a formal dining room too, that would be awesome! Thank you.

Comments (36)

  • M
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    I’d also like to say that we can get rid of the first floor stairs and make it one level.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    4 years ago

    I think you need to go back to your architect if this was esigned without giving you waht you wanted then they need to go back to the drawing board. I assume this is not in NA but all homes need an entry really a basic thing IMO and the best place for it is in your case on the porch make the porch deeper with an entry into it from the garage at one end with nice storage for boots and coats and another closet at the end near the entry into the DR for guests Forget the entry into the DR that makes no sense at all. Forget the formal DR I have no idea where you could do that without eliminating the media room. Use the DR you have get rid of the 1/2 wall it will make the whole space feel bigger.

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  • bpath
    4 years ago

    Or, if you’re tied to the L shape, enclose a portion of the porch To serve as the entry.

  • ashtonchic
    4 years ago

    I would eliminate the wall between the Living room and Dining room, Are those stairs down to LR? Actually, I would square up the foundation so you have 90 degree corners. Your elevation drawing looks like it is squared up. How does this house sit on the lot? Too many questions to make any more recommendations.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    4 years ago

    What country are you building in?

  • M
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    I’m actually building in America, Washington to be exact. I’m working with an architect in Australia though. This is actually a revised layout after originally asking for a formal entry. Not quite what I was looking for. So I thought I’d ask advice on here and run the suggestions by her.

  • just_janni
    4 years ago

    I don't dislike your entry. it's defined by space to the left by the stairs to the living room, and the half wall straight ahead. If anything, I would be concerned it would feel cramped even though it's all open.

  • bpath
    4 years ago

    The area with the “void“ above would be a good formal entry, since you can’t really use that area for anything else. You‘d have a bridge to the front door, which would be cool. But you’d still need the entry by the media room.

  • bpath
    4 years ago

    By the way, there doesn't seem to be much storage space, for luggage, holiday decor, seasonal clothing, and all the etceteras of life.

  • User
    4 years ago

    this gives you a coat drop and a little privacy for the dining room and kitchen





  • girl_wonder
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Have you considered hiring a local architect who can walk your site and understands the property? When I was meeting with mine, there were definitely times when he wanted to be on the property to see things in person. Plus...architects are often the ones to get plans through the permit process (and understand the nuances of the local building code). FWIW, I switched architects when the first one wasn't coming up with good designs. Not ideal, but better than investing $ in a bad (or even mediocre) plan. I'm not crazy about all those rooms with weird angles. Have you been in a space like that? I can't imagine that will feel good. (and you may be back, after the build, asking for advice on how to decorate these rooms with odd angles.)

  • remodeling1840
    4 years ago

    I would not want to spend all this money and have a small apartment kitchen and no dining room. A four bedroom home seems to imply a more luxurious living space. This looks like a guesthouse kitchen. Form follows function

  • ashtonchic
    4 years ago

    First, you should get an engineering report for the slope you will be building on and get the foundation figured out. Not sure if what you are showing would be buildable.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    4 years ago

    IMO rules in Australia are different than US so that could be an issue I do agree a US architect is probably a better choice . A plot assement is always a good idea and a home should take the plot into consideration . I am not sure what the rules are where you live but if there is anHOA you will need to fly this by them too.

  • PRO
    Design Interior South
    4 years ago

    You have a lot of windows for a media room. Those equal a lot of light in what is usually a room darkened for watching entertainment. I suspect the reason is view. However where will the screen be in this angled room and how will your furniture be laid out to get a good view of it? I would square up the room and think about moving the entrance door to where those sliders are this would then become the entrance area


  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    4 years ago

    Start over.

    Have you ever heard the saying about "first impressions"? The same thing goes with entries and architecture. It should not be treated as an afterthought, but integrally designed into the building.

    Washington State or Washington DC?

  • PRO
    RappArchitecture
    4 years ago

    I'm guessing the state, not the city. Whichever, it is not wise to be working with an architect 10,000 miles away. Find someone local who can make the house work with the site and is knowledgable about local rules and regulations. And Mark is right about the entry, it's not something that can just be tacked on. Starting over is the best advice I can give.

  • cpartist
    4 years ago

    You need to start over and get rid of those useless angles that will make the house feel more closed in and will also make arranging furniture almost impossible.

    When I see angles like that I think either it was designed by someone who doesn't know design or by some hot shot who doesn't give a flying rat's tail about the eventual occupants.

    I’m actually building in America, Washington to be exact. I’m working with an architect in Australia though. This is actually a revised layout after originally asking for a formal entry. Not quite what I was looking for. So I thought I’d ask advice on here and run the suggestions by her.

    Time to cut your losses and find someone in your area. I'm sorry but there are just too many things wrong with this design.

    Laundry should be where most of the bedrooms are.

    Upper left bedroom should have closet backing middle bedroom closet so that bedroom can have windows on 2 walls and not waste all that wall space on a closet.

    Bedroom on right can't legally be a bedroom as there's no closet.

    Look at the wasted space to the right of the toilet in the guest upstairs bath. With that angle nothing can really go there.

    If you and your spouse are on different sleep schedules, your master bedroom will be the source of "disagreements" with how that closet and bathroom are laid out. Plus I wouldn't want to be the spouse on the side of the bed next to the bathroom when my other half turns the light on in the middle of the night.

    Master bath is poorly laid out with lots of wasted space.

    When you walk up the stairs, it appears you walk up and your view is a wall? Or is there a window there?

    How tall are your first floor ceilings because it doesn't look like there are enough stairs to get upstairs unless the risers are higher than code.

    Do you really want guests walking into the house and seeing the dining room, kitchen and storage closet first thing?

    Why is there a door outside the laundry room?

    BTW: If you're doing stackable washer/dryer, I hope you're relatively tall. I'm 5'3" and there was no way I could reach the top dials.

    I see no good way to lay out furniture in the living room with those angles.

    Do you really want guests walking down those stairs to get to the living room? What is the purpose? Other than to make it impossible if you ever have elderly guests.

    You have a 4 bedroom house but the kitchen is the size of a NYC apartment kitchen.

    You have a total of 1 closet downstairs and I'm assuming that's your pantry? Where will you store brooms, mops, cleaning supplies, coats, sports equipment, etc?

    The door to the house opens practically onto the staircase going down?

    How will you arrange furniture in the media room?

    What will you do with the wasted space between the two sides of the house?


    Unfortunately, some architects did not graduate at the top of their class or even the middle of their class.


  • Lindsey_CA
    4 years ago

    I don't think anyone has yet addressed the two toilets upstairs, and how they both are against a wall shared with a bedroom -- one is even on the other side of the head of a bed!

    Do you live in an area of Washington that gets very little or no snow in the Winter? If not, you should probably have an enclosed garage, rather than a carport.

  • M
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    This was the original style of house my husband and I wanted designed, except warmer and a cozier size. We really like the clean lines. Imagine our disappointment in our design. We were disappointed in our architect’s original ideas, but trusted her at the same time. We figured making frequent changes was a normal thing when working with an architect?
    Our budget is quite large, but at the same time, we don’t want our money wasted. I think since we really wanted to make it work with her, we stuck with her longer than we probably should have. Time to cut our losses and move on. Thank you all again for helping us make this decision.

  • User
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    i think your designer designed a nice house.

    I like the modern, angular style and have no problem with the entry. I don't think it snows there so they don't understand an entry closet.

    the only problem I had with the plan is the one bedroom where the bed was right next to the water closet.

    can I ask how much the design cost you?

  • Architectrunnerguy
    4 years ago

    If some kind of defined entry and formal dining room was an initial program requirement, the house certainly falls short in that regard but outside of that, I like it. Other non program things mentioned above in the house certainly need fixing and I'll say this with no knowledge of the site or even orientation but as a conceptual organization, I think it's pretty strong.

    To the OP, if you post another design please keep in mind that this forum has many "black or white" inflexible rules that must be followed. Lordy, Lordy, you should have read the hue and cry here about one of my houses that had a pantry on an exterior wall!!

    But good luck in your build. Exciting times lie ahead!

  • Ronny
    4 years ago

    Hi -

    Interesting design! Looks like you have a nice view from the sloping lot - I wonder if you are in West Seattle?


    Capturing the utmost view and dealing with a sloping lot may create issues and maybe some compromises.


    I believe the current design lacks storage, especially for an active family.

    Its nice to have a transition area as part of the entry for coats, shoes, and sports gear, etc.

    Fireplace?

    From my experience, the kitchen bar is where people gather, so may want to expand that area.

    Change the Media room to a flex room/office and use the formal living area as a great room.

  • L thomas
    4 years ago

    If you are in Seattle, I could offer you two local architects to maybe look into- Stuart Silk or Carol Sundstrom. Or BCJ - why not shoot for the stars :)

  • girl_wonder
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    M, sounds like you’re happy with this new direction. Yeah, it felt odd to fire my old architect but as she revised, the plans kept getting worse and worse. Hiring someone new was the best decision I made. Hope you are able to interview a few and find the perfect one for you and your home. Maybe you can hire Bill Gates’ architect hahaha.

  • suezbell
    4 years ago

    Enlarge the area where you now show your porch so it is at least six feet deep and extends to so it overlaps the garage the side of the garage by about eight feet. Enclose that area for your entry and add a French door from your new entry to where you now show your front door. Also add a sound/smell/fumes blocking door from the right side of that entry to your garage, creating a coat closet in the end of the entry beside/beyond the garage entry door.

  • PRO
    Design Interior South
    4 years ago

    M I think you have made a sound decision to go "back to the drawing board" with a new architect. I hope you will share the new plan when its complete. I think straight walls will make a huge difference in not only your furniture placement and living inside the home but also the amount of light you get. Best of luck!

  • roccouple
    4 years ago

    Good luck achieving your vision M. I agree with the others that the floor plan wasn’t great.

  • mononhemeter
    4 years ago

    Not a pro. If I were building a house, I would want all the rooms to be rectangles.

  • PRO
    RappArchitecture
    4 years ago

    I'm glad you went with a local architect. Some people above are still commenting on the old plan, but I assume you will start a new design from scratch. I for one look forward to seeing it. Before you start anew, make sure that the architect has spent time on the site and that you have given him or her a complete wish list of everything that you want the design to accomplish.


    By the way, there is nothing wrong with angles per se. Sometimes they are a response to specific site conditions or the desire for a unique space or shape. Just be aware that the furnishings need to be thought out ahead of time.

  • tatts
    4 years ago

    I don't get this house. Besides all that has been mentioned above...The front door (the main door to the house) dumps you (and visitors) into the dining room. If that were a formal dining room, seldom used, it would be odd and awkward, but it is the ONLY dining area in the house. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, kids studying, dropping book bags, school projects--all as the first thing everyone sees when they walk in. There's no place there that can stay a bit messy (like a breakfast nook).

    As I look at other spaces and see huge usability and interoperability issues, I think that this is, once again, a house that no one has given thought to how people live. The rooms exist like pieces in a Tetris game, not as a unified whole. Who puts a toilet next to a bed head? Who gives prime exterior wall space to a closet? Who puts the tub and the crapper in the same room ("Sorry, honey, I'm in the tub. Use another toilet.")? Why split that room into two that way? Who designs a media room with no closable door (and a bedroom right above, with no closet)?

    The only--only--thing that makes sense is the location of the powder room--away from the beaten path yet handy and discreet. But with a pointless pocket door.

    There are so many violations of Architecture 101, it amazes me.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    4 years ago

    Anyone can design a house anywhere in the world. Anyone can cook a soufflé, you just may not want to eat it.

    Document in writing your wants and needs so the local architect you choose can literally have them in front of them when they are designing your home.

    I think it was very kind of D E to offer to pay the expense of the Australian architect.

    And M, say "HI" to Bond for me.

  • just_janni
    4 years ago

    Best of luck with your local choices - at least you can view some of their works, talk to clients, etc. and - as noted - they can walk the site and understand, face to face, what you are trying to achieve.


    Love your inspiration home- please keep us posted and share.

  • Emily H
    4 years ago

    Friendly reminder to stay on topic and to not personally attack other members of the community. You can review the discussions code of conduct here.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    4 years ago

    Darn, I think I missed the excitement.