irenethompson

Suggestions for 500sf house plus kitchen

Irene T
14 days ago
last modified: 14 days ago

Hi Everyone!

I am creating a 500sf guest house (part of the building is storage). I am pretty happy with the design, but some people are bothered by the bathroom door being right off the kitchen. Also, I have the kitchen pretty much set, but am unsure what to do with the upper cabinets. Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated. This will be a rental.


Thanks!


Comments (42)

  • Marigold
    14 days ago

    I would worry that a person using the bathroom would smack into the fridge door when exiting, if someone else was cooking. Would it be possible to make the closet a bit smaller, and have the bathroom entry come off the bedroom? As a guest cottage, I wouldn't think entering and exiting from the bedroom would be a big deal.

    Irene T thanked Marigold
  • tlynn1960
    14 days ago

    Not a pro, but I'd have access to the bathroom be from the bedroom where that 18" bump out is on your rendering-much easier for the person getting ready for bed or for the day to not have to leave the bedroom area and walk around through the kitchen. No access from kitchen at all. Check out specs for a stacked washer/dryer combo since would take up less space. Since it's a tiny guest house and I gather no one would be staying long term, I could see minimizing storage areas in the kitchen so maybe upper cabinets aren't even needed.

    Irene T thanked tlynn1960
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  • Irene T
    Original Author
    14 days ago
    last modified: 14 days ago

    Actually it will be rented out...I edited the post to make that clear. Given there will be someone living there full time, would you still access the bathroom from the bedroom and give up the bathroom storage and some closet space?

  • PRO
    Lisa Caudill Designs
    14 days ago

    Open shelves would be nice

    Irene T thanked Lisa Caudill Designs
  • ldecor54
    14 days ago


    I definitely would still prefer access to bathroom from bedroom. As the renter of the place I wouldn’t want to go thru kitchen every time. It’s a trade off situation. But I do see Other entry options by moving washer dryer. Creating little hallway with access to bedroom and bathroom

  • aprilneverends
    14 days ago

    a) I guess that depends on a person. I'd prefer direct access from the bedroom even though storage is important of course. It's easier though to be creative about solutions for storage, than, say, have to go around when one doesn't feel well, or has to get up in the middle of the night..

    Also I'm not the most hygienic, cleanest person ever, but I'd still prefer access to the restroom, from the bedroom, not from the kitchen.

    Guests can become a consideration, of course..if they visit trough daytime I guess will be more convenient for them to go through the bedroom as opposed trough the public space which might be heavily used. At night..good question..will depend on who are guests..Kinda hard to guess in advance.

    Great idea above about stacked washer and dryer. Had them for many years while renting, and it was four of us, and I never felt it's not enough. Specs are to be checked, of course.

    b) If not upper cabinets in the kitchen-then I'd love to have at least couple shelves, to the left of the sink (but to finish them before the countertop ends, I'd say approximately where stove area starts) , when one can put a microwave, say, or hold some daily things, store some dishes..underneath they can attach hooks for cutlery or a tea towel...the look can still be very light, but I believe will balance out the fridge and can be very useful

    Also cabinets can be installed, or a combo of cabinets and shorter shelving.

    Irene T thanked aprilneverends
  • tangerinedoor
    14 days ago
    last modified: 14 days ago

    The laundry room and pantry have windows, but not the bathroom? That would be a problem for me.

    A pocket door won't work between a bathroom and a kitchen. That's just plain toxic. Sliding interior doors don't fit that well.

    Stack the WD; side by sides take up too much real estate in such a small house. Also, a hallway through the pantry takes up too much real estate unnecessarily.

    Even though it looks more or less okay on paper, I'm not certain anyone can actually get into the bedroom around the foot. By the time you get a headboard or account for a few inches against the wall by the head, a Queen will take up at least 7'. That leaves you with only 4'7" at the foot of the bed. I'd have to dig through my brain to get the Pythagorean mathematics of the diagonal coming through the door, but my first take is I might not fit.

    As far as the width of the bed.... A queen would be 5'. In a 9' wide space, this would give you 2' on either side of the bed. That takes an impressive amount of maneuvering. My bedside is a bit wider than that (I had to go with a full instead of a queen for a bedroom like yours), and I definitely wouldn't want it any narrower.

    In the kitchen, the fridge can't be flush to the wall, or the door won't open. If you have a DW, spec either a drawer version or a half-size. Preserve cabinet space. You will also need a vent over the stove. The space a vent conduit takes up will have to be accounted for in the drawing.

    I can't tell exactly, but it looks like the vanity might be too long. You have to account for 3' for the toilet, 3' for the tub. That's 6' right there.

    Irene T thanked tangerinedoor
  • ldecor54
    14 days ago

    Oops I thought that bath storage was for stacked washer dryer, now you really do have room off living to create a small hallway to bathroom by making closet smaller.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    14 days ago

    You show no door(s) on the bedroom and you are worried about the bathroom door opening to the kitchen??

    With space that small everything opens to everything.

    Irene T thanked Mark Bischak, Architect
  • Irene T
    Original Author
    14 days ago

    I don't mind the bathroom opening to the kitchen. My sister (who is a designer) hates it. But I would rather have storage in the BA. Just throwing it out there in case someone has a better idea...

  • Irene T
    Original Author
    14 days ago

    I appreciate all of the feedback. Thank you so much!!!

    Bathroom: We can't put windows on the "outside" wall where the BD and BA are. We will put a vent fan in the ceiling in the BA. There is 3' around the toilet and the tub is not huge, it is 60 x 30, so the space is fine there.

    Kitchen: The refrigerator alcove has an extra 5", I still need to get the details on the refrig door opening. No dishwasher. I think the vent will be a slide out hood...nice and streamline.

    Bedroom: I know it is tight, that's why there is no door, sort of a semi studio apartment. I will be putting curtains on the bedroom doorway and the closet opening. I think this is more desirable than not having a separate bedroom...

    Laundry: The washer and dryer will be on a platform so you can put 2 dirty clothes baskets underneath. I did this on another rental. Then on top of the washer and dryer you can keep all of your laundry cleaners etc.


  • tangerinedoor
    14 days ago

    IMO having any kind of room but a bathroom open to the kitchen would be less toxic. It's unsanitary the way it's designed. At least have a real door that fits.

    Irene T thanked tangerinedoor
  • SashaDog
    14 days ago

    Can you move the rooms Or rotate the storage by 90 degree?

  • tangerinedoor
    14 days ago
    last modified: 14 days ago

    Ummmm.... there should be a bedroom door. No door is potentially a non-starter.


    Why can't you just swap the bathroom with the pantry/laundry room? Then, your bathroom would have a window.

  • cd7733
    14 days ago



    Irene T thanked cd7733
  • apple_pie_order
    14 days ago

    Use an 18" dishwasher and four-drawer cabinets (not three-drawer). Your fridge needs to open against the wall if it's installed as shown, meaning you need one of the extra-expensive models. Move it to the clear end of the counters so it will swing open all the way.

  • SashaDog
    14 days ago

    I like Cd7733’s updates, but I’d only take 1’ from the living room for the bedroom, the rotate the bed 90 degrees.


    Another option (not as well illustrated)




  • new-beginning
    13 days ago

    my apt has a one-wall kitchen similar to your drawing, not a single upper cabinet, shelves on either side of the sink; I HATE IT, not enough storage for glasses and dishes, and then they must be washed before use most of the time. Getting ready to start over with an IKEA kitchen. the person that built the lower cabinets didn't even add a shelf, not even a partial shelf! Just one large open space. No dishwasher either. Also, I gave up two separate, side-by-side closets for a place for washer and dryer.


    Irene T thanked new-beginning
  • Irene T
    Original Author
    13 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    new-beginning: Yes, my sister wants me to do all upper shelves instead of cabinets. It looks open and pretty, but so not usable. Very much appreciate your comment. Would you give up the shelving storage in the bathroom and some closet space to have the bathroom accessed from the bedroom instead of the kitchen? What is the sf of your apartment?

  • Irene T
    Original Author
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    cd7733: Thank you for that design and all the work it took!

  • chispa
    11 days ago

    Take out one of the windows on the west wall of the living area, so the tenant has a wall for a wall hung TV and a console below.

    I am all for big windows and lots of them, but unless this guest house has amazing views, I would reduce the window sizes a bit, or place them high enough so that you can have a chest of drawers, consoles or a desk under them.

    Irene T thanked chispa
  • Irene T
    Original Author
    11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    chispa: Thanks! The windows on the "west" wall will be 5 1/2' off the ground and about 22" tall, although it is a fabulous view. The entry door wall is the south and I am putting large windows there to bring in the winter sun. The bedroom windows will be 5 1/2' off the ground also.

  • isabellagracepan
    11 days ago

    The last plan you posted is much better. I would hate to have a bathroom opening off of a kitchen. It would feel so unpleasant!

    Irene T thanked isabellagracepan
  • Irene T
    Original Author
    11 days ago

    isabellagracepan: Great, thank you!

  • chispa
    11 days ago

    We are all certainly spoiled here! The apartment I rented in grad school was 2 rooms, a living room and a bed room connected by a hallway that housed a tiny galley kitchen and a bathroom. Unpleasant would have been having to go out of the apartment to a communal bathroom. I know people who grew up in eastern block countries who only had that choice. The location of the bathroom was irrelevant, but what I really appreciated was that my parents could afford to help pay for this more expensive apartment that was a few minutes walk to campus and made my grad school life much easier.

    Of course you should design something that is as pleasant as possible, but having a bathroom off a kitchen in a studio apartment isn't the end of the world!

  • new-beginning
    11 days ago

    Irene T - I am in 900 sq ft, 2 BR 1 BA. This is a garage apartment (built originally about 100 yrs ago), probably as living quarters for the property owners; a 'regular' home was later built. Not the original kitchen, of course; just poorly designed, sturdy cabinets, none of which are the same size!

    Irene T thanked new-beginning
  • apple_pie_order
    10 days ago

    Why are the windows above eye level? Make sure your windows meet egress requirements- some will have to be low enough to offer the required escape routes for safety unless you covered that with doors already.

  • Irene T
    Original Author
    10 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    The windows are that high for privacy and the view will be of trees. Also, it is such a small space, I really wanted as much wall room as possible. And egress is handled by not having a door to the bedroom.

  • apple_pie_order
    10 days ago

    Please clarify- are all the windows above eye level?

    Irene T thanked apple_pie_order
  • Irene T
    Original Author
    10 days ago

    apple_pie_order: The window in the bedroom and the windows on the same wall in the living room will be raise up 5' 6" from the floor. They are still TBD on the plan, but this is what I am thinking would be the nicest. The other windows will be traditionally placed.



  • kayozzy
    10 days ago

    That will make it feel like a basement. I really like Irene's first layout. The second one makes the closet challenging.

    Irene T thanked kayozzy
  • suezbell
    10 days ago

    Is the building already built and are the walls already in place?

    If the "storage" is an unheated garage or carport, that would affect the ability to re-arrange rooms.

    What is north, south, east and west as well as any "view" along with where the driveway is located also matter.

    Of those shown, the first of the two posted five hours ago show the most promise.

    Is there no way to create a kitchen that enables your sink to be beneath a window?

    One option for change might be if you could create a complete wall rather than leave an additional small rectangle in the end of the storage room adjacent to the foyer and then rethink your kitchen and laundry ... perhaps even having a laundry closet rather than a laundry room.

  • Irene T
    Original Author
    10 days ago

    suezbell: Yes, building was built 20 years ago and then another building was attached to the outside of the original. That thick wall between the 2 area is a double wall. We busted through the two walls to get the passage to the pantry.


    Double doors is the south. So french doors and large window there, creek view.

    Can't do windows on the north or west.

    East is the "upper" windows in LR and BD. View is lots of trees which is beautiful, but I don't want it to feel like a fish bowl.

  • Irene T
    Original Author
    10 days ago

    kayozzy: Agree.

  • apple_pie_order
    10 days ago

    You have good floor plans now, but the windows and doors need adjustments.


    Take an imaginary walking tour through the model as if you were a prospective tenant. You walk up to the clear double doors and see straight through to the bedroom. You go inside, sit down on a chair, and find the small front window is too high to see the creek. You look at the bedroom and wonder why you can't reach the windows to open them or to look out. You wonder why it feels like a basement apartment. Then you go back to the front doors and think about how you will need curtains or shades to cover it at night for privacy. Can a burglar smash the front door window to turn the door knob? Or is there a double deadbolt that requires a key and presents problems for fire safety?


    Then mentally arrange your furniture (or use your software). Where does the tv go? The sofa, coffee table, dining table and chairs, bed, dresser, nightstands? Storage for linens and towels?

  • Mrs Pete
    10 days ago

    some people are bothered by the bathroom door being right off the kitchen

    In 500 sf, you're not going to place the bathroom door anyplace very private.


    I see the idea of whether to create a door straight from the bedroom has been discussed ... personally, in a guest house I'd give up closet space to get a door straight to the bathroom. I rarely hang anything when I'm traveling ... but I'd like to have a place in the bedroom where I could lay out my suitcase.

    if someone else was cooking.

    Since this is a guest house and the "kitchen" is more of a "kitchenette", I suspect the cooking would be along the lines of fixing drinks or sandwiches ... not cooking real meals.

    I could see minimizing storage areas in the kitchen so maybe upper cabinets aren't even needed.

    I was going to say the same thing. How much storage does a guest need? You, the host, would probably want to store plenty of linens, a fan, and cleaning supplies ... but that's about it.

    Check out specs for a stacked washer/dryer combo since would take up less space.

    I was going to suggest this as well. A washer/dryer for a guest is a great luxury, but a small one is enough. The one issue might be washing the bed comforter ... but surely as rarely as that needs doing, you can bring it into the main house.

    But I would rather have storage in the BA.

    Yes, I'd like to have space in the bathroom to lay out my things.

    It's unsanitary the way it's designed.

    No, it isn't.

    I’d only take 1’ from the living room for the bedroom, the rotate the bed 90 degrees.

    Great idea. This would mean you'd open the bedroom doors -- barn doors would be nice here -- and you'd be looking at the foot of the bed. Both partners could walk directly to their side /no one would have to circumnavigate the bed. It's only 1', but it would make the bedroom considerably nicer.


    Other thoughts:

    - Yes, the newer sketch-up is nicer in that it gives the bathroom a window ... but I'd pretty strongly prefer that the bathroom is close to the bedroom. Both designs have their pros /cons.

    - I find myself thinking of this as a vacation rental ... but the person who mentioned a grad school apartment makes me question whether I'm right or not. So, OP, what type of rental is this? If it's a weekend vacation spot, storage doesn't mean much ... and I'd say ditch the pantry. If it's near a university, storage IS a big deal.

    - Are we assuming that a small dining table will round out the kitchen?

    Irene T thanked Mrs Pete
  • suezbell
    10 days ago

    If all your windows are high and/or small, you'll find the small space has an even smaller vibe that it needs to have. you might consider making a window on the sunny side a bay window and, perhaps, adding a plant in a pot (or two or three) at the window giving you privacy while open with natural light and oxygen and a more natural vibe.

  • suezbell
    10 days ago

    If you haven't considered a sliding glass patio door with vertical blinds (or french door) for the bedroom so you have exits on both / opposite corners of the building, then at least consider it.

  • Irene T
    Original Author
    10 days ago
    last modified: 9 days ago

    suezbell: Actually, the views from all the windows is private. I live on 2 acres and it is greenery outside the windows.

    Mrs Pete: It will be a long term rental. Also I am actively looking for a kitchen island that can double as a table with stools to eat at.

  • kayozzy
    9 days ago

    I would be very sad to tour a house on a beautiful 2 acre lot and then go inside and not be able to see anything because the windows were too high. I don't understand the logic. You can plan where to put the furniture and TV and put windows to the sides of that. Curtains are for privacy when desired. I love windows and don't know what this whole fish bowl thing is about. Windows bring the outside in, it doesn't make us feel like we're trapped in a fish bowl. Let them see the outdoors!