I've spent the past three years trying to decide on a new layout for the back of our house. We've come up with lots of ideas, but there is ultimately always a compromise of some sort and we struggle with identifying what we want to give up on. I think we've solidified a plan, but I'm still not 100% so I want your feedback!
Below is the existing floor plan.
We have three bedrooms, one bathroom, and a nice flow between the spaces that makes the house feel airy yet not too open. The ceilings are nine feet tall so even though our house comes in at just under 1,400 square feet, it still feels perfectly spacious. I love this little abode.
But, here's what we don't like.
- The master bedroom is accessible only by walking through another bedroom, or the kitchen. It's fine right now when the guest bedroom is actually just a TV room, and access to the kitchen is very convenient for rolling out of bed straight to breakfast. But, I'd like to access the master without tripping over a sleeping house guest or a stove.
- We'd like to have a second bathroom in the house, ideally in the form of an ensuite off the master bedroom.
- The kitchen layout isn't the most functional. It's decently sized but with wasted space on half of the room and with the two mudrooms. These two little rooms are inefficiently used for storage, and the walls block all of the natural sunlight from the back of the house.
- We want a more indoor/outdoor feel. Right now, the only backyard access is through a door that's tucked away in a mudroom. We'd like to see the kitchen and the master extend into the outdoor space.
Here's the plan I'm toying with:
In this new layout, we'd gain a second bathroom, a bigger closet, both the kitchen and the master the would open up to the backyard, and we'd access the master through a hallway instead of another room. YAY! The only compromise is that the guest bedroom would get significantly smaller. To remedy the small space, I'll add transom windows over the guest room and hallway doors so natural light can flow between all the spaces. We will also install pocket doors to gain as much floor space as possible.
Here are each of the floor plans side-by-side so you can see the changes.
Since it's hard to visualize a space that you've never set foot in, I put together a video walkthrough using the renderings I created to design the floorplan. Take a look at the 2-minute video below for a better idea of the house will flow.
Reducing the size of a bedroom isn't ideal, I know. But the other options I played with had much bigger compromises. We toyed with adding on into the backyard, making the master accessible from the dining room, by jogging the hallway over to not take away bedroom space, and so many more.
If you're into floor plan configurations, cycle through the ones below. The differing rendering styles are because some are mine, some are from the previous owner's plans to add on, and the others were sketched by Ross' uncle who we cornered at a family reunion to brainstorm a bunch of ideas together. He's a prison architect - yes, prisons - but in a nice rehabilitative way. I have probably 30 other drawings in a notebook, but looking at them is too exhausting. If you're a layout nerd, let me know and maybe I'll upload the rest of them.
So, tell me! Any thoughts? comments? questions? concerns? I genuinely am interested in what you have to say! I'm not an expert, and I haven't lived in a variety of houses to know how different designs function but I'm taking inspiration from house tours, blogs, online images, books, and asking all the pros I can. Please weigh in - whether you're an expert or not! If you want to sketch up an idea to send my way, here's a pdf of the current floor plan.
We're taking this project on in phases, but phase one starts soon, so speak now or forever hold your peace! Note also that the kitchen isn't fully fleshed out. The renderings are not the final layout and most certainly not the finishes you can expect in the kitchen remodel - so stay tuned for that.
Thanks in advance for your feedback!