Monday, February 20, 2012

A really small house plan

While I'm on this small house kick, I'll show you one of the houses in the book which was very small even by my standards! I could see a couple living in this cute little cottage perhaps but not a family and it certainly needs a lot of updating with the strange floorplan. Maybe it's suited for a retirement house or cottage at the lake?
I think I would open the entry hall (porch) to the living room a bit more and install some built-in cubbies with bench and hooks for coats and boots in place of the odd extra door to the small bedroom. While I'm at it, I'd panel the entry in beadboard to take it further into 'cottage' territory. Then extend the kitchen into the dining room for a good sized space. A round dining table could nicely fit into the living room bay window. The closet/pantry behind the kitchen I'd keep for some much needed storage. Informal living in this small house!

The small cloistered bedrooms with overly large hall are really strange -no? I'd keep the hall bath for the bedroom in the upper left hand corner which would have to serve guests too as there is no space for a powder room. Then turn the lower 2 bedrooms and part of that large wasted hall into the master suite. Entry into the suite would be through a small dressing room with access to the corner bedroom with the master bath up against the entry hall. What do you think -is it salvageable?

17 comments:

Kevin Graves said...

I am actually thinking of building a small home in the country. This would be a perfect size for me. I think I'd keep the dining room and open the entry and that bedroom next to it and enlarge the living room to all of it. I agree about that silly waste of hall! I love the bay window, and with my love of shingled homes, I'd shingle the whole thing with white trim. I love this little home!

Durai said...

Very nice, Really looking great....

Anonymous said...

The door directly from the porch to that little bedroom indicates the expectation of live-in help! In that tiny house! Wow.

lostpastremembered said...

adorable little place... but yes, an odd floor plan... what would the occupants do there, one wonders. Good for a country getaway if you didn't entertain!

The Down East Dilettante said...

cute little building, but no-kidding that it's a tough little floor plan.

Nope, not salvageable. Start from scratch.

The Devoted Classicist said...

While this is not the best floor plan, it is better than the majority seen in comparable subdivision developments today. I give it a high grade for the charming exterior, the admirable use of symmetry, and the pilasters on three exterior elevations. Thanks for sharing these inspiring houses!

Kerry @ Design du Monde said...

It seems to be closet heavy which sounds good but I lived in a house that had doors everywhere. There were 5 in my kitchen! It drove me nuts and I think even a cute cottage with doors all over the place would bother me.

Paisley Curtain said...

Of course you can salvage it, you are an architect, and a good one. But the question is that of the cost, is it worth spending all that money to fix it? Can that investment be recovered if the property is sold in the future?

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home before dark said...

Again, I would make this basically a one-room kitchen/dining/living room and use the bed room by the porch for a library and the back bedroom for a tv/music room. A house this small does not need a Guest room!

Russ Manley said...

Like so many early-20th century houses, a lovely exterior full of charm but a maddening floor plan.

I like the idea of extending the kitchen and putting a dining table in the bay window. But you definitely need to make a door from the hall into the kitchen, to provide proper traffic circulation. Otherwise, every single time you go from bathroom or bedroom to the kitchen, you have to troop all the way through the living room in a long U path. The last two houses I've lived in - both otherwise comfortable brick ranches from the fifties - have had the very same problem, and that long walk gets extremely tiresome. Plus, with even a handful of dinner guests, you get a bottleneck at the kitchen door that seriously impedes the party.

You could have room for a 3 x 7 powder room in the hall if you move the right wall up against the existing mantel; then redo the fireplace to be diagonal facing into the living room. The doorway from LR to hall would then be at the bottom of the LR.

But I would go further, and extend the new wall of the LR through the maid's room and open up the enclosed porch to make a new LR, making the old LR a dining room.

Then build a new porch at the bottom of the plan and reorient the steps to extend downwards, instead of to the right.

And a screened porch off the kitchen at the top of the plan where you can sit and have your morning coffe and croissants or a nightcap without being eaten up by bugs (a serious problem in the South here where I live).

Then you have only 2 BR, with the master BR extended as you said, but it would be a much more comfortable home - a pretty little lakeside cottage for a couple, not a large family.

Mark D. Ruffner said...

I live in a house that is this small, one with a better floor plan, but still designed for no more than two people (although as many as four have lived in it). It saddens me to know that despite the fact that I've turned it into a jewel, a future owner will doubtlessly tear it down because of its size. This echos Paisley Curtain's comment — Yes, salvage it, but only for your own pleasure.

sowhatelse said...

I'm imagining this to be on a wonderful piece of land in a great area so that renovation is worth the expense and effort. And let's take it one step further and suggest that the previous owner has already redone the roof and other systems so you don't have to deal with all that.

Another problematic interior fireplace! Well, I'd first reconfigure the kitchen and shift the workspace into the dining alcove. Then I'd move the basement stairs and the back door so that where the stairs were becomes the beginning of the back hallway. The stairs would be moved up against the fireplace wall and the area opposite that would become a pantry area. Then I'd extend the living room wall into the hallway so that the fireplace would be a little more symmetrically placed in the living area. The bedroom behind the kitchen and the adjacent bath would remain as is. The bedroom back off the porch would be closed off from that and would become a new master bath/dressing room for the bedroom in that corner of the house, with a new door put in where the closet is now to line up with the new back hallway.

As you suggested, the front bay would be a great dining area. I'd keep the porch pretty much as is, just for the charm and sense of entry. A nice long library table or even some seating would fit in nicely against the back wall, now that no door would be there.

Lord Cowell said...

Loved your last 3 posts on small houses. We are looking at building a small cottage on the estate and have found that design is even harder when size is an issue. The last house is the best, and I love its symmetry, though I agree I would change a few things inside. It would make a good holiday home or somewhere where you didn't have to live permanently. David.

Jane Kilpatrick Schott said...

You had me at "sleeping porch". When I lived in upstate NY we had a smattering of Sears house kits that were built. They were fabulous! Nice, small, well thought out. It's the way to go...keep the mac mansions!

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P.Gaye Tapp at Little Augury said...

very charming this one. The room off the porch seems to me one that might catch the perfect breezes of hot summers-it would serve as a little private sitting room and double as an occasional guest room. For one person-rearranging the back bedrooms would be perfect for a suite-dressing room, bath and bedroom. Heaven knows about the cellar? & I will rely on you to find a little spot for a front loading w/d maybe in my new dressing room.