[design]: Somewhat Ideal Floorplan


My initial title for this post was 'Anatomy of a Floorplan' as I am planning to discuss some aspects of the floorplan that I (we) like the best. On further thought, I decided to go with 'Somewhat Ideal Floorplan' as I think some of these likes/dislikes are subjective no matter the form, practicality, and design principles. 

There are a number of floorplans (basically designs) that sometimes I just cannot understand the reasoning behind some of the decisions that were made. I am sure, however, that given a chance to discuss it with any of those designers (architects), I might be convinced into understanding their decision making. 

Several years ago, we really liked new and upcoming area and we had to review several floorplans for all the new builds to choose the one we liked best.  We were able to find the one and it helped that the one we selected was also a model house as we could visualize the plan completely. Now - why did we like it over something else - I can share some of those details, plus touch upon a couple of my dislikes. What I need to mention, however, is that even this plan was not 'perfect' (if there is such a thing) for us and we wanted to make several minor changes.

Even though we signed for the house, we ended up bowing out during the 10-day 'cooling' period.. There was that feeling nagging at us and we listened to it. In retrospect, it was a right decision even if we for a period of time thought that we made a mistake of not sticking with it. What this experience thought us is that we are very opinionated about what we don't like and that we have some general idea of what we do or might like.

Of course, as time goes, perception of what what works and doesn't changes especially as our taste change, but also our life, kids growing, etc. There are, however, a few things I've never changed how I feel about and I don't think I ever will. While I might consider not having a dining room, I will never be able to live in a house where you enter in a living room (i.e. no separate entry or hallway). 

'Nough rambling... Here is the floorplan of the main floor that we selected back when ..

What we liked about it:

  • Living/dining were next to one another but still felt like separate spaces. There were many floorplans with these two rooms completely separated which to me is a wasted opportunity of having great parties where you can really leverage the full space, but also have contained entertaining. 
  • You can meet someone in your living room immediately off front door without having to go through the whole house.
  • Servery - we really really liked this - it is just so practical when entertaining but also during regular days putting away your rarely used china. Not to mention access to kitchen from dining room that does not expose all the mess you leave while preparing food.
  • Long hallway - I just love being able to take your eyes as far as they'll take you, in this case to the other end of the house and possibly beyond with those bay windows.
  • Mud room - while this mudroom is not really big and something we considered expanding as we looked at how to change the floorplan - the fact it was there - we loved it.
  • Central but secluded location of powder room - it is not right next to your guests, it is close enough to family room where you spend the most time, and yet it is not overly exposed.
  • Study room/office - one is not really aware of just how much it is needed until you don't have it and your office is your sofa.
  • Kitchen/family room open concept. Yup - I am still not tired of it and I still like to have it all open.
Second floor was good enough and we were planning a couple of changes to make it even better:

Even though at the time we had one child with second on the way - we liked having 4 bedrooms (now even that would not be enough with 4th on the way) and 4 bathrooms. What I also liked is having a laundry room on the top floor. We used to have it that way in our townhouse and I vowed to have it everywhere (well, that vow did not last long as my laundry is now in the basement). While I can see the value of having the laundry room on the main floor - I still prefer the second floor to prevent all the carrying of laundry up and down (why can't we just have those laundry chutes again?!)

What we wanted to change was the master suite layout - there was too much wasted space and there were other layouts that were better for us, such as:

or like this minus the corner tub:

What we also did not like about the top floor was how small main kids bath was - which is not a problem when you have older kids, but makes it harder smaller ones - or at least less enjoyable. Then again, with 3 top bathrooms, one should be able to do make do.. 

We are working on a newish floorplan right now - basically making some small but, in my mind, high impact changes on our current layout of the main floor. Idea (hope) is that we will embark on yet another renovation that will see us redo our whole first floor including kitchen, powder room, walls, floors, doors and even a couple of windows... you name it.. I've left my desired floorplan changes with contractor waiting for a quote - that all might change based on the feedback.. but that will be another post...

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