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Furniture Off Centre under Vaulted Ceiling

Michel W
last month

I am in the process of deciding on a floor plan for a new build. We are able to modify the main floor but cannot change the exterior walls or the vaulted ceiling. The image on the left is the original floor plan which doesn't really fit with our lifestyle (the dining room is WAY too far from the kitchen). The image on the right is how we would like the floor plan to be. If we change the floorplan the vaulted ceiling is between the living room and dining room (in red), not over the living room like originally intended. The floor has 10ft ceilings on all areas where it's not vaulted.


My question is, would this look so obviously off centre? Or am I over thinking it by just looking at the plans? The dining room light would have to be hung on the side slope. Thanks for your thoughts!

Comments (42)

  • chispa
    last month

    So you are only going to have one tiny window in your family room "north" wall?

    Your dining table half way under the vaulted ceiling is going to look weird and unplanned.

    I think you will need to plan on spending a fair amount of money after you move in to block off the vault (make it a regular 10 ft ceiling) and add some window facing the back yard.

    Is this the right house for you and your only choice?

    Michel W thanked chispa
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  • Michel W
    Original Author
    last month

    @chispa Thanks for commenting! I should have mentioned that the windows will be different. We will be maximizing the windows on the north wall. It's just the location of the walls that we can't move.


    And yes, I'm sadly coming to the realization that the vault might not be a good idea as much as I would really like the natural light. We can make it a 10ft ceiling if we want at no cost since it's not built yet.


    re: is it the right house for us? That could be argued either way. It's a near custom house for a spec home build price in a ridiculous real estate market. So I really want to try to make it work.

  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    last month

    Ten foot ceilings are plenty high. Flatten the ceiling, put in as many windows as feasible.

    Michel W thanked HALLETT & Co.
  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    Have you considered having a house designed that meets your needs and fits your site?

    Michel W thanked Mark Bischak, Architect
  • cpartist
    last month

    The best houses orient the public rooms towards the south for the best passive solar heating and cooling

    The best houses are L, U, T, H, or I shaped.

    The best houses are only one to two rooms deep. And covered lanai, porches, garages, etc count as rooms in this case.

    The best houses make sure all public rooms and bedrooms have windows on at least two walls.

    The best houses do not if possible put mechanical rooms, pantries or closets on outside walls

    The best houses keep public and private spaces separate.

    The best houses do not have you walk through the work zone of the kitchen to bring laundry to the laundry room.

    The best houses do not have the mudroom go through any of the work zones of the kitchen.

    The best houses do not put toilets or toilet rooms up against bedroom walls, family rooms or dining areas.

    The best houses do not have walk in closets too small to stand inside.

    The best houses have an organizing “spine” so it’s easy to determine how to get from room to room in the house and what makes sense.

  • Michel W
    Original Author
    last month

    @Mark We definitely considered it but for a couple reasons didn't go that way. Aside from this vaulted ceiling, this house on this property checks all the boxes. And we don't actually own the site. The site is owned by the builder with this house being built on it. This is more of a pre-sale with the ability to make some structural changes.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    If you post the floor plan and all the elevations for input, some Houzzers may point out some empty boxes; but as always . . . .

    WARNING: Posting your entire floor plan opens you up to facts you may not want to know, but should. Be prepared for suggestions that will make for a better design. Keep a thick skin, open mind, sense of humor, and a glass of wine within arms reach. You may not enjoy it, but everyone else will and you will be better off in the long run if you heed well the advice.

  • Michel W
    Original Author
    last month

    Ha ha ha! Those are wise words for the internet in general! I know nothing about home building so I welcome (almost) all suggestions ;)

  • Michel W
    Original Author
    last month

    @HALLETT & Co. You're absolutely right. 10ft is more than high enough. I'm overthinking this. :)

  • PRO
    RES2
    last month

    For me it would depend on the design of the "valulted ceiling"i.e., whether it has a center ridge or a shed ceiling and if there are window/skylights. For important decisions you need to provide adequate information.

    Michel W thanked RES2
  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    last month

    IMO the vaulted ceiling is the sissue and why with 10' ceiling already that vault is not even a good idea.

  • Michel W
    Original Author
    last month

    @RES2 In hindsight, I'm embarrassed at how few details I included in my post. I apparently assumed the internet would know what's in my head. And you can imagine how that goes.


    I'm going to get this terminology incorrect but the east and west sides of the vault slope together to meet in the middle. (Cathedral vault?) The full back wall is windows and the vaulted ceiling/roof is extended to cover the deck. There are no skylights in the vaulted part. The plans originally had this vaulted area open to the upstairs hallway but I wanted to close that to keep the upstairs bedrooms quiet (I have small kids and cherish our sleep). Unless I hear convincing arguments for keeping that open from those who know better....


  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    last month

    Based on your spelling of centre I assume you are a northern neighbor- vaults are just a place for all your precious warm air to go all winter.

  • Michel W
    Original Author
    last month

    @HALLETT & Co. Impressive attention to detail! Yes, this vault is off-centre and all those windows will give us a view of our neighbours. Not sure what colour we're going to go with yet but I'm sure it will be one of my favourites. ;)


    I'm in the Vancouver, BC area where it doesn't get that cold (I realize "cold" is relative) and it's actually more rainy and grey. So I'm looking to maximize the natural light over the challenge in heating a vaulted room, though that is definitely a consideration.

  • patrickaz
    last month
    last modified: last month

    This may not be ideal for you, but have you considered rotating the table such that you could center it?



  • chispa
    last month

    Your call to not do a vaulted space open to the upstairs bedrooms is the correct one. All the downstairs noise would have echoed up into the upstairs rooms. By closing that off, it doesn't make sense to keep the vault and the windows. Just make sure you have tall windows and the headers are at 8 ft. so you get plenty of light into the rooms. Go with 8 ft interior doors too.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    Something looks funky with that roof.

  • Michel W
    Original Author
    last month

    @patrickaz I wonder if that is the simplest way to solve this issue. Not ideal no, but not awful. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Michel W
    Original Author
    last month

    @Mark Bischak, Architect The lack of roof in the middle section lets in a lot of natural light. Makes us susceptible to the elements for sure but that's what umbrellas are for.


    Because text is tricky for interpreting tone, the left side is looking straight at the vaulted area and the right side is the roof line looking at it from the side. :)

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    No, that's not it. There appears to be valleys where water and leaves would accumulate. Eaves do not line up. Floor lines do not line up. It is hard to tell without all the elevations and all the floor plans. But somethings do not look like they are graphically represented accurately.

  • 3onthetree
    last month

    Is there an existing house built with this plan that you can visit? It seems there are some strange choices in the basic design (about this roof situation) and discrepancies in the drawings. Like the 2nd floor layout requiring some structural framing that a spec builder would not choose to do. There may be some bearing walls and columns not shown.

    The original vault in the Great Room is shown as a pyramid, and does it list a 12' peak(?) height? However, on the exterior it shows transom windows about 18' high, inside a gable cathedral. The gable location makes for odd roof transitions adjacent to it as mentioned already. On the patio the roof's steep pitch (which doesn't appear to match any pitch on the rest of the house) and high peak may make for a disproportionate volume.

    Michel W thanked 3onthetree
  • Michel W
    Original Author
    last month

    @Mark Bischak, Architect @3onthetree Here's the drawing of the back of the house. I'm sure you've guessed already that I know nothing about roof pitches and what is considered normal.


    And sorry, I shouldn't have said 'spec builder'. This is not a house that is going into a sub-division with 30 identical houses or anything. This builder has 2-3 houses going at any given time in various stages of completion. Depending on the lots he was able to acquire.


    And I'm actually going to view a house with not exactly this floorplan but almost the exact 'vault' this week. Though I'm not sure how complete it is. I don't believe it has doors/windows yet.


    Oh and yes, my understanding is that the 'X' over the vaulted area can't possibly be a pyramid because how would that open to the upstairs hallway. But I'm waiting on confirmation on that.


    Thank you both for taking the time to comment :)

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    The other 3 full elevations are needed to explain the structure

    Michel W thanked Mark Bischak, Architect
  • Michel W
    Original Author
    last month

    How about this? It's kinda hard to see but I hope this gives enough info.



  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    How does the water, indicated by blue arrows, flow between the red ridge and the green ridge in the images below?

    Is that a flat roof question marked?




  • Michel W
    Original Author
    last month

    Here is the roof looking down. I *think* I colour coded the peaks correctly though I'll admit, I am getting confused. The 'flat roof' is apparently slightly graded and I'm waiting to hear back on what that grade is. We live where it can snow so I can't imagine a flat room is ideal.


    Also, I am going to continue to take your help for as long as you'll give it. So if you ever feel the need to stop replying to an internet stranger I won't be offended.


  • WestCoast Hopeful
    last month

    Michel I am in your area. This home looks like many others around here. Having gone through a custom build I can tell you it’s not at pricey as you think to design the home with a competent skill person vs plunk the time on a lot. They really need to be planned for each lot. How did your builder create this plan? Was it for this lot alone?

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Thank you for the roof plan, it shows a lot more.

    As I see it there are three problem areas. Where water will run down the roof and hit a wall square on, creating a horizontal valley. Where water running down two roofs that form a horizontal valley. And flat roofs are always a problem.


    Consider a different house design by a different designer.

    There may be more problems, but I have to get back to work.


  • Michel W
    Original Author
    last month

    @westcoasthopeful thanks! Yes the home was designed for the lot. It’s actually the only way they can get permits in this area of town. Especially with basements and the slope.

  • WestCoast Hopeful
    last month

    Where is it?

  • WestCoast Hopeful
    last month

    @Michel W if you are open to setting your profile to receive messages I would like to email you about this vs post here.

  • Michel W
    Original Author
    last month

    @WestCoast Hopeful Messaged you.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    I am hoping the private message encourages the OP to start over with their own local competent designer.

  • WestCoast Hopeful
    last month

    Mark I think you sometimes forget that not everyone is going to design their own home.
    Many people buy from a builder and get what they get. So they work with that to make it work. They do this because of budget, location, timing and more. They can still be exceptionally happy with the end result.

    I provided some more regional feedback and feel like Michel is well on their way.

  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    last month

    That roof is extra especially for somewhere it snows...

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    I realize not everyone will not design their own home, even with the assistance of an architect; but I try not to encourage mediocracy as an end goal and try to avoid potential problems when I see them.

    Thank you for providing the OP with "regional feedback", I know it will be most valuable even if it is contrary to what I would provide.

  • Michel W
    Original Author
    last month

    Definitely not scrapping this plan and starting again at this point but I am going to chat with the architect later this week to ask some questions that I didn’t know I should ask. So thanks for pushing me to do my due diligence!

  • LH CO/FL
    last month

    Back to the original question -- also consider a square dining room table. My sister just did this and it's surprisingly better at allowing conversations with the whole family.

  • WestCoast Hopeful
    last month

    Halett barely any snow to speak of

  • Michel W
    Original Author
    last month

    @LH CO/FL I almost forgot what the original question was :) Thanks for the suggestion. My designer suggested a round table but it feels too much like a knights at the round table. I like the square idea!

  • Michel W
    Original Author
    last month

    @HALLETT & Co. Surprisingly less snow than you would expect. We don't actually live in igloos up here :)