Friday, February 24, 2012

A gracious floorplan

While I continue to edit and sort through my photos of Seaside, I'll bring you the last of the floorplans. While not really in 'small house' territory, this plan has a lot of out-dated features common to these 1920 designs. Small closeted kitchens and maid's quarters, phone closets, sleeping porches and bathrooms without private baths are all features rarely seen in the 21st century.All is not lost however, I think the warren of small servant spaces in the back of the plan could easily become a powder room and more open kitchen with a connection to the living room for better traffic flow.The bedrooms are all small and share one bath. Heavens! The bedroom in the upper right hand corner could easily and inexpensively be turned into a master bathroom and walk in closet as the plumbing is nearly there, en suite with the bedroom on the lower right. I would shut access to the sleeping porch off from the left hand bedroom so it becomes private to the master suite. Wouldn't it be nice to turn the roofs on the 2 sunporches into decks too?
In general, are you bothered by the loss of a formal living room in all of these plans? Personal preference here, but I hate formal living rooms as I feel they never get used despite all of the care lavished on them. I have to admit to loving a dining room though!
What would you do?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

One more small house plan

Well, "smallish" plan. This charming brick house looks pretty similar to a lot of the building stock of the 1920s and I can see why so much was built similarly-whats not to like?

I should mention that I got off on this small house kick because I spent 4 days this past weekend in Seaside, Florida. Seaside, as many of you probably know, is the famous new urbanist town designed by Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk in the 1980s in the Florida Panhandle. More recently, the film "the Truman Show" with Jim Carrey was filmed there and you may recognize it from that. The houses in Seaside are small, charming and in a cohesive atmosphere that many people have called 'Disneyesque' or overly-designed but I love. I mean, how can you have TOO MUCH design or thought put into a neighborhood? Lamest arguement ever. Generally the opposite is the problem, as evidenced driving along the highway to Seaside and the other new urbanist communities that have sprung up nearby. I'll be posting more on Seaside shortly when I get my photos organized but I was not disappointed.Getting back to the subject at hand, I don't believe this house is actually all that small but could use some updating to the plan. While one is tempted to make an addition to help create 'more space' -the entire purpose of this exercise (or at least these posts) is to try to think creatively and use what you have; Think outside of the box by staying within it! Better living through smarter planning and less waste is my goal. Clearing out the warren of pantry and small side entry in order to create a larger kitchen would help, as would creating a master suite from the 2 bedrooms on the right of the 2nd floor. Hopefully a bathroom could be added to the attic floor without too much expense, maybe in place of the storage above the master suite below. Of course, I would not be changing the numerous outdoor porches and charming exterior shown in the rendering. Stay tuned for some beautiful photos from Florida!

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?