Small, small cottage begging to be our retirement home!
gheebones
June 17, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Want to downsize but 600 sq. ft. Presents too much of a challenge for me! We need kitchen, bath (no tub), bedroom, living room and as much storage as possible. 24x26'. Center entry on 26' side with a window on either side of door and equally spaced windows (2) on 24' sides. Anyone had any experience like this and would like to share?
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PRO
DMH DESIGN
Gheebones--What are your needs goals for this space? Are you wishing to live in this space long term? Downsizing is very laudable, however, realize that storage and space for entertaining and guests in a 624 s.f. structure are limiting. Would you like, as Judy M suggests, a porch in addition to the conditioned sq. ft.? Is long term accessibility a consideration, because if so, then finding something that truly meets your needs in a plan service book in this regard are not as likely, because virtually every component of the plans are not geared for remaining in the home long term--the design, if not thought out, will become obsolescent in terms of your future needs. I'd be interested in speaking to your "cottage" needs once I know your long term needs, where you plan to build, and what your budget is. Specifics are important to give good advice.
June 17, 2013 at 4:38PM     
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gheebones
Cottage built so working with cold vanilla she'll and limited to existing dimensions due to zoning regs. That said, it will be one floor containing kitchen/living room, bedroom and bath. Would like to keep budget as low as possible and will be doing all work ourselves, so big savings in labor. Have furniture but need kitchen fully outfitted with wood cabinets, granite, fridge, sink and gas range/oven. No dishwasher as cabinet storage space more important. Will probably use pocket doors where I can to save space. Need space for stacking washer/dryer in bathroom. Would like hardwood floors in kitchen/living area, carpet in bedroom and have slate bought for bathroom floors and walls. What I need help with is space planning to best utilize the 600 sq. ft. I have. We are fortunate to be near our son and will be using his attic/basement for storing all the incidentals in one's life. I visualize this cottage as very contemporary with plank door cabinets, lofted and beamed ceilings. Thank you so much for your interest.
June 18, 2013 at 7:33AM   
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gheebones
Re-reading your questions . . . Cottage will have a large wrap around deck out the front for outdoor entertaining. As for long term, well, this is it! Recently moved from 9 room house in North Carolina to be closer to our family here on Block Island, RI. Downsizing to this extent is a challenge but a positive one. Already have gotten rid of so much "stuff" that I'll never miss. Call our new life Simple Abundance! I paint, so one requirement is a small corner where I can set up my watercolors and leave them. Don't particularly care which room this is in.
June 18, 2013 at 8:09AM   
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DMH DESIGN
gheebones--Please clarify. You are limited by zoning to 624 s.f., but you can build a wraparound porch in addition to this? If so, what are the size limitations for the covered deck or porch? Is this a backyard cottage on the same lot as your son's property?
June 18, 2013 at 10:59AM   
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gheebones
Cottage and deck are already permitted and comply with zoning. The help I am seeking is for interior space only. As I mentioned, it is currently a cold vanilla shall. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.
June 19, 2013 at 8:45AM   
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DMH DESIGN
Is it possible to get any photos, and a plan that shows sewer and other utility connections? If you have a shell, windows and doors are already located, yes? Anybody trying to render useful advice is very limited, be it me or somebody else. This, frankly, is an uncommon way to design, as design is usually done from the inside out. Frankly, in terms of your long term residency, how the outside interfaces with the site is every bit as important as how the inside of the cottage functions. As a design professional, seeing the existing conditions is important, as visual cues are used to make recommendations. Without them, we are all essentially 'flying blind.' Any images would be much appreciated. TY!
June 19, 2013 at 9:07AM     
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libradesigneye
On one side, Do L kitchen in back corner with banquette seating for table under front window - this way, you can do an island in between with seating on center line to back hall. Hard to use the space for living room across the center line and this will give storage sufficient for dishwasher (you would really miss that) short part of L is best place for refrigerator. Put side doors opposite out to deck to borrow outdoor deck space for living - wrap around allows circulation when you do entertain. Search this website for more on kitchen layouts http://www.coolhouseplans.com/small_house_plans_home
June 19, 2013 at 9:23AM   
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PRO
Scott Design, Inc.
There are many possibilities and many questions.

An existing floor plan indicating window and door locations with dimensions (especially if they have to stay in the same locations) and a photo of the building would be very helpful.

Where are the utilities…water main, fuel supply, sewer line and equipment? This may determine the location of your kitchen and bath.

How high to the ridge? What kind of roof line do you have? Is it already a cathedral ceiling? Can you build a dormer on the roof if we wanted to get additional height in a loft situation?

Is there a driveway or area for a parked car next to the cottage? If so, what side? You mention one door, but two are required. With a wraparound porch, will you need more than one door to it?

When every inch of space counts, it’s important to have as much pertinent info as possible. Better yet, you would be better served if you consulted with a local design/build firm that can deal with all the conditions and see them first hand. Ask them to provide a plan with specifications that can be implemented by your family. And if some of the items cannot be done by you, then you have a qualified back up with a vested interest in the project being done correctly.
June 19, 2013 at 9:59AM     
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