[design]: Main Floor Reno - Layouts/Designs


We are finally embarking on journey of our main floor renovation, tackling both interior and exterior of the house as detailed in previous post. As mentioned before, this has been a long process and along the way, we have devised and revised plans a few times.

To start things off, here is what our current layout looks like:

In the last 6 months or so, we changed a purpose of the few rooms as we were anticipating some renovation changes and wanted to really test out new concepts. That meant inverting dining and living room, eat-in and small family room. Actually this last change was also to give us more room around the table as my parents have been helping us during the day and thus spending more time at our house.

Now that we captured where we are, let's discuss where we want to be and overall challenges that we have with this space. As I think I mentioned in earlier post, the biggest challenge of all is deciding what to invest in and what to live with. This is 1950s house in the neighborhood where prospective buyers would probably demolish our house and build new. Therefore, we would see some returns in what we invest as 1. we would enjoy the space more, and 2. buyers similar to us (i.e not ready to build new) would benefit from our renovations. However, we also don't want to go overboard and pour in too much money into this space.

Over time, I had lofty ideas and different plans which basically saw us re-purpose our garage to create more living space, level our floor space (room next to garage is couple of steps lower) and move a lot of walls:

Well, reality hit fairly quickly after one contractor told me I was getting funny.. I guess I was the perfect stereotype of a client who wanted a lot done for not a lot of money and having no concept of things really cost.. So we reassessed.. and then we reassessed some more..

After living in this space for more than 5 years and having 2 kids more than when we moved in, what are our challenges and pain points:

  • Garage: not usable right now as it was never reinforced. Fix that and improve entry point to house (i.e. close off current side door and move internal side door forward). Yes, sounds confusing - will make sense when I do a more detailed post.
  • Mudroom: a real pain point - I need space for kids to leave their things and be free to take their shoes off in a bigger area than our current front entrance. 
  • Line of sight/Layout: current layout of the house confuses everyone - hard to understand where you are and how you get out. Want to avoid walking around kitchen to get to kitchen... This fix will also improve the line of sight and make the house appear larger.
  • Mishmash of flooring: 'nuff said.. 
  • Lighting: not a lot of electrical outlets/light fixtures
  • Kitchen: new kitchen! new layout (see above)
  • Look: sporadic popcorn ceilings, mishmash of plaster board, bead board, drywall; exterior - different types of windows, etc.
The biggest challenges in our redesign has been accounting for HVAC stack in the middle of kitchen (flanked by fridge in current layout). That is all I've been thinking of - how to work around it. Currently we have three different ideas - we have our favorite for now, even though it is not ideal, none of them really are:

Option A - hide the fridge in makeshift closet in the entrance area and have a small island which will house HVAC stack:

Option B: Similar to current design - keep fridge where it is currently. Add opening to kitchen from hallway and allow for passage around both sides of the fridge.

Option C: Angle the fridge and hide it up to HVAC building in both plus some additional pantry storage:

What remained constant in above photos is creation of the mudroom in the bottom right corner. We will actually move that door from front to side and remove door on the other side of fireplace - will include updated plan in next post.

More to follow... 

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