Feedback on Floorplan

August 12, 2019
last modified: August 12, 2019

HI, looking for any feedback on a design we've choosen. The plans started from this deisgn https://www.architecturaldesigns.com/house-plans/on-a-grand-scale-5950nd and we've changed to our suit our tastes. We just recently purchased a lot perfect for a walk out basement and we have an excelleent view to the rear of the property and house (that why we moved the sitting room to the back). We expanded the kitchen out as we have 4 kids at home, and between family and friends we do a fair amount of entertaining. To control costs we eliminated the size of the bonus room and corrosponding roof bump out. For the most part please ignore window placement as we're still trying nail down overall layout. Finally, the wall in the master near the tub is to be an accent wall with stone or shiplap. Any feedback is welcomed!

Comments (33)

  • Tracey Woods

    Is this a trick? Not sure where to even start after just looking at it for a few seconds. The placement of your island and entry to laundry and master is super awkward and will force you to carry laundry through the kitchen. Are you really entering the house from the garage directly into a kids space?

  • Danielle Frenette

    ^ i think the kids nook is just for coats and stuff.

    I think it looks neat on first glance. I am wondering what the sitting area in the master bath is? i compared it to the original plans and dont understand. Love the sun room.

  • Danielle Frenette

    And although I dont Think you’ll have to carry too much laundry through the kitchen as it looks like you have a chute from upstairs, will it be too noisy to have laundry going while you’re eating or cooking?

  • J H

    Tracey - the entry is just for coats and bags not play, yes i guess when cloths are clean/folded you could walk through the kitchen on your way upstairs...other than going out the master and up the stairs I'm not sure how to resolve that.

  • jmm1837

    Powder room opening into great room would be a deal breaker for me.

  • J H

    Danielle - the sitting room area would be approximately 20x7. Admittedly a little narrow but we can't grow the house any more. We are thinking a chase lounge and a couple chairs there, a place to relax. get away from the littles and have a nice view. We're debating having only 1 pathway in verses the 2 currently and gaining back wall space.

  • bpath Oh Sophie

    How little are your littles?

    You have a nice big pantry, but it is all floor space. You can't store stuff in the middle of the floor.

    You entertain a fair bit, but your guests have to walk through the kitchen and breakfast room to get to the family room. And from the kitchen to the dining room, the food will get cold.

    All that counterspace, but the cooking and cleanup are relegated to the corner.

    Kids do better with good reach-in closets than with walk-ins, where too much stuff ends up on the floor, blocking the shelves and hangers.

    Why do two kids get to play "lock my sibling out of the bath" while the other two have to trek to a small bath?

    And you have a looooong trek in the middle of the night to the toilet.

    (My personal thing, why do parents get such big baths and the kids get little tiny cubbyholes? As kids get older, they need as much space as adults. And really, how much space do adults need? Compromise.)

    If you are not doing the bonus room, are you eliminating the stairs?

    yes i guess when cloths are clean/folded you could walk through the kitchen on your way upstairs...other than going out the master and up the stairs I'm not sure how to resolve that.

    You can design it so that you don't do that. You really don't want the kids carrying their clean clothes around the island...ooh, let me set my clean clothes here on the island while I grab a banana...but there is spilled juice on the counter.

    Is the laundry chute upstairs in a kid's bedroom, or is it in the far-left hall bath?

    How do you plan to vent the dryer?

    Do you need a guest closet in the foyer?

  • Bri Bosh

    A lot of wasted space in pantry and entryway. How are you anticipating using the breakfast room? How would you place furniture there without blocking the pathway?

  • Douglas Parker

    If there is wasted space in front of the home then one can use that space in order to make a small garden.

  • bpath Oh Sophie

    The powder room off the family room...we had that in our last house. Great when the kids were toddlers and preschoolers, lousy for company.

  • Kristin S

    What do you like about this plan? How committed to it are you? It seems like there are a lot of things you want to change, and a lot of things that you say aren’t ideal for you even with all the changes. I think you could probably find or have created a plan that would meet your needs better and with fewer compromises.

    You might consider checking out Alison Ramsey’s plans. She has a number that with more minimal changes accomplish your same goals, while also avoiding some of the flaws pointed out by others and having a stronger organizing structure to the plan.

  • PRO

    IN a word? NO. In two words? Absolutely no. Too many small and totally useless spaces. Start over. With an Architect on YOUR site and lot..

  • PRO
    Sina Sadeddin Architectural Design

    This plan is....just no. Theres not a single thing about it that works for practical living. HIRE AN ARCHITECT.

  • Denita

    That huge sitting room in the master bath is not a useful space at all, for anyone, unless the op has a different use than what was described originally.

    Agree with Sina and Jan above. So much of this plan is wasted space and poor planning.

  • bpath Oh Sophie

    The only improvement from an already-bad plan was opening up the hourglass funnel point from foyer to back of house. There is still no circulation (can’t count the ability to go from kitchen to laundry to master bathroom).

    This style of house was built around here in the 90s. Not so much any more.

  • Kathi Steele

    JH, any little jut out on an outside wall is very expensive and is useless. The family room should line up with the garage, the study jut out, the dining wall that doesn't line up with the master bed room (which is on the front of the house??), the sunroom jut out, the family room which does not line up with the sitting area of the master bedroom. All of this is little nooks and crannies that cost a huge amount of money for nothing.

    Not to mention walking thru an island to get to the second door in the master bedroom?? A half bath that opens into the family room? With all the ingress and egress in the family room it is essentially a big hall way....where will you put furniture? A TV?

    I haven't even looked at the upstairs plans. The downstairs is.....not really very good.

    Please see these articles as this is what you are building.....



  • cpartist

    Sorry to say, this is just about as poor as we've seen on here.

    Below in blue shows all the pathways needed to get from one space to another plus all the wasted space.

    For example, I normally do not put a pathway through the work zone of the kitchen but in this case it's the only way to get from the laundry to the rest of the house.

    The only way to get to the great room is through the breakfast room which is about as unwelcoming for guests as I've ever seen.

    Yet the front foyer and hallway have so much wasted space.

    The dining room is very far from the kitchen.

    No one wants to watch someone go into a bathroom from the great room and no one wants to hear what happens when someone is in the bathroom there.

    Plus with this being such a large house, the powder room is one that one would normally see in a small 1 1/2 bath 100 year old home. Not a large new build.

    The laundry room is on an interior space. How will you vent it?

    The pantry is almost the same width as the kitchen with lots of wasted space in the middle. Why?

    The sitting room looks to be too narrow for much and what is the purpose of a sitting room that is outside the master bathroom? Will you really walk through your bathroom to use a too narrow sitting room?

    The master closet is just poor with the turn.

    Why does anyone need double doors into a master suite? Double doors do not block sound as well as a single door.

    The study is larger than the dining room.

    Note how little actual sitting room there will be in the breakfast room once aisles are included?

    An additional problem is that the house is a fat plan which means a big roof and little to no light entering the interior. The yellow is showing the light that will enter the interior. Of course this also depends on the orientation of the house.

  • A Fox

    One of things that I caught at first is how isolated the family room is in this plan. This may work well for you and how you live, but I would feel like it's too relegated in a corner. Meanwhile your master bedroom is on full display from the dining room and cross hall. This is particularly problematic if you are the type of people who don't always get around to making the bed.

    This doesn't fix the other problems, but I would consider nixing the recessed common entrance for the laundry and pantry and have each open directly into the kitchen at opposite ends of the island. You would be able to then get a large uninterrupted cooking zone in between the two doors and no one would be having to walk around the island or past the stove to get to either room. For the use of the kitchen, getting the pantry by the fridge and closer to the garage, and getting the laundry a window, the two would also ideally flip locations, but then you would have to figure out something different for the laundry chute.

  • damiarain

    I agree with many of the comments above with a couple of comments/questions that I didn't see:

    - you mentioned your lot is perfect for a walk out basement, what is the plan for that space? Maybe you don't need a i.e. study and a large family room & a sitting room & a sun room on the main floor if you have a whole other floor below to work with?

    - what's the orientation of the plot? Which direction does the front door face?

  • One Devoted Dame

    One of the simple tricks I use to quickly evaluate a floor plan is to count how many rooms deep it is. Ideally, for good flow, natural light, and a nice roof, houses should be 1-1.5 -- absolute maximum of 2 -- rooms deep (including covered porches and attached garages).

    Unfortunately, the plan here is 3-4 rooms deep. :-(

    It's also super important to reduce your western exposure (maybe have the garage block the heat, or a deep porch to shade western rooms) and maximize your northern and southern exposures for the best sunshine-filled home. <3

    I know the last thing you want to hear is, "start over." Sometimes it's best, though, and in this case, I think you'd really benefit from considering a different direction with fresh eyes.

  • A Fox

    Another opportunity I see in this plan:

    Since you are doing a walk out basement, I'm assuming the basement stairs will go under the front stairs. In that case I would consider flipping the direction of the stairs so that the stairs going up start at opening to the kitchen. This will enhance the view from the front door and the additional enclosure will make the walk to the master feel more private. then at the top, rather than having the dangerous pie shaped winder steps, you would be better to have a large square landing then have the stairs turn 180 degrees switchback style and have the last 6 steps directed back toward the large landing over the foyer.

    Also: do a layout in the upstairs closets assuming 24" deep for hanging clothes and 12" deep for stacked shelved. I believe you will find that those small narrow walk-in closets actually have less storage and usability than the large reach-in closets that they replaced (although a flaw in the original plan: good reach -in closets have doors that are nearly as wide as the closet).

  • A Fox

    Also also, on the topic of closets, it looks like your master closet is somewhere between 5' and 6' wide. Know that with under 6' you can only feasibly have hanging clothes on one side of a closet that narrow (the 24" rule I mentioned above). At 6' wide, you can technically have two rows of hanging, but you won't be able to stand far enough away from them to really look at them. At 7' wide the walking space is more comfortable, and anything beyond 8' wide is just wasting floor space. My guess is that you aren't currently getting as much closet space as you think.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    Well...there is so much wrong here, that it's impossible to know where to begin.

    The best decision is a simple one: start over with someone who has some successful experience in designing homes.

    Good luck with your project!

  • PRO

    That covers it .

  • Lindsey_CA

    "I dont Think you’ll have to carry too much laundry through the kitchen as it looks like you have a chute from upstairs..."

    Directly above the laundry chute is the small linen cabinet in the upstairs hallway bathroom. The floor plan doesn't say anything about a laundry chute on the upper floor.

  • J H
    1. Wow, great feedback! A lot of you have addressed issues we hadn't considered and provided good ideas and definite improvements, thank you. Clearly we have some work to do. In your opinion, is the original plan even salvageable or are we better off starting from scratch?
  • bpath Oh Sophie

    The original plan is bad, and unfortunately the changes made it worse.

    The hourglass funnel from the front of the house to the back is only the start.

    Start fresh with a home designed for you, for your family, for your site, in your location.

  • One Devoted Dame

    In your opinion, is the original plan even salvageable or are we better off starting from scratch?

    Sorry to say this, lol, but yeah, I think y'all would be better served by starting over, keeping the "1-2 rooms deep" and "mostly north/south" rules in mind. :-)

  • PRO

    or are we better off starting from scratch?

    What Virgil said just above.

  • cpartist

    In your opinion, is the original plan even salvageable or are we better off starting from scratch?

    In my opinion the best thing you could do is start over with a talented architect UNLESS you have actual design skills and experience in architectural and interior design. There's an old saying which we all seem to learn here when we first come onto this site, and that is "we don't know what we don't know". We've all been guilty of it, some more than others.

    The best thing you could do is put together a list of your wants, needs, wouldn't it be nice to haves and also how you want to feel when you drive up to your home. Also figure out what rooms must be near one another (look up about doing a bubble diagram), and put together idea books of looks you like and things you'd love to have.

  • robin0919

    I didn't read all of the posts....Why in the world would you want the Mbedroom 'facing' the front st???? I would NEVER build a house that the Mbedroom faces the front st!!! Is that what you what to wake up to??

  • A Fox

    ^In the OP's circumstances where the view is apparently great in the back yard I agree that it may make sense to move the bedroom to the back with the sitting room and slide the bath and closet to the front, but I would hardly call that a rule for every house. If you live in a neighborhood with little traffic and where there are houses on all sides it's not so cut and dry where the best place may be to place a master bedroom.

    For instance our house is 120 feet of the street. The view from our front windows is beautiful, with mature trees and handsome houses. On the other hand behind us our setback is only 50', and beyond that there's a row of ranch houses right there. The neighbors directly behind us have a fiesta in their backyard with music and visitors several times a week weather permitting that go until midnight. I very much appreciate our front facing master bedroom and being able to wake up to our front yard view. The point is analyzing the lot that you have and coming up with the best arrangement that works with the surrounding context.

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