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IT’S FINALLY HERE – The Farmhouse Floor Plan Post (Big and GOOD Changes)

Things are really trucking along up in Portland and there is nothing like speeding along a freeway with equal doses of fantasy and denial. We are in the middle of the “fun” phase which is more about fantasizing our dream home and less about knowing how much it might actually cost. We knew what we were getting ourselves into buying this property. But “knowing” and KNOWING are two different things. But first things first – the floor plan, the layout of the house that will affect how we live all day every day. How the house functions and the flow is astronomically important, and we are dissecting it and analyzing every door swing, the light at every time of day to ensure that we won’t live in the house and have an existential hand to the face emoji.

Guess what? We made you a video! Don’t worry you are still going to need to read the post to truly understand what we’re talking about but it’s so fun to dream in the actual space (And as always just wait for the ad to play before the video starts):

We have been working on the farm for WEEKS (maybe months) and when I say ‘we’ I mean Anne from Arciform, her lovely team Stephyn and Marty, with Brian and I playing the role of happy clients. We’ve been meeting every Wednesday morning for 2-3 hours via Zoom and each week we play this floor-plan video game called “Fantasy Architecture” where we move walls, look at the 3-D version of what we just did, change it, tweak colors, leave giddy with excitement and every day we get closer to the final layout of our mini-farm house. We’ve been so impressed with her speed, talent, and skills and I feel like the luckiest person on the planet to get to renovate this house with this team of pros that legitimately seem like they love what they do (which is apparently chronically important to me). It’s been such a positive experience thus far.


Anne asked us what our budget is, and we deflected like the children that we are and said instead, “we know this place needs a lot so let’s design our dream house and then reassess”. A sort of “if you build it they will come” approach that is face-slappable and a level of denial that can only come from being privileged enough to do this as my job. But I’ve worked hard for decades to be here and for the sake of my family and career, I both need and want this to look good. I figure that since this is our forever house we don’t want to cut corners or compromise because a particular number sounds scary now – because let’s face it they all sound terrifying. Moving on. The house has to be renovated. Let’s do it right.


The house is 3500 square feet with 1500 of it being an addition from the ’60s for an adult foster meeting home that needed to be completely redone – not optional. The kitchen and living room were great. The rest of the first floor was not. But we had a wish list of how that square footage could be utilized. We had the space, surely we could get our dream layout.

We Wanted To:

  1. Open up the kitchen more with the living room
  2. Create a primary suite (in the ’60s addition)
  3. Find a place for a powder room downstairs.
  4. Create a family/media room.

Seems easy enough, so for you floor plan nerds (hi. me, too) here is the original as-builts of the first floor:


The Problems:

  1. The location of the kitchen was not bad, but we are such big cooks now that we wanted to integrate it more into the living room.
  2. The living room was almost TOO big. Seriously it felt like a dark lodge that would need multiple seating areas to work, of which we don’t need.
  3. All the best bright natural light from the south came from the breakfast nook – how do you bring it into the living room?
  4. The rest of the addition was not meeting our goals and it was time to reconfigure.


Version 1: When I first fantasized about this to myself I thought I was being greedy. You have a GREAT kitchen over there and you can’t make it work? But I didn’t want to cook in that room alone – and with the living room being almost too big it just seemed so clear to me – divide the space and create a great room. The cooking parts of the kitchen would move to the living room. But the best part? The original kitchen will remain intact (with some new paint and flooring) and become the pantry and mudroom.


Once we checked that “great room” box it was time to figure out the rest of the puzzle that would affect our lives forever. But it was a puzzle and a huge ask. Here we loved where the family room is right off the kitchen (with doors if we wanted to hang out in the living room).


This was the beginning of a saga where Brian and I try to convey a totally esoteric sense of privacy that we think we need. We don’t care about window treatments, but we want our bedroom to feel like a retreat from others. Trying to define “privacy” is actually hard because it’s subjective. I bathe with full sun and window treatments open all the time, but I want to feel the sense that people can’t see. So we couldn’t help shake how our bedroom felt really exposed being right off the main deck, with our bed facing the deck in version two.

Anne kept working and tweaking, but we really needed to go up there and get a sense for where we want our bedroom to be. Where do I want my bathtub? Which way do I want to face when I’m attempting to bubble my way into sleepiness? So we drove 18 hours (never again) and Brian and I spent a few days walking the property – such an important move.

We taped it out. Pretended to open invisible doors and walk through them. Sat on imaginary sectionals. It’s different than floor plans and staring at photos. When you are in a space how do you feel??? You have to be there.

What we realized while we were there was that there isn’t a version where we can get our dream scenario – a cozy family room, a nice bedroom, walk-in closet, pretty bathroom, and powder room. There wasn’t enough space. We also realized where we want our bedroom to be and what direction we want our bed to face.

The Musical Dining Room/Sunroom

As you can see above Anne also kept playing with where we put the sunroom and realized that it felt crowded near the kitchen, but the front of the house has a lot of space and is really less usable – so she moved it over there and now it looks so pretty architecturally from the front and yet still opens into the courtyard.

Too Many Needs, Not Enough Space

Here is where we really could have driven Anne nuts if she wasn’t so patient. We were desperate to fit everything we wanted into the existing floor plan (with the new dining addition). But everything felt like too much of a compromise. In these versions, our bedroom felt very right off the family room, and the entrance into it felt too fast (most primary bedrooms have what’s called an “ante room” which is just a space right before you “enter” the room that gives it a sense of a suite (even just a short hallway). Obviously this isn’t necessary – its just gives your bed some space from the next room. Plus in this layout facing the bed to the south is the least nice view (a wall of shrubs), but to the north was like “hello anyone on the patio”. We sound like crazy private people, but I believe strongly in bedroom feng-shui and how it can affect how you feel and live in the space.

Perhaps A Porte Cochère Will Solve All Our Problems? Also What Is A Porte Cochère?

Even while we were stumped on the inside many of you advised that we would want a dry way to go from car to kitchen. Thank you. So we added a port cochère (I had to look it up) which is a fancy-ish name for a carport that is attached to your house, covered so you can exit easily go from your car. This is the ever important “grocery drop path” and avoids dragging in more mud (and it’s not that expensive to add).

as-built exterior

Here is the front of the house now for reference. I can’t wait to add more architectural interest and charm to it. It’s a super nice box, that really wants something else to help make it feel architecturally interesting. So from the beginning, even without knowing that the kitchen would move to where the dining room is, I wanted this added structure (I’ll show you inspiration later).

Dining Room On The Side Of House

At first, Anne put the dining room where we asked her which was off the side of the living room. But soon enough she realized that the front of the house is where all the dead square footage lived, PLUS it would add so much to the overall architecture and gives the side deck way more space.

Dining Room On The Front Of House

finalized sunroom location with porte cochère

No finishes have been selected, this is just to give you an idea of where the sunroom/dining room would go. I LOVE how it looks. Even the port cochère adds this haphazard charm that we love.

Back To The Drawing Board For Our Bedroom, After A Couple Drinks And Unsolicited Advice

After a day of walking the property, taping things out, staring at how the sun moved, we conceded that we didn’t have enough space to make our dream bedroom suite. Something was going to have to give. But my brother was NOT satisfied and after him laminating our floor plan, while we had a couple of glasses of wine, we drew all over this thing. He said a wise thing – don’t waste this renovation without getting mostly what you want. Don’t go broke, but don’t be scared and dumb.

It was then that Brian had the idea of adding on to the end of the ’60s addition. It seemed both weird and also a no-brainer. We started collating the facts – there would be no additional plumbing or electrical. We already had to redo a part of the roof because we were demo-ing out the big brick fireplace anyway. We already had to repair the foundation. It wouldn’t be free, but everyone agreed that adding 6-8 feet wouldn’t actually cost that much more to get what would ultimately be a better fit for our needs (and by our needs I recognize it means a very special bedroom).

back of the ’60s addition

Once we gave Anne 8 more feet to play with she was able to give us what we wanted and always dreamed up – A nice sized bedroom, closet and bathroom, with a cozy family/tv room and a powder bathroom. Our bedroom is big enough that I can put a desk in the corner and work from there and since it’s the only other room with a TV (that’s right, it’s ok). We’ll likely have a club chair or two so that on the nights or days when I want to watch something while pinning (it’s my creative process) I can do it in a chair instead of in bed.

We ended up changing up the mudroom at the last minute (more on the dog washing station later) and don’t worry there aren’t so many doors from the butler’s pantry to the kitchen (it’s a walk-through cabinet which is so fun). But for the most part, we are almost there. We are still in the throes of choosing everything, but I thought it would be fun to show you the overhead layout because one can only stare at floor plans for so long before you need some fake furniture and wrong tiles to show you how it’s really going to go.

And yes, the living room is going to be VERY hard to layout. We’ve already mocked up a few versions that might work that I can’t wait to debate with you.

Here’s to hoping none of you have a genius idea for this layout that we haven’t heard of. Again, so much of it was dictated by how it felt being there, the light, where we actually want to hang out, and what we want to look at. A floor plan is just that, a plan, but in-person things become so much more clear. Thanks so much to Arciform for making sure that if we are going to do this, we are going to DO THIS.


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321 thoughts on “IT’S FINALLY HERE – The Farmhouse Floor Plan Post (Big and GOOD Changes)

  1. Which way is south on the plans? You mention that the breakfast nook faces south, so if that’s right then you’ll have a lovely sunny bedroom, but will the bedroom wing not block off the light from the BBQ area and the living room for most of the day? Or is it more south-east for the breakfast nook and more light comes round?

    Your closet is bigger than my bedroom! The whole place is huge – good for us as it means more room reveals!

    1. Yes, would love to know which direction is south. I would want as much sun in the entire house as possible. But this plan is amazing!!

  2. I love the wall of door that opens from the living room to the outdoor deck, that is going to be spectacular.

    1. Agreed! Feels like they’re taking what they love from the LA house now (that outdoor patio and doors that open from the living/dining) and transporting it here. Makes total sense to me.

    1. My SIL has one of these (I never knew the name!) in TX and they use it all the time, it’s super handy and works great.

  3. I love seeing the progression of the plans and how your thoughts evolved after seeing them on paper.

    I’m curious — was there ever a discussion of putting the kitchen where the breakfast nook is? I realize that throws off the family room plan, but a view out to the backyard and all that special sunlight seem like big pluses.

    1. Yes, exactly, why not just knock down that wall, move the kitchen back there, get the light in the room, and then there is more room in the living room for furniture etc.

      1. I agree with “more room for furniture” – I have a similar living room/kitchen placement, and the asymmetry of furniture around the fireplace is difficult to make feel right. But then again I’m not a designer 😊.

    2. Agreed! I would love to see a layout that moves the kitchen back and maybe makes the breakfast area smaller. I think that living room layout is going to be tough although I suppose they would mostly use the family room day-to-day. But in that case, would they want the kitchen be open to the family room instead of the formal living room?

      As well, a lot of the light will be blocked off by the butler’s pantry and mudroom and they eat up a lot of space. I think they really want to use the existing cabinetry/kitchen for the butler’s pantry but I wonder if they could re-jig the layout and still reuse/reconfigure the cabinets. A mudroom is a must-have for a family with kids but, personally, I don’t understand the point of a butler’s pantry unless you are hosting a bunch of catered events–a walk-in pantry for food/kitchen items would suit most families’ needs 99.9% of the time.

      Of course it goes without saying that it’s going to be fabulous and I can’t wait to see! I think they knocked it out of the park with the primary suite and dining room.

    3. When the blog first posted about re-doing the floor plan, this was my first thought! I even did this mock design, which moves the entrance and expands the kitchen: Fun to see how the actual plans have evolved!

    4. You make a great point, flipping the open kitchen to face the breakfast nook, informal family room would make this final plan basically perfect.

  4. Wow, that is a lot. I have to say it is not a farm house to me anymore. I see a classic (giuant) Amercian Mansion. I am happy that the 1st floor remains with it modest floorplan. My last 2 cents: the powderroom is pretty hidden, at least for less close friends/family, they have to enter your more private family room.

    1. I was surprised with the 1/2 bath placement too, or at least surprised a layout was never considered that placed the 1/2 bath tucked somewhere into the mudroom/pantry area. That seems like a preferable spot, since there’s already plumbing from the existing kitchen plus a quick pit stop as you run in/out of the door with your boots already on.
      Regardless; you’ve found the plan that works best for you and it’s gonna be great!

      1. Agree with these observations re: powder room placement. It does seem odd to travel through the family room to get there. I get that this is a tricky puzzle and the layout will never be as “perfect” as it would be if you were starting from scratch. However, I have to wonder… do you really think you’ll use the breakfast nook? Maybe that’s where the casual family dinners will take place. Or are you eat-at-the-island type of folks? I almost think the current location of the breakfast nook would be a better placement for the powder room.

        1. I agree. I also would connect the kitchen breakfast nook rather than the kitchen/living room.

      2. I was also surprised that *none* of the plan had the half-bath in the mudroom, even if tucking it in further into the private spaces of the house ultimately was the final choice as a result of other considerations.

        I agree that, privacy aside, the walk from outside for a quick potty break is an issue. We live in a trilevel so our guest-oriented bathroom is technically up a half-flight of stairs on the bedroom level, and there’s a lot of dirt tracked in between the backdoor and the first bathroom. I dream of having a half-bath on the main level, particularly near the back door.

    2. I was less worried about this being private, but more thinking about if you’re outside doing any work, how much of the house you have to trek through to get there! Have to take off all of your shoes, go from the mudroom, through the pantry, through the kitchen, to the bedroom almost? As someone who grew up in the country with a half bath right off our mudroom/garage, I can’t imagine all of the taking on and off of shoes I would have had to do without that placement! Oof. If most of your outdoor time will truly be spent on the deck/bbq area, I guess there’s less to worry about… just thinking of that future farm life though 😉

      1. I live in what my Midwestern friend called an apartment house- a single family home that’s 1000 sq ft, with my two kids and dog I am SO grateful that we have a “kid” bathroom right by the back door. Even in sunny CA it saves our buts and floors to have them yell “I have to go potty!” And know that they’re headed nigh into the house with their mud hands and other detritus.

        Thank you so much for all this! So fun

    3. I agree. I know it’s their family and of course they should live in a way that makes them happy! But it feels like a huge bummer to see the kitchen pulled into a great room with a jumbo island like any off-the rack new build or contemporary remodel. Feels like it’s papering over the soul of the exisiting house.

    4. I like the powder room placement. It’s discreet and out of the way which is what you want for your guests, plus convenient from family room. It’s also still outside of the “private quarters,” ie the primary suite.

  5. Yay!!!!!! After checking every morning for WEEKS, I was giddy excited to see this post up and it did not disappoint!! Thank you for taking us through the many versions and I loved that you started with your goals.
    This was just SO FUN!
    I love the design and how you are putting so much thought into it. I agree – I care a lot about which way my bed faces and a feeling of privacy/intimacy.
    I’m looking forward to the living room layout post, that will be a blast!
    I agree that the carport is going to add so much value to your life. Where I live in Canada they are common (and we just call them carports though you’d think we’d use the French term lol). They are truly the best. Unlike garages, they don’t get filled up with stuff so you actually have a bright covered parking spot, it’s perfect. I’ve had one in two previous homes and I am adding one to my current home ASAP!
    This post was so delightful and the farm is going to be GORGEOUS. Thank you Emily and Brian for taking us along with you!

  6. This is such a complex project! It’s hard to grasp the location of the house on the land, relative to the landscape, light, streets. And I’m not sure how you prefer to be coming and going outside, to the property. But some questions come to my mind. I would prefer the half bath to be in or adjacent to the mud room. So family coming in and out while playing outside or in a hurry don’t have to take off shoes and coats and go through the family room to go to the bathroom. I’d also want the front entry open to the stairs. It’s fun watching this evolve.

    1. As a mother of two boys, I can assure you that they would pee in the dog shower (or outside) rather than take off coats and shoes to go to a bathroom.

      So there’s half a solution! 😂

  7. Love it! BUTTTT… Having now grown children, and you with small, have you considered constantly having teenagers slugging through your bedroom to do laundry? Trust me that gets old pretty fast.
    Your breakfast room is quite closed off from the kitchen – will it get used as much as a dedicated laundry room off of the mudroom would?

    1. Perhaps they’ll put a small washer/dryer upstairs for the kids. Problem solved.

      I am Team Breakfast Room. The pandemic has shown that, especially with open-concept living areas like this plan, you also need smaller closed off rooms for homework, work, etc.

    2. I think she’s mentioned before that she’s planning to put another laundry area near the kids’ rooms upstairs.

      1. I think she did mention that. It makes total sense to me to have one laundry area on each level if you can afford it.

        1. I would totally rather have one laundry space (not in my bedroom 😉 ) and use that space in a different way.

    3. Emily, it is SO FUN seeing the evolution of your floorplans! Thank you for sharing!! I, too, was wondering about the placement of the laundry & wondered why maybe it wasn’t in the mudroom, so I was glad to see someone else asked – and can definitely understand a bit better if there’s separate laundry for kids upstairs (and maybe guests elsewhere?). I loooove seeing the evolution of your plans & can’t wait to see more as you go! xo

    4. Yes – this is the first thing I thought of, and also if you are bringing in muddy dogs and wet clothes through the mudroom – why schlep all that wet and dirty clothing and towels all the way through the house, and through the bedroom…?

      Put the washing machine in the mudroom where everybody can put the dirty clothes and dog paw towels in it as they take them off. *This way it will get done*

      Additionally, no matter how quiet that washing machine and dryer is – they’re going to make noise. So now you’ve got this window of time where you’re you can’t start a load of laundry before dinner, because otherwise the dryer is going to be keeping you up when you go to bed.

      You don’t “need” a second washer and dryer on the second floor. The new LG washers hold a *ton* of laundry and work well for families of 6+

  8. Loved seeing all the floorplans. There will certainly be a huge WOW factor upon entering the great room/kitchen. Are you incorporating a space for play in the great room? or a place to spread out a puzzle or a science project? The family room looks more like a media room and seems as though it might be a bit dark for daytime gathering but I could easily be missing something. Anyway, it is all SO very exciting for your devoted readers to watch the progress and thanks for this very deep dive into your design process!

    1. Yes, that what I was thinking as well. There’s only door to BBQ area and the area is shaded?

  9. Wow, what a great space this is going to be! I LOVE the built-in glass cabinet (what a smart idea!), and I would kill for a butler’s pantry.

    I’m glad you are keeping the fireplace. Every home should have quirks, and one of the quirks of this place will be the location of the fireplace. It’ll force you to think creatively about furniture placement and that’s not a bad thing.

    Love the staircase, too. There really is so much potential in this old girl.

  10. Thanks for bringing us all along! Because you asked for questions and opinions: the dining room seems far from the kitchen. Are you worried about the flow or the ease in bringing food to the table across the living room (or having to walk back when you forget something)? I know you all are cooking a lot more now so have probably given thought to it. Would love to know your thinking here!

    Again, thanks for sharing. Always love following along.

    1. Sorry, but the first thing I noticed was how far the dining room is from the kitchen. For me, that’s not good flow or practical. Seems like it should be where the outdoor BBQ area is, adjoining the kitchen, especially since you want a more casual layout. I do question the need for the breakfast nook, except that it’s convenient to the kitchen. Very nice kitchen but it’s interesting that you mention the challenge of arranging the LR because you always struggled with that in your LA home. I think the fireplace location is the problem. Also, having a powder room near the mudroom makes more sense. It’s interesting that no matter how much space there is to work with, it seems like it’s always a compromise and it’s a matter of prioritizing. The master bedroom is great.

      1. I hate to weigh in in a negative tone but I feel this deep down because it speaks to my nit picky nature as well. I love a puzzle! I feel like the house is suffering due to the deck placement in general. The open kitchen living combo with a million doors and entries will be a headache. Agree the bbq area needs to be a dining area or should the dining room be in the same room as the kitchen in the current plan? I don’t love the family room either, unfortunately. So closed in. Should the current dining room be living space instead? I think they’re close but no cigar.

        1. Yes, I’m wondering about the dining room placement too. Couldn’t you just put it where the bbq area is, and move the bbq area? This is a great floor plan but I feel that it still needs more tweaking. Thanks so much for letting us follow along though! I love seeing the floor plans and design process!

        2. That was my thought! Make the living room the dining room, then made the front addition the living room. Helps with balance, you get to enjoy all that lovely light more regularly (you probably hang more in the formal living room than the formal dining room), makes kitchen-to-table easier and solves the issues of layout in the living room.

    2. That was my first thought too. Is the dining room going to actually be used if it’s that far from the kitchen?

    3. I imagined that the family would eat most casual meals in the breakfast nook? It’s similar to what I had growing up, a smaller table right next to the kitchen, with a more formal dining room off the living room. As long as you can bring food to the dining area without crossing an impossible to clean white rug, it doesn’t seem that much trouble to me.

      The one thing that struck me as different from what I would choose is the lack of a formal office for Emily. The idea of having a desk and computer in the bedroom sounds so stressful to me if it isn’t because of severe space constraints.

      1. I think it is her work style to be in her space with the TV going and a fire. It wouldn’t be my ideal as I want my bedroom solely for relaxing. I would want a small office off the primary or in another location entirely. I enjoy my commute each morning to my office coffee cup in hand and happily shut the door on work at the end of the day! Otherwise, I’d just keep working!

      2. Fair point about the home office (or lack thereof). If it were my house, the want of having a separate family room versus living room would be the first thing I’d ax. The new family room is taking up a ton of square footage, which could be utilized for an office, or more optimal powder room or something else. But, that was something high on Emily’s list. I know that Emily had been using the bedroom as her office in the mountain house for a bit, so maybe she’s used to it and it just doesn’t bother her.

    4. Agreed. Looking at this, I was thinking they’d end up like so many with two dining spaces—and just use the informal one off the kitchen. Trekking through the living room to carry food, set the table, refill a glass of milk… it seems like that gorgeous dining room will just be for special occasions. Plenty of people (at least in the US with larger houses) have this set up, though, so if it works for them, that’s great! It all looks gorgeous.

    5. I’m glad others mentioned this. My very first reaction was that the dining room seems too far from the kitchen. Like someone else mentioned below, I would swap the formal dining room with the BBQ area and have the deck wrap around the front of the house.

      I’m also not a fan of how open the kitchen is to the living room. I get that you don’t want to cook in isolation, but I currently have my island facing my living room and I HATE IT. The mess of the kitchen is always on full display, people are always in my way in the kitchen, and the noise of the sink is disruptive to any conversation happening or the TV. But I know a lot of people love the “great room” concept.

      Just my opinions 🙂 I know you have spent countless hours on this. Thank you for sharing, I love following along with your thought process.

      1. @Catherine, my island faces the living room, and I LOVE it! It makes everyone so much more together while we’re cooking and cleaning. It’s always fascinating to me how differently people can live in a home. I enjoy hearing how other people live in theirs, especially with similar layouts.

    6. I agree. If you want to use the dining room a lot, it really is very far away from the kitchen. If not… then it is waste of a very lovely space. So I would switch family room and dining room. Have the family room in this very light and friendly room, breakfast nook for small family dinners (and of course breakfast) and the dining room for official/big dinners in the darker room that is also closer to kitchen and BBQ area…
      I guess there is a reason why you chose to arrange everything this way, Emily. Pls explain a bit more, so my brain can rest and be on ease…

      1. I think one of the main purposes of the family room is for movie-watching and the like. A “light and friendly” room isn’t really great for that purpose, so a more closed-in space is nicer for that.

      2. I agree…….my first thought was the dining room placement makes no sense if you plan on really using the space. During the pandemic, it became so important to utilize every space in your house- sometimes in multiple ways. A large dining room table is great for many things- not just eating! I know I would not use the DR in that location. It’s way too far from the kitchen. I see two options. One is it should go on the side where it was in earlier plans – where the deck is, so it is right off the kitchen. The deck should come off of the dining room/ kitchen. The other option with the DR is to put the dining table right in the living room- in front of the island stools, so it would line up with the fireplace. The living room could move towards the front of the house, and if needed, spill into a side expansion/ sunroom space that could go in the front of the house or to the side. I also think the powder room is in an awkward location. It should be between the breakfast nook and the family room. I would flip it to the opposite wall. Keep working on it & good luck!

    7. An easy, free solution would be to swap the living and dining room. Emily already mentioned difficulties with furniture placement in the living room so switching the two rooms might open up more possibilities.

      I wanted to offer some support for Emily’s dining room placement choice – remember when ChrislovesJulia created their enormous dining room and they had to take their food through their living room to the dining room? The whole internet exploded with opinions! Let’s all remember how gorgeous and beautiful that turned out to be and how it didn’t stop them from hosting a big gathering. Julia did mention that a sideboard to place food and store linens was crucial so maybe that is something for Emily to consider.

      1. We’ll have to agree to disagree on CLJ’s dining room, because I saw this and was like, “didn’t we learn from CLJ’s travesty of a dining room that building a cavernous dining room across the house where a porch ought to be that it’s a terrible idea?!” lol

        Because y’all that dining room looks insane

        1. This is so rude. You should re-examine your entire life because clearly something went wrong somewhere.

    8. I think the dining room can go in front of the fireplace in between the living room and kitchen and the sunroom may be preserved for more leisurely activities like reading and drawing, a relaxing sunny space, maybe?

      There still plenty of room for a living room and then centering the table with the fireplace will solve for laying out the living room,

    9. Thanks for having us along on this design ride! So giving of you 🌸. I think you might like having the Dining Room in the current location on your floorplan of the Family Room. Then you can save some $$ on that huge bump out for the DR, and make a wrap around porch. If you want to design seating around the FP, then do so… and maybe move your kitchen location closer to the Breakfast Nook area…. just keep tweaking it a little bit, I think all the marbles are falling into the right location… instead of having separate Rooms for everything… little carved out spaces or alcoves could work. An alcove like space near the front entry/ door area could become the new location for the Family Room. Sarah Susanka used to call this type of room the ‘Away Room’ in her books- usually framed with interior French doors.

    10. I’m wondering if the dining room is just a formal dining room for holidays and brunch with lots of people, and not for everyday dining with the fam.

    11. I think it’s fine having the dining room where it is, as long as you’re intentional about using it. My mom, who is a wonderful cook and hostess, finally swapped her living and dining rooms after years of trying to cram people into the smaller room that was being used as the dining room, simply because it was closer to the kitchen. Does it mean we have to carry food from the kitchen, through the living room, and into the dining room now? Yes. But I’d gladly trade that minute of inconvenience for the pleasure of being able to comfortably enjoy dinners in a larger space with more people. And the dining room doesn’t just have to be for special occasions. My parents eat dinner in the dining room every Friday, just because. Things and rooms only go unused if you choose not to use them. Use the good china! Burn the nice candle! Eat in the dining room! And with that gorgeous wall of windows, how could Emily and her family not want to use the dining room?!

      1. Emily,

        I love these thoughts and the fact your parents eat in the dining room every week.
        So much better than sitting in front of the TV with TV trays and letting a nice room sit empty except for larger gatherings.
        I think people are forgetting the sun room aspect of the dining room and how very
        lovely that room could be even when it is raining.

    12. This is so exciting! I am selfishly intrigued by the dining room placement as I have been rolling around something similar in planning an upcoming kitchen remodel. I’d love to know the thought process behind the final decision to locate it across the living room. We have a small victorian kitchen with a dining room next to it. We are considering expanding the kitchen into the dining room and then moving the dining area to a small office nook/room on the other side of the living room (which are all open to each other). It would only be about a 12 ft distance from the kitchen, and we would gain island seating in addition to the moved dining area, but can’t decide if the placement would be weird in practice.

    13. I like opening up the kitchen and living room. I think it will be a good practical lifestyle choice. Three things I personally would not do: the mudroom at the back of the pantry and the location of the dining room and the location of the powder bath. Firstly, mudrooms are drop zones, literally where you walk in and drop snowy boots etc.. The way this area is laid out – the butlers pantry / mudroom is going to be a gigantic ugly mess all of the time. Mudrooms are tucked away where you can shut the door – pocket doors in particular are handy here.. they are not supposed to be that visible. Also don’t understand why one has to traverse the entire length of the pantry to get to the shoe lockers.. The other peeve I have is the powder bath – why is it in the seemingly private area of the house? If the idea is to shut off the family room and not have people see the mess there.. then having them walk through it to the powder room seems to defeat the purpose. Also the dining room – everyone has already said what I wanted to say.. I don’t get why the breakfast nook can’t just be the dining room – just make it slightly bigger. Then one doesn’t need another room that will hardly ever be used..

      1. Okay I got a chance to look at the floorplan in the video. I have to say that the digital renderings made the whole thing much clearer and I understand why you made the choices you did.. The whole place will be flooded with light and will be WONDERFUL to live in. It’s well thought out. I take back my comment on the mudroom. It’s fine. Clearly there’s nothing much you can do about the dining room location unless you want to swap the deck and dining room location… and that would not even bring in as much light as this floorplan does. So it’s fine.. The powder room – I wonder if there is a way to move it in a more public place but if not that’s fine. I guess what I am saying is that I support this floorplan 99%. Kudos. It will be a spectacular house.

    14. When I saw the dinning room placement, I knew it would cause a stir. As someone who has a dinning room off the LR (vs kitchen), it’s really not that big of a deal, I have to walk a few extra feet. It looks like she will have a straight shot from kitchen to DR too since I doubt there will be furniture that blocks the doors to the patio off the LR.

      Granted with young kids, my DR has turned into more of a puzzle/art table and if Emily’s family uses it similarity she will still have a nice view from the kitchen of her kids doing homework, drawing, building, etc.

  11. Love the layout of the master suite now! And the mudroom/pantry is great. But argh, you have such a long walk from your kitchen to any dining area!! You’ll feel like servers moving food through the little door behind to the breakfast nook, and when you have people over, the long schlep to the dining room is going to get boring fast. Also it’s not convivial — you’ll have guests sitting waiting/chatting down in the dining room while you serve/clear plates. Do you really need two awkward and inaccessible dining spaces rather than one right there by the island?

    1. First, it’s not THAT long of a walk. Lol. Second, the idea of entertaining in a peaceful space away from the dirty dishes and mess of cooking sounds lovely. Sometimes they’ll eat at the counter. And sometimes — especially for holidays, dinner parties, etc — they’ll have this glorious dining room.

      1. I agree! I lived in a house where the dining room as on the first floor and the kitchen was on the second and it’s really not that big of a deal – and it’s nice to linger at the table without seeing the big mess you might’ve made in the kitchen.

    2. First off, I love farmhouse posts! And I love looking at floorplans.

      But I agree with Georgia – dining rooms far away from the kitchen rarely get used – because who wants to move all that food to the dining room and dirty dishes back to the kitchen with every meal? Just imagine your kids bringing their dirty dishes through the living room, or someone carrying hot soup to the dining room. Plenty of ways things can go wrong.

      1. I do it all the time. It’s no different than carrying food out to the deck. It ain’t that big a deal.

    3. The dining room is not that far. I got the sense that family meals would be in the dining nook. That large dining room is for gatherings and parties, not for everyday meals.

      1. Yes I thought that was mentioned in a recent post about those chair Emily was considering keeping and putting in the dining room. Think she said they were not that comfortable for every day use but the dining room would be for large family gatherings not every day use.

    4. We all have different preferences and a house architecture might limit certain options. Like here Emily prefers a new layout with the living room closer to the kitchen to the old latout where kitchen was closed off and close to the dining room. I see benefits of both. I don’t see one being worse than the other. It’s all about needs and preferences. Perhaps they could have built out dining room closer to the kitchen, but then their patio wouldn’t have this nice flow. I’d also prefer a more streamlined patio and lots of big windows to having a dining room close to the kitchen. The dining room can still be used. They can still entertain, have work meetings and play puzzles there. Or it can wait for more formal occasions. I don’t think it matters.

  12. Thanks for sharing, this is exciting! The bedroom suite (?) is such a luxury. Also what great advice from your brother.

  13. Always here for the floor plans! Floor plans in every post! All the floor plans please!!! 🙂
    Great call on adding on to the back. You’ve added a great amount of natural light in the house without it all being direct/south sun.
    The only thing I would change or suggest is moving the powder room closer to the mud room. Imagine playing in the yard and having to go to the bathroom – you have to strip down (if it’s snowy or muddy) and run through the house. Can you find a way to make it fit in/near the mudroom?

  14. Wow this is so FUN and EXCITING! The mock up is giving me deja vu to playing the Sims as a kid. Totally agree with your brother to not compromise since this is already going to be such a $$$ project anyways.

    One question I had was how do you think you’ll use the breakfast nook? I imagine you all would just sit at the kitchen island to eat breakfast – do you think it’ll be functional? I wonder if it could be more of an office? Or would it make more sense to combine with the family room (which doesn’t seem to get that much light, but its primary purpose is to watch TV/movies anyways, right?).

  15. Beautiful and wow so much thoughtfulness in design. We live in an 110 years old farmhouse. We haven’t renovated extensively yet but lean towards keeping a fair bit of the old bones. In a funny way the old house is so comforting and soothing. Like it’s been here so long, is so grounded that we energetically sensitive humans can lean on her. In a perfect world I’d have that AND the beautiful master suite, new kitchen…hahaha:) Congrats on the amazing design.

    1. Oh, that’s so true! “so grounded that we energetically sensitive humans can lean on her”.
      That’s how I feel about my Old Girl.

      1. I’m in negotiations to buy a New Englander/Victorian! Fingers crossed we get it!!!!

  16. Call me Scrooge, but I really hate that y’all put the kitchen in the living room like that. It completely eliminates the old house vibe that made the room appealing in the first place. As a big fan of restoring old houses, I think I just need to stop reading posts about this project because they just make me sad.

    1. One person’s appealing is another person’s dark and dingy.

      They need to design the house they want to live in, not the house that will please all the “restoration” commenters.

    2. I agree a bit, it seams like becoming “Portland Project 4.0”. That is fine, it will be beautiful for sure.
      Just the headline Farm House or living a country live is a bit outdated now. this looks like surburban scale and concept to me.
      An Shaker will be the base style direction, but not the modest mindset.
      Understood. Let´s move on and follow along! I adjusted my expectations…

    3. The kitchen in the living room also isn’t for me and I’ve seen suggestions that open plan living may be on its way out. I’m currently house hunting/considering building and have been avoiding open plan layouts.

      But I am still excited to see the posts on this project as I’ve always loved Emily’s style and it’s the only style my husband and I can agree on, lol.

      1. I think that since Emily and her family have had two open concept living situations recently they probably know that is what they prefer. I agree it is 100% better when you have young kids. Yes, it changes the feel of the original house but I’m fine with it. For me I think it is more important to preserve historical details like trim and windows than a kitchen placement. My parents live in a New England cape that was built in the 1980’s with an almost completely open first floor plan. Kitchen, living, dining are all open to one another. The house is gorgeous. Kitchen has a vaulted ceiling. Did not feel 80’s at all. Rather it feels timeless. When you use beautiful materials you can change up the interior of an old building. There are countless examples of this in New England.

    4. I’m enjoying it much better after re-framing it as ‘a cool lot with buildings we’re going to completely remodel into what we want’ rather than the ‘restored farmhouse’ that I feel it was originally (and continues to be?) billed as. As another commenter said on a prior post, she’s not restoring, she’s remodeling.

  17. Love, love the final floor plan ! People think you move stuff once and you’re done. Nope! Moving the dining room is everything. Anxiously awaiting the next step. 🥰

  18. This was so exciting, and I love looking at floor plans. I really respect your efforts to not make huge additions—you’re right that there’s a balance between making it work and not wasting your shot to get what you want.

    I don’t understand how roof lines work, so I’m trying to figure out how your bedroom addition will maintain ceiling height while the roof gently continues downward for 8 additional feet. It doesn’t look like there’s a huge attic space above it now. Will you need to vault the ceilings in there?

    Thanks for all this info!

  19. You lost me at “we have 3500 sqft, but we had to put an addition on”… sorry, I know it’s your dream home, and you’ve worked hard, and it’s going to be beautiful, and I SO want to see it when it’s all done, but the truth is I can’t really relate to the process 🙂

    1. Lol. So the large size of the Portland House was a process you could relate to? Or the the gorgeous Mountain House? Or even Emily’s most recent $2-plus million LA home? You could relate to all that? I don’t get the objection.

      They’ve all been much bigger and nicer than my home. Didn’t stop me from enjoying the design process.

      1. Considering I can’t even afford to get a new couch, it makes it even more fun for me, the wish-fulfillment of it all. What I think is different here than the Portland house–and what I’m excited for–is that this is HER home, and some of that “remote, perfect showroom” vibe you got from that project, we don’t get from the places she actually lives. I dunno; I fell in love with Emily and her style on the HGTV competition…and then watching her do celebrity/rich people homes on her own show, so I’ve never had “be realistic!!!” demands from her. I just want to watch her do her thing (and hopefully learn along the way) (and at least have links to all of the stuff I covet and tell me where/how to hunt for similar vintage treasures).

    2. 3500 would be too much for me. I just wouldn’t know how to furnish those big rooms. But I love the footprint of the original house. I also love seeing how others design a slightly bigger home. I definitively enjoy reading about this project.

    3. I’m also finding this post very jarring after reading the post where Emily talks about learning to live more minimally and consume less. Re-using plastic wrap isn’t going to compensate for the resources that go into building and maintaining such a huge house.

  20. Fantastic Emily! Just one question: do you really need a living room and family room?

    1. and right near each other? we have a family room in the basement but ….. ? idk to each their own?

      1. We have a sunroom / den off of our main living room, and at first I didn’t see much use for it. But as my kids have gotten older its really nice to be able to have them and their friends play in a room next to us, but not with us, or to occasionally split up for movie night. There are french doors that separate the rooms if we need a sound barrier.

    2. Emily has mentioned in the past, that they appreciate having both a living room & a family room, and use them both daily, by all 4 of them : )

    3. I loooove having a family room and a living room. I grew up in a family of four living in 1000 sqft, so I do understand that it’s a luxury. But it is such a wonderful luxury!

      I think of them as having different functions. The living room is more formal and ‘company ready’ whereas the family room is much more casual and usually cluttered with kids toys, etc. The family room is also largely oriented around the tv, whereas the living room is oriented for conversation. Agree with others that it’s nice to have two spaces to spread out (family of five), we’re often all together in one or the other.

  21. Wow! This is so fun and mind boggling. So many choices so many variables. Yikes! Yes, floor plans are the best — thanks for sharing your thought process and iterations. And for being honest about what you want — so hard on the critical interwebs!

    This is a general Q to anyone who has and uses their Butler Pantry: do you like it, does it feel closed off, is it useful?

    As a person who loves to cook and clean up in the middle of the fun, I just don’t understand Butler Pantry’s, but would like to. Anyone, please!?

    1. I have two neighbours and a close friend with butler’s oa tries.
      That’s where all the grotty stuff goes while you have guests, where your sourdough starter lives your kombucha mushroom goes, where the really noisy appliances can go, etc.
      I’d personally put the laundry gear from the main bedroom there, but…
      They’re really useful for busy, full of people households, for sure!

      1. Thanks! I’ve never really understood the appeal, but this makes sense. It’s like the hidden practical area that lets your kitchen look house beautiful 😉 I would love if the coffee grinder were in another room 😉

        We’re heavy kitchen users and I think we’d still prefer to have everything at hand, even at the cost of looking cluttered, but I can now at least understand why some people want a (to me) awkward space off their kitchen. Different strokes for different folks!

        1. Thanks, Rusty! Yeah I can see how that would be appealing for some. As a Virgo who likes socializing, orderliness, and simplicity the BP appears as a mini kitchen that would just separate my energy too much. I guess I’m just not a BP kind of gal. I’m with you, June, even the coffee grinder part 👌🏾

      2. My dream is have a super lovely butler pantry where yes my sourdough/kombucha/saurkraut could live instead on my kitchen counter in full view. Also we make rice all the time and our rice cooker ends up just living on the counter (we have a tiny kitchen so….ugh). Also would love a super nice and fancy mudroom/laundry room!

    2. My first house had a butler’s pantry (1920s craftsman in Fort Worth TX). The layout was different than this, but it was so nice to have a place to store things that aren’t used a ton. Serving pieces, weird appliances that are nice to have but aren’t used a ton, extra sets of china/dishes/silver, vases, etc. It is, clearly, a luxury to have the things and the space to store them. I live in a 60’s ranch now and really miss my butler’s pantry!

    3. Love this butler’s pantry thread! I want everything within arm’s reach always, lol. So I am very anti-“walk in” anything – pantry, closet, etc. I’m all about shallow storage right beside my main work surface! (When I get dressed my bed is my surface to lay out everything – and also lean on while dressing)
      But I totally get the appeal for others with different preferences.
      I came back tonight just to read the comments because differing opinions are so fascinating!

      1. I agree. I’m with you! Simpler is so much better – this , for me, has been learned with age.

      2. I use my bed for everything! Folding laundry, taking photos of things I’m selling on Poshmark, framing artwork, re-organizing the room, etc.

    4. We live in an old Craftsman and happen to have a butler’s pantry and a baker’s pantry. The baker’s pantry (off the kitchen) we use for coffee station, loud appliances, and extra appliance storage. The butler’s pantry is in between the kitchen and formal dining room and we have out nicer dishes and sort of an informal wet bar/hard alcohol set up in there. Would never have put one in a house myself but really have found them useful now that we have them.

  22. Do whatever necessary to incorporate a powder room on the main floor. It would be really weird and inconvenient without one.

  23. I LOVE posts like this, and I’m so excited for the renovation! I agree with others who said there should be a bathroom easily accessible to the outside, but it looks like you could just go around the house through the deck to use the bathroom while playing or during an outdoor party. I also love a “secluded” dining room – feels very romantic to eat in. I do notice a lack of coat space by the front entry though – is there a plan for guest coats? Maybe a wall rack in the living room?

  24. I love all of the solutions! Will there be a second laundry space outside of your primary suite (mudroom or upstairs)? When your kids get older you may not want them going into your room to do their stinky teen laundry.

    1. Why do teenagers stink? I imagine most should know how to clean their bodies. Some might stink, but wouldn’t most want to prevent that, and being laughed at?

      1. Kate, I was also thinking about the kids having to trek through their parents room to do laundry, plus having laundry bins in my private space. My brother’s home has the laundry in the master bedroom area, and I thought it was odd. It’s not a huge issue if it makes everything else workout with a home’s layout, but it would be a downside to me.

        Lane, you’ve clearly never lived with a teenage boy. 😉 They do bath themselves regularly (constantly!), but the hormone/pheromone cocktail plus sport/activity sweat = super stinky laundry.

  25. LOVE the process posts! So helpful and interesting, & a good guide for thinking about how to approach a reno, big thanks!

  26. Very interested to see how this evolves. My one question—there seems to be lots of wasted space in the master bath/bedroom with the two hallways. That’s a lot of square footage lost to circulation space in a private zone.

  27. The laundry and half bath seem poorly placed. You will need to carry muddy jackets through your closet to wash them. Rather than that closed off breakfast nook that will likely not get used (too easy to sit at the island), why not move the laundry to that space and the half bath, with the door to the half bath in the mud room. People can come straight in from the back to use the washroom and put dirty clothes in the laundry. Also just as much privacy when having people for dinner, with the bathroom far from the main living and dining space. The breakfast nook seems like an aspirational use of the space, and not a good use of space for a “forever” home.

    1. I’m also wondering on the placement of the deck and the dining room. What if they were swapped out, to a wrap around front deck at the front (farmhouse), putting the dining room much closer to both the bbq and the kitchen.

    2. Exactly.

      In this configuration, instead of taking off muddy clothes (and the floor towels that will be there to wipe dog paws as they’re coming in and out) and tossing all of that straight into the washing machine in the mudroom, all those things have to be put into laundry basket (which now also needs to be washed every time this happens because now *it’s* getting muddy), and walked through the house and bedroom.

      And as I wrote above: washers and dryers make noise – you don’t want that near your bedroom because you can no longer throw your clothes in the dryer before bed.

  28. I have had a question from the start and the floor plans are really bringing it to the forefront — your master suite is so far away from your very young children at night. I don’t get it. I would have hated that as a child, and as a parent when my children were younger.

    1. Katie, granted my house is not 3500 SF – it’s around 1600 excluding our basement living space, but we sleep on the 2nd floor of our house and both of my kids rooms are on the first floor, and we added a guest room to our basement with a renovation when we moved in 2 years ago. My kids are little – 4.5 and 1.5, and it just means we plan to keep a monitor in their rooms a bit longer so they can communicate with us. My older one knows it’s in her room and gets the concept and calls out to us if she needs help in the middle of the night rather than wandering the house, and we will teach our younger one to do the same. It gives her a sense of security that we’re within reach even when we are on a different floor (and she has had some times of expressing that we aren’t sleeping near her, so we talk through the monitor again).

    2. They’re not going to be so little anymore, that age can start being independent. It’s also a layout issue, since the original farmhouse is the only “upstairs” with the addition being single level.

      It’ll be great for the kids as they get older!

  29. So fun to see floor plans! What an exciting project! I have been through a similar process. What we thought we needed vs. what we really needed are close, but some small tweaks may help you. 1.) I 100% agree with others that you need your half bath near a main entrance. (It looks like maybe you can get there from the deck. ?) Ours happens to be near the front door, and I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been out in the yard and been able to dash in. (I never imagined that our first floor half bath would be the hardest working bathroom in our whole house.) 2.) Consider whether or not you really would use three eating areas, especially with the breakfast nook so close to the island. (I assume you will also have an outdoor table on the deck which makes 4 eating areas! We have an island, a dining room and a breakfast room (and a table on the porch). The breakfast room is by far the least used – we just don’t need it. In fact, I want to replace the dining furniture with soft chairs for a reading hangout area. 3.) Consider whether you really want a desk/work area in your bedroom. That seems to be in conflict with your cozy retreat vibe. and staring at your work on your desk from your bed is not restful! I have a small office right off our kitchen which I LOVE and am in multiple times a day. It’s not huge because I don’t wfh, but the location off the kitchen is key. I can duck in for short periods of time without disappearing. That might be a better use of your breakfast nook. 4.) When designing our house, I really wanted to have our laundry room connect to our closet. The logic is so clear here – the laundry should be where the most textiles go. Our architect talked me out of that, and I’m soooooo grateful. He advised that I would be frustrated by the noise, heat and more importantly the extra dust/lint. Even with good ventilation, I’m shocked at how lint-y our laundry room is, and am so grateful I’m not fighting that battle in my closet. Our laundry is near, but not connected to our closet.
    OMG it’s going to be so fun to watch your process!

  30. What fun to watch this unfold! No, as another poster said, I cannot relate to this process because I am not deep pocketed, but it’s fun to see your fantasy come alive. Dreaming with you over here in rainy Astoria. Also, do consider making the powder room more accessible from outside, I can attest that running in to pee from play is a real thing and the mud tracks.

    1. Hey fellow Astorian here! I used to live on 30th and Broadway, then 34th and 30th ave. I used to work at Plaka Cafe on Broadway. Did you know the absolute best cheese pie in the world is in Astoria??

      1. I think she meant Astoria, Oregon LOL. But I live in Astoria, Queens! It’s the BEST!

  31. Love the primary suite wing and family room. And I love that you kept the stairs as is! but I’m just not a fan of moving the kitchen at all! A huge kitchen with a huge butlers pantry not connected to the dining room seems like a waste. The style might be shaker but adding on and moving around stuff doesn’t seem to be. Would have loved to see you keep the original kitchen and open up the breakfast nook wall to the living/dining room so the light floods in and it feels connected. The way you describe the light, it sounds like the bkfast nook will get it and the new kitchen/living room will be dark. It feels really choppy, lots of small rooms and a giant kitchen. Just my take. I know you will make it look beautiful though.

    1. Amanda, couldn’t agree more! Would’ve loved to see the original kitchen used in conjunction with the opened up breakfast nook to create a 90 degree set up….a long farm table could have floated in front in place of an island, which would eliminate the need for dining room add on. More open, more light and the living room area wouldn’t get sacrificed!

      1. K, I had the same thoughts! I feel a beautiful dining table where the big new kitchen is would have been lovely, with the other half being the living room, and no additional dining room addition.

      2. It’s so weird how the team of professional architects isn’t coming up with the practical ideas that we all are. I hope they are reading this and maybe make a few more tweaks regarding the dining room, laundry and powder room. Unless there are a bunch of structural issues we aren’t aware of?

  32. I loved seeing your plans, and it looks like it will be gorgeous! My only question is, how far away from the kitchen is the dining room? You will have to carry all the food through the living room to get there. Will that get old? Just wondering.

  33. Does is bother anyone else to walk into a house and see the kitchen island immediately? I like for the kitchen and island to be a bit hidden. Agree with one poster who commented that the kitchen should be moved to the back of the house (where the current breakfast nook is located) which would facilitate a beautiful view into the backyard…

    1. It was something really important to me that our kitchen not be entirely visible when you walk in! In our neighborhood (lots of 100 year row homes) I associate the open floor plan with cheap, mediocre renovations. Our compromise to keep better flow of light and the ability to engage with kids in the living room while I’m in the kitchen was to have separating wall without an actual door (just a mid sized opening.)

      That said, I know other people who genuinely love the open living room/kitchen thing, including my mom. If anyone can make this layout work from a design perspective, I bet it is Emily!

      1. Ps now that I’m looking at it again, at least the kitchen is to your left when you enter the front door and not straight in your face! That makes me feel significantly better, although now I’m definitely not clear on how the furniture will be arranged in the living room area given all of the doorway to the dining room.

  34. I will say, I’m glad to see the giant closet separating your bedroom from the family room/half bath/kitchen because I couldn’t imagine kids staying up late or sleepovers with movies right next to your bedroom when you were originally talking through all of this! Haha. The video walkthrough really helped, as did all of the layouts. So excited to see what you do and am glad you are doing what’s best for YOUR family because it’s your house. 🙂

    1. YES! When your kids are teens and have their friends/dates over in the family room, you will NOT be sleeping with this current layout. Trust me (mom of four grown kids.) Teens are night owls and loud.

      Also, I am Team mudroom-half bath-and-laundry. And a small area for a home office would be nice, too. Feeling like the breakfast nook is less important than all of that.

  35. Living room seems awfully small now and that you have lost a family gathering place. If you’re adding square footage anyway I would lose the breakfast nook which seems cut off and/or open to the mess of a mudroom and push the kitchen wall back to where the breakfast nook is now. That means your family room has to change but at least then the fireplace is centered and you’re not losing kitchen space to doorways. Right now it feels like the kitchen is taking over the living room.

  36. Love seeing floor plans.

    These posts are really interesting to me because I’m always so curious as to what makes a “home” a “home” and the answer is wildly different for everyone… I love seeing the process of why the renovation ended up as it did and what desires were prioritized and how that creates changes or compromises elsewhere.

    I think our personalities dictate many of these choices. Emily seems like an extrovert so cooking out in the open is likely something she needs. I’ve never understood open-concept (semi-open is nice tho). The idea of moving that kitchen into the living area had me really scratching my head but I’m realizing maybe it’s because I’m an introvert and also I like having the kitchen mess contained. Even if I never had a mess, I still don’t wanna look at my kitchen 24/7

    But yeah, we all just need different things from our home and that is totally okay. I’m excited to see this unfold especially since it’s so different from anything I’d ever want for myself. It can help answer my “why did they do that?” questions I often ask.

  37. First, thank you for taking us along on this journey!

    Since us readers are not as familiar with the property and structures (and the original variety of buildings/layout is unusual,) it would be great if you could orient all plans, the overhead/aerial photo of the original house/s, and the furnished plan, all the same way on the blog. Maybe the aerial photo is oriented the same as the plans, but I couldn’t tell. I echo another comment asking which direction South is, since it’s referred to in the text. Finally, is the Sunroom aka the Dining Room? Maybe going forward/for future posts?

  38. I like how the “dining room addition” at the front of the house changes the shape and lines of the front of the house. But I think the “dining room” is too narrow once you get the dining table and chairs into the room. So I would flip the family room and dining room in Layouts 6-11. The “family room” is wider and will give you more room to maneuver around a dining table and chairs. I assume since you will be in Portland and closer to your larger family you will need more space around the dining table. And if you keep the dining room closer to the breakfast nook (and closer to the outside bbq area) it’ll be easier to arrange all the family – like adults in dining room, kids in breakfast nook, teenagers in bbq area, etc. In terms of flow I think it makes more sense to flip the dining room and family room.

    1. I agree! Plus the added dining room is so far from the kitchen and the Henderson’s really seem to enjoy eating in their dining room. No one I know who has a formal dining room this far from the kitchen uses it for more than special occasions. Plus, swapping them would make the layout of the living room much simpler and the dining area could be by the fireplace, which would be lovely.

  39. I love the final plan! I’m bummed I couldn’t see the final layout of the primary bedroom though. Do the doors open up to where the hot tub is going? If so I would put in a tub that is level with the deck so it looks more like a pool. Everything is looking so good and I love the carport side entry and butler’s kitchen. ( I would have used the fancy name but didn’t want to look up how to spell it)! Also, the dog washing station is going to be a lifesaver and I can’t wait to see what you do there. As a person that has two large dogs and also lives in the PNW I am very excited to see your magic work there. One thing to think of is that dogs have to go out to do their business at inconvenient times so it might be good to have a place for them to do that that is covered and with wood chips laid down so you don’t have a wet muddy pooch to deal with at 2am!

  40. Agreed with people who suggest to move the kitchen towards the back of the house. You said the breakfast nook is South facing? Why not extend that along what would be the primary bathroom wall, you could have a wall of windows overlooking the garden, and then put the dining table on the other side of the fireplace. That way they not too far from each other, you wouldn’t need to from DR addition, and you’d get a ton of light in the kitchen. Like someone mentioned, you’d have an island, DR table (+deck), do you really need another eating area?
    I also agree with everyone who said to move the powder room closer to an entrance, my friends have one off their back porch/pool, and you can go in all wet and not trek any water through the house. I also second the idea of having laundry in the mudroom: easier to throw all the muddy clothing, and easier access to outside if you wanted to hang stuff outside to dry (nothing like freshly outside dried sheets!!).

  41. The distance from dining room to kitchen may limit the amount of use. Both setting table, serving food, and cleaning up will be time consuming and a hassle.

  42. Super fun! I too have been waiting weeks for the post! Luv me some floor plans. I echo others on the half bath location and multiple eating areas?! Also I thought the idea was to bring in light yet all the south facing light is now in a closed off breakfast nook and bedroom “hall”. ??

  43. This looks amazing and it seems like you had such a wonderful creative process, but I have questions, please indulge if you like un-asked for opinions from strangers (and who doesn’t?).

    I would probably keep the original kitchen location and expand it over and through the breakfast nook, a giant L across the sunny corner with many windows. Take out the wall between the living room and breakfast nook and relocate the built in original cabinets into the kitchen. I just want the breakfast nook light to flow all the way across the space.

    Put your dining area where you have drawn the new kitchen, and not do the dining extension – keep that as a veranda and put an outdoor table there with lights and benches and pillows.

    Pop the mudroom outside into the walkway zone – use the walk through cabinets to get there! I imagine a glass greenhouse type space out there with storage and stone floors, and put in a giant old farm sink/gardening table that could double as a butler pantry, with a hidden dishwasher out there.

    OK, that’s my 15 minute take. Carry on! :-p

    1. I do love your plan but it just is so many changes, it’s kind of hard to wrap my head around. I’m sure it will be amazing, when have we not all been amazed and delighted with what you do?

  44. Finalizing the plans must have been mind boggling, it will be beautiful when done. The ‘walk through’ glass shelves will let light flow in, but all that light will also show every speck of dust on the shelves. That’s not a reason to not do it, though, it will be so pretty. Your family will love living on this property.

  45. Aaaah, floor plans!!! I love them so much!🤗

    Your brother’s advice is gold!

    I’m lost as to which is north, etc.
    As far as which direction your BED faces, please, tell me it’s not east.
    You mentioned feng shui and a bed facing east = coffin position (feet to the rising sun).😳

    – I thought carports would be a given in that kind of climate?!
    – The powder room location is gonna track mud through the house, for sure.
    – I’d probably locate the downstairs laundry to the butler’s pantry or mudroom somehow – dampness and lint expelled into your closet?!? Eich!

    It looks like the beams will be painted white?
    So glad you’re keeping the fireplace and the one in your bedroom will be sooo nice n cozy.

    The arial pic looks like there’s a serious veggie growing situation going on next door??

    From little things, big things grow …. …. …. 😊

  46. Emily, I am happy for you and Brian to create this home! Seems like you and your team gave already given lots of thought to the plan. I believe you and Brian bought this house in large part for the outdoor space (yard/farm), so Im’m frustrated for you that the only common area that actually sees the yard is the dining room.

    Additionally, I think you may regret adding a kitchen to the area that is front and center to your entrance. Have you considered making the dining room addition just a big larger and using it instead for a kitchen? Windows would be above the counters, not as long as they are now. You could enjoy the light and views of your front yard and still feel connected to the living room and retain access to the deck, but without being confronted with a kitchen island when you enter the home. You can then make the great room a combo of dining and living, rather than kitchen and living. This would help with furniture layout and in general be more flexible.

    Also, the breakfast nook may be better suited as an office space. The stove fireplaces seem charming but they are permanent and will limit your ability to “play” with different layouts. One last thought: have you thought about switching the window and front door so that the door is centered on the house (you enter the living room instead of that wall in your face) and then the nook to the left becomes the space for coats, etc?

    Really looking forward to this house as the plans continue to develop!

  47. Thank you so much for sharing all the versions of the floor plans. It’s really interesting to see that process and I think it is great that you have made your primary suite a priority and I am really excited for you. The only thing that gives me pause is the size and placement of the family room. We have a similar layout which worked great when our kids were little, but now that they are loud, 6-feet tall teenagers, we are desperate for more separation. I fear you will not have peace if you are in the living room or your bedroom if they are in the family room with friends in person or even online. Maybe you will have another space for them to hang in when they are older?

    1. Yes, I had the same thought about how well the placement would work for teenagers using the room as a hang-out space with friends! And thanks so much for sharing the floor plans, it’s an exciting process.

    2. This was my main quibble with the new floorplan. Even with little kids right now, I really value the separation between living and sleeping areas, and, with the family room and powder room smushed up against the primary suite, it doesn’t feel very private to me. I can only imagine how that feeling would be exacerbated with older kids!

  48. Have you considered accessing the laundry in the powder room or from the hallway instead of through the master closet? It looks like they are adjacent in your plan so it wouldn’t be a big reconfiguration. I personally wouldn’t want all of my family’s laundry piling up in my closet, but you know how your families laundry works for you.

  49. This is looking really pretty. My only thought is that with a breakfast nook and a large island, it’s unlikely you’ll use the dining room except for special occasions – it’s pretty far away.

    You also have a huge amount of living space. I know you want a clean, more adult living space – why not put that in the dining area and design it like a sunroom? Then it’s also a bit further away from the family room, if that’s also going to be an area where the kids hang out (especially as they get older).

    Then you can put the dining area next to the kitchen, maybe with some lounge seating too.

    1. I love the idea of swapping the living and dining areas. A sunroom living room would be a wonderful adult space, further from the kid’s family room space. This will be nice when we eventually can have large gatherings again. A long farmhouse dining table closer to the kitchen and adjacent to the fireplace makes the large room make more sense, and somehow more cozy.

  50. This living room feels like such a pass-through space. I find it uncomfortable when *every* seat has a door behind it, and it’s just fundamentally asymmetrical with the fireplace to the side. I’d flip the kitchen to be opposite the fireplace. Open up the breakfast nook and just make that one living room room. Nix the sunroom or make that the family room–why fill the sunroom with a dining table that only gets used at night? Put the half bath where the butler’s pantry is. Your bedroom could still comfortably fit in the original floor plan of the addition. I think I just saved you $300k!

    1. Totally agree! as it is there is no soft spot in front of a window to sit and read. maybe the living room – but if it is west facing then in the afternoon only and if there is a veranda or trellis coving the deck, not even then. I love morning light and that is all going to a dining room table and chairs. it seems like a waste. You won’t sit there to read or lounge in the morning. you need a banquet for that. I support the idea of switching the DR and Living room. I dining room table in front of a fire place is very farm house. also dinner parties are at night — all the windows would then be “wasted” half the year. Family/media room so close to the master bedroom — ooof. I think what is great about the mountain house and LA house is that the dining room table is formal and informal. My sense it that that works well for you. It seems odd then to double up unnecessarily…

  51. Exciting! Expensive! Please say you will have a laundry room on the second floor, too? That seems like a very long trip and all the way through your private space to get to that laundry. Or could you jiggle around that half bath and laundry a bit so the laundry could be accessed from the hallway? It would still be close to your bedroom but you and your kids wouldn’t have to walk all the way through the primary suite to get to it.

  52. I agree with the half bath problem ! The dining room distance also popped into my head right away. If I coupled the dining room distance with the living room fireplace / layout problem I come up with moving the dining area to center on the fireplace then doing the addition to create a living area that is not in a traffic pattern. I realize this means matching the existing flooring but should be considered . This is soooo much fun. Can’t wait for your next post in response to all these helpful,insightful comments !

    1. ………….. could you put the half bath under the stairs ? It’s a wide staircase and this has a tradition!

  53. It’s gonna be so gorgeous!!! Would it be more practical to have the dining room near the kitchen instead of across the living room? I’m a natural klutz and with kids I would worry about carrying food across rooms to dine and even if it’s reserved for company/special occasions it’d become a room not often used? 🙂

    1. After thinking on it for the morning would the pantry be better served as the dining? The breakfast nook & family as the pantry/mudroom with easier access to the 1/2 bath and laundry while providing a degree of separation for the bedroom suite from the rest of the living areas? And then the dining room becomes a quiet family/study space with lots of good light?

  54. I’d nix the DR addition to preserve the original facade and instead move the dining room into the LR. Center the dining table in front of the fireplace which would be cozy for dinner parties. Instead of a full LR (which might not get much use), just have a few chairs (maybe 4 surrounding a coffee table?) by the front window. Move the kitchen to the back of the house and do an addition if necessary to accommodate the dining nook area (could be flush with the “primary bathroom”).

    1. Also everyone always advises living in a space before doing a renovation. I know it would be more convenient to move right in to a finished house but it might serve you better longterm to live there first.

  55. I have lived in Seattle for 30+ years. We have a large, fully-landscaped outdoor space with multiple outdoor eating spaces including a table for two just steps from the kitchen door. May through September we eat 90%+ of our meals outdoors. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The climate is that temperate and we don’t have bugs. I think the idea of a sunroom is nice in theory but in reality it will be a hotbox and you will prefer the beautiful outdoors for your gatherings. In the winter the windows will all be fogged over due to heat and breathing guests yet it will also feel cold with all those windows. You will be wishing to be near the fireplace or at least in a cozy dining room.

  56. There seems to be a lot of distaste for the breakfast nook and a push to eliminate it, but I would live in that spot! Since it’s south facing and gets the most light, I’d fill it with plants and put a sweet antique table and sit there with coffee, tea, wine, etc. while working on the computer. It would be a great wfh space, imo. There’s something just so special and magical about little tucked away rooms. Open floor plans make me feel uncomfortable and so I’m always looking to create cozy nooks, but to each their own!

    I do agree about the half bath though. I would strongly consider placing that closer to/in the mudroom. The dining room location doesn’t seem perfect, but man, what a beautiful space it would be!

    We use our breakfast nook more than our formal dining, so the distance from the kitchen doesn’t seem like a huge issue. Would there be space to set up a sideboard in the dining room? Then you could just bring platters of food and drink to rest there for refills rather than schlepping back to the kitchen each time.

    My strongest negative reaction would be to how in the world you’re going to lay out the living room. With the kitchen encroaching so much into the space, it just looks like it’ll be a nightmare to figure out!
    But I guess that’s why you get paid the big bucks and I look forward to what you do with it 😉

  57. Wonderful! You will love that dining room with all the windows, I lived in one house like that and it’s hard to describe how pleasant it was. It looks like you will have lots of light, and lots of ways to get in and out in rainy weather. Your brother gets a gold star too.

  58. It’ll look great. Love the video as well it provides better feel for the home and light. I agree about the powder room with others. In any case it is a luxury to have one, but definitively easier when you don’t have to look for one. I think I’d put it closer to the mud room if possible

  59. I love how passionate you are for the renovation, I do hope this house is everything you need and more! Looking forward to being brought on the journey. My only thought would be the plans don’t make it look like an antique farmhouse anymore, and more like a new build like studio mcgee’s house with the open plan great room/open kitchen and deck etc. As someone living in a Victorian I love the beauty of the old woodwork, original features. It’s lovely to see that some of the character will be salvaged at least.

  60. It will be a beautiful home! Last-minute ideas:
    1. Put dining room where you currently have new kitchen sketched. 2. Put family room where you’ve got the new dining room. 3. Kitchen goes where you’ve proposed to put family room, and is combined in one room with breakfast nook, with no primary bathroom behind it–just south-facing windows. 4. The primary bath goes, I dunno, somewhere else in that lovely, giant primary suite. Best wishes!

  61. More thoughts on the floor plan………you mention this as your forever house, so I would think long and hard about having a family room right near the primary bedroom. I had this when my family moved when we were in middle school, and my siblings and I rarely used the family room. I literally spent all my time in my room because what teenager wants to hang out with friends right next to their parents’ bedroom? None that I know of. I don’t know if you have a basement (I did not as a kid), but when kids get older, they need a place to go with their friends that is separate. It may seem a long way off, but when the time comes, you will appreciate it too.

  62. Tangential question – Is everyone tied to using “primary suite?” I find it so clunky. I never refer to my own bedroom as anything other than “my bedroom”, so I don’t really feel the need to have a special name. What about en suite bedroom as a neutral option? Just a nagging question in my head…
    Also, a porte cochere has the added functionality of being drive through. That addition looks like a regular old carport… I’m curious how this will all turn out. It’s almost like trying to cram a new build into an old house. It will be interesting to see how her house and her brother’s evolve in tandem.

    1. Right! In Ireland we normally call the biggest bedroom the ‘main bedroom’…because that’s what it is! Any bathroom attached to a bedroom is called an ‘en suite’. And the bathroom used by the family is simply the main/family bathroom.

  63. I don’t envy you sorting out this puzzle. My 2 cents: dining room so far away you’d never used except a few times a year for big gatherings. Family room too close to bedroom and would be very dark. How about moving kitchen to breakfast nook/mud room area – dining room where you planned new kitchen and add on a mud room? Good luck. Family room – no clue. Just doesn’t seem like there is enough room for everything you want on first floor. Getting too cramped and choppy.

  64. Looks great in general. Personally I would want to put the laundry with the mudroom. Also, people will have to walk through the formal living room to get from the kitchen to the dining room with food, plates, drinks, etc. That will be an awkward trek and you probably won’t end up using the dining room much since it is so far away and on the other side of a living space. Will mostly be for show and holidays. You will use the breakfast nook all the time and I would put extra emphasis on that space to make it special yet not too closed-off. A tall window would be nice in the breakfast nook opposed to a standard window. Also, what about a coat closet near the entryway for guests’ coats?

  65. Looks wonderful!!! So happy for you all!

    Question. You once mentioned a company that has done window restorations for you in the past? Does anyone remember the name? Thanks!

  66. LONG time reader but first time commenting here – We too are in our third house now and have 2 little kids so I feel like I have some insight that might be helpful here. But it’s going to be one of those feared blow up your finalized plans suggestions – sorry!

    Similar thoughts as some others, but with possibly excessive detail:

    We bought this house for what has turned out to be a pretty ideal floor plan, with its kitchen/breakfast area connected to the main playroom/sunroom/living area, but offset a bit with the breakfast table visible to the sunroom, and the kitchen L out of sight. It’s perfect in that the kitchen can be a disaster and hide a mess when we need it to – whether we’re hosting and can’t clean up totally before eating, or just don’t have time to get all the dishes done while taking care of the kids – but guests can also flow in and out easily while we prep. The kitchen/conversation noise is also buffered in a way it wouldn’t be if they were one open area. It opens up to our backyard with tons of windows so it’s bright and sunny. Our only major drawback is I wish the kitchen triangle was made a skosh bigger, and we don’t have a dedicated mud area – if we can, I’d love to add one off the laundry someday. Speaking of laundry, I lived in the PNW and the outdoorsy lifestyle (let alone kids playing/mud in any location regardless of geography) makes me question the laundry being tucked away from the mudroom? But, I get that laundry off your bedroom would be convenient.

    So. Your living area would be a similar layout if you keep your kitchen back where it is currently, and instead of a door wall/pantry, have the island there, so the kitchen is around the corner from the living room. Keep the breakfast nook as it is in its final floor plan location – it’ll be pretty to see in the background of the living room. Or scoot the breakfast nook /family room forward into the living room a bit since the kitchen would be off to the side – but I think it’s gonna be weird if you cut into that living room and have an off-center fireplace. It’s a big room but the end near the breakfast nook will largely effectively function as an open hallway/thoroughfare anyway. You could maybe even have a butler’s pantry between the kitchen and breakfast nook. I don’t know where that leaves the mudroom though – maybe back off the family room or added off the kitchen/porte cochère? Or scoot the kitchen up to the back corner and sneak a little mud area on the end of the kitchen under the stairs? You’ve got almost 24’ to shift things back there. Or bump out the kitchen back wall with the door or some other way(mudroom as presently rendered) to add the mudroom off the kitchen <-actually that’s what I’d do.

    I’m not as concerned as others that your dining room would be so far, even with leaving the kitchen in its original orner. We use our breakfast area in our kitchen most days with the kids anyway. My parents added a kitchen onto the back corner of my childhood home and the distance was a little less than what yours will be, but the separation of the guests from the work zone was always a plus at the holidays and gave everyone two completely distinct, intimate conversation areas.

    As far as bathrooms – I agree with others, you’re probably going to want another closer to the front door, or at least one more accessible to the backyard. Our master/primary bedroom WC opens to the backyard for easy access from the pool area, you might consider that – but give it a private sink if so. We thought it was bizarre when we moved in but we/guests use it all summer long. BUT since it’s by the pool, I can’t send our kids (3&5) inside alone to use it if we’re outside on the other side of the house – so instead they have to go in the kitchen, through to the powder room in the middle of the house, and I have to be kind of militant about shoes off at the back door and it gets old fast having to remind everybody not to trek mud through. So basically, make sure you have a WC close to where you’re actually going to be coming in and out from most.

    Wow let me write a novel about MY plans for YOUR house why don’t you. Anyway, hi! Love following along with your process.

  67. Yeah, I will agree that the only downside to this plan is having the powder room so far away frpm.the mudroom. I could foresee that having the two closer together would help with anyone needing to use the “facilities” after mucking around outside. But any layout is going to have it’s downside. I can see where this checked off most of the boxes.

  68. Think about how you use your kitchen right now. Do you clean and tidy up continuously so it’s always a pretty sight? (Mine sure isn’t.) It won’t be different in a different house. You might not enjoy kitchen clutter in full view in the living area, with no place to get away from it.

  69. My unsolicited two cents…the family room seems SO close to the primary bedroom. Growing up, my brother and I were close in age and by high school had a blended group of friends. Our house was usually the hang out place and especially during the summers we would all pile on the couch, talk for hours, make snacks in the kitchen and watch movies until late at night. If we were doing all that with a shared wall with my parents room they probably would have lost their minds. But because there was space between the family room/kitchen and their room they were happy to have everyone safe under their roof. Of course, maybe the Hendersons don’t want to be the place all the teenagers are and that’s understandable!

    1. But Patents don’t Go to bed as Long as guests Are still there. Or am I wrong? Ok. Working Shifts can Need that. But i want to See the Guest Leaving.

  70. I don’t see a video on the page, where is that? Checked on my laptop and phone, is there a direct link?

  71. I’m also bummed about the island/kitchen in the living room. I know Emily you’re a big fan of Heidi Callier’s work. One thing I love there is the distinct rooms, especially her kitchens. More than anything the open kitchen/living room really brings down the historical feeling and decreases the coziness I’d want in a Pacific NW home.

  72. i LOVE that you shared all those versions with us! We are currently starting to build a new home, and it’s wild how many floor plan iterations we’ve gone through already…but encouraging to see that even the BEST of us (i.e. you guys!) take time to debate and try new things 🙂

  73. Hi Emily!

    So excited for you! I might be missing something because it’s a lot to unpack and I’m looking at your plans on my phone while nursing my baby, but with your Primary Suite. – I hope you don’t have to walk all the way around your bed, past your closet and down a hall to get to your bathroom. Is there a back entrance? That is a far distance to walk if you forget to brush your teeth!


  74. a few things:
    1 – I LOVE this process!!
    2 – Do you plan on having another laundry room upstairs for the kids? I’m just thinking when you’re kids are old enough to do their own laundry, do you really want them walking through your bedroom, into your closet to do their laundry?
    3 – I feel like the car port/side door entrance should be scootched back towards the mudroom side of the butler’s pantry/mudroom because otherwise when you come in with an armload of groceries, your kids will be walking in wet (and possibly muddy) as well, traipsing mud through the pantry in order to drop their coats and boots in the mudroom.

  75. I love your style but the breakfast nook and dining seem very isolated from the kitchen. The dining room that far from the kitchen and right near the entrance is a layout I’ve seen before and friends of ours who live with it noted that they never ended up using the dining room.

  76. Love the process, but I’m finding the solutions less than optimal.

    I’d suggest moving the kitchen into the Brkfst/Family Space, opening up to the big Living Room with Dining where the kitchen is now. There would be 3 exposures in that long space, which is so important in a dark winter climate.

    Place the Family Room in the proposed Dining addition. Then Family could be a play space and/or an Office Space.

    It would be easy enough to then incorporate the half bath and a laundry right off the Mud Room–I agree with almost everyone, that adjacency is critical for a family with kids. When my kids were little, we lived in snow country, and they would go out to play and be back in soon with wet mittens that needed drying, and a quick bathroom and cocoa break. If they had to essentially undress to go to the bathroom, they probably wouldn’t have gone back out for more play.

    I really like the expanded Primary Bedroom suite, the Porte Cochere, and the big, west-facing deck.

  77. I will just put it out there that you might want your washer and dryer in the mud room area, or at least the main one. I had a horse farm, large barn, with animals, dogs, horses etc. Farms and animals, gardens, mean more dirt and mud than you might think. You will not like having to track across the family room area with dirty clothes. In addition, the sound of the W & D near the bedroom might be annoying. We have always put the laundry near where we come in and all mud and dirt is contained in a small, controlled area. If you do a doggie wash station, be sure and build it so that you have a toe kick space. It is much easier to use if your toes are under the tub a bit so you bend less in the back, especially since dogs turn in the tub a bit. You will find the tub to be useful for many other things on a farm as well. Do not waste the space under the tub either, store the shampoos, dog bowls etc. there in a pull out drawer. I might also suggest that you widen the porte cachere a few feet. It’s really tight between the stairs and your car. In bad weather, when you open the driver side door, you will probably get wet.
    So excited for you!

  78. SO excited to see this transformation!
    That outdoor brick fireplace is so lovely!! Why do you have to remove it? Looks like it could be such a cool outdoor seating area or even a pizza oven!

  79. Just finished renovating my third old house – two circa 1900 and the latest from 1850. Your architect is right to encourage you to prepare a budget before the fantasies take over, unless money is truly not a factor. Every structural change or addition you make to an old house will result in unintended consequences and more expense. A budget will encourage you to improve on what you have rather than making so many radical changes, especially in the older part of the house, which will in turn encourage you to preserve the integrity of the original structure.

  80. Wow – that looks really amazing. I’m not the biggest fan of kitchen in living room as my dream house has one of those other kinds of farmhouse kitchens (not Chip and Jo, but really farmhouse, with a TABLE in the middle of the kitchen – swoon). I also kind of like to have my living room area a little further from my kitchen area, but again, that’s just how I work with my family (husband and I get to cook in our kitchen and kids can wrestle/watch Nature Cat/play Animal Crossing further away).

    Here’s my question Portland folks (from an East Coaster who knows nothing) – Do people like to sit outside under a covered porch or otherwise when the weather isn’t awesome? My in-laws live on a farm in PA, and they have TWO covered porch/balcony areas where they sit when it’s raining. They can enjoy the outside and not get rained on at the same time. Do people do that in Portland, or is the nature of the rain (colder? blowier? something elsier?) not a good fit for that kind of outdoors while raining deal? If it’s the former, then I might suggest adding more livability in multiple types of weather to the outdoor space directly adjacent to the house. Obviously that could affect the light streaming through all the windows, but placed thoughtfully, could help these SoCal folks adjust to the new climate and indoor/outdoor dynamics.

  81. Just adding that I love the volume the dining room gives to the front of the house. The temporary 3D design looks amazing!

  82. what about pocket french doors in an encased, extra-wide opening (or fold-back, glass-paned french doors) to the kitchen from the living room? the house has so much charm – feels like you will lose it by having a totally open kitchen in the most traditional part of the home. and if the opening is wide enough, it won’t be so odd to be near the fireplace. or can the island face a different way to allow a more symmetrical break up? (L-shape?) covid has taught us the ability to separate spaces is key. (what if you have design meetings in the living room, since it will showcase your current work/house, but kids need food, etc.?) just a thought . . . .

  83. We restored an American Foursquare in 1999 so I am not offering advice from a restoration point of view, but more from any sort of renovation. If you already know that the furniture placement will be wonky and difficult to determine with your great room- then change it now! Something will always be off center- fireplace or furniture placement- with the proposed floorplan. If you cannot figure it out now on paper where sky is the limit, it will be even more difficult when you have a kitchen and island to work around in reality.

    I have a friend who has a powder room that shares a common wall with her family room (the door actually opens into the family room) and it is pretty awkward- toilets flushing, listening to someone in the bathroom while everyone is hanging out in the family room. Our powder room is near our mudroom and that is great on so many levels!

  84. I’m glad the bathroom no longer over looks the deck. I’ve sat on decks where you can hear everything going on inside!

  85. It looks good! But another unsolicited comment. Do you really want to walk your prepared food all the way through the living room to get to the dining room? I know you mentioned it made the front of the house look better, but the thought of traipsing all the food and dirty dishes, not to mention when you forget the ketchup or a fork, through the living room back and forth to the kitchen/dining room doesn’t make much sense to me.

  86. I just want to say how fun this is to look at like a puzzle (I’ve literally spent an hour of my workday scrolling through the different iterations) and I’m 100% sure this place will be beautiful, practical, and interesting, just as all your designs are. I do keep getting hung up on the distance between the dining room and the kitchen. I keep imagining the dining room table in front of the fireplace in the living room and having cozy firelit dinners. I think you still would have room for a smaller formal living room area and I would keep the dining room addition and create a cozy sunroom seating area.

  87. I love the floor plan – sure the dining room isn’t right next to the kitchen, but like others have said, they will probably only use it for more formal occasions. And to those who want their kitchen closed off? To each their own. Emily and her family know what works for them, so I trust their decisions. My random nitpick is on the finalized floor plan, the primary bath looks like maybe they are going to do the glass blocks instead of a window by the bathtub? I’m cracking up over the fact that this is the thing I need to voice my opinion on. But I don’t know what I despise more… popcorn ceilings or glass block windows. When I think of glass block I think of the 80’s and not in a good way. I know they want privacy while getting light but there must be a more stylish compromise. Of course this is all based on my assumption on the little squares drawn out next to the bathtub. I could be totally wrong and hopefully I am. Either way, I live for these renovations, so I am just gonna sit back with some popcorn and enjoy watching the whole process. Cheers!

      1. Ok phew – I’m not alone! But of course after I hit send I realized this is Emily. Emily would NEVER. Right?

  88. I really like the way the new design appears from the outside, but I think the off-center fireplace would really trouble me. Dining rooms aren’t used that much anyway, so I think its fine to have it placed where it is. The windows are gorgeous. Also, having lived through college kids, do you have a basement area that could be finished? Trust me, you really will not want them next to your bedroom. Maybe the other house could be set up as a game room/hang out area? The deck area is awesome, as outdoor space is well worth the investment. This is so exciting and helpful. We’re currently renovating, and I find the comments of others very helpful!

    1. We have an off-center fireplace in our home and it drives me absolutely crazy! It has the entire time we have owned the house and I cannot move it. Symmetry is so much more pleasing to live in.

      1. Didn’t see these comments but just posted something similar – I also have a fireplace that sits smack bang between the kitchen/diner and living space, with the result that it’s off centre to everything. It’s a pain.

  89. When you draw in the pathways people will travel through the living room/kitchen, all but about a 10’ x15’ area in the center of the living room will be available for furniture. If this is supposed to be a adult living room, I see frequent disruptions from children running upstairs and through the kitchen and outside. I also see congestion with people working in the kitchen area and people traveling from the family room and butler’s pantry. What happens when the refrigerator and dishwasher are open and children are running by? I’d put the dining table in the living room and use the dining room as a adult living room.

  90. I have been waiting for this post for almost as many weeks as you’ve been planning! 🙂 So thank you! In looking at the floorplans early on, the one opportunity that struck me was pushing out the breakfast room wall. Everyone lives differently, of course, but I am anti kitchen living space combined because I hate for guests to see my kitchen mess and it’s not always possible to cook and get cleaned before a party! So I thought you might push back the breakfast room wall almost to line up with the 60’s addition and put your kitchen there. Your dining room would go back where it was originally in the living room, making that an amazing space for entertaining and gatherings. Maybe you could give it a library feel with some built ins (fulfilling my library dining space fantasy!) And then your kitchen would be more open/connected to the family room space AND benefit from that amazing light. I love the space of the sunroom but wondering if you couldn’t go with a more traditional rocking chair front porch, connecting to a more open terrace. Anyways, two cents from the peanut gallery! Look forward to seeing what you guys create!

  91. I like how the floor plan utilizes open and closed concept living. I think the open concept living/dining/kitchen will be great for entertaining, while the “closed” family/mudroom/breakfast nook will be great for actually living in.

    My personal dream home incorporates a family room on the opposite side of the house as the primary bedroom to give the kids somewhere to hang with friends without bothering me. I’m guessing the Victorian property might fill that role for your family.

    Thanks for sharing.

  92. Believe it or not I thought about this post several times today….Finally figured it out. I was so surprised by the big changes with the kitchen moved and the vibe being different than I thought but it’s all good just less rustic than expected. Will be beautiful. I’m here because I enjoy you and the energy you bring to the world. It’s nice to spend time here:) I’m sure ‘weird Emily’ or is the 40+ version ‘quirky’ Emily (that’s how I refer to myself:quirky) will leave her stamp on the new house…and she has so much soul, creativity and passion for her work that it moves everyone whether its their personal style or not.

  93. I completely enjoy the content on this blog, and 100% respect that this is not my house and is your dream home Emily. I’m sure it will look and feel lovely to you and your family.

    My reaction to the floor plan was, however, and I’m not going to sugar coat it – negative. To my preferences, all of the major decisions don’t flow in a way that feels organic to the original house, nor necessarily in my view to a workable remodeled house.

    To put a super respectful but fine point on it, the flow of the main body of this layout is disjointed, and the feel from the front door is aggressively modern (walking into the kitchen essentially). In addition, there is a lot of core daily space that’s squeezed and feels like an after thought (breakfast nook, living room area, butlers pantry in relation to kitchen).

    Budget aside, my recommendation would be to make the great room including a kitchen from a combination of the family room and primary bedroom in the layout, creating a modern, encapsulated and private daily living space for the family.

    Then build a master suite off of that space instead of building a dining room and turn the existing kitchen and breakfast nook into an office & mudroom/laundry. To supplement the light lost in the living room, I’d just add an inordinate amount of windows

    By doing this ,the essential original character of the home is intact, the modernization is more ‘modern farmhouse’ in that its contained to one area, and the initial front walk in isn’t jarring.

    In a way, my reaction to the floorplan makes this project super interesting for me, and I do look forward to watching it all unfold! But I do want to encourage a moment to step back and look at the entirety of the body of the decisions before building begins, even if the plans are already submitted.

  94. This is so exciiiiiiting. And intimidating – too many decisions for this Type 9. I was skeptical about the dining room placement as well, but I think I’ve landed on the side of liking the away-from-the-kitchen option for formal occasions. For the rest of the time, it could also be a great daytime use office to take calls or bring the laptop, or homework/puzzle zone, or even a place to hold meetings of any sort without bringing people into your entire home. I do wonder about the powder room. I think having one off the family room is a nice feature if you’re thinking the kids will watch movies with friends in there, etc. It seems like there should be a way to squeeze a tiny euro-style toilet/sink room into the mudroom/butlers pantry area and that that would really serve you well. The space is so lovely and I’m sure you’ll settle into a great plan though.

  95. Hi Emily! Congrats on such a wonderful find! It will be gorgeous. I do, however, have some thoughts on the first floor layout which you can feel free to discard and/or ignore. So here is the thing: I can sense you are reluctant to have that beautiful fireplace sort of squooshed between the new kitchen island and the living room? The furniture layout will indeed be tricky, as it seems logical to put couches facing the fireplace, or a sectional with the back toward the kitchen to create some functional separation, and do that gorgeous fireplace justice. But then, there then may not be enough room to pull out the chairs that are at the island. I feel your pain, as we have virtually the same layout in our great room and it was tricky. I think there really may need to be more room between the kitchen island and the fireplace to allow for furniture that does justice to the fireplace, but still leaves room for stools at the island and the ability to walk behind them. Sigh!
    So, I thought of a totally different arrangement. Instead of completely unifying the new kitchen with the living room, and having the breakfast room, and family room be separate-how about this instead: You could put a cool high half wall where the kitchen island is now. Maybe with some cool columns on each end to the ceiling (very farmhouse). This would give you a nice anchor to put a couch against on the living room side, and the space is more balanced. You can still see the kitchen over the half wall, but they are not really the same room. On the kitchen side of your cool half wall, you now can put cabinets, maybe even the sink. But, wait, the kitchen needs more room, and what happened to the island? Aha! How about then fully unifying the kitchen with the breakfast nook and family room instead (!) –basically turning it around. Your island can go where the stove is now and look into the breakfast nook and family room areas. You would have to do something clever with the stove and fridge, maybe lose the window looking into the BBQ area, but you would have so much more light already from all the connections and half walls, that I think it wouldn’t matter.
    I think this would work better for a few reasons–you’ll actually use the breakfast nook, and if it is a little room by itself, you may not–plus it has the best light to share with the kitchen and LR.
    As a bonus, it will be wayyyy easier to have that half wall partially shielding all the kitchen mess from your gorgeous living and dining room (and front door) on Thanksgiving for example. The half wall will also serve to break up the “shoebox” phenomenon that we often have to overcome with long rectangular rooms–squares off both the living room and the kitchen/more casual rooms a bit, but allows the flow of light.
    Anyway, can’t believe I am trying to give Emily Henderson advice, but those are my 2 cents.
    Good luck!!!

    1. I should clarify that the aforementioned half wall does not go all the way across the space, but is just long enough for a couch or reading nook, and then there are walkways to the kitchen around it.

  96. I love floorplans! Thank you for including all the versions. As far as it matters, I am on Team Light. I worry that the living room feels dark, and your plans don’t seem to add any light. I know this is personal, but I feel so much more alive in the light and I can’t imagine cooking in a kitchen that feels, well, wintery year-round. I would love to open up the breakfast nook and take down the wall if possible with the current hutch and move the kitchen somewhat back into that corner. Mudroom stays there or moves to carport? Farmhouse dining table in the current kitchen spot. Amazing sunroom in the dining room spot. And tile all the way to the powder room, wherever you put it.

  97. I grew up with a pantry and a separate living/family room so I get why you’d like these rooms in your dream home. Overall I think the plans say ‘I-worked-my-ass-off-to-achieve-this’, so good on you both!

    I don’t envy you trying to figure out that great room furniture configuration though. I’m currently living in a house with a fireplace in the middle of a large room that is both the living room on one side and the kitchen/diner on the other. It’s a pain in the backside. Because the fireplace is there, looming large but it’s also out of place and in the way all at the same time. It’s nice to look at but it’s totally impractical because you can’t sit in front of it and get cosy, and as a ‘focal point’ it’s off kilter. So from that perspective I’d strongly consider the proximity of your kitchen island to the fireplace and how that whole configuration will work.

  98. I have to agree with some about the placement of the powder room, having to walk thru multiple rooms to get to it feels a little awkward and inconvenient. And I know the trend it to have the kitchen out there with everything (ie living room), and I’m prob going to get stoned for this, but the layout feels very like…generic builder to me. Like you walk in the house and BAM there’s your kitchen and living space all in one. I thought in a house like this, having the kitchen be its own special space would be more true to form or at least have some separation. I think it would make more sense in the family/breakfast nook area-which is where it is now, correct? it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

  99. Re the dining room, please make sure you have vents for heat/AC in there as well. My sister has a similar room without them in her Seattle area home and it’s too cold to eat in the winter and too warm with all the glass windows for the summer. 😂

  100. When you kids are teenagers you Will Not want the family room close to your primary bedroom. You just will not!! A hall way with a door will suffice.

    1. i read this so often – pls tell me. do you have teenage guest over that long, so you go to bed first? so longer than 11 p.m? I would ask them to leave before I got to bed. Excluding shift working parents of course. I am really curious about that.

      1. Sleepovers! Siblings playing video games or chatting on the phone. Kids hanging out over 18, who don’t have curfews. I feel like the idea that all the house guests are gone when mom and dad goes to bed is rather outdated.

  101. Since the fireplace, stairway to second floor, are the center of the transit hub why not change the front entry to opposite the fireplace and have living room where your dining room is planned. Then move the kitchen back against the outside wall where the sunlight is and put the dining area in front of the island.

  102. Is the cozy tv room where the kids will play or have friends or study when they are older? When we moved to a winter climate from LA we forgot how much time is spent inside for the kids. And their friends! Lack of space for kids as they age and their friends forced us put of our forever house on the market and find a house that met that need . And I never regretted it.

  103. All I’m sayin is when your kids are a bit older and you have a house full of teenagers they will hang out in the family room. That is right next to your primary bedroom. I am in that stage and that would drive me nuts! You literally have to walk through the throng of teenagers, likely in your pajamas, just to get to your room. Teenagers never sleep. They are up until all hours of the morning. If you want an escape, your family room should be on the other side of the house. Just sayin…

  104. I LOVE the last layout! I kept thinking…you’re not going to like it, you’re not going to like it….and then BOOM, you are going to LOVE it! Great job, wine always helps…and brother in-laws! 🙂

  105. It’s fascinating to see the options, challenges and iterations involved in creating renovation plans and floor plans. The dining room extension almost creates a courtyard layout around the indoor/outdoor kitchen and living space. That idea appeals to me because it centers the primary social zone both inside and out with light, sightlines and function.

    The rooms off of the great room are more separate for specific functions that involve the four of you at a maximum. Those areas used as play, tv, homework areas and being slightly separated from the big social area makes sense. As a kid I would have done my homework in the breakfast nook and the tv (and toys) being right there might not have been ideal. So that might be something to consider.

    But as others have pointed out, the only thing that seems to be truly inconvenient is the half bath being in the center of the house, instead of accessible from the mud room. I’d like to find a way to put the powder room near the back door, maybe on the corner where the two windows are or between the mud room and breakfast room?

    1. You’ve got a lot of curious people giving a lot of thought to your floor plans from many perspectives. In contemplating some of the comments around the family room being too close to the primary bedroom, the powder room being too far from the back door, and the ideal placement of the laundry: it occurred to me that as you are already expanding the first floor at both corners (for the dining room and primary suite) you could expand one of the bedrooms upstairs to be a TV/family/guest room. That would leave the first floor with better space to make a laundry room and half bath separate from the primary suite but nearby and convenient for you and the kids. It would also be better use of the upstairs space.

      1. Yes! Family room above the carport! Reclaim that space on the first floor for the primary bedroom (no addition necessary!) Bump out/back the existing kitchen and make the planned mudroom/pantry a mudroom/laundry room/powder room pantry. I also like the idea of the dining table in frying of the fireplace. The island is generic and the lack of symmetry is so unsettling. Worse than the LA house and it will always feel off. Where will the Christmas tree go? Haha. I hope you read the comments…

  106. Ok I’m confused… maybe its an American thing… why in the world would you have a laundry off a master bedroom closet?? Especially in a farm house I would have thought that a mudroom/laundry combination would have been way more practical and a better use of space then a dog wash… I just see muddy clothes being carried through half the house… and if you wanted a sense of privacy and escape in your master suite then why would you include a noisy and utilitarian space within said retreat?

  107. The living room is making me anxious. I would not want one of the “main” features to have a weird layout. The upside though… I love seeing what people do with challenging furniture layouts. Nate Berkus used to have a segment called Fix My Floorplan on his talk show and I loved it!!!

  108. It will be beautiful whatever you do, but for practical reasons on a farm I’d be aiming to have the laundry, mudroom and toilet all together(ish) by the back door. There’s nothing better than having filthy, sopping wet clothes and being able to throw them straight into the washing mashing rather than walking through the house with them, or shoving a busting kid in the door and shouting GO! I wouldn’t want a laundry near where I sleep as the noise and moisture would bother me. I assume you don’t hang washing outside to dry there (??), otherwise it seems like you’d have a long trek to do that.
    The breakfast nook might be overkill – with a beautiful island and a beautiful dining room it seems surplus to requirements, and runs the risk of becoming a dumping ground. Working within an existing layout is hard. Good luck

  109. I’m sure you have considered this but it seems there is enough space for the dining table to go at the opposite end of the great room from the kitchen even if you had to pop it out a few feet for a nice sideboard moment. Then you would have extra money for maybe solar panels, a Tesla power wall, etc. It would be so great to see some furniture in the floor plans to get a better sense of the space. Fun stuff and I’m excited to follow along!!!

  110. Two sets of washer/dryers? My brain can’t even comprehend such luxury. Couldn’t you just put a laundry chute from the second level bathroom down to your laundry room? I’ve had that in two old houses I’ve lived in and it’s so fun/useful!

  111. Hi Emily,
    Thank you for so generously including us in all the juicy details of your new remodeling adventure! The floor plans have awakened the armchair designer in me and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed scrolling through your post and all the comments on this rainy night. I have some thoughts to not so much change what you have done because obviously a LOT of thought and (professional, not arm chair variety) effort has been put into your design, but to attempt to solve some of the challenges I see and that many have addressed. Okay I’ll also blab on about some of my ideas, too…
    Challenge #1: Fireplace now off-center and difficult to design around.
    Solution: Okay, hold onto your hat, but I think the best solution would be to demo the existing fireplace and build a new one on the opposite wall where the proposed glass folding doors are, centered on the “new” center of the living room, now that the kitchen is at one end. Then, to maintain the connection to the deck, put in a glass door (as big as possible) on either side of the new fireplace. In order to make them fit, you would have to change the shape of the covered BBQ area to be more square than rectangular and locate the actual grill and prep counter on the outer edge of the covered roof, rather than on the right (looking from inside house) side. In order to fit the other glass door (to right of fireplace looking out), you would need to eliminate the part of the sunroom/dining room that steps back onto the deck area. In other words, keep that wall that extends past the corner of the house even with the front wall.
    BONUS: You could build an outside fireplace on the deck on the back of the new fireplace!!
    Challenge #2: Entryway is quite small with limited space for coats/cute entry stuff (This one is just me, probably)
    Solution: Enclose covered stoop area to be included as part of the entry. To keep a covered area for visitors to wait for you to come to the door, add a new covered stoop to the front. Not related to the entry per se, but I would also extend the dining/sun room to meet the newly enclosed stoop so they share a shed roof (so it doesn’t impinge on upstairs window like existing stoop roof does now). Then I would move the dining room cased opening to the new center of the room and eliminate the window on the front of the house.
    Which brings me to one of my design obsessions: sight lines/axes…
    If you move the cased opening to the dining room and remove the window, the new opening will be lined up on axis with the center of the island. On that topic, I’d want to line up the axis/sight line from the kitchen sink, through the apothecary cabinet opening, to the butler’s pantry sink and window above it. Right now the butler’s pantry sink and window are offset a bit as you look from the kitchen sink.
    Challenge #3: Laundry and powder room aren’t easily accessible from outside.
    Solution: I’m team add laundry and powder room to mud/utility room. Keep the dog wash station though!!!
    Challenge #4: Family room seems dark
    Solution: Skylights duh
    Wowzers that was a lot…So looking forward to your progress! Thank you again for letting us armchair designers weigh in 😀

    1. Ok I am WAY too invested in your house design, but after sleeping on it, I wanted to also say that if you DID move the fireplace to the other wall, that would also 1) create a better flow for walking into the house towards the kitchen as the current fireplace and hearth feel a bit in the way of the path, and if you arrange furniture facing the current fireplace you will have to walk between the furniture and the fireplace instead of behind the grouping. You could also put an outlet in the floor so that you could have a sofa table with lamps on it behind a couch facing the new fireplace, creating more of a progression of spaces into the house rather than walking straight into the living room seating arrangement 2) create a stunning view of the new fireplace and furniture arrangement from the entry therefore maybe mitigating the visual dominance of the island 3) allow you to sit by the fire and also see out onto the deck area/into the yard 4) allow you to open up the entire staircase, creating a fabulous newel post moment and bringing more light into the room from that side of the house AND make a cozy nook as well.

  112. Amazing! Only question is did you consider switching the location of the fridge and the walk through cabinet/door to the butlers panrty? I’m concerned about the fridge being right next to the fireplace and it would be a more direct path for bringing in groceries Vs zigging and zagging

  113. So if you all are playing outside (farming?!) and need a bathroom break, you have to come in through the mudroom and go through the breakfast nook and the family room to get to a bathroom?

    Our house is pretty small (1400sf), and we’ve been doing lots of yard work and small-scale flower farm creating. There’s no easy bathroom access from our little laundry room, so my husband pees on the compost pile. Me? I get to stick my muddy feet into Target bag booties and go through the kitchen and living room to go to the bathroom. (It’s so annoying to take muddy boots on and off.)

    I didn’t think if it when we bought the place, but now that we’re outside so much I desperately wish for a closer toilet to an entry! So I’d sacrifice that breakfast nook in a heartbeat for a laundry/powder room combo.

    Unrelated: the kitchen being pulled out into an open-plan living space kind of kills the farmhouse feel for me. I’m sure it will be beautiful, and when a reno costs a lot you should get what you want… but the charm of my family’s old Missouri farm houses is the nooks and crannies. It seemed like you all were thinking about a change of pace and life with this move, so I’m kind of surprised to see such similar treatment of rooms as your other houses. I know finish-wise they will feel very different, but it feels imposed on the house rather than in conversation with it.

    That said, the exterior views all look very cute and I know it will be beautiful. Good luck with the sticker shock! 🙂

    1. We have a small house compared to our peers—1800 sq feet for 5 people— and we’re adding a big mud room/bathroom/ laundry room off the back of our garage that will connect to the kitchen. It’s a pain to haul snow clothes to the dryer, and take off shoes (not that anyone does this 😏) to use the bathroom in the house and have a traffic pattern basically through the living room. We’ll have a staging area for laundry and a back sink for gardening. Also our house has a second living room with our tv away from the bedrooms and it’s fabulous for the kids to play and as they’ve gotten older, stay up later than we do. I’m glad to not have our bedroom nearby.

  114. I agree on half bath/laundry by mudroom. I also didn’t like placement of family room, dark and messes withyour privacy. I’d want to spend my time in that light dining room. I’d switch them, you get dining room nearer kitchen, increased privacy.. and you could work in there too as it will be quiet.

  115. I enjoyed this post so much! So fun to read through. I am very interested in watching the house develop over time. It will be beautiful, and amazing to live in a patch of country within a city.

    I live on 3/4 acre and love to garden and come in very muddy or dirty pretty often. I don’t have any sink or shower options anywhere close to either our front or back door. It gets messy with clods of dirt dropped from my clothes or arms as I walk through.

    Imagining myself gardening here, I would use the dog shower for spraying my hands and arms down when I came in. A utility sink near the back door would be perfect for me but I could imagine the dog shower with a handheld shower head working wvery wellfor me to spray myself off too! Would also work even better for spraying off legs and feet.

    I agree with everyone who said that it would seem nice to have the washer and dryer out here in this area. But I could see making do by having a laundry basket hin the mudroom to shed dirty outer layers in.

    And avoid my spring through fall status of clods of dirt dropped in a nice trail to the bathroom.

    Thanks so much for sharing the details – so enjoyable to read!!

  116. There are much more changes with the layout than I was expecting. It will be amazing for sure. I agree with others who suggested to push the new kitchen back to where the breakfast nook is and have your dining table where you planned to have the kitchen. I would create a little separation between the kitchen and dining by adding a glass framed doorway like Emily had in the first photo of her inspiration post. I would also have the washer and dryer in the mudroom. The butler’s pantry would work nicely with the dining room being next to it and there could be a door to the kitchen from the butler’s pantry. 🙂

    I’m excited to see the process of your farm house renovation!

  117. Yaaas, fun with floor plans! I share many of the thoughts already posted, so I’m just here to say that I’d nix the dog wash. I’d be worried about the spray and wet dog shakes that will fly around, especially in the vicinity of those beautiful glass cabinets. Maybe you could work one into the smaller farm house? (We think we’re fancy with a outdoor hot/cold sprayer.)

  118. Very beautiful, but you always need wall space in a living room, which you don`t have now. It is somewhat unsettling to relax surrounded by doors, stairs, fireplace etc…. At least old style windows that do no go to the floor allow you to put the coach underneath.

    I would thnk about the fireplace/entry/stairs location.

  119. This is such a fun post for us floorplan geeks. It makes me crazy when I read about a renovation and I don’t have floorplans to better understand the thought process. That said, just one thing: if you are going to use the side entrance 90% of the time with the family, the front entrance is really the guest entrance. Therefore, do you really need that wall? Can’t you just walk in and see the pretty staircase? It seemed odd to me to create a vestibule when there really wasn’t a need for one i.e. it’s not the main entrance. Just a thought.

  120. Hi! Thanks for sharing the process…love following along!!

    Echoing what others are saying…confused by the laundry in your closet! Not sure I’d want my families clothes dumped on all in my beautiful suite!! Dining room also seems far from kitchen.

  121. So exciting!!! I actually feel kinda bad saying something, but way easier to change things when it’s just on paper. Why is it good to have the laundry room in the master closet? You’ve said a few times you want the house to make sense as the kids grow older. Maybe when they’re older they’ll do their own laundry or just help with the household laundry. If you’re sick or having quiet time in your room, the kids have to come through to do laundry? Also, if mud is such a factor, then when the kids come in with muddy pants and jackets, you have to walk with the muddy stuff all through your room to clean it? Is it an option to put the laundry in the mud room? Or change the layout of the half bath and add laundry space there? Just thoughts and ideas. I love floor plans!! This post was so much fun!!

  122. I Love it! Seriously. Your kitchen design is nearly identical to mine that I designed/we built 5 years ago. The layout and flow is so efficient in every way except one and I must be in the minority here b/c I see this all the time – your dining room removed from your kitchen. It is LOVELY, dreamy and I am so excited, but the efficiency OCD in me counts steps and forgotten items to the table and dropped dishes in transit. Solution…a cute vintagey tray thingy on wheels to load up dishes clean and dirty on…your kids will be pros at setting the table and tearing it down. So still, the layout is super great. And the reality is, you can always swap your dining area more in front of the fireplace and swing that living room/seating area to all the light and views to shake it up after a few years. This summer I am doing just that and maybe it will only be for four months, but change is good and I think we will see different things sitting in a different area for meals. Lastly, just a question for the sake of saving an oops….You have the island, the breakfast nook and the dining area which seems like a lot of eating spaces. Yes, for holidays you could send kids to the nook with cousins while adults have their space, which lots of people do including my east coast relatives, but you scream west coast/party as a whole family, so will you keep the breakfast nook somewhat flexible for future change in use?- Office/library/ Dog kennel for all those you don’t know you are going to rescue. 🙂 The entry into the butlers pantry/mudroom is brilliant. We did that as well and everyone who comes is jealous. I call it my “dirty hallway” – the door from the garage opens to the mudroom on left, pantry straight ahead, hall behind my kitchen range wall (I also have two doorways flanking), upstairs/downstairs and to the laundry and out the back of the house. I can never be convinced that laundry not on main living space floor is a good idea. Oh that’s it – your nook could be your future laundry room when you see the light! Just kidding.

  123. It’s all incredible and terribly exciting! But you really need to come up with a budget. Speaking from my own experience. Costs can really add up and get out of control very quickly.

  124. So excited to follow along! Looks beautiful.

    The fridge placement next to the fireplace surprised me – as someone who uses their gas fireplace a ton, the area around it is often significantly warmer than the rest of the house in the winter. Seems like it and the fridge would have to work extra hard to compete.

  125. Wow it’s going to be great! Every floorplan left me tilting my head thinking “hmm..” until you got to the last one. And it just looks right! Such a great way to update the house for modern needs. Love it.

  126. Amazing to follow this journey and I’m excited to see where it goes. I love floor plans too! Is the breakfast nook open to the family room? With new side entrance and back mud room, was there any thought to removing the formal front entrance/porch and turn the whole front of the house into sun room? Maybe too much?

  127. OK. This is what I would do. move the dining room into the old Kitchen. it is the same proportions as the new bump out. move the family room into the breakfast nook. it will be narrow but it would fit a flat screen TV and L-shaped couch. Or if you wanted to bump out – you could do it here and get a bit more space rather than at the front of the house. . if you wanted more South facing light you could recess your vent hood in the ceiling or in your lower cabinetry like now and have the area above the stove be more open to the family room. I would move the bathroom, mudroom and laundry room to either the back corner where your master bath is in the renovation, off the family room. Or I would move it to the where the family room is in your revised floor plan. that way the bathroom/mudroom and even extra serving stuff / butler pantry is off the kitchen and the bbq space that becomes a more substantial entrance and wet space. that would also create a natural buffer between the family room and the master bedroom. with this option you don’t need the front dining room bump out and you may not need the 8′ master bedroom bump out…

    1. looking at the aerial shots you could have the covered walkway not have the L bend but continue straight and connect to the back corner of the addition where a new mudroom/bathroom could be. no need to move plumbing from the old floor plan. Also – if you have to do it – I like the idea of messing around with roof lines off the sun room and 60s addition and keeping the original farmhouse footprint and front elevation more intact…. with wrap around front porch – though that will cost you sunlight so maybe not..

  128. Hi Em. Looks great! I am wondering whether you will actually use the breakfast nook? Kids will eat at the island for casual meals and the family can use the dining room for evening meals. Can you push the kitchen wall all the way back to the exterior wall and annex the nook? Then furniture placement in living room will be easier. And the kitchen can be open to the family room where the kids will be. Just a thought. Good luck!!

  129. What a challenging and exciting project! Can’t wait to go on this journey with Emily, Brian, and their team. A few observations/questions: There is clearly much discussion already around the powder room. The placement seems too hidden for all the living that will undoubtedly be happening on the first floor and outside. Not very accessible and if coming in from outside all wet and muddy there will be dirt tracked through the house. Perhaps placement in the mudroom/butler’s pantry. I also noticed another reader mentioned that the open concept felt a little like the contemporary remodels nowadays. I understand that Emily doesn’t want to cook in a closed-off kitchen, but I have to agree with the reader. It feels less like a farmhouse. Final note: and maybe Emily mentioned having w/d upstairs, but would you really want the kids (eventual teenagers) having to come into your bedroom to do their laundry? It’s also more convenient to have the w/d close to where you are using everyday towels or wet socks, gloves, etc. What about a more central location with a laundry shoot! I don’t know farmhouses, but that seems like something one would have and it’s fun for the kids. Having two laundry rooms seems like too much detail/thinking and you are a small family so it also seems wasteful. Sometimes when you plan for the dream house you add more than you actually need. But however this turns out, Iknow it will be stunning!

  130. You have really worked hard on this plan!! I do see some issues, at least for what I’d want in a forever home. First off, your master is huge, but your family room isn’t. The family room is where you will spend all of your time probably with the kids, friends, etc and it feels quite tight. Could you not nip more space from the bedroom to maybe make these two rooms proportional in size? Just seems like a family room will get used more than a bedroom. Also, I agree with other comments on the dining room placement. You will literally have to carry food from the kitchen to the front of the house where you have the dining room. It just seems a bit inconvenient. With all this said, I’m so excited to see how this house and your brother’s house progresses!!! Reveals are what we need to get through the rest of this pandemic!!

  131. This is amazing!! So glad you showed us the different iterations. My only thought is that if you need to grab something from your closet you’ll have to walk all the way around your bed to the other side of the room/closet entrance. Could be nice to have access to it on the other side too near the bedroom entrance, in case you need to grab a sweater or different shoes or something before running out the door!

  132. Ditch the kitchen island and do a peninsula from the wall opposite the fireplace that’s a little smaller. Then you have more room to work with for the living room, but still have the extra counter space.

  133. Why not create space by axing the living room and family room to make one great room? Dunno how it would work in a reconfigured space, but thought I’d ask if this was part of any discussions you had with Arciform.

  134. I love that you shared all of the progression of ideas with us! I agree with the others that it would be so helpful to have the powder room near the mudroom if at all possible. I was also thinking how much I would love to hang out in a beautiful sunny room full of windows and why not make that the living room space and use the old one for the dining area with the nice fireplace and views of what I am sure will be a gorgeous kitchen. It would make furniture layout much easier on you too!

  135. I’ll admit I lamented a little when you axed the jacuzzi but glad you figured it all out and are happy@

  136. My two cents: powder room and laundry room are better in the butler’s pantry area. Who wants to do laundry inside a closet, inside a room, off a family room and drag all the clothes upstairs?
    Also why having such a big butler’s pantry and small kitchen in the living room? And the dining room is so far away. It might look good on photos, but not in real life. Open plan cooking/living is good while kids are under 10. Above 10 you want separation; the kids want separation. Finally, homework space (the breakfast nook is a good location) and office space! Although there is a plan for a separate working “house”, you’ll be on your laptop at home more than you think. Nonetheless, very exciting new journey/house 🙂

  137. Boy, this post and the comments have made my head swim…in a fun, exciting, challenging way! Every family lives so differently, and it’s so interesting to learn what people love most in a home. I will give my unsolicited bit of advice, just from a practical standpoint. I REALLY think it’s important to have a bathroom, mudroom and laundry area accessible from the outside, particularly since you don’t have a garage. I think you might be underestimating the amount of mud and dirt that accompanies a more rural living/lifestyle, especially if you’re planning to have farm animals. Just my two cents, and it looks like I’m echoing what many others are suggesting too. Such a fun project! I’m very excited for your family.

  138. Love your blog. My husband and I have been married 51 years and bought our first home in Hawthorne when we were 21, we bought our second home when we were 24: a “Tudor in Torrance” which was built in 1916….. whoah, a huge task.

    We have owned a new build semi-custom, built a from-the-ground-up custom in Temecula, then bought an incredible custom home on a golf course in Murrieta…. we are now in one story tract home…. We always “Martinelli-ize “ everything we have every lived in! ( we have had huge fights over such things as “ should the door opening be 33 or 36 inches”!!!) But we LOVE a project!

    This year we will both turn seventy; but with everything we have owned for the last 20 years, we have always had two major criteria: how many steps is it from the car to the kitchen (and/or pantry) AND we have always attempted to have a tub AND a
    rimless/doorless shower. ( All those steps matter when you are lugging in a big Costco haul ….and when I tripped over a raised sidewalk and broke my kneecap I was so thankful to be able to shower by myself. )

    Your architects sound incredible and I know you are addressing universal design….

    Just my two cents worth!
    Best regards,
    Chris Martinelli

    1. Ah I love all this Chris! I am officially going to think of our projects as “Timinski-izing” from now on.
      Congrats on 51 years!!! That is truly amazing. ❤️

  139. I would rotate the kitchen 90 degrees – absorbing the breakfast room – so the bank of cabinets with the range backs up against the wall of the butlers pantry (and the sink would be under the sunny window that’s now in the breakfast room). This let’s all that south light pour into the kitchen and in turn the living room, and the island – which on the plan cuts too close to the fireplace imo – would serve the family room but also still communicate well with the living room.

    I might also put a big arched cased opening into the living room so it’s open to the kitchen but not greatroomy.

    I also would use the dining room off the corner of the living room it as a “snug” – a place to chill out in and read or just hang out with coffee – I’m thinking the dining room would be great right in the front of the living room, since that space is so long. Just some thoughts.

  140. Your current living room is larger than my first house…but you don’t have enough room. Okay. I hope it ends up being what you want, I just can’t help saying it all seems excessive to me.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how you layout the living room furniture. It looks very awkward to me–you’re going to have to carry all your food through the living room to get to the dining room? And you have so much duplication– 3 places to eat (breakfast room, dining room, breakfast bar), 3 entry spaces (porch, entry, mudroom). Is that really necessary? Wise to have some buffer space between your family room and your bedroom–before you know it your kids are going to watching tv all night and you don’t want them on the other side of your bedroom wall.

  141. I have no doubt that what ever the configuration of your walls and rooms, it will be a lovely home. All the different opinions here are understandable, since every family has its own dynamic. We raised 4 kids and 3 dogs in a home we designed and built, also here in the PNW. I remember the challenging decisions. My three thoughts:

    1) One of our favorite and most well-used areas was the back/side door entry into a large mud room, laundry with sink, and small bathroom. Those three components were essential to my sanity with 4 kids running in and out all day.

    2) I’m not sure what a butler’s pantry is, but we did have a large walk-in closet pantry in the kitchen that was storage lifesaver.

    3) I liked having a den, like your family room, that we could close off and kids could watch TV while we were entertaining friends in the kitchen/living area. It managed the noise level and kept everyone happy.

    Good luck with your goals and dreams. It will be fun to watch!

  142. How brave to open your plans up to critique! I love old houses and have restored one myself, but I am curious if you considered building new? I thought I recalled you saying the house was not architecturally significant and there were structural issues? Perhaps a new build would meet your needs better and cost less? You could build a 4square or shaker style.

  143. Honestly I don’t like the placement of the kitchen as seem too central to the living room. I think dining room should be closer to the kitchen so to avoid carrying food across the house. I think moving family room to current dining room makes sense. Push kitchen back to that nice window. Create dining area where the island is. Move breakfast nook to where family room is. This way food stays in this part of the floor. Also even a tiny powder room in the mud room area would be ideal to wash up after coming from outside. Dog washing area is a must,one of the best things we added to our small mud room

    1. With kitchen moved back pantry space can be carved out from family room if it is moved to the from where current dining is. This way you can move laundry to the mud room area.

  144. VERY into this design! Love the dining room addition! So glad you will get your bedroom of your dreams. It will be amazing and so sunny. They living room layout is going to be a fun challenge… Great job!!!!

  145. Love the plans, thanks for sharing!

    With such a creative and talented team, you’ve likely thought of the following, but just in case you haven’t, here are a few ideas.

    I agree with many others, that the mud room, would be more practical to have a washroom as well as the dog shower, but it would mean blocking the window to the breakfast nook. I realize you want lots of natural light, so can you add a sky light?

    Perhaps the washroom could be entered from the south, between the mud room and breakfast nook, so guests could enter from the nook, and then find a way to maybe close a sliding door to hide the mud room, when needed.

    Having to do the laundry, seems like it would be time consuming, having to get to it where you’ve currently got it located. Even having a door when you first enter your bedroom , would make it more accessible. The closet and laundry area could get switched perhaps. And maybe a shortcut to get to your washroom?

    I look forward to whatever you decide 🙂

  146. So many comments it’s hard to know if everything has already been said. If not, here goes: love seeing the process. Sure looks like a fun and yet daunting endeavor. My 2c on the layout: I would put the dining table smack in the middle of the great room, next to the kitchen island and in front of the fireplace. Sounds very cozy and also true to the house. Make the sunroom/ dining room addition into a living room-type space. That’s where I would want to be on a cold and rainy PNW day or a beautiful sunny one. Ditch the breakfast nook and convert that space into half bath and laundry room and reclaim that space in the primary bedroom. Any additional space from breakfast nook is flex work area/kids play space or other family room type things. Looking so good. Can’t wait to see it all done!

  147. Have you considered making the mudroom entry the main entry? Then all of the public spaces could be on that side of the house, and carve out the back of the current living room to be the primary suite. The giant fireplace could become a kitchen hearth.

  148. Oh man, floor plans are my favorite!!! The comments are awesome as are the new renderings you put up in stories as a response to them.
    1. I LOVE the new idea of putting in a huge wraparound porch. By making the outdoor area covered you’ll get so much more use out of it in the rainy PNW. Also, you won’t always have sopping wet cushions on your outdoor furniture. Also, it retains the farmhouse feel.
    2. I 100% think you should leave the kitchen where the original one was, but rip out all the older cabinets and make this your dream kitchen. It gets the best light and by leaving it you have space for a large dining area where you currently have the breakfast nook. Then the living room won’t be weirdly crammed in between doorways with an awkward layout. Also you’ll probably want to plant a kitchen garden with veggies and herbs, and that you’ll want that to be steps away from your kitchen. Since the garden will need to be on the south side of the house it’s about her good reason to leave the kitchen where it is.

  149. I’m sure this house is going to be beautiful and I appreciate the long term thinking and “do it right, do it once” attitude with this reno but I just can’t help but think there are some major issues with this layout that’ll get real old real quick. Dining room across the living room, the closed off breakfast nook and laundry in master closet when you could just have the opening accessible from the hallway or in the mud room – they all seem like they would get old fast.

  150. Em, you’re going to need skates and a whole lot of dexterity to navigate your way from the kitchen, through the lounge room, to the dining room! Think furniture, boots on the ground negotiating said furniture, and then think glassware, cutlery, crockery…. I think it would be a logistical nightmare!

  151. Here’s hoping there’s a potty at the top of the upstairs stairs – otherwise I worry for your bladders sake after a 3 hour drive and finally landing home only to scramble run to use the loo…! Love it otherwise!

  152. I’m trying to guess where this house is in Portland, I live a few minutes from down town. The floor plan is amazing. One thought: have you considered how many trips back and forth from the dining room to the kitchen you will make for getting dinner on the table? Good luck with this project.<3

  153. I enjoyed seeing the process of each round of floorpans. however, may I suggest one HUGELY NEEDED edit???? With such an inviting and large FRONT living room AND dining room, I recommend moving the powder room to the front of the house, NOT tucked in a tiny spot back where the informal family room is. I think the FRONT ENTRY nook should be turned into the powder room, and just simply move the front door over a bit to where the front window is.

    1. I am hopeful that you take a little more time and re-think the layout again. I think moving the kitchen is not only extremely expensive, but you will loose the best light in the house. It is actually perfect where it is. I just know for myself, I would want all that sunshine bathing my kitchen/breakfast area and being able to look outside and watch the kids play instead of moving it to an area that seems dark and too accessible when you come through the front door. I have friends that have their kitchen right off their front door, and they actually regret it because when they are sitting around the island on a Sunday morning in their pajamas and the neighbor comes over, they all scramble to not be seen in their p.j.’s. Yikes! I hope you reconsider the kitchen, mudroom, bathroom scenario.

  154. I would take version 2***
    ***and put the kitchen in the “breakfast nook”
    You would bring light into the living room and address the awkward layout of the living room.

  155. The finalized plan is the best – yay! But, I still don’t see the point of a breakfast nook that is a small closed-off room from everything, a mudroom and a butlers’ pantry right next to it, and then a – let’s face it – small kitchen, for the size of this house. OK, maybe we need a separate mudroom in Portland, for dogs, kids, and mess. Section that off. Tear down the entire back wall of the house, push the kitchen to the back.

  156. What about tearing down the 60’s addition and replacing it with a new two-story addition? Master suite could go upstairs closer to kids. Kitchen and family room go downstairs. Original kitchen and breakfast nook could be converted into a utilitarian dream with mudroom, half bath, and laundry. You will be farmers now (there will be manure) and this space would be my top priority over everything else.

  157. I may be in the minority but I think a mud room trumps a butlers pantry. Less extra sinks and just room for food storage. Take the remaining space and build a proper mud room. You will have a beautiful house with stuff all over it because there isn’t a proper drop zone for shoes, coats and backpacks. In your mountain house you had said you dislike seeing all the snow clothes on the floor. I think you need to design the spaces for everyday living versus entertaining.

  158. Has anyone suggested using the “new” dining room as an office/library/den and doing a similar bump-out where the current kitchen (love the “L” shape) for a newer bigger kitchen that relates more to the nook and family room. And still connected to your great room area. Then your great room could be a living and dining room combo. Which we see often in this age of home. So great, Emily! Thank you for sharing the floor plans, I think they are my favorite posts.

  159. Has anyone suggested putting the mud room across the back of the Porte Cochere?it would be long and narrow of course but might work . Line it up with the door into the existing kitchen. Just a thought!

  160. Love the idea of a baby mudroom into the front entry. It depends on how heavy the traffic will be to the backdoor whether or not you need a second mudroom (where will the kids enter after school? Etc ) And no need for a side door.

    I think the most elegant solution to all this is to put your primary bedroom *over* the 60s addition with a private back stair down to the kitchen area. Hear me out bc it sounds expensive but solves a multitude of problems. You can run the plumbing straight up for you bathroom/laundry; you’re closer to your kids at night but still have loads of privacy; etc etc.

    Doing this, the pathway leading to the kitchen would extend over to the area where the current laundry room/bathroom is. This becomes your utility area, to include boot room, powder room, dog bath, pantry etc etc and the rest is a glorious family room with windows on 3 sides to catch breezes. You can proportion the utility vs. family room space as you see fit.

    Then you can simply strip the walls off the current kitchen and open it to the living room, leaving plumbing in place, bathing in all that sunshine with the current backdoor straight out to your kitchen garden : ) The dining room can be in the space between kitchen and living room. The living room would have a sprawling seating area centered on the fireplace, with the front left to your needs – game table maybe?

    Just some ideas from someone whose struggled for years in a similar situation. Going back to square one really helped us and we found simple won out in the end.

    1. I should’ve added that I would knock out most of that bath and expand utility area to the right so there’s lots of room for expanded kitchen/dining room/staircase to master and a nice wide set of doors to family room : )

  161. every family is different! but I don’t understand a breakfast nook and dining room AND open kitchen with eat in island? Also the seperated small breakfast nook and family room seem really not useful to me. I know you know your life and family but this layout is all wrong to me. I don’t think you will love guests having to go though the family room to use the bathroom.

  162. I too am too invested in this house project. I do appreciate all the creativity and the puzzle dimensions – but I worry for you about natural light coming in. I fear it is going to be dark. We have a west facing room with a covered porch and if it were not for the skylights it would be very dark. I wonder what others in the PNW say about this. But putting main areas in the middle of the house and then having covered porches or bumping out all around it seems like a big mistake. Where is the farmhouse style and the shaker style? I would leave the front facade as is and just gussy it up – maybe to look more like younghouselove’s Richmond house. I just think you will want the direct light in those windows. The most valuable real-estate in the house is the south and east facing walls those are the rooms you are going to want to be in — and currently you are cut off from them.

  163. 1. what if you did something like this on the front windows? It would create added light and seating. put the dining table in front of the fireplace and turn the front into a cozy living room/sitting room with a sofa facing the box windows. either modern (marvin) style or cottage style
    2. have a mudroom/pantry/bathroom/washer&dryer where the kitchen is. move the dog wash station to the car port with a hot&cold tap.
    3. have the family room in the current sun room running the same width as the new kitchen. two openings into is as in the renovation plans, but with glass french doors that will be open most of the time but can be closed to cut down on noise between the family room and great room. to make the family room wider pop out the space a bit but do something like this where the back glass wall extends up into the roof line — added light, less worry about low roof line, and creates an English sun-room effect.
    4. have a short hall off the family room running on the north wall of the 60s addition. this enters your master bedroom. immediately to the left is a long narrow master bath running north to south. like CLJ’s new master bath. the benefits of this are a) a buffer between master and family room, b) bathtub in that back east/south corner of the 60s addition, c) hall effect into master bath d) if you do what CLJ did you could have the toilet with a little sink double a guest toilet from the BBQ area if the mudroom bathroom is a mess.
    5. I would put the master closet along the north wall of the 60s addition. I agree with you I would hate having my bedroom open to a major entertaining space. then your bedroom is in the south west corner of the house. plenty of light, separated by the closet and the bathroom form the rest of the house. and getting the best light with no wasted ‘hall’ space.

    this maximizes light and minimizes additional footage – which is off the back preserving the farmhouse front.

  164. Very fun to see the designs and read all the comments! I agree that you might reconsider the southeast corner of your design. You will want the kitchen where the best sun it. Love the deck on the west side where it will get the afternoon sun.

    My strongest reaction was watching the video and seeing the dog wash right next to your gorgeous glass cabinets that will hold all your beautiful dishes and glasses. The mudroom area where my dog goes in and out to the yard all day is filthy – especially in the Spring. That’s a lot of mess next to all your dishware (and food pantry??). I would try to create more separation between the mudroom and butler’s pantry. But again, I wouldn’t put either space in the most desirable southeast corner of your home. If you leave the plan as it is, you will have a big house but I bet that you spend all of your time in the breakfast room.

  165. Interesting process. Always so difficult to make the best possible floor plan. I think you have done a great job. JUST ONE THING: I think you will regret the placement of the halfbath/powder room. It should really be closer to either the entry or the mud room. Just imagine when the kids play outside in the rain/mud/snow and they suddenly need to go to the bathroom. You don’t want them running all the way through the living room, kitchen and family room with outside clothes (and boots!) on, but it would also be very frustrating for you/them if they first have to undress all the muddy outside clothes to go to the bathroom and then take everything on again before going back outside. I would urge you to try to fit a halfbath close to the mudroom.

  166. It truly looks great! Love having the breakfast nook open to the family room. The walk through cabinets sound cool! Love your massive suite. And I’m assuming you still have a dog shower? The only thing is the great room/dining room are awkward, but it’s a Reno so…? Also, you’ll have a long walk with groceries. But…again, Reno?

    By the way, super cool idea with double sided cabinetry in the kids bath! This house is going to be stunning and so creative. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  167. Late to the game…. but I’d strongly suggest putting the family room literally anywhere but next to your bedroom! That room will absolutely be the #1 hangout spot for the kids (and their friends) as teenagers – LOUD, annoying teenagers that you’ll want far, far away from your bedroom.

  168. A butler’s pantry and mudroom are both essentials in all of my (many, many) ideal house dreams, but I don’t know about the combo. The idea of bathing a muddy dog and taking off dirty boots and coats in the same space as storing dishes and having extra prep space makes me cringe!

    So fun to see the evolution of your floor plans and all the options you have considered! I personally prefer closed off kitchens. I would probably try borrow some room from the living room and keep the original kitchen location, put the dining room where the family room is, and turn the breakfast nook into a walk through butlers pantry (with storage and prep space on both sides & dishwasher) that went to the dining room. The new dining room addition looks amazing — I would want to be in there all the time (especially winter), so would prefer to have that as family room space.

  169. I agree with A LOT of the comments. Can’t wait to see what the next floor plan is as you’ve mentioned on IG.

    I agree with comments below that a semi closed off kitchen for messes would be better…maybe make the kitchen/breakfast nook one area closed off from the living room but semi open to the family room?

    My parents made their formal dining room into a sitting area off the kitchen and moved the dining area to the back of the living room, so it’s still close to the kitchen, but it is nice having the kitchen messes not on view from the living/family room but also having a sitting area for people to hang and talk to people in the kitchen.

    And if you kept the sunroom, I see it more as a seating/cozy reading area than a dining space, food + mud is def going to get tracked everywhere as is.

    Could also consider instead of an island just doing a large dining table that’s part of the kitchen, would feel way more farmhouse esqu. To some other points, this feels less farmhouse set up, and that may help.

    What a fun challenge, good luck!

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