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Design

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.

BEFORE A FLOOR PLAN YOU NEED A “BUDGET” (Or So I Keep Being Told)

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.

FANTASY FLOOR PLAN GOALS

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:

ORIGINAL FLOOR PLAN

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.

FIRST UP – MOVE KITCHEN INTO LIVING ROOM

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.

BUT WHAT ABOUT OUR PRIMARY SUITE?

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).

WE ARE ALARMINGLY PICKY ABOUT OUR BEDROOM… LIKE WEIRDLY SO

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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iLa
5 months ago

So exciting! It looks incredible, even if it is just a plan. A great one!

Leila
5 months ago

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!

Renee
5 months ago
Reply to  Leila

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!!

Laura
5 months ago

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

Alison
5 months ago
Reply to  Laura

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.

5 months ago

The porte-cochere (fancy!) is such a good idea! Everything is going to gorgeous!

yasmara
5 months ago
Reply to  Jenny

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.

Wesley
5 months ago

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.

Caity
5 months ago
Reply to  Wesley

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.

Laura
5 months ago
Reply to  Caity

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 😊.

Michelle R.
5 months ago
Reply to  Wesley

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.

Kate
5 months ago
Reply to  Wesley

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: https://imgur.com/pH3NuEd. Fun to see how the actual plans have evolved!

Emily C
5 months ago
Reply to  Wesley

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

Evelin
5 months ago

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.

Molly
5 months ago
Reply to  Evelin

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!

Catherine
5 months ago
Reply to  Molly

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.

Katherine Bailey
5 months ago
Reply to  Catherine

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

June
5 months ago
Reply to  Molly

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.

Alison
5 months ago
Reply to  Evelin

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 😉

Annie K.
5 months ago
Reply to  Alison

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

Clermont
5 months ago
Reply to  Alison

if you enter from the BBQ area it is pretty accessible from outside though

Elise Greven
5 months ago
Reply to  Evelin

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.

Shannon
5 months ago
Reply to  Evelin

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.

Vera
5 months ago

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!

Jody
5 months ago

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.

K
5 months ago
Reply to  Jody

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! 😂

Jenny W
5 months ago

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?

LouAnn
5 months ago
Reply to  Jenny W

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.

Amber
5 months ago
Reply to  Jenny W

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

Hana
5 months ago
Reply to  Amber

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.

June
5 months ago
Reply to  Hana

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

Molly
5 months ago
Reply to  Jenny W

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

Kate
5 months ago
Reply to  Jenny W

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+

5 months ago

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!

Ola
5 months ago
Reply to  paula mills

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

Lane
5 months ago
Reply to  paula mills

They can play in their rooms or do a puzzle on the dining table. No?

LouAnn
5 months ago

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.

Sarah
5 months ago

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.

DB
5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

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.

Cheryl
5 months ago
Reply to  DB

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.

Renee
5 months ago
Reply to  Cheryl

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!

Cici Haus
5 months ago
Reply to  Cheryl

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.

Michelle
5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

I agree. I think the dining room really needs to be closer to the kitchen.

Remington
5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

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

Sarah
5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

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.

Hana
5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

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!

alexa
5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

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.

Rachel
5 months ago
Reply to  alexa

From previous posts I would guess she plans on working from the older farmhouse

Katie
5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

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.

Catherine
5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

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.

Rachel S
5 months ago
Reply to  Catherine

@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.

Sara
5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

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…

Deborah
5 months ago
Reply to  Sara

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.

Sara
5 months ago
Reply to  Deborah

that would make sense, yes. thank you 🙂

Karen
5 months ago
Reply to  Sara

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… Read more »

Marz
5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

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.

Jana
5 months ago
Reply to  Marz

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

Professor
5 months ago
Reply to  Jana

I agree Jana. The whole house is …. unfortunate.

Sarah
5 months ago
Reply to  Jana

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

Janelle
5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

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,

Juanita
5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

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.

Lilli Keinaenen
5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

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.

Emily
5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

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?!

Deb
5 months ago
Reply to  Emily

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.

Beth Liebetrau
5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

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.

Professor
5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

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… Read more »

Professor
5 months ago
Reply to  Professor

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.

Alex
5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

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.

Georgia
5 months ago

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?

Sue
5 months ago
Reply to  Georgia

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.

Marisa
5 months ago
Reply to  Sue

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.

Eleanor
5 months ago
Reply to  Georgia

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.

LouAnn
5 months ago
Reply to  Eleanor

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

TJ
5 months ago
Reply to  Georgia

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.

Rachel
5 months ago
Reply to  TJ

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.

Lane
5 months ago
Reply to  Georgia

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.

CB
5 months ago

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

5 months ago

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?

Marisa
5 months ago

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?).

Sara Nelson
5 months ago

Wow. Just fantastic. Congratulations!!!!

Kristi B
5 months ago

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.

Rusty
5 months ago
Reply to  Kristi B

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.

Caity
5 months ago
Reply to  Rusty

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

Nicole
5 months ago
Reply to  Kristi B

would love to see what a real farmhouse looks like!! Sounds cozy

Lori
5 months ago

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.

Sue
5 months ago
Reply to  Lori

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.

Evelin
5 months ago
Reply to  Lori

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…

Victoria
5 months ago
Reply to  Evelin

agree

Karla
5 months ago
Reply to  Lori

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.

Caity
5 months ago
Reply to  Karla

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.

June
5 months ago
Reply to  Lori

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.

Billie Moloney
5 months ago

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. 🥰

K
5 months ago

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!

LL
5 months ago

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 🙂

Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  LL

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.

Mera
5 months ago
Reply to  Lee

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).

Lane
5 months ago
Reply to  LL

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.

Emilie
5 months ago
Reply to  LL

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.

Nancy
5 months ago

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

Amanda McCullough
5 months ago
Reply to  Nancy

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

Emily Johnson
5 months ago

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.

Shanna
5 months ago
Reply to  Nancy

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 : )

June
5 months ago
Reply to  Nancy

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.

Sara
5 months ago

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!?

Rusty
5 months ago
Reply to  Sara

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!

June
5 months ago
Reply to  Rusty

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!

Sara
5 months ago
Reply to  June

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 👌🏾

Caity
5 months ago
Reply to  Rusty

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!

5 months ago
Reply to  Sara

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!

Vera
5 months ago
Reply to  Sara

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!

Sara
5 months ago
Reply to  Vera

Me too, Vera, me too! I want more BP people to weigh in!

Emily
5 months ago
Reply to  Vera

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

Kara
5 months ago
Reply to  Vera

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

Lisa N
5 months ago
Reply to  Sara

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.

Jessica
5 months ago

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

Emily Johnson
5 months ago

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?

Alison
5 months ago
Reply to  Emily Johnson

Emily mentions hooks in the entryway in the video!

Kate
5 months ago

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.

Lane
5 months ago
Reply to  Kate

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?

June
5 months ago
Reply to  Lane

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.

Lilli Keinaenen
5 months ago
Reply to  Kate

There was mention of a second laundry spot upstairs.

Kathryn
5 months ago

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

Kara
5 months ago

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.

Hayley
5 months ago

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.

Hayley
5 months ago
Reply to  Hayley

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.

Kate
5 months ago
Reply to  Hayley

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.

Katie Anne
5 months ago

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.

A
5 months ago
Reply to  Katie Anne

Good thing you aren’t going to live in Emily’s house, then!

Rusty
5 months ago
Reply to  A

Now, if I’d said that?!?

Mary
5 months ago
Reply to  Katie Anne

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).

Lilli Keinaenen
5 months ago
Reply to  Katie Anne

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!

Suz
5 months ago

This is going to be amazing & so much fun to follow. Left me breathless!

Kari
5 months ago

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.)… Read more »

Mindy
5 months ago

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.

Caity
5 months ago
Reply to  Mindy

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??

Kara
5 months ago
Reply to  Caity

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

Amanda
5 months ago

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.

K
5 months ago
Reply to  Amanda

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!

Holly Mueller
5 months ago
Reply to  K

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.

Amanda
5 months ago
Reply to  K

Yep exactly what I was thinking!

Kara
5 months ago
Reply to  K

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?

Dolores
5 months ago

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.

AP
5 months ago

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…

Sarah
5 months ago
Reply to  AP

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!

Sarah
5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

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.

Alison
5 months ago

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. 🙂

5 months ago
Reply to  Alison

That was my thought!

Kate
5 months ago
Reply to  Alison

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.

Sarah
5 months ago

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.

Caity
5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

YES THIS!!! Then you get the beautiful light flooding the kitchen the living!!

RachieT
5 months ago

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.

Party Monster
5 months ago

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?

Brigitte
5 months ago

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.

5 months ago
Reply to  Brigitte

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.

Hana
5 months ago

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!

SW
5 months ago

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!!).

Maxine
5 months ago

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.

heather
5 months ago

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”. ??

arti
5 months ago

This looks SO effing cool.

That is all.

Christa
5 months ago

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

Christa
5 months ago
Reply to  Christa

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?

Jeanne
5 months ago

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.

Rusty
5 months ago

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 …. …. …. 😊

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