Floor Plans are Fun
Perhaps my favorite project day so far was when Cynthia Kraus and Claudia Wiehen, our fabulous architects from OpenHaus Design, showed us some floor plan options. We were utterly shocked to know that our 1950 sf ranch could be reconfigured in not one, not two, not three, but four different ways to meet our needs. All within the existing walls and footprint. All with 3 bedrooms, 3 baths plus an office. All with an open concept living/dining/kitchen area. And all with an indoor/outdoor living space that all Californians covet. SO how did we choose?
My strategy was to spend hours sitting in the Southwest corner of the house to see what that space wanted to be. It is our sunniest room, but also our most public since we are on a corner lot. It is currently a formal living room, but in our remodel floor plans it was a kitchen, dining room, den, or master bedroom…wildly different options indeed. Nick’s strategy was more practical. He talked to Wes Harding, our green building mentor. Wes pointed out that some of our options preserved existing interior structural walls, while others were more of a ‘gut.’ Choosing to preserve structural walls saves materials, money, and time which sounded good to us. More money for fun stuff like finishes and furnishings. Luckily, both our strategies pointed to the same option. We made the front corner a kitchen, where sunlight is key and privacy less of an issue. That option also allowed us to convert our existing dining room into a third bedroom for our teenage daughter without moving a single wall. It puts her on the other side of the house, but she might appreciate the privacy. And in a house our size the “other side” is only 15 feet away so we aren’t worried about too much freedom or mischief. That floor plan also gives us several future options that make sense when the kids are grown and gone. We will have two “wings”, possibly a home office/guest wing and a more decadent master wing…eventually. For now, we will have an updated family home with space for all and a sunny front kitchen with a happy hour porch for the neighbors. A good start.