SHOP BY DEPARTMENT
Houzz Logo Print
webuser_375033222

Main Floor Layout Feedback! CUSTOM WALKOUT BUNGALOW

Linda W
last month
last modified: last month

Hi!

My husband and I are in the preliminary planning stages of our build, the goal is to build in May 2023.

We are a family with young kids, and this is our FOREVER home, so we are trying to create it to be as transitional as possible through every stage of life. The basement plans are not yet complete however, I woud appreciate ANY feedback on the plans so far. Everything is flexible at this point, as we have not drawn up official blueprints.

The expertise on this forum is far beyond me, so please hit me with any flaws you can see, and areas we can improve! Be HARSH! lol (room dimensons, functionality... etc)

Additionally, I would love feedback on the kitchen layout.. (Work flow, appliance location, etc)

Thankyou soooo much for your time!

Full Layout followed by zoomed in each side.







Comments (48)

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    How does it relate to the site?

    Why is the garage angled?

  • Linda W
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    It is an large acerage so we are not limited on footprint.

    Our driveway will be coming straight from the west and follows past our garage to a shop.

    Note: There is a view to the south we would like to capiltalize.



  • Related Discussions

    Bathroom addition and layout for 1924 bungalow

    Q

    Comments (12)
    Desertsteph, that's an interesting idea about a second door directly from the master bedroom. One hangup might be the fact that our upstairs only has a seven foot ceiling height throughout (very standard for our vintage bungalow). Right where the back wall of the unfinished bedroom is it starts sloping down into the attic space. I don't think we would have the headspace for a door on the east side of the new gable, and we would have to widen the gable quite a bit to put a door where the attic door is planned and have it enter the bathroom. But I'll look at a carefully and make sure there isn't a way to squeeze it in. The changing tables say they are 37" tall, but I think that's to the top of the (removeable) rails, so the actual top may be 34" or 35". KMCG, I hadn't thought of kitchen cabinets as vanities. They are certainly easier to find used or discounted than bath vanities. Great price on the pieces you found! I'll keep my eyes out if we decide on a large single vanity or the changing tables don't work out. Hollysprings, I respect your ability to think outside the box. However, we really like our house as it is, other than the bathroom situation. It will only take a few LVL beams to support the gable on the loadbearing walls below; cantilevering adds nothing but a little length to those beams. I can't see how a much larger shed roof dormer would cost less or be simpler. Maybe I'm not understanding the situation, but it seems as though reframing the entire back side of the house, reroofing, exterior sheathing and siding, subfloor and flooring, all would be significantly more in quantity than what we are currently planning.
    ...See More

    Custom Bungalow

    Q

    Comments (35)
    Here's an idea to put the laundry in the bedroom hallway, but the master closet needs to move into BR space. I drew two sliding doors for the laundry alcove, but folding doors would also work. The pantry is a straight shot off the garage entry, with a second entry to the kitchen, or across a hall to the foyer entry. The second entry could be omitted to make that whole space pantry storage, with the MW and counter to the right of the fridge. The fridge is full depth, recessed into the pantry. If you're changing the angle of the garage, the pantry window will probably be sacrificed.
    ...See More

    Redesigning bungalow layout - seeking feedback!

    Q

    Comments (6)
    Hi A. Wu: first of all, your home, from the photos you’ve provided, looks lovely and very light and bright. Regarding the idea about enlarging the living room windows, is there a view to be opened up? It doesn’t appear that you need them for additional light. Might not be worth the expense…. I quite like the layout you have currently which creates separation between the living room and the bedrooms and bathroom. It is more private. To create the illusion of more space in the bathroom, change out the tub for a shower and, instead of a door with a swing, have you considered switching it out for a sliding door? You could mount a barn door on the hallway side of the wall …. Are there times when two people are in there using sinks at the same time, if not, it probably isn’t worth the expense to go to a double sink vanity (even with stealing room from the hallway, it looks a bit tight for 2 adults to be standing next to one another). What is the room off the bedroom? Could that be made into a dressing room? Could you gain additional closet space in there? If you change the kitchen, do ensure you have room for walkways - as previously mentioned, minimum is 42” and wider is better (especially for 2 or more cooks at the same time). For the fireplace, get an expert in to provide advice - it is in a weird location, so I can see why you would want to remove it. Hope you find this helpful.
    ...See More

    Fine tuning 1935 bungalow renovation layout

    Q

    Comments (12)
    Here is an updated layout with the front and middle closets expanded to 6'-4" x 2'-6". The width would allow three 24" sections of Elfa shelving with a drawer section centered in the doorway. The 2'-6" (30") depth would allow for better access to the top shelf and better use the 9' ceiling height. After many years of living with the previous "closets", I figure it would be better to size the closets to actually be useful, rather than under-sizing them and making them somewhat useless. I'm tempted to squeeze the front bathroom down and put the bathtub in there and then just make a bigger shower in the back bathroom. But I need some talking points to convince my wife since she is the one that uses the bathtub.
    ...See More
  • lmckuin
    last month

    I would have the powder room door face the foyer. No one wants to see a toilet from the sofa and it makes for awkward guests for the trip to the toilet to be so visible.

    Also what about moving the vanity down in the primary bath and putting the closet door close to the bathroom door. The trip from the door to the primary bedroom to the back of the closet is about 2-feet “as the crow flies,” but a zillion actual steps.

    Linda W thanked lmckuin
  • bpath
    last month
    last modified: last month

    What I like:

    the traffic from garage does not go straight through the kitchen.

    The foyer actually shows its purpose, with closet, powder room, bedroom hall, and living room opening off of it. (often I see the foyer leading to the living room and all other spaces are not off the foyer.)

    Laundry room near the source of most laundry, but not so far from the daytime spaces as to be inconvenient foe swapping loads to dryer.

    Mudroom door to the back yard.

    What I don’t like: are the doorways only 2’ wide? What about the little hall to the powder?

    The garage bumpout.

    Ensuite’s closet door location,

    Two sinks in kids’ bath. More storage drawers and counterspace are better.

    View from dining and living to mudroom.

    Too many jogs in the front. it will look choppy.

    Steps from house to garage. You will forever be making a tight turn to go around the car in that bay.

    Where will the trash etc cans go?

    Will you have a home office in the walkout?

    I’d like to see a different ensuite arrangement. Maybe move the door to the other side of the bed. and maybe create a small hall there, with doors to bath and closet. The hall could have shallow storage for jewelry and accessories, perhaps.

    Linda W thanked bpath
  • anj_p
    last month

    I would ditch the angle. You don't need it.

    Kitchen has some pretty big problems. It's HUGE but all the work is crammed into the short side of the U. The fridge is practically outside the work zone - you will be elbowing people out of the way to get anything out of it. I get a window sink but you are giving SO MUCH space to the sink wall and so little to the range. People will be walking by the range to get stuff out of the pantry.

    Big no no.

    1) NO one should be sitting across from a range.

    2) Your aisles look too tight. Need to be 4'-0" min.

    3) Pick your appliances now so you know how they will fit. Are you having a range and a wall oven? Or is that cooktop or rangetop?

    4) The whole half of the U to the right of the sink is useless right now, which is half of your entire kitchen.

    5) Your island looks too big (wide) 5' is probably as big as you'd want to go.

    6) You have a huge space between the dining table and kitchen. Seems like a bit of a waste.

    7) I think you'd be better off turning your island. Move the door to the pantry to the other side of the fridge, or eliminate that access completely. Make that right wall tall shallow pantry or make that your beverage station (if you are coffee drinkers, water there would be a good idea). Then maybe put a prep sink on the island. Your cleanup sink is far from dishes but with this layout it is the way it is.

    Linda W thanked anj_p
  • PRO
    PPF.
    last month

    Turn the garage so it faces east. You will already have the drive to the shop, and it will greatly improve the look of the house from the front.

    I'd want the master and kid bedrooms separated. Having them close is handy when kids are very young, but as they quickly age, everyone will appreciate a bit of distance. Also consider them as adults home for a visit, maybe with a partner, and how they will appreciate privacy.

    Which kid gets the big bedroom?

    Get a window in the hall bath, and not one above the tub.

    Find another spot for the powder room. Maybe by the mud room so it's close to the deck and away from the public part of the house.

    Kitchen is large but not functional. Extra space between kitchen and dining.

    Linda W thanked PPF.
  • bpath
    last month

    In the kitchen (and disclaimer, I am not a kitchen designer, just a kitchen user), I’d like the appliance on the L legs, and maybe the refrigerator where the range is. Then the rest of that wall can be storage, maybe even glass doors, for china and specialty ware.

    Linda W thanked bpath
  • kandrewspa
    last month

    All of the other commenters have made good points that I agree with except I don't know if I like where the laundry room is. It depends on what your habits are, but if you're not used to having it close to bedrooms keep in mind you will probably not want the machines to be running past when everyone goes to bed. Only you know if this will affect you. I would put the machines in the mudroom area myself.


    Also, as another commenter mentioned, I really don't like the master closet opening off the bathroom, or the kitchen layout. Do you need to be able to seat six people at the island and have a table for six adjacent? Big bedroom, smaller bedroom does have potential for discord. I moved frequently growing up and my brother and I never stopped arguing about who got the bigger bedroom. :-)


    There is a limit as to how far you can go designing from the inside out. If you let the inside configuration drive everything you can end up with an unattractive exterior. If you're trying to replicate bungalow style you should be keeping things simple. Homes built since 1990 seem to be afflicted with too many gables. Don't let that disease overcome your house, and definitely try to make the garage less obtrusive.


    Craftsman "Retreat" · More Info


    The Lincoln · More Info


    Historic Craftsman · More Info


    Linda W thanked kandrewspa
  • HU-457756048
    last month

    Good comments. Of course one can’t have everything, except we don’t know how much is driven by site topography and views and related choices. It’s hard to creat house for young family plus “ forever” I think, but I u understand based on finding property you love. I’ll bet others know how to think in those ways. Even if “ forever”, that many years would mean later doing major updates, refreshing, even renovation so I would be curious as to what makes a house plan easier to do that in?

    Random comments, some of which echo others:
    would not have kid and parents bedrooms all squashed together- no privacy for parents or for kids later, for a lot of years. Split floor plan of some sort or a buffer zone. But, you may be planning basement space where an older kid has bedroom.
    Similarly, showing one floor for busy family, there is no “ away room” to have a quiet zone or separate TV zone, but again, maybe basement. After kids leave home then of course a bedroom could be Re- purposed.
    Master BR walk-in closet only 6 ft wide? If plan clothes rods and/ or storage on both sides, this is very tight- lije s dry cleaners closet! Mind is about 7 feet and barely enough for sharing. Mainly I would ask you to consider how/ if you get ready for work if you go to events- are both heading out and using closet at same time, & where do you plan to “ get dressed “. Because the closet is long, one side could be clothes rod & other hooks or similar lower- profile storage ( I love hooks for “ barely worn” clothing, robes, pjs, accessories) or shallow shoe racks, plus a seating bench. Otherwise you’ll have to carry clotges out to the bedroom.

    Agree the kitchen needs a makeover. Big island and so many stools encroaching on aisles. Stove especially. Can’t actually “ serve up” easily except to pivot from sink, or use island well for buffet style. Maybe it’s just a “ homework island but then don’t need so much seating. Dining room is right there. It wil be hard for family to cook together.
    Free standing tub? Why? Anyway, be thinking how you’d renovate later on. Maybe will be replaced by a new shower.
    Are doorways really tgst narrow?
    Garage - if steps are needed there can that be ramped later? Also, agree the angled design means you can’t park a car in that slot next to the stairs.
    Good luck with ongoing design! There will always be trade- offs.

    Linda W thanked HU-457756048
  • bpath
    last month

    In some areas, a bungalow is the term for a one-story house. Here in Chicago, it’s something very specific, with kind of a small half-story tucked on top.

    Linda W thanked bpath
  • PRO
    PPF.
    last month

    Lots more that could be done. This shows the idea of creating a path along the north side running to the garage and allows windows along that north wall. Kitchen rotates so sink faces deck, cooking is along the east wall.

    The master could move south of the master bath, or the entire master suite could move to the opposite side of the house.




  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    How do you define "bungalow" ?

    What attributes of a bungalow do you want to incorporated into this house?

    Linda W thanked Mark Bischak, Architect
  • partim
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I would flip the house so that the garage is on the side closer to the driveway. Then there won't be a long driveway across the front of the house. Are you in a hot or cold climate?

    Linda W thanked partim
  • PRO
    RappArchitecture
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Yeah, it's not like any bungalow I've ever seen. My criticisms mostly echo those already mentioned by others:

    • I counted 16 corners on the front of the house. They will be expensive to build and won't add to the look of the house as you approach. Many can be eliminated without impacting function.
    • The angled garage is unnecessary. Straighten it out and put the garage doors on the side. This will also make the front elevation more attractive.
    • Move the powder room out of the center of the house, maybe into the oversize mudroom.
    • Start over on the kitchen design. It is too large and unwieldy and disfunctional. Reduce the width down to 16 or 18 feet to bring the right side closer to everything else.
    • Building a "forever" house with young kids is problematic. The kids won't always be there, obviously, and then how will you live in the house? Try and realistically think ahead to what your life and needs will be 20 years from now.
    • Having the master bedroom so close to the kid's bedrooms is also problematic. It's probably unrealistic to move it somewhere else, but at the very least you should figure out a way to have the door to your bedroom as far away from the kid's bedrooms as possible. This would entail totally reworking the master suite of course.


    I'm surprised no one has asked who the designer is. I'll assume you're working with a real architect and not just a builder. If you're not, you should be. The money spent on a competent architect to design a forever home is inconsequential no matter what the cost.

    Linda W thanked RappArchitecture
  • bpath
    last month

    The master suite can be reconfigured to put the bathroom and closet between kids and folks. I appreciated having my kids on the same floor same hall, so I could easily see who was up in the morning but especially who still had light spilling out from under their door too late at night, working on homework (or playing games…on a school night).

    Linda W thanked bpath
  • Julie Praus
    last month

    I’m so glad you received great constructive comments. Too often these floor plan reviews get nasty comments that are not helpful at all and verge on personal attacks. Can’t wait to see the revisions.

  • 3onthetree
    last month
    last modified: last month

    One thing to think about - from the way your floor plan is conceived I can guess with certainty that you will have a somewhat steeper roof pitch (like 5+/12). So, over the bedroom side all the jogs will not allow this as much, but over the garage you will have a very large attic available (assuming shop is for high ceiling, not the attached garage). So if you don't consider a bonus room above the garage, you will guaranteed wonder why you didn't take advantage of it once you see the roof framing up. Incorporating it now may affect some adjacencies.

    Also, I am not an anti-angle person, even if contrived, nor am I dead set against front-loading garages. However, with your shop and site in consideration, I would probably turn the garage perpendicular to the house, so the garage doors and shop are parallel to the side drive.

  • MaryAlice
    last month

    Open concept can be taken too far. Rooms need their own identities, even if they are open to one another. Also, the kitchen was designed for someone who doesn't cook, and has no idea of kitchen workflow. It is too large, with poor workflow paths and patterns. It needs to be smaller, and designed by a kitchen designer.

  • bpath
    last month

    At least it isn’t a bowling alley with living, dining dining, kitchen all in a row, and everything visible from the front door. And the kitchen is kind of around a corner from the living room. But if someone is washing up after dinner while someone else isn’t helping I mean relaxing with a good documentary, there could still be some ”stop clattering” and ”turn the volume down”.

  • Linda W
    Original Author
    last month

    Wow!! Thankyou guys so much for your insights! There are so much constructive comments.


    It will be a walkout basement and we are going to include:

    • 3 Bedrooms
    • Rec/TV Room
    • Wet Bar
    • Gym
    • Unfinished storage
    • Half bath
    • Full Bath near bedrooms

    I have attached a similar layout I found on Architecturaldesigns.com, do you guys think this is a better layout between the kitchen, great room, dining room?


    We are hoping to "Squish" during the phase of life where all our kids are upstairs, and plan for their bedrooms to be down.

    We were planning to use Bedroom #2 as a bedroom until we can one day turn it to an office, but maybe it would make more sense to one large kids room upstairs and a more deliberate office space (such as in this archetecturaldesigns layout)


    We need KITCHEN HELP!!! has anyone had experience with a kitchen designer?


    The one thing I am firm about is no sink on the island and having the sink under a window. Which has become a crutch to some really good layout options.


    @bpath @PPF. You made some really good points, specifically regarding the powder room & ensuite. It makes alot of sense to avoid it opening onto the great room. I really like the idea of moving it to the mudroom. Also the doorways are all 3'.


    @anj_p @bpathI @kandrewspa You all nailed it on the head... we just need to figure out a differnt kitchen arrangment.


    @PPF. I really appreciate this layout you made. I think you are onto something moving the kitchen to the right wall of the house.


    @lmckuin @HU-457756048 That is funny you both mentioned this, we were having trouble with the master/ensuite/WIC situation, I think we will switch them around so the WIC is furhter from the kids room and the WIC can be more square shaped.



    @Mark Bischak, Architect Bungalow may be the wrong term?... We really are building a 1 story + Walkout basement.



    @partim VERY COLD CLIMATE! booo


    @RappArchitecture There are wayyy to many jogs/corners on the front of the house. This needs to be squared up. 100% agree to move the powerder room to the mudroom. You are right about the kitchen.. and the right side of the house needs to be reworked. Swapping the Master with the Ensuite/WIC should help alot with that.




    https://www.architecturaldesigns.com/house-plans/2500-square-foot-craftsman-home-plan-with-angled-garage-and-basement-expansion-14054dt


  • anj_p
    last month

    Please get rid of the angle. The similar house you found still has that. It doesn't make for architectural interest.

    I would also suggest you analyze your no sink in the island requirement. I used to be a huge opponent of that as well, until I realized a sink in the island would make food prep so much easier in my last kitchen. In my current kitchen (builder production plan) I couldn't add a prep sink and the main sink is in the island. I'm actually really happy with it. My island is 10' and I have 5' of space next to the sink for prep. Makes my cooking zone compact and efficient.

    An island without a water source generally doesn't become very functional/efficient for cooking. In your case, you'd have to get food out of the fridge, carry it over to the sink to wash, and then what? Carry it back to the island to prep? Prep next to the sink, then carry it next to the range (which doesn't have much space next to it)? Or Prep next to the sink, carry it to the island, then grab what you need as you go at the range? Where is the trash can? Because that will dictate where you prep...

    See what I mean?

    Linda W thanked anj_p
  • bpath
    last month

    The island sink question is all about how you use the island. Disclaimer, I don’t have an island but grew up in a house with a sinkless island, The island wasn’t used for prep, just for baking, landing zone, serving, getting things out of the prep area, which ws between sink and stove. So no spilling on the floor as you move things around. If I’m eating at an island, I don’t want to be looking at the dishes on the sink a foot away from me.

    Linda W thanked bpath
  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    To me, the design is a hot mess. To take a house design that was designed for someone else somewhere else and trying to grapple it to be your dream is forced and counterproductive. Start with you and your land, and create (with assistance) a home that will accommodate and enhance your life. Like an eagle building a nest, not a hermit crab finding a shell.

    Linda W thanked Mark Bischak, Architect
  • anj_p
    last month

    @bpath my point wasn't to say she needs an island sink; it was more to point out that efficient kitchen design might require one. Her kitchen now requires rework; we don't know if the redesign will work better with or without one. She didn't list reasons why she doesn't want one and maybe they are specific to her kitchen use, but we don't know that. I also don't know if she has considered a prep sink, which functions differently from a main sink. My suggestion to her to evaluate her reasons was so she doesn't take something off the table that could really help create an efficient kitchen without a good understanding of what the effects of that are (potentially trading function for form).

    Linda W thanked anj_p
  • jodyrah
    last month

    Re: baths. Curbless showers without glass enclosures. Glass only looks good sparkling clean.

    Linda W thanked jodyrah
  • sarahachevalier
    last month
    Nobody has discussed cost yet — but if you are in the preliminary stages of planning your house, I suggest picking your builder and working with them to get feedback on the plans and preliminary budget, which is helpful as you are going through this process. You have received helpful feedback in this thread. Do you have exterior elevations as well? One thing to note is the kitchen windows are shorter (countertop height is 36 inches) than windows in other public rooms. Will that bother you on the front facade?

    Finally, this is very personal to each family, but consider how much space every person needs. I am building a house smaller than yours, and sometimes I think I might have built a tad “too big” — we’ll see after having lived it in for a bit. Just make sure that you spend some time in a house the size you are looking to build, and see if you like the feeling.

    Linda W thanked sarahachevalier
  • chispa
    last month

    We have an angled garage, but we have a 1/2 acre pie shaped lot and HOA rules we had to follow, so not many options to be able to fit a large one story house on the lot. You have a large piece of land, so you don't need to make those types of compromises.

    Linda W thanked chispa
  • Mrs Pete
    last month
    last modified: last month

    this is our FOREVER home

    Um, not to be harsh, but it probably isn't your forever home. Forever is a long time, and your needs will change. Your jobs may change. If you're in a neighborhood, it may change (our old neighborhood was great when we moved in, but -- after a while -- original owners died out, and it became a rental neighborhood).

    Having said that, I grew up in a farmhouse that my grandparents built about 100 years ago. One thing that makes it really work is that it's a 3 bedroom /2 bath house + a 1 bedroom /1 bath apartment. I was one of 5 children. The apartment makes the house VERY flexible:

    - When we were kids, we were all in the 3 bedrooms, and an elderly relative lived in the apartment.

    - When we were teens, we spread out into the apartment. One brother had the apartment living room for his bedroom. My sister and I (the only girls) shared the bedroom (which is the largest in the house). We had our own washer/dryer in the apartment, which was very convenient.

    - At one point the apartment was an office.

    - Now my mother lives in the apartment, and -- as I said -- my brother's family is in the house.

    Consider dividing your house into such a layout -- you'd want exterior doors between the house and apartment, but while your kids are using them you could leave them unlocked.

    - Having two kitchens in the house is convenient for large family gatherings.

    - In our case the apartment is divided from the house with a breezeway, but that wouldn't be good with small children.

    - My uncle has a similar layout (he, too, had an elderly relative who lived with him), and he rents his apartment.

    I would have the powder room door face the foyer.

    I was going to say the same thing.

    Also what about moving the vanity down in the primary bath and putting the closet door close to the bathroom door.

    Yep, I noted that too; however, I'd go farther than that:

    - Flip-flop the bed so you can access the bath /closet without walking all the way around the bed.

    - And add a second door to the closet so you can access it from the bedroom OR the bathroom.

    - Do you really need a 20' very narrow closet? Measure out and look just how big that is. Hanging clothes need 24" depth .... 30" will do for a walking aisle, but 36" is better.

    I think making part of that into family storage opening towards the hallway would be more useful -- think of sleeping bags, suitcases, etc. The kids' closets are quite small /won't be able to absorb these things.

    Laundry room

    Move the washer/dryer down the wall so the dryer can vent directly to the outside. This is cheaper and more fire-safe. As they're laid out now, the kid in Bedroom 2 will hear the machines running.
    The garage bumpout.

    Not just the garage ... you have so many jigs and jogs on this house; it'll make the house more expensive to build, but the jigs and jogs don't add anything to the comfort or function of the house. Also, this complex footprint forces you into a multi-planed roof, which will be expensive and prone to leaks ... and, again, doesn't add anything to the comfort or function of the house.

    In a word: Simplify. New house plans today seem to have a tremendous fear of being "too plain", and they're swinging too far towards complicated. Remember that you'll add style through landscaping. Simple stands the test of time.
    Two sinks in kids’ bath. More storage drawers and counterspace are better.

    Yes X 100. Give the kids one sink, a stack of drawers each, and a small linen closet. I'd lose the duplicate sinks in the master bath too.
    Where will the trash etc cans go?

    I was wondering about that ... for sure you'll be carrying trash bags a long way /through multiple turns, and at some point you'll have a leaky bag or a bag that breaks. Then you're cleaning up mess.
    Kitchen has some pretty big problems. It's HUGE but all the work is crammed into the short side of the U.

    Agree. Will add:

    - The island is oversized /will be difficult to clean in the middle.

    - Go with 2-3 stools for a kid to sit on and talk to you while you're cooking. This isn't Waffle House, and it isn't a space for a real meal with the whole family. You have a large, comfortable dining space RIGHT THERE.

    - You have a great pantry ... you don't need all those cabinets. The cabinet run on the far side /away from the pantry is wasted space that'll just collect clutter.

    - Yes, move the refrigerator closer to the work area. I think you were trying to get it close to the table, but you need it to be closer to the dishwasher /think about putting glasses away .. so many steps to carry glasses to the cabinet next to the refrigerator.

    - The range is in an awful location.

    - Where's your fire extinguisher?

    - Where's your trash?

    - The kitchen is too large for convenience. I think you're falling for a common fallacy: "I like to cook, and meals are important, so I want my kitchen to be BIG!". No, you want your kitchen to be well-designed and efficient. Bigger isn't better. You could have a much better layout in 1/2 - 2/3 this size.

    I think you'd be better off turning your island.

    This might be a good idea, but I like the kitchen's orientation to the table.

    Then maybe put a prep sink on the island.

    A prep sink would be a band-aid; better to fix the layout.
    Similarly, showing one floor for busy family, there is no “ away room” to have a quiet zone or separate TV zone, but again, maybe basement.

    Agree. For most families, one large room + one small room that can be closed off work well. The smaller room should have acoustical and visual privacy.

    Note, too, that the living room won't be all that large once you've allotted for a walking aisle to the back door and to the bedroom wing.

    Did you say you're in a cold climate? Your back door should definitely swing in (imagine if snow piles up against the door) and should have some cover (for protection in bad weather).

    Lots more that could be done. This shows the idea of creating a path along the north side running to the garage ...

    Eh, look what this does to the guests' approach to the house. Guests will pull over to the far left /they are quite far from the front door and don't have a clear view of where they're to go.

    Also, the kitchen was designed for someone who doesn't cook, and has no idea of kitchen workflow. It is too large, with poor workflow paths and patterns. It needs to be smaller, and designed by a kitchen designer.

    Agree, except that this board seems to do a better job than kitchen designers.

    OP, how do you cook? Lots from scratch? Fresh veggies or frozen? How often do you bake?

    We are hoping to "Squish" during the phase of life where all our kids are upstairs, and plan for their bedrooms to be down.

    You're talking about this being a 6- bedroom house. No one will be squished. I'd look at putting their bedrooms downstairs NOW.

    The one thing I am firm about is no sink on the island and having the sink under a window. Which has become a crutch to some really good layout options.

    I hear what you're saying, but a sink in the island would give you a good view of the dining area + living room, which means you'd be able to monitor the kids while cooking.

    If I’m eating at an island, I don’t want to be looking at the dishes on the sink a foot away from me.

    That's a good argument to eat at the table.

    Curbless showers without glass enclosures. Glass only looks good sparkling clean.

    Consider a shower curtain instead. Shower curtains also add color and softness to bathrooms.

    Note that, as drawn now, you'd have to walk around the shower to open the door. Sliding doors would be better than what's pictured now.

    Linda W thanked Mrs Pete
  • Architectrunnerguy
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Linda, I hope you haven't left us but if you're still here and I look at your house DIAGRAMMATICALLY, I don't think it's all that bad. It's narrow, only two spaces deep with lots of natural light. While a ways from "being there" it has lots of potential for "getting there". Again, diagrammatically, better than most of the "globbed on spaces" houses we see here.

    But a coupla points:

    Plans and elevations are normally developed consecutively, not sequentially as your post seems to suggest. Design isn't coming up with a plan and THEN making it look pretty. That's not what design is. But if that's the case, that should be a major concern regarding your designers methodology. As an example, here's one of the very first concept sketches I did for a recent project. As you can see, the third dimension is being developed TOGETHER with the first and second dimensions, all simultaneously. You need get your guy or girl to do the same.



    And I'd be a little concerned that you have a plan with exterior walls nailed down to 1/8" tolerances (VERY unusual in its own right) with no elevations.

    And regarding the angle....I avoid them unless there's a COMPELLING site related reason for incorporating one. After all a 90* angle is called a "right angle" for a reason....lol.... And if you do incorporate one, I'd work to make the "connector" as small and thin as possible, trapping it's roof between the two larger masses it's connecting, unlike your current design. Here's an example:





    But good luck in your project. Exciting times ahead!

    Linda W thanked Architectrunnerguy
  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    Along the lines of looking at the design (floor plan) diagrammatically, and knowing often long walks in a large house are unavoidable; the sketch below illustrates the OP starting to work on their 1969 British Racing Green Triumph TR-6 in the third stall of the garage and realizing they need to put on their work shirt stored in the master bedroom's walk-in closet. The red line illustrates the path they would have to endure. There may be a way to design the house to reduce such a path, and all the other millions of paths that would occur during the life of the house. There is little sense in making a house make anyone work harder than they have to.


    Linda W thanked Mark Bischak, Architect
  • PRO
    RappArchitecture
    last month
    last modified: last month

    The walk in Architectrunnerguy's posted plan would be similar, if not quite so circuitous. Any long narrow house with the garage and master bedroom at opposite ends (as would usually be preferable) would have an unavoidably long walk. I would argue that walking is good exercise anyway. Having said that, Mark is right that the circulation path in this layout is not nearly as clear and direct as it could be.

    I hope the OP hasn't left us and will respond to the comments made. There are a lot of good ideas here.

    Linda W thanked RappArchitecture
  • Linda W
    Original Author
    last month

    @anj_p

    @bpath

    The sink on the island vs under a window has been a major conundrum for me the past couple months. I see there are major pros and cons for each. I can appreciate how nice it is to prep on the Island and having a nice compact prep space.

    However, we do host ALOT and often times we throw all the dishes in the sink (to do later) and end up gathering around the Island. I mean we can change this, however it is nice to have a clear island not cluttered with dishes. Maybe considering a prep sink is a good alternative, with a cover we can slide over the sink? I will do whatever option makes for a more functional kitchen layout.

  • Linda W
    Original Author
    last month

    @sarahachevalier

    That is a great good point. I need to keep the exterior in consideration. I don’t think that window will bother me as I am sure we will have landscaping along the front of the house to fill the negative space. I am working with the designer now to scale it down, the ideal sqft would probably land around 2500, which probably isn’t possible with this layout. Is your family large? what is your soft?

  • Linda W
    Original Author
    last month

    @Mrs Pete

    WOW!! Thank-you for investing your time and energy in this response. I appreciate it.

    The house you grew up in sounds perfect. The apartment arrangement seems to make it so flexible, that would be a nice consideration for above our garage.

    I’m going to throw down some bullet points in response to your comments.

    • We are going to completely rework the Master/WIC/Ensuite situation. The walk to the WIC is absurd.
    • The idea for he hall storage is GREAT! I included this in the email to my designer.
    • Laundry Room: I never would have though of this.. so good
    • Simple is better for the house plans, especially since we aren’t architects by trade..

    Kitchen PLEASE HELP!

    • HAHA the waffle house comment made me laugh. So TRUE THOUGH… Im getting carried away.
    • What do you suggest with the far side wall of the kitchen? Would it be sensible to have a blank wall? or just under counter cabinets?
    • Just swapped the fridge and wall ovens..
    • Where would be a better location for the range? Do you have any ideas for a better kitchen layout?

    I really do love cooking. lots from scratch, not a ton of baking, but the kitchen is the most important room for me.

  • Linda W
    Original Author
    last month

    @Architectrunnerguy

    I haven’t left!! Ive been going through all the comments in detail…

    We are working with the builder’s architectural designer right now and from there we send the drawing to an architect for plans and elevations together. It will change a bit more at that point I assume.. but this allows us to make changes for free until we have a general idea of what we want.

    I did not realize how many comments this angle would get!! The house you are designing is delightful, I see how a steeper angle on the garage and a thin connecter is far more attractive. I would like to see if we can incorporate something along those lines.

  • Linda W
    Original Author
    last month

    @Mark Bischak, Architect @RappArchitecture

    HAHAH This really highlights the issue with the length, I think a long walk is unavoidable unless we made our house alot “Thicker”. There is an archway at the ‘top’ of the mudroom which would be a straighter shoot to the other end of the house.. but I feel it may be tricky to fix that.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    It is unavoidable with some designs to not have a long distance to walk due to the length of the house, but in this case it could be shortened a little by switching the master bedroom with the master closet, and not having to go through the bathroom to get to the closet. If it is thought of at the onset of the design process it can be avoided.

    Notice in ARG's design how the rooms relate to one another and to exterior features. The experience of walking through the spaces will be like experiencing a sculptural symphony, bringing shelter to a higher level. Other designs, we won't mention any names, resembles more of a drum set falling down stairs, or the proverbial corn maze, with little rhyme or reason. Form follows function, but form can alway use a little more attention.

  • Mrs Pete
    last month

    DIAGRAMMATICALLY

    Ooh, a new word for me.
    The house you grew up in sounds perfect. The apartment arrangement seems to make it so flexible, that would be a nice consideration for above our garage.

    The house is flexible. As I said, when we were small children, we were smushed into three bedrooms (one bedroom each for parents, 3 boys, 2 girls) ... about the time our elderly aunt died, we were getting older, needed more space, and we spread out into the apartment. Later my mom sold the house to my brother ... for a low price with a stipulation that she has use of the apartment for life. It works out well for her because she's not alone, it's great for my niece and nephew to have her nearby, and she doesn't have any yardwork.

    One reason this has worked is that the house is on farmland, not in a neighborhood -- this means we aren't subjected to the ups and downs of living near other people. When the apartment was added, we didn't need the approval of any HOA. On the other hand, various family members have been limited in the jobs available to them. Anyway, what I'm saying is that this house wouldn't have "lasted" our family 100+ years, if it were in a neighborhood.

    Kitchen PLEASE HELP!
    - I'd think about flip-flopping the kitchen and the dining room. This would give you larger, nicer windows at the front of the house and would allow you to watch the kids in the back yard. If you're grillers, it would also place you closer to the back yard.

    - The dining /kitchen "slice" is about 20' wide ... I'd cut this down by about 1/3. That's plenty wide and it would cut out the wasted space. I'd keep the L+ island concept with the open end of the L facing the living room.

    - Keep the big pantry. Pantry storage is much cheaper than cabinets and counter tops.

    - I'd move the mudroom to the front of the house and have the entrance between the kitchen and dining areas.

    - Other than that, I really don't have any inspiration. Just keep in mind that "the most important room" doesn't have to be the largest room.

    This really highlights the issue with the length, I think a long walk is unavoidable unless we made our house alot “Thicker”.

    Perhaps giving up the idea of a "straight shot" house -- for example, an L-shaped house or a two-story would condense the space.

  • anj_p
    last month

    Switching the fridge and double ovens is a really bad idea that will make people go through your kitchen work zone - right by the range - to get something out of the fridge. Doing one thing like that is not going to make your kitchen better. It needs a complete overhaul, and that likely means changing walls, changing the mud room, changing the pantry, and possibly changing the layout of the whole house.

    Trying to get your current layout within the walls you currently have to work well will be a challenge. If you want a cleanup sink on a window, that's fine, but that works best in a L shaped or U shaped kitchen with the sink on the short side (this is also what Mrs. Pete was suggesting). Here is an example of a layout that works really well:


    • Cleanup sink is accessible to the dining room without going through the kitchen work zone.
    • DW is easily accessible to dining room, meaning dishes can just be placed directly into the DW (no pile of dirty dishes).
    • Refrigerator is accessible to the dining room without going through the kitchen work zone.
    • Prep sink makes the kitchen work zone compact and efficient.
    • Door to the deck makes grilling easily accessible from the kitchen.
    • No one needs to get into the work zone of the kitchen for anything at all.
    • Island is not a drop zone for random crap & mail.

    The kitchen I posted above could be made even better with a beverage/coffee center or some shallow pantry cabinets...maybe making the whole thing a bit bigger for more accessible dish drawers etc. I'm not posting this to show you what you should do with yours, but to get you thinking about the things that make a kitchen layout work really well. Forcing a window sink in your current layout is making the entire kitchen suffer. If you keep things as they are, the sink would be best off on the wall with the 1/2 bath, the range on the front wall with flanking windows, and the fridge on the pantry wall, with a prep sink in the island.

    FWIW, I now have a kitchen with an island main sink. I REALLY didn't want one, but we built a builder plan so we didn't have many options. We made the island in our house 2' longer to maximize prep space (it's 10'), and now that I've had it awhile I've adjusted. We made some changes to how we approach clean up and (when we do it) it works really well. I also cook nearly every day from scratch, lots of different cuisines, so the kitchen was very important to me as well.

    Regarding the angle. The house we designed & didn't build (the snippet I posted above) had to have an angled garage due to our lot. Our house went from offset to offset so we were squeezed. I'm almost certain it cost us 10s of thousands of dollars in our bid. Consider carefully why you want that as your lot doesn't require it, and ask yourself whether you're willing to pay a premium for it.

  • cpartist
    last month

    We are working with the builder’s architectural designer right now and from there we send the drawing to an architect for plans and elevations together.

    That's your problem. You're going about it backwards and I know of no LICENSED architect who would take some builder's"designer's" (in reality a draftsperson) plans and then do the plans and elevations.

    An architect designs the plans and elevations together like architectrunnerguy showed you (check out his page here on houzz) and then it may be sent to a designer/draftsperson to draw up in CAD what the architect specified.

    I'm sorry but what I see you doing is nit picking things to make better without realizing that the overall grand concept of the house still needs a lot of work and it might be best to rethink the whole thing. A good architect will work from the larger concept before getting to the smaller details. (Again see ARG's drawing above)

    And as MrsPete suggested, you might be a heck of a lot better off with a different shaped house. The best houses are not fatter, but tend to be either T, I, H, L, or U shaped and 1-2 rooms deep. I would truly rethink what you have.

  • cpartist
    28 days ago

    How will you clean a 6' wide island? Are you planning on climbing onto the counter?

    Coats can't turn corners so your coat closet would be better as a reach in closet.

    Your kitchen would be more efficient with your fridge on the back wall, so you have an L shaped kitchen. Each of the major appliances, (stove, fridge and sink) shouldn't be further than 9' from one another. Otherwise you're creating lots of needless steps carrying food stuff.

    Frankly your master was better in the original, (although still not good) because at least then the master bedroom had windows on two walls. Why is the bathroom, closet and laundry getting prime real estate?

    Sorry but I think this still could be a heck of a lot better.


  • partim
    28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    Not a fan of the mudroom closet. Imagine 4 people entering the mud room from the garage at the same time, and wanting to hang up their coats. They will all need to go past the closed door of the closet to allow the mudroom door to close, then open the closet door and one by one go into the walk in closet to hang up their coats.

    Just some quick suggestion:

    - I changed the swing of your mudroom/garage door so it doesn't block the closet when open.

    - I gave you a real door, not a slider, between the kitchen and mudroom. Sliding doors are a pain.

    - I moved the powder room door so it opens to the "hallway" to the outdoors, not into the mudroom itself.

    - That gave me enough room to move the cabinet and counter away from the garage door and closet, so people entering the mudroom have room to circulate. If you're in a climate where people wear boots, that's where you'd put a bench.

    - I removed the door to the mudroom closet.

    Maybe there are some other changes that would be good too, but hope this gives you some food for thought.


  • 3onthetree
    28 days ago

    I'm comparing the old vs new layout after all the advice, and I think I see 5 confined changes - could you confirm because it is sometimes hard to navigate long threads and multiple drawings:

    - Flipped Master/Ensuite, same footprints except bumped out wall of Ensuite

    - Relocated Powder to Mudroom

    - Relocated Pantry to same Powder footprint, extended Mudroom into old Pantry footprint

    - Removed 2 island end stools

    - Extended the deck and rotated the BBQ grill




  • WestCoast Hopeful
    28 days ago

    I don’t hate the mud room like others do. I do think it’s not a walk in closet though. Hang coats on one side and jace shoe storage vs the angled part. Kids stuff will all be in cubbies anyway. We built coat storage for our kids in the entry closet and they insist on hanging coats on their hooks in mud room.

  • Linda W
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    @3onthetree

    Yes you’re correct on all the changes.

  • 3onthetree
    28 days ago

    Ok, I guess I misread the flow of this thread. So are you sticking to shovel ready in May '23? Backing off 6-8 weeks permit, that leaves you 6-8 weeks from today to finish construction documents. And . . .

    "We are working with the builder’s architectural designer right now and from there we send the drawing to an architect for plans and elevations together. It will change a bit more at that point I assume."

    What are you expecting, or services being rendered, from the architect? To what extent of changes do you foresee?

  • cpartist
    28 days ago

    Better to redo things on paper now than have to spend tens of thousands in remodel changes as soon as it is built. Or change orders while it is being built.

    We were in permitting and ready to start building but the layout of the house and the orientation were knawing at us. We pulled the house from permitting and redid it to make it more conducive for how WE live. Best thing we did because our house lives very well for us. And we did it without having lots of change orders, and we actually came in UNDER budget because we were so careful in our planning on paper.