The first floor floorplan was a DOOZY, for us and for you. Thanks to a lot of your input Arciform, Brian and I have actually done some pretty substantial changes that Brian will be writing about (we agreed with many but not all of the ideas). But for now, the much easier floor is todays subject – the original bedroom floor and where we are hoping to just work with the original layout, while making a few substantial lifestyle improvements in the storage and laundry departments.
The layout was pretty great upstairs. We love the spacious landing and how all of the bedrooms and bath open into that landing. All three bedrooms are corner rooms giving them all great light with original windows and enough space. Our only issues with the layout of it was needing bigger closets and we fantasized about having a stacking washer and dryer for the kids to do their own laundry and bedding.
In the first version that Anne sent to us we were ecstatic to see that there wasn’t just a stacking washer/dryer in the landing but a whole (if not tight) laundry room. She stole from the biggest of the bedrooms (that will be our guest room) to make it AND it even has a pretty original window!! We’ve chosen to have this (plus a stacking version in our primary closet) instead of a full fledge laundry room somewhere on the first floor or basement (with is only 6′ tall and like a dungeon so its likely not going to be a space anybody wants to hang out in). Again, this is a pure lifestyle choice as we know that the kids will be more likely to be more responsible for their own laundry if its near them (and same with us).
If you want to see me lay this whole thing out in video form…the check this out (wait for the ad to play then enjoy me pretending to do laundry in our “new” laundry room)
Next the closets…
The closets were all pretty small reach-ins and while these kids don’t need walk-in closets we knew there was space to make them wider and more functional. So we recongifured the space to give them each larger closets + to add a secret passageway between their two rooms (which they won’t stop talking about).
We don’t know whose room is whose yet TBH. Right now they share a room and love it so they say they want to share a room up there, and then have the second bedroom as a playroom and the third our guest room. But by the time we actually move in they might want their own space (Charlie will be 8 hopefully). I’d prefer them to share until they don’t want to anymore (we hear around 10/11 is when the older one wants some more privacy as they near puberty – dear god we can’t be so close to that!!!). Either way we are ok with letting them decide, I just might not be able to totally design the rooms for a while as where they land might be in limbo so all three rooms will be designed initially with a lot of flexbility.
Now, whats up with the balcony?
Well, until last week we had a sunroom with a balcony on top of it. Brian had this awesome idea of a glass ceiling which admittedly I thought was both cool and unnecessarily expensive (and maybe weird), but he was SO excited about it that we kept it in the plans. But since we have shifted the first floor and now there might be a sunroom but it’s going to be smaller, and then to save money we’ll eliminate the balcony and just have a normal non-walkable glass ceiling. I actually wasn’t psyched about the kids having a balcony off their room anyway. So we are back to just having a window there instead of a door.
Lastly the bathroom will have the same footprint that it had before as we are hoping to barely change the plumbing and save on that. We MIGHT even be adding in a double sided, shaker style cabinet that connects from the bathroom to the laundry room. The thought of putting your dirty clothes straight into the hamper in the laundry room is very exciting to us and our kids don’t even realize how good they’ll have it.
I feel like there is NO way that this could change much based on your comments, but then I honestly thought the same with the first floor post and look what has happened. After I posted it i thought ‘this is it, we aren’t changing our minds as this is the best floorplan possible’ then lo and behold enough of you had the same ideas so we had to try them and then once we saw the drawings we realized that some of you are absolutely right. We are still working on it, but we feel that this floor is pretty darn SOLID. Eh?
They look like such lovely big rooms and a good layout! I wondered why on earth you wanted a laundry room upstairs when you’d have to carry wet laundry downstairs all the time, and then I realised you intend to dry all the laundry in a dryer. I’m in the UK and I see a dryer as something you only use in an emergency when you really need something dry fast to wear, or because it’s the depths of winter and it hasn’t stopped raining for a week – but this happens a lot less than you might think, even in our climate. Otherwise everything goes outside if possible, or on a clothes horse in the window/on a pulley/on radiators – I don’t actually have a dryer and never have. May I recommend that you get a pulley (also called a sheila maid) for the laundry room? They are much more environmentally friendly and cheaper! I would love to be able to hang my laundry outside though and it’s one of the key things I would look forward to if I moved somewhere with a garden, so I’m surprised that you want to dry everything inside when you don’t have… Read more »
For whatever reason, dryers are must-haves for us Americans. I’ve lived overseas in 2 countries where everyone hangs their laundry outside, which I prefer and plan to stick with for as long as possible.
Totally agree with a pulley, up on the ceiling : life changing and space saving ! + if you go for a “vintage” version, it’s actually quite good looking imo ! Look at wooden hanging laundry rack (aka An English-Style Airer). I was quite afraid at commenting on the first floor post and I can’t wait to see what changes you made !!
In many areas here in US it’s against local code to have a clothesline. Don’t get me started…
I rely a lot on our dryer but I also hang dry a lot as well, but indoors since our Canadian weather is pretty uncooperative 🙂
We installed a long closet rod over the washer and dryer so I just hang things as they come out of the washer, then move them to the closets (already on their hanger) once dry. It’s very convenient!
Yes I would love to hang laundry outside – we are not allowed to do that per the Government.
Is that the case in Portland??
I thought that wouldn’t be the case, since commenters have noted the great recycling laws, etc.
Sounds progressive and environmentally conscious as a state.
I also live in the UK and dry everything in the dryer when is raining basically from September to March. But I love to put my bedding in the garden in the summer. I just put it on the grass so the sheets get sun bleached and they smell like summer! I don’t even use a clothes line! I just put the clothes on the grass.
Portlander here – this is a non issue. You can have chickens, goats, honey bees, etc. in the city (just no roosters). No one is going after you for hanging laundry 🙂
It would only be an issue if you lived in a planned development where there’s a Homeowner’s Association that made rules against it.
No laws against clotheslines in Portland. Lots of people hang things to dry but we also get a lot of rain, and it’s really only practical in the summer and fall.
Our HOA in Arizona wouldn’t allow it. Although with the dust storms most of the summer, drying clothes outside wouldn’t have been super great anyway. We live in Texas now and we rarely use our dryer. I hang the laundry outside most of the year. There’s something magical about the smell of line dried clothes. And our clothes last longer too!
I have a gull wing freestanding drying rack and love it!
YES!! We use our gull wing when it’s crummy outside. I can fit a whole load on that sucker!
I spent a semester in Spain in college and had a pulley clothesline. My oh my I hated it! My clothes (and towels! ugh!) were always “crispy” after they dried and just felt AWFUL to put on. Besides that, they would often fall off the clothesline 4 stories down which was just annoying. I think Americans are just spoiled with our dryers… I cannot imagine going back to line drying EVERYTHING. I only line dry delicates now.
It’s a shame that your dryers are spoiling the environment for everyone else…
Oh L, they are just one of many things. The world will not end because some of us use a dryer. I save the environment in other ways. I dont buy many plastics, or polyester. I don’t commute to work, I use energy efficient lighting, I live in a smaller house so that I don’t have to use too much energy to be comfortable in it. I don’t water my lawn, I dont use snowplow. I have energy efficient windows. I dont buy disposab furniture or trendy things to throw away later. There are manu things that spoil the environment. In my humid climate clothes won’t even dry. And like I said, some clothes dont dry well on a line and later require ironing so
But L, you are spoiling the environment for everyone else, too.
I accidentally voted that comment up, out of shock.
Wot are you even saying?!
It must not be that hard to understand if you are already in outrage mode about it.
It’s silly (and rude) to climb up on your high horse and accuse a stranger of “spoiling the environment” — without any context of who they are or how they fully live their lives. But then you know that.
FACT: Americans constitute 5% of the world’s population but consume 24% of the world’s energy.
Actually we’re No. 2 behind China for per capital energy consumption.
Actually Lee the page you link shows overall consumption, not per capita. You can see per capita consumption as well as overall consumption on this chart
The US is over 3 times higher than China in per capita consumption
FACT: One way to quantify environmental impacts is by estimating how many Earths would be needed to sustain the global population if everyone lived a particular lifestyle. One study estimates it would take 5 Earths to support the human population if everyone’s consumption patterns were similar to the average American.
A really good thing for everyone in this thread to remember is that the vast majority of negative environmental impacts comes from commercial/industrial practices. All of the stuff individuals are encouraged (or required) to do is good and does make a small impact, but it is **nothing** compared to the damage that is continuing to be done by corporations that operate in places with no laws pertaining to their environmental responsibility or with laws that actually protect them from needing to be responsible or held liable when their practices cause direct harm to human beings (and not just “the environment”, a thing which some people still have a weird inability to understand or care about). Let be more gracious to each other, and save our contempt for the appropriate targets. To get you started (if you even want to): https://www.earthday.org/the-recycling-problem-a-feel-good-story-thats-too-good-to-be-true/ https://www.greenbiz.com/article/corporations-cause-22t-environmental-damage-every-year And this last one has a really disgusting quote from a former US Treasury Secretary who was also once Chief Economist of the World Bank: https://www.globalissues.org/article/55/corporations-and-the-environment I wanted to find the article I recently read that totaled up what impacts corporations can make vs. what impact home recycling can make (with a higher percentage of participation than we currently… Read more »
I’m really glad that you raised this crucial point, Denise. Certainly it’s a good idea for us – in terms of our individual behaviour – to try to do what we can to address the climate crisis, but pressure and political action to change corporate/commercial practices in the U.S. and worldwide is what will have much deeper impact. It’s not an either/or, and there has been a tendency towards particularly consumerist and energy guzzling lifestyles in North America, but it seems important to emphasize this when there’s sometimes so much conversation on individual lifestyles vs systemic change.
Where I live the climate is so humid my clothes would mold on the line before they dried, if they even dried at all.
And if I made sure to put them in direct sunlight they would all get bleached it and I would then have to “spoil the environment for everyone else” by buying new clothes every week.
I reduce my consumption, I recycle, and I proudly dry my clothes in an earth-destroying machine. Fight me lol
We have driers in Spain as well. Maybe you were in a poor college.
Psst: use softener 😉 or even a bit vinegar does the job.
We use a drier all the time here in the Czech Republic as well! We used to live in Israel and didn’t have a drier there, and to be honest I hated it– for example, you can never wash guests’ laundry right before they leave because it takes at least a full day for it to dry. Let’s get off our high horses everyone.
But you have to iron everything you dry on a pulley and outside. Been there, done that. No thanks. It’s not eco friendly when you have to iron out wrinkles out of your sheets, towels. Also towels and sheets, and tshirts and other cotton things aren’t as soft when you dry on a line. I actualy dry flat my silks and sweaters, and jeans but not my cottons. I dry, but never overdry my things. Anyway, we don’t have to be eco friendly in all aspects of our lives. We can choose. This may be a luxury, and a splurge to have a dryer. But that’s what makes some of our lives easier and less stressful. If you enjoy hanging up laundry and looking at it, and having it soak up smoke and other smells and then take it down and iron, That’s good. But I’m not convinced, sorry. Just saying there are negatives you all might not think about it. It’s a cost either way.
Who irons sheets and towels?
Me! guilty! I would HATE to have un ironed sheets. HATE IT!
I would hate for future generations to live on a hell-hole Earth, because people ‘needed’ ironed sheets and couldn’t be bothered to do what it takes to reverse the environmental damage.
It’s not only about not making it worse, we all need to get real and do even more, to reverse what’s already been done.
I’m from Portugal, Europe. Here everyone irons sheets and towels.
I do. As do most germans. They even iron dish towels.
Can I ask why, exactly? I’m not trying to be flippant, I honestly don’t understand why people do this.
It is considered untidy looking to have unironed sheets or really unironed anything in Germany. If my german mom were to dry her duvet covers in the dryer she would still end up ironing them most likely. But she rarely ever uses her dryer. I personally have stopped line drying and ironing and use the dryer so most wrinkles come out with half a dryer sheets and dryer balls. It is still not 100% ironed looking like that but I have learned to live with it and since i live in the Midwest now I don’t feel that outside pressure to have perfectly ironed clothes on all the time. The only thing I still iron are dress shirts and duvet covers. My best friend from Germany frequently moans about the amount of ironing she still has left to do. She almost exclusively wears dressier shirts and blouses because of her job so most of her clothes are line dried and then require ironing. It is not an option to just wear her stuff wrinkly as that would look very unprofessional. 😅 the cultural differences are always very entertaining to dissect.
American here. I iron sheets.
No you don’t. Just shake the wrinkles out before you hang the clothes, then fold them well when you take them down. I only line- and air-dry and I hardly ever iron, I pretty much only do light shirts/blouses and the tablecloth if it’s a special occasion. If you’re the kind of person who irons your bedclothes, you’re the kind of person who irons them whether they come off a line or out of a dryer, let’s face it.
I also want to chime in and say that, for us seasonal allergy sufferers, line drying clothes outside would be a nightmare. I’m in the midwest and suffer from pretty bad seasonal allergies much of the year, so much so that I can’t keep windows open in my house either without severe allergy attacks. I do try to line dry some delicate things inside, but our dryer is also a must.
I was going to comment the same! I wish I could live with windows and doors open at all times, but sadly wouldn’t be able to breathe several months of the year 😢🤧
It’s ingrained in US culture. I spent many years abroad and adapted the no dryer habit once I moved back to the US. I get so many comments/questions about it, and my mom has (very generously) offered to buy me a dryer multiple times, but I really don’t have a need for one. It’s going on 10 years without one and I don’t regret it. It’s better for your clothing and most clothes dry overnight (much faster in the summer outside or in the winter next to the fireplace). Every once in awhile I will need to dry something quickly and can just pop up to a laundromat to do so. I do miss the soft towels though! And it can be a pain to wash large items like tablecloths and sheets and have them hanging on doors to dry, but it’s not the end of the world.
L, I agree.
It’s complacent to not be driven by what we know to be important and simply carry on doing what we prefer or are ‘used’ to.
We each need to do everything, not just some, easy-comfortable-to-do things, to turn the heater off on our planet.
It really is the “Inconvenient Truth.”
As a native Oregonian, between spring (and summer and sometimes fall) allergies and the fact that there’s a possibility of rain 9 out of 12 months of the year, I would hate to line dry my clothes exclusively.
but that’s ridiculous… don’t you see that there is more allergic people in the world and very few have dryers… seriously, you make laugh
The pollen levels in Oregon ARE NO JOKE. Every transplant to this area suffers horribly before realizing they need a daily regimen of antihistamines and have to embrace their Neti pot. But I line dry indoors, AND use a dryer. I do not believe they are even close to the source of trouble in our environment. Industrial farming, however…but wait weren’t we admiring Emily’s house plans? Ugh…way to go off the rails ya’ll.
Absolutely right! A dryer seems totally unnecessary/environmentally “unfriendly” for me, another European, too.
K, the mentality is different, clearly.
Europe is much more aware of environmental impacts than the bell curve in the US. Think of the EU stance on GMO, pesticides, electric vehicles, recycling, the list goes on.
Until someone sees the reality, they simply don’t ‘get’ it.
What a strange thing to criticize people for having. I feel it’s like criticizing someone for having an electric oven when they *could*, in theory, just use a propane grill or open flame firepit for everything, lol.
Aside from that – as an American who lived in the UK (which has similar weather as Portland) for awhile without a dryer, it was awful, especially in winter. My clothes never got fully dry by the time I had to wear them. What is even worse is those under-counter washer/dryer combos. *shudder
Ummm I don’t think Emily was asking whether it was *ok* for her family to use a drier.. so many comments about something that’s really none of your business.
This discussion about dryer use is kind of entertaining—as if it is a moral failure to use a dryer. As an American, I can’t imagine how long it would take hung laundry to dry, and then it would be so stiff. My solution for my house in Italy is to have solar panels that provide a surplus of electrical energy, and use an electric dryer, along with an electric furnace, and an electric car. I have eliminated greenhouse gases from my property and provide surplus energy for my region. Hey, we all do the best we can…
We should call this thread “Dryergate”.
Omg right? This is hilarious
After reading all of these dryer tales I remembered that my Mom hung everything out because we didn’t have a dryer. My Dad had finally gotten my mom an automatic washer which was an upgrade from the wringer washer we had. When I was about ten my Mom got pneumonia and the family doctor insisted she go to the hospital. My father asked him how could she have gotten pneumonia and he hinted that if my Mom did not have to run in and out of the house hanging laundry in the winter for a family of six it would be better for her health. The week my Mom came home from the hospital there was an electric dryer delivered to our house. Mom still hung clothes in the summer but the rest of the year that dryer was used weekly.
Weather permitting everything is hung outside. (South East Australia, does rain a fair bit) If it’s raining clothes wracks/horse. Family of six and I barely use dryer at all. The complaints about stiff and bleached clothes are kind of funny! I always dry inside out and clothes are not stiff. Towels aren’t soft but they are better for your lymphatic system as they stimulate the skin. Also, the rubbing of clothes in a dryer would make them wear out more quickly.
Yup, Tara, but then we don’t think garbage disposals are a good thing either.
It’s a different mentality. The comments demonstrate that priorities are vadtly different. Sad, but demonstrated to be true.
Surprised this didn’t come up so I’ll add it in —let’s not forget about renewable energy and the possibility to go net-zero on carbon emissions and produce all (or more of) the energy than you consume, ie. by installing solar panels/geothermal or other new technologies. I hope this is a priority for Emily’s home with their goal to make it sustainable and built to last for many many years. As for as appliances go… You can now find highly efficient electric heat pump dryers (and heaters, water heaters, and induction stoves), which I can highly recommend from experience and are only getting better every year as demand grows. In California, our energy sources are close to fully renewable, and you can choose to opt in to programs that are 100%. It’s time to stop burning fossil fuels, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use a dryer, especially a good one that you plan to keep and make efficient use of. It does mean seriously thinking about your energy sources and avoiding gas- and other fossil fuels, powering your home. Not to mention increasing local regulations banning the use of natural gas in new constructions, which might soon apply to retrofits… Read more »
I’m American and use my dryer through the winter and mostly line dry in the summer but after reading this thread I’m encouraged to use my drying rack indoors in the winter now. It’s such a simple adjustment and is more respectful towards others on the planet that already live a low-impact lifestyle and to future generations. Thank you for enlightening me, non-Americans!
I secretly love an extra-crispy and scratchy line-dried towel, much more than a fluffy fabric-softener-imbued one. I also do a combo of indoor/outdoor line drying, along with dryer use (Canada).
The layout looks great! I had a secret passage closet in a former house; it was built that way in the 1930s.
I had the same reaction to the idea of an upstairs laundry, vs a laundry chute. But from talking to American friends (I’m from NZ), it seems very common there to not really air dry your clothes ever, even when living semi rural. For us a dryer is something you use when it rains a lot, or to finish your clothes off if they didn’t quite dry on the line. Outside of that using a dryer is seem as a bit wasteful. I know it’s a bit shocking to us as outsiders, but with this cultural difference I can see the logic in the laundry here. Overall I think you’re right Emily, it’s a solid plan (and I love the secret door, which you can so easily close in the future if need be). I would probably have gone for just a laundry cupboard and had a bit more space in either the bathroom or bedroom but that’s a very minor thing and totally personal. You could maybe utilise shelving in the laundry room to store the linen (towels, sheets, spare blankets etc) for the upstairs bathrooms. I personally would not be very comfortable having my young kids on a… Read more »
I live in the PNW and there is no way I can hang clothes outside in the winter! I actually wash and hang dry most of my clothing on a homemade version of a sheila maid in the laundry room. Even jeans dry quickly and your clothes last so much longer. I couldn’t live without it and I also highly recommend they install one.
This looks amazing! And so admiring, as ever, of the humility and good-humour that you take everyone’s feedback. Two small suggestions, based on the fact I think squared-off rooms are nicest (which you may disagree with!)
1) Move the door to the bottom left-hand bedroom (as we see it in the plans here) along the wall towards the stairs so that you can square-off that bedroom and make the closet in the next-door bedroom deeper (does that make sense?)
2) Why not put the kids’ laundry in their bathroom? You’d have to get rid of (or move) that little window, but then you’d be able to make the guest bedroom bigger and a nice clean rectangle, the bath would be bigger too, and I think machines and hamper in a kids’ bathroom is maybe the best and most convenient way of all to get them to do their laundry 😉
We have laundry in a closet in the bathroom and I wholeheartedly agree it is the bomb-diggity. Kids don’t appreciate a laundry room like adults do! 😜
I really like the idea of opening the bathroom and laundry room up and making it one big room. We just moved out of a rental that we were in while we were building our new home, and the rental had a small bathroom with laundry in it and it honestly was THE BEST. When we moved to our new big house that has separate bathrooms and a big laundry room all by itself, I was worried that I’d forget to do the laundry since I didn’t have to go in there all the time. (So far, so good! :)).
That said, I do kind of want to see the double sided cabinetry with hampers executed just to see it! But maybe don’t do something just because we want to see it. 🙂
I disagree with joining a a bath and laundry room. That’s potentially more clutter in the bathroom. And no way to do both, by two kids or a guest at the same time. It’s a luxury to have them separate,but there is room, bedrooms are big anyway, so there is little reason to join them. I’d make closets slightly deeper or would get rid from of nooks to create closed storage.
The problem with putting the laundry in the bath (which we recently did when renovating an old farm house) is that when guests are visiting, you basically can’t do laundry. Although, in your case, you will have one on the floor below if you are in a pinch. I say stick with the current plan, which by the way is SO SO SO SO much better than the 1st floor because the changes are fewer and more sensible.
I vote NO on putting the laundry machines in the bathroom. Given how much time preteens and teens spend in the bathroom, it would be annoying for one kid to have to wait to do laundry while the other was dominating the bathroom. I predict that would lead to plenty of bickering.
Separate spaces for those two different functions is better. And who wants fecal matter on their laundry. (Sorry. Gross but true.)
My brother has a combined laundry/bathroom in their house and it has always seemed really awkward. It feels like you are using the bathroom in another “room” and not in a private bathroom. Not a fan of combining if there is room to separate. It’s also less peaceful taking a bath, etc. with the sound of the washer running. In addition to use by the kids, this is also the bathroom for overnight guests, who do not need to see laundry hanging, soaking, etc.
Hi! Architect and space planner here 🙂 While the idea of putting the laundry in the bathroom and squaring off the guest bedroom is great and logical, the location of the window and the bedroom wall make that difficult. To square-off the room, the wall would hit in the middle of the window. Also, keeping the laundry separate will hopefully make the bathroom more presentable for guests. I really like the idea of adjusting the lower left bedroom door to the left to make the closet deeper.
Thank god, an architect! Would love to know what you think about the first floor plan.
I do not understand what you are saying about the bedroom. The other commenter was talking about the “bottom left bedroom”, you are talking about the guest bedroom (which is in the upper right of the floorplan). There is already an internal wall in the bottom left bedroom that does not impact the window, and just before it gets to the central landing it jogs to the right. Obviously, it does that so the door into that bottom left bedroom can open fully, but I don’t see why someone did it that way in the first place. That internal wall between the two bottom bedrooms can be kept straight all the way to the central landing and the bottom right bedroom will have a deeper closet, and the door to the bottom left bedroom can be scooted over very easily.
Our kids don’t have their own laundry o their floor (they are actually downstairs while we are upstairs) but I have found that the most important thing in getting kids to do their own laundry is for them not to have a shared hamper. Each person in our family has their own. When they were little (now 15 and 12.5) they shared a hamper and they were willing to sort out their clean clothes, but a shared hamper would just cause fights with older kids. Sorting out the laundry is just one more task to fight about. Plus having separate hampers is a huge time saver in general- we do have one in our laundry for dirty towels though. For that reason alone I would not do the pass through cabinet, unless it is worth it to you to just have towels go there. I think that if there is a shared bathroom, especially for kids of different genders, my priority would be having more privacy. A separate wc/toilet room would be very helpful. My kids are the same gender but they still don’t like being in the bathroom together and haven’t for a few years. One will use our… Read more »
The hamper issue is real! Our boys are 8, 9 and 11, and each of them has TWO hampers: one labeled ‘Clean’ and one ‘Dirty.’ Each kid has a designated weekly laundry night. As parents, we can be very lax with other chores (e.g. making the bed is up to them, and we don’t insist), but we do not let this slip. The labelled baskets mean they always know what’s what, even if the laundry doesn’t get put away in drawers as quickly as it should. Bottom line, the laundry hamper cabinet needs to be big enough for two hampers. 😂
The snag with that is that if one person is showering or using the bathroom, no one else (guests or other kiddo) can go in there to do laundry.
It’s future privacy issue. Makes sense to keep it separate and the pass-through hamper is great.
My first thought! Especially when the kids are older. It would give me anxiety to use the bathroom and wonder who could “peek” in, not to mention the smells that could escape. As s guest, I would never feel comfortable and would keep one eye on that cabinet the whole time. Guess I don’t see much benefit to the double sided cabinet. But see a lot of down side. Cute idea, but maybe more for a butlers pantry or an en suite.
Oh thank you for getting the discussion off the soapbox!
I love the idea of the laundry room space stolen from the bedroom. It will be much easier to contain the clothes. The bedrooms look great, and I’m so glad you are keeping the lattice windows. The landing seems spacious, so I’m excited to see what you do with that area. Saving money on the upstairs by utilizing the existing plumbing/bathroom is a great idea. The only thing you may want to consider (which I’m sure you have already) is to swap the carpet with a different surface. Kids, farm property, Pacific Northwest weather, and pets may make it difficult to keep clean.
This is your forever house so you don’t need to worry about re-sale based on number of bedrooms. You’ll get more use out of the third bedroom being an upstairs kids/teen retreat rather than guest room. Stick a sofa bed in there if you have to. Or guests stay in the other house. Downstairs for you. Upstairs for kids.
That said, if you want a guest bedroom, why not turn that laundry into an ensuite for that bedroom? You’d have a proper self-contained guest suite then. And stick the laundry downstairs. Realistically, will your kids really use that laundry? Not for many, many years.
I think she has said in the past that the two kids already do their own laundry. And even if they need help at first, it is convenient to have the machines close to the bedrooms where they are changing 🙂
Although I do like the idea of a little guest en-suite!
I agree about a guest en-suite. This of course depends on how often you will have overnight guests. Guests will feel more comfortable having their own bathroom while the kids won’t have to share their bathroom with guests either.
My boys have been doing their own laundry since they were about Emily’s kids age. In our dark, unfinished basement. Ha. I always advocate for making your spaces work best for your family in the day to day and not for the occasional guest!
The only thing I would suggest is to make the laundry room into a laundry closet and add an ensuite guest bath for the guest room. I have lots of guests stay at my house and I would love for them to have their own bathroom (for our family’s convenience as well as theirs). In one house, we had a laundry closet upstairs with the bedrooms and it was the only house where laundry didn’t get out of control because I had no place to store unwashed baskets of laundry.
Oops, this was supposed to be a stand alone comment. Somehow it got tacked on to this thread! : )
I think you handled all that feedback so graciously 🙂 I feel bad saying this but I can’t get behind two washers and dryers unless you’re getting solar power? I would much prefer to hang washing out and let it dry in the sun, but our weather is generally fine all year round.
Agree, Emily you handled all the feedback so wonderfully!
I’ve seen several comments about the concern of having two sets of machines and maybe this is my ignorance – why is that worse for the environment? Other than the initial issue of the machines themselves being made and transported, after that, isn’t it all the same for the earth?
Ex: if the family does three loads of laundry today (one upstairs, two downstairs) doesn’t that use the same water and electricity as if they’d done three loads with the same machines?
Good point and I did think this as I wrote it. But I guess I do one big load of colours for example, instead of two lots in two different machines. And if you were being very particular – doubling up the resources used to produce the machines etc. It’s probably just my inner bias that it seems excessive.
It may not be as great a difference as some think, but there is one: dryers use most of the energy. To conserve, it is recommended that people do multiple loads one after another. This means the dryer is still warm (or hot) when you put the next load of clean, wet laundry in and it will dry all subsequent loads faster. So, in your example, doing two loads downstairs means that *that* dryer is conserving some energy when drying its second load. The upstairs load could be done downstairs and more energy could be conserved in the same way, however since it is done upstairs, it is done in a cold-start dryer and more energy is used. Over time, this does add up. However, something to consider is whether the household in question even does all their laundry one day a week (which is assumed in examples about conserving energy while using a dryer). Many many people with kids, or just more than a couple folks in the home, spread their laundry out over multiple days in the week. There is no energy savings there if they are going to do one load a day no matter what because… Read more »
Hi, I agree. Dryers gobble up the energy. We live in (often rainy) London in the UK, so when the weather is bad and we can’t peg out in the garden we hang washing on a rack in the laundry room, radiators are strewn etc. Reminding ourselves about climate change is motivating and I imagine your children will be on board with this; my kids are eco-warriors and made us get rid of our car:)
omg Annie, I love your kids.
Annie, a wise, awareness indeed.
Then why say anything?
I think it doesn’t use more energy to have two washers and driers, same number of loads, just spread across multiple machines. It’s more that an upstairs laundry is more or less a declaration that you intend by default to put everything in the drier. And I think this is just a cultural difference, that I guess those of us not from the states are reacting to. I don’t think in the US the concept of reducing consumption is the same as elsewhere. I also imagine electricity is cheaper.
I think it looks perfect! I love the 2 sided closet in the bathroom. When we redid our primary bath we didn’t include space for a hamper…and my kids’ discarded clothes NEVER make into the hamper in the closet. My oldest daughters’ rooms both open out onto a balcony/deck. I was nervous at first, but we installed key locks so they couldn’t so easily open them to go out and play if we didn’t want them to (like if friends were over and we weren’t supervising so closely). They’re 10 and 12 now and they do hang out there if they have friends over, but they don’t go out there to just sit and read (my vision- haha)…yet! Can’t wait to see the tweaks on the 1st floor!
go solar please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! give the people what they want! : )
Please! I would love to read all the posts about your process of installing solar!
Admittedly, I don’t know much about solar! But would that be a viable option in a place like the PNW where it’s so rainy all the time?
The modern solar panels only need light, not sun.
The technology has advanced immensely in the last decade.
So, yes, solar in Portland is doable.
In fact, drizzly, dark London has heaps of solar!
Yes, solar works in the PNW. I live in Seattle and there are lots of houses with solar. We are saving up to add it at some point in the future. Our house is all electric (no natural gas) and I’m so excited to one day be solar powered.
Portlander here – there is a lot of solar here, it’s all dependent on a solar score that basically looks at exposure, e.g. south facing roofs are fantastic, west facing second best.
Solar in Portland? I don’t know about that. Also… read up on the environmental impact of manufacturing solar panels and mining rare earth minerals. Solar energy is not as eco-friendly as many people would like to believe.
My husband is a solar engineer. Trust me when I say it’s SIGNIFICANTLY better for the environment than fossil fuels, especially long term. We also live in Portland and the plan has always been to install solar on our house.
Interestingly, solar actually works pretty well in the Pacific Northwest, despite the pretty steady cloud cover we’re known for. I think you can still generate about 70% of what you would in California for example, and I’m pretty sure it’s because it’s so temperate here and solar does well in less extreme heat.
@Catherine, yes, many homes in Portland have solar. As long as the panels are facing south, you can get all your electricity from solar here, and a huge surplus in the summer which goes to the grid and you get credited by the electric company. Everything has to be made of something, you’re right, but there is no question that renewable energy is better for the earth than fossil fuel. I’m curious what your source is for stating that solar is not as eco-friendly as people would like to believe.
Solar panels, rare earth parts, most of it is recyclable.
It’s a no-brainer.
Solar panels are NOT mostly recyclable. In fact, just the opposite. They contain a lot of toxic chemicals that mean they would be hugely expensive and very difficult to recycle. See links below to the looming glut of unrecyclable solar panels that will end up dumped in landfills (and thus threatening groundwater).
Do the research.
Perhaps take your own advice.
Marian’s husband here. She’s absolutely correct. Solar energy is FAR more eco-friendly than energy produced from fossil fuel. Yes it requires mining for material, and there are other environmental impacts, but I’m curious how your electricity is produced and if you think it’s more eco-friendly? I’d be happy to educate you on the energy industry. I’ve been doing this for 13 years.
You can also read my response a few comments down where I’ve shared a bit more information.
Sorry but solar energy has a negative footprint too. Consider: “Solar panels are composed of photovoltaic (PV) cells that convert sunlight to electricity. When these panels enter landfills, valuable resources go to waste. And because solar panels contain toxic materials like lead that can leach out as they break down, landfilling also creates new environmental hazards.”
Here’s a link about the glut of solar panels coming to a landfill near you:
And here’s another link about this looming and not easily resolved problem:
These issues are a lot more complicated than many people assume.
P.S. And no, these solar panels can’t just be recycled. They contain toxic materials.
“Solar panels often contain lead, cadmium, and other toxic chemicals that cannot be removed without breaking apart the entire panel. “Approximately 90% of most PV modules are made up of glass,” notes San Jose State environmental studies professor Dustin Mulvaney. “However, this glass often cannot be recycled as float glass due to impurities. Common problematic impurities in glass include plastics, lead, cadmium and antimony.”
Lee you are my hero.
Cell phones and computers contain much the same … guesswhat?
We recycle those… when we can be bothered.
Wow, there’s a lot of misinformation in this thread. Solar engineer here for the last 13 years (Marian’s husband mentioned above). Let me clear a few things up: 1. Do solar panels contain toxic chemicals? To a certain extent, yes. In typical crystalline silicon panels, there is a small amount of lead. This is used in the solder that connects the cells together within the panel. Is this concerning? No, unless you are concerned with every piece of electronics in existence. Because nearly ALL electronics use lead-based solder. The second toxic material referenced is cadmium. Yes, this is indeed a toxic material, and during the decommissioning of a solar system, needs to be dealt with properly (not just thrown in a landfill). Now what ISN’T mentioned is that cadmium is ONLY used in cadmium telluride (CdTe) PV panels. Only one manufacturer (with any significant production capacity) uses this technology: First Solar. They have the ability to produce 1.9GW of solar panels per year. Sounds like a lot right? Well the combined production capacity of all solar panel manufacturers is about 140GW per year. So they are only 1.3% of the world’s production capacity. Furthermore the 2nd article above mentions that… Read more »
I love you so much.
Thank you for commenting! Really useful.
Thank you for taking the time to include all the information in your comment!
Elliot, STANDING OVATION. God, it’s such a relief to hear from someone who actually knows. Thank you for taking the time.
I’m genuinely curious why solar panels would go into landfills? Do they have a short shelf life?
After about 25 to 30 years they will most likely have to be disposed of.
Re … cycling.
Evrn our bodies eventually get recycled.
That’s too bad. I guess everything wears out. 30 years of use is nothing to sneeze at though.
They only go to landfill if the society is not recycling.
The components are very recyclable.
Even the glass…it gets crushed and downcycled, but does NOT have yo be landfill.
The components are NOT very recyclable.
Do the reading instead of your simplistic answers
Lee, are you a troll? I can’t tell based on your comments. It’s okay to disagree about things but why fight so hard about this I wonder?
When our kids were very little, I dreamed of a “family closet”, where the kids laundry is washed and stored in one room. So I totally get where you’re coming from with the main bedroom closet combined with laundry. And a second set upstairs. Friends of ours built a beautiful house some years back and it was big… yet the kids floor had no laundry and everything had to come down to a tiny laundry room off the kitchen. It really is such an everyday chore with a family that it makes sense to me put it in the places where it’s easiest if you have the space and money.
It’s a nice layout! I’m interested to see how you design the closets. You have created straight lines in the bedrooms so the closets could be designed to look like built in wardrobes. We have an 1860 farmhouse that had the TINIEST closets with huge bedrooms. We turned one full wall into wardrobes and I think it is both really functional and works with the age of the house. We added smaller cabinets on the top that go all the way to the ceiling and work great for bins of off season clothes.
A shaker peg rail in the laundry room might be nice and give the kids a place to hang some things to dry.
Built in wardrobes would be dreamy instead of closets. I’m thinking built in drawers on the bottom with hanging cabinets above… beautiful hardware. It would certainly add a ton of character back into the home!
Yes! Shaker style built in wardrobes for the win! It would be a great opportunity to bring that design esthetic to the second floor in a huge way. Bravo 👍👆
I like the idea of a closet on the entire length of wall. This might actually be more convenient than a walkin closet.
It would make the “secret door” way more surprising and special IMO.
My in laws did this in their modern farmhouse and they look fantastic and very user friendly!
This looks lovely, and I’m surprised to be delighted that you appreciate the large landing, but I am! A few thoughts: (1) Glass balcony floor?? Er, not one for the skirt-wearing segment of the population, very glad you’ve knocked that on the head! Also, wasn’t it going to also be the roof of your dining room? I personally wouldn’t really want (trouser-wearing) teenagers leering in making faces at your refined grown-up lunch. Or trouser-wearing teenagers lying on the dining table leering up at skirt-wearers on the balcony above. (2) I agree about squared-off bedrooms. that bump-out in the TRH bedroom has no functionality in the room at all, and if you adjusted both it and the bedroom below to be squared off you wouldn’t lose much functional room and would make your spacious landing even more spacious too. (3) Two tumble-dryers in a huge house with only four adults, and no air-drying at all, inside or outside…? If we can air- and line-dry in rainy Ireland, you can do it there. I know you are moving to somewhere with a lot more rain than you have now, but tumble-drying is an environment killer. I know you are reconfiguring the ground… Read more »
What a well written, thoughtful and conscious comment.
I love all of your suggestions.
Echoing Universal Design on the first floor – it’s “invisible” when done by architects, and when incorporated into the original plans doesn’t change the remodeling costs – as noted above: the slightly wider doorways, using door handles that are levels instead of knobs, an entrance that is accessible at the front or side, etc., there are small shifts that make a world of difference if you or a guest or family member need any accommodations.
My own folks designed their house with UD in mind when they were in their early 60s, planning for “20 years from now” – it turned out that my mom was suddenly in a wheelchair at 64 years old and because of the house being designed in this way she still had full and total access to all areas of her home. She could sleep in her own bed, use her own bathroom, not be excluded from any areas of the house.
I love Universal Design! I only learned of it a couple years ago but 1)the philosophy behind it is wonderful and 2)it looks fantastic when done by a pro. Since the Hendersons are using a pro….might be the time for them to ask about it. You never know what the future holds. Even if Emily and Brian remain healthy for a long time, their parents are all already retired and experiencing changes in their bodies due to aging. How great would it be knowing that whichever Pop-pop or Nana it is that struggles through the day and deals with pain and reduced independence, they can always look forward to being in your home and feel relaxed and happy there because they are more able to do things in your home (maybe more than they can do in their own home)? That family holidays and gatherings won’t give them anticipatory anxiety or dread because they know they will be able to contribute and participate due to the thoughtfulness of your home? I know Emily and Brian are both close to their parents, things like that will certainly matter to them if they know about them.
Looks great! The only little change I would make would be if you have the space put a double sink in the bathroom. We squeezed that Koehler double black and white sink into our vintage kids bathroom and we love it. Less fighting when they are older hopefully. I only wish I would have found a way to put in upstairs laundry like you are doing!
That was going to be my comment as well! As they get older, they will have more products and need more space. Double sinks for the win!
Growing up, sharing a bathroom with my sister… I think our double sink was the -only- way we survived. We couldn’t fight about who left the toothpaste in the sink, dirtied the mirror, etc. Especially, having to be at school at the same time- it made getting ready at the same time MUCH easier. I am not really sure of a great solution as there doesn’t look like there is much space, but if it were possible to fit one in, I absolutely would!
YES this 100%. Everything in the layout looks great and so functional except the sinks. I shared one bathroom with three siblings growing up, and trust that there will be many many times that they will both be using the sinks in there for teeth brushing, hair doing, looking at their acne, I don’t know. Even if that meant you had to combine the shower and bathtub or just eliminate the tub, a double vanity would be super worth it.
Agree on the two sinks – especially since it will be your guest bath as well. Didn’t Birdie want a shower in her tub anyhow? If you didn’t have the freestanding tub, you’d have plenty of room without changing the laundry space.
We have 4 kids (8-16) sharing a bathroom (3 girls and a son with long hair:), and I actually would do a wider counter rather than 2 sinks. There’s a lot of time spent on hair, make up, flossing braces, other bathroom jobs that don’t require a sink, but do benefit from counter space. Especially since I’m guessing you’ll have a lovely bath in your bathroom, my preference would be combined shower/tub and larger vanity area. Seems like people have different preferences for bathrooms!, but just my thoughts.
I would LOVE a double sink in our kids bathroom!
My husband and I are fine sharing a sink, but man the tiffs the kids have over the sink at teeth brushing time is a drag for us all.
This looks great!
The one change I’d make if it were my house: I would treat the upstairs landing as my “laundry room.” I’ve done this in three homes and always really liked it. To me, a hallway or landing is dead space so this makes it useful. As long as the person using the machines has a comfortable space to stand and everything they need handy, it works great, and then there’s no need to steal space from anywhere else. (If that large bedroom is a guest room they might appreciate a little more room for a pack n play – although maybe your guests are past that stage?)
Your landing has a large corner (where there is the chimney and linen closet) that does not interfere with bedroom or bathroom access. That’s where I’d put a big wide laundry “closet” – but without doors.
But that’s me! I know lots of people prefer a separate room. I’m excited to see what you do! I know it will be gorgeous!
That’s a great idea for neat people, but I struggle with neatness and my laundry process involves lots of piles that hang out for a day or two. Just saying it depends on your person style.
Thank you for saying this. For 15 years – and that includes when my kids were babies and in elementary school going through a lot of clothes – our laundry was in a closet in the living room. It was awful – there were always piles of clothes next to the sofa, and on and on. HATED it. And who would want the laundry just out on the landing where your guests are going through?
Lol!! Okay I guess it does depend on personality! For me, a dedicated laundry room would almost certainly become a black hole / dumping ground. I would never want to step foot in there hahaha!
Whereas a closet in a hallway eliminates my temptation to put anything on the floor. Each person has a hamper in their room for dirty clothes, and then there is one “household” hamper for linens in the laundry closet. So no piles anywhere.
Every family is different! 🙂
Me too! I hope the landing is full of books and whatever art the kids are making from year to year.
The priority should be two bathrooms on the second floor.
Mom of 4 here. Completely agree that a second bathroom on the second floor would be my priority. That way, the guest room can have its own bathroom so that guests aren’t sharing a bathroom with 2 kids. When there aren’t any guests visiting, each child can lay claim to their own bathroom, which, as your children approach adolescence, will be their priority (they likely won’t be as jazzed about a secret passageway between their rooms post-puberty). I’d prioritize 2 bathrooms and insert the laundry into one of the bathrooms. My kids do their own laundry (work in progress) and it would be SO AMAZING to have the laundry machines even closer to their rooms! Maybe an option might be a Jack and Jill bathroom between two of the bedrooms?
We have one bathroom for the three bedrooms upstairs (two kids room, one guest) and I really wish we’d made the one large bathroom into two small bathrooms.
It’s interesting how many bathrooms people like to have in their home. I was pleasantly surprised that there was only 1 bathroom upstairs. 2 1/2 baths for four seems plenty to me but I know the trend in my neighborhood for new builds is a bathroom for every bedroom.
This brings up the issue of resale value. If most other comparable homes, especially renovated and higher-end homes like Emily’s will be, have one bathroom for every bedroom, what will it mean for Emily’s home’s value if they have THREE bedrooms sharing a bathroom? It’s something to consider seriously.
Agreed that 2.5 bathrooms is plenty for a family of four. Kind of ridiculous that a home would need to be designed for the 5% of the time when you might have a guest. When guests are staying over, the kids can plan to run downstairs to use the half bath a little more often. Not a big deal. This is an old house and sticking a million bathrooms in it doesn’t jive, IMO.
Bathrooms are a such a pain to clean… who wants to have so many?! I grew up in a household of 5 people with one bathroom, and we would have killed for just an additional powder room with just a toilet and sink. But never felt the need to have multiple showers and tubs.
Agree. My boy-girls who were best friends before, now regularly shout “get out” several times a day to each other. We are splitting their huge bathroom into two reasonable sized ones. Especially since they are nearing the teen years.
Hello, and so gracious of you to allow us to “dream” about your space along with your family. 🌸 Mom of three, and I think I’m in the “older” group of moms here, so I’ve already got one out the nest, and two about to graduate HS… all this to say: bathroom time does increase, and needs change as the sibs grow up. Puberty changed their personalities in ways I could not have imagined (girl much more shy now)…! So, I’m on team “Guest bedroom gets an en suite”… ’cause you never know… you’re full grown kid might have to come home form college and do a year of Zoom university…. just saying…. it is really helpful to have 2 separate baths up there— not just for guests, but for the flexibility of the floorplan to use as you wish over the years (esp. as you said “it’s all going to the studs anyways”…. do it now). So… my own thoughts on the upstairs laundry Yes… but instead of a separate long skinny room with the window, I would make a nook facing the landing, side by side is your preference (mine is stacked, but to each their own on… Read more »
I totally agree with you!
Call me crazy but back in my day (I’m Gen X) my brother and I got ready for school at the same time and he used the downstairs bathroom, while I used the upstairs one. It’s a house, not a hotel. All the space is there to spread out in.
And when we have guests, don’t we want them to leave eventually? We can’t be building all kinds of private bathrooms just for them! “Fish and visitors smell in three days.” That’s my hosting motto. 😂
Gen X here too – one bathroom for 6 people at our house. Three brothers and me all getting ready for school. Separate toilet thankfully! I sound like the 4 Yorkshireman sketch. In my day! Haha
Family of four and one (tiny) bathroom!
All activities not requiring a toilet, sink, or shower were done in our bedrooms. No hair styling in the bathroom, etc. When I was in my roommate days, it was really obvious who had grown up sharing a bathroom and who had not.
That said, having at least 1.5 bathrooms was a life goal, lol. (My household of five people has 2.5).
Just some laundry input of what works for our family of four: We have our laundry in a hallway closet upstairs. Two reasons: best use of space and when I was growing up our laundry room floor of designated laundry room was always full of dirty laundry. Today our hallway laundry closet forces us to deal with laundry instead of dumping and running. We have full-size washer and dryer but only use the dryer for towels, bedding and underwear. We hang dry everything else on portable drying racks in the guest room. We used a clothesline until our allergist said it was bringing too much pollen in the house. Upside of not drying clothing in the dryer is it can hang there forever and not shrink or get wrinkled, saves electricity and heating up the upstairs on hot days, and less wear and tear on our clothing.
I love the idea of the hamper. My grandparents had a laundry chute in their bathroom that went to the laundry room and now that I do piles of laundry and have muddy boys that come in the house every day, it’s had me wonder WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LAUNDRY CHUTE? We need them to make a comeback.
2nd floor looks great. I love the idea of the kids doing their own laundry.
Yes – LOVED the laundry chute at my grandmas.
Never had a laundry chute or seen one but I assume it only goes one way? It really is going up that takes more work. Maybe a dumbwaiter instead 🙂
Ha! Yes! We recently moved into a house that has laundry chutes (which are truly amazing and have maybe helped me become a much neater person) but whenever I’m lugging bins of folded clean laundry up two flights of stairs all I think about is how nice a laundry dumbwaiter would be. Also, this house was built for a family with 4 kids and there are so many wonderful thoughtful touches for life with littles. It feels so personal and lovely.
That would be great! The appeal of laundry chute is not to eliminate walking downstairs per say, but getting it down there before it accumulates into a hamper, so you never are storing dirty items in areas that they aren’t needed anymore.
My grandparents have a laundry chute in the house they built way back in the day (and I LOVE it), but it’s against fire code to put one in now. Very dangerous.
I never would have thought that! Fascinating
That is a lot of work! Kudos. My only thought is as your kids get older you may want to consider buffer room for parent talks. Maybe have master bathroom and laundry in between your bedroom and kids bedroom instead of just a closet. Kids are real life spies!
The primary bedroom and bathrooms is in the first floor, not the second.
I love it. You’re keeping the simple charm and adding function. I’m particularly in love with the dual sided laundry hamper/closet and secret passageway for the kids. There seems to be a lot of concern for two washer and dryers. I get it, but we have 2 sets and we have used so much less energy by converting to heat pump and condensing dryers. we bought both our sets used and have had no complaints or regrets! We just finalized our plans to renovate our small hall bath and included a built in hamper. Love the idea that the clothes in your bathroom can be tossed right into laundry room space. Agreed that the glass balcony was slightly weird and probably not great to have off a child’s room.
Here’s to Emily shattering that glass ceiling! 🙌🏼👏🏼💪🏻💪🏻💃🏼
I love the idea of a hamper in the bathroom that connects to the laundry, but also the ability to access clean towels from the bathroom side! Creative solutions are the best.
Agree. The double sided hamper closet is probably the best idea I have read for this house!
As kids get older they will not be in the bathroom at the same time! So, one sink should be sufficient as long as there is plenty of storage and the kids put their “ stuff” away.
The upstairs balcony and it’s roof does provide easier/safer access for kids if there was ever a need to get to the ground.
The hamper really confuses me. Are they getting dressed in the bathroom rather than their bedrooms? Can’t they just reach around the doorway to put it in the laundry instead? Seems like a waste of that wall space and it couldn’t easily be undone. I always kept a hamper in my bedroom where I actually got dressed.
It’s not a waste of wall space, it’s just a cupboard accessible from both sides. I think it sounds really cool!
We have the hamper in the bathroom because that’s where clothes go when they’re taken off before the shower. Otherwise they end up on the floor of the bathroom “forgotten.”
I’m dreaming of all the towels waiting for me in the laundry room courtesy of that hamper! Or pajamas from the night before when the morning shower is taken. Or muddy clothes from the day can be removed after using the toilet to pee. Lots of options.
My oldest is Charlie’s age and I haven’t seriously considered him doing his own laundry, but now I will. He’ll make such a mess, but I know that’s part of the process. He can at least carry it into the basement. Thanks for the inspiration.
I started my boy on laundry at that age and it’s well worth it.
The other thing I did though is not require things to be folded – he’s got a basket cube each for underwear and socks, and drawers for everything else – he can decide how he wants it to be in there and I’m fine with everything being shoved in. There are a couple of button down shirts that are hung up – the “nice” ones, but all other every day clothes (and button up flannel shirts) are just in a happy mess inside a closed drawer.
Pick your battles 🙂
This looks great! But, erm, back to the first floor… I am a regular reader and have never commented before but hearing you are incorporating some changes to the first floor is enough to draw me out of my shell! I am on the team that wants (desperately!) to move the kitchen to the back of the house, open up the little wall between the new kitchen and the large living room, and put the dining table in front of the fireplace for a combo dining/living room. I think that this idea has been well flushed out in other comments, but I would like to float a complementary suggestion. Is it possible (with some tweaks to the master suite) to tuck a mud room/laundry room combo with a small powder room off of it where the master laundry is located in the latest plan and move the location of the back door to the mudroom? The powder room would be back to back with the master bathroom (but they would not be connected of course) and the mud/laundry room would be below, connecting to the new kitchen. Removing the existing back door would give more flexibility for planning the kitchen/pantry… Read more »
Love this idea! This is what I had been thinking too! Mudroom/powder room/1 laundry room all together downstairs with access to kitchen and master bedroom
I can’t think of any criticisms. 😉
The landing will make a lovely library if you decide to put bookshelves there. And if I was moving in here, I would definitely carve out space for that upstairs laundry room.
A library would be so wonderful in the landing!!
I love the large landing and agree it would be a lovely library.
This is so fun! Thanks for letting us weigh in. Mom of 2 kids here. While a huge luxury, is their any place to put a 2nd bathroom upstairs? Between your 2 kids and guests, a second bathroom may get more use then you think. Especially as your kids get older, they will spend a lot more time in the bathroom! The other question is will there be space to hang dry clothes somewhere? We have a nice laundry room but there is no space to hang dry clothes. So we always have a drying rack out for the delicates which is an eyesore. It goes back to having a dedicated place for your everyday needs. This may not be possible but the extra bathrooms, a dedicated mud room / drop zone for family stuff and a big laundry room would be on the top of a priority list if I was able to design a home to specifications.
Love the layout of the bedrooms and how they make the most of the corners! I’ve always longed for a landing on the first floor – it’s going to be a great space for the kids to enjoy. Our good friends created the coolest space in their landing for their teenage kids. They wanted it to be the place their kids’ friends would choose to hang out in. It’s a great strategy for keeping teenagers close 🙂 My only suggestion is to consider having a second bathroom upstairs. Even if you don’t expect to have overnight guests often, the kids will need it especially as they grow up. My daughters ages 6 and 10 already fight over the bathroom every morning and invariably one of them ends up in ours. A year ago when we moved to this house, it wasn’t even a consideration for us. But now, our forever home has got to have at least 3 full baths. I would use the extra space from the guest bedroom to create another bathroom with a shower (no bath) and have a closet laundry upstairs. Please consider it against all the other needs of your family – now and in… Read more »
The layout looks great. I have a 14 year old boy and a 12 year old girl. We recently redid their bathroom. Best thing we did was to create a separate room for shower and toilet. We also have double sinks. Once kids reach this age brothers and sisters especially, can find it a challenge to share a bathroom. Now one can shower while the other brushes their teeth.
Totally agree. I was going to write this. I would make the laundry room a second bathroom and add a stacked washer dryer there, or even a regular washer-dryer, if there is space. Much better use of that space and Emily will thank us in approximately 2-3 years.
Looks wonderful, very functional, perserves the historic charm while adding a lot of great things for the way you live. Love it!
Love the 2nd floor plan. However rethink the bathroom. W/one bathroom & 2 kids, you need additional privacy. Couple of options. Shower/tub & toilet separated w/door from sink, maybe even double sink. Or toilet in its own space. Our shower & toilet is separate from double sink and it’s a game changer. Kids don’t argue about the shared space.
Agree! I had a similar setup as you described growing up as one of three kids, and it made all the difference! The flexibility for someone to shower or use the toilet while someone else was brushing teeth or doing their hair prevented many potential arguments!
I totally get all this discussion about another bathroom, but I believe it’s good for our kids to learn to share and be cognizant of other’s time. I grew up in a house with one bathroom for our family of four and we made it work just fine. I currently live in a house with one bathroom for my family of four (two boys 9 &12) and while it can be inconvenient at times, we make it work. Emily has a powder room if someone needs the bathroom quickly!
Wendy, I agree. I grew up in a family of nine. And one full bathroom. We made it work and I don’t remember too many quabbles about who was spending too much time in there. We just all tried to be considerate as possible and that was that.
Wendy I’m glad I’m not the only one who isn’t trying to fit in as many bathrooms as humanly possible! Our house has two, one on the second floor and one on the third, similar to many homes in our area (we don’t have kids yet but renovated with kids in mind, and know plenty of folks with 1-2 bathrooms plus multiple kids making it work!) I’m an only child so I didn’t have to “build character” by sharing as a kid, but in college I survived using a bathroom shared by the whole dorm floor! You just learn to do your hair and makeup in your bedroom.
Our contractor tried to talk us into a half bath on the first floor but it seemed unnecessary compared to my dream of a walk-in pantry.
I’ll third the idea of a separate shower+ toilet from the sink space within one bathroom. That was my situation as the middle of three kids growing up. With two, you maybe don’t need that, but I also think it’ll help make things smoother in your kid’s teen years. It was handy then that I could still do my hair or brush my teeth or whatever while my brother was showering. It’s still handy now that we’re all adults with spouses, it really maximizes the use of one bathroom. I also have the unpopular opinion that you only need one sink, which I see people have suggested above. No one ever uses the second sink at the same time. And if you’re not planning to use them at the same time, then why have two? Vastly more important is having separate and well planned (and closed) storage for each person who is routinely using the bathroom. I mean seriously- who wants to leave any of the stuff that touches their face out on the counter with free floating fecal particles? I guess that’s my soapbox on the ridiculousness of double sinks. Overall, I think the layout is great and I’m… Read more »
I’m glad you are taking the feedback regarding the first-floor layout, and admire your graciousness in doing so! I cannot wait to see the revised plan.
I think the second-floor plan looks great and I have no critiques. I know space in the bathroom is tight, but if I were you, I’d prioritize having two sinks over having a separate tub and shower (if at all possible). As your kiddos get older, sharing a sink will be a struggle. Your daughter can always do makeup/hair in her bedroom at a nice vanity space if she wants (that’s what I always did).
The secret door is so fun 🙂
I’m glad you aren’t doing the glass-floored balcony. I can imagine keeping it clean would be a nightmare (especially considering all the rain), and another commenter made a good point about being able to see up the skirt/shorts of whoever is walking about! I can just imagine the pranks that kids would pull on unsuspecting diners…
In my experience, your one big regret here may be the completely open shared bathroom. A layout where the shower and toilet are separate from the sink area works well with kids. At the very least, I would recommend two sinks. If you put a shower/tub combo and toilet where you now have the shower and toilet, you could do a wall with a slider door. Then you could do double sinks where the tub is presently. Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts!
I am team eliminate the bathtub to open up room for a double vanity/enclosed toilet situation. Maybe your kids are huge bathers(sp?) and that won’t work but my husband and I moved into a home with two shower bathrooms and one tub/shower bathrooms and the tub has gotten 0% use and is one more thing I have to dust. I would think boy/girl kids who share a bathroom would find it way more functional to both potentially be in there at the same time for different reasons and would utilize the double sinks!
All the comments about “why don’t you line dry??” We DO hang dry. And we also have dryers. 🙂 It’s lovely that you all enjoy line drying everything, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with clothes dryers. They even make them energy efficient now. 🙂
The only bit that’s odd to me is the secret door. Fun when you’re little, but as a teenager it would creep me out thinking someone could get in my room through the closet, even if it were a sibling.
Agree on the shared/secret door. It’s ugly stuff to think about but with a brother with friends coming over and younger sister next door, a secret door would be bad news.
Lock on daughter’s side at such time it is needed or simply closed off at a later date.
I think it sounds SO FUN for little kids but not so good for older ones. My younger tween daughter would be spying on her big sister with her friends and I can only imagine the yelling arguments that would occur. But you could make it like an adjoining hotel room where each side has the option to lock their own door so it’s only fully open if both people want it that way.
I think the fix for that would be a way to lock the secret door from the bedroom. When there’s a sleepover happening, just eliminate the possibility of using that door.
We recently built a new house and have a similar laundry situation and I LOVE it. Our very small laundry room is connected to our primary closet, and we have a stackable laundry closet for the kids upstairs. I hate cleaning laundry rooms, and not having a ton of counter space in our primary laundry mean clothes live in our closet and not in the laundry room. That double-sided hamper/cabinet is amazing and so clever.
And the connected closet reminds of the kids’ closet in ET that I still think about as a 40year old! So fun.
one completely random thought. is that upstairs bathroom the main one for guests to use for showers and such? i am one of those people (in the before times) who always feels a bit nervous showering in other people’s homes (am i taking too long? am i getting water everywhere? was this the towel i was meant to use?) and of course the major fear – is anyone going to walk in on me?! if there is a way to make that laundry peek through fairly secure or easy to shut from the bathroom side, could be a great detail – though will only be an issue once in a while for ten minutes here and there.
I’m amused that there seems to be one camp of commenters who think two laundry rooms is extravagant and wasteful and another that is pushing for an extra bathroom. Quite opposite POVs.
I am persuaded by the closed water closet idea, but am pretty confident two kids can share one bathroom.
I am curious how much you think you’ll use the guest bedroom. Since Brian’s family is still in CA, I’m guessing guests will be frequent, but will you also make the older house a guest space?
Personally, I think this layout looks great and love the special touches like the connected closets and two sided cabinet. That makes the design fun!
P.S. I just noticed that toilet is vintage. I hope you keep it! Daniel Kantar has had a fun series on this IG about toilet restoration.
OMG yes it needs to be kept. Or given to someone who will cherish it!
I think the older house was mentioned as being a studio for WFH at one point? But that could have changed or just be my faulty memory!
Pass through laundry hamper between the bathroom and laundry room look super cool.
Nice to have the laundry room space for when you have guests staying as well, some privacy for them to sort and do their laundry vs a laundry closet.
Other than the manufacturing of the extra set of washer/dryer, how would having 2 dryers use that much more electricity than 1? My understanding is to have close access to laundry for your kids/guests, not to be doing twice the laundry for fun because you have two sets…
Seems like a good idea to scrap the glass floored balcony. With all the rain and seasons, the balcony floor/dining roof would be water spots or dirty most of the time. Think it would work in southern California but not PNW.
Maybe people are concerned that the washing machines won’t be used economically i.e. for full loads, with the consequence that more detergent is used, more waste water is produced and more electricity is consumed. And dryers are so excessive in their consumption of electricity that if they’re not used economically it’s a huge waste of resources, not to mention money!
I think this layout is perfect. One bathroom and the laundry room with connected hamper is awesome!
This looks amazing! The 2nd floor layout is already pretty great and your changes will only improve it. I grew up in a 1908 home with a very similar upstairs floorplan – it’s a nice blend of formal and comfortable. And our first home in Portland had upstairs laundry – heaven!!!
Maybe this is just me, but I probably wouldn’t do the secret passage through the closets. As adolescents I imagine they will want as much privacy as possible. I wouldn’t even be surprised if one of them tries to claim the extra room and the corner bedroom becomes the guest room.
I’d like to chime in on the secret passage way! As we have one, sort of. Our upstairs is a finished attic, so the closets go into the unfinished attic (which the kids call the “cave”) but both rooms have their “caves” connected by a passageway. We thought, “Wow! How lucky our kids are! How cute and adorable!”
And then they got older. It has now become a place where they hide things they don’t want us to find, where they put trash that doesn’t fit in their trash cans, and they use it to sneak into each others rooms when not allowed (like in the middle of the night). We finally closed it off. For reference, our kids now are 12, 11, and 9.
Now, there are some extenuating factors for us, of course; however, if given an opportunity I would never do a secret passage again. Yours looks like it’s more just a secret closet, and maybe would be easier for you to monitor as the kids get older, but for me it’s not worth having anymore!
I love the changes you’re making here, especially the secret door! We always wanted one between our closets as kids but our parents would never go for it. I know a lot of people have commented that you need an additional bathroom upstairs and I wanted to chime in to wholly disagree. We shared one bathroom between 5 kids as a family and it was fine, even when 4 of us were teens. There is always another bathroom downstairs they can use if need be, and learning to share spaces will benefit them in the long run. Also big supporter of everyone doing their own laundry–our daughter started doing hers with supervision when she was 6. She’s now 15 and I have never done a load of her laundry. I give another vote for considering universal design in your downstairs. Besides making it more accessible to visitors, if this is your forever home, it will allow you and Brian to future proof your home and age in place. Particularly in the bathroom, you can put in blocking now that will never be seen, but will make it possible to add in grab bars, etc, in the future without opening up… Read more »
I also second that they will be just fine sharing a bathroom. I grew up in a house with ::gasp:: one full bathroom until my senior year of high school, when my parents made the powder room downstairs a full bath. My parents and my brother and I all shared the bathroom with no real issues. We all had an extra toothbrush downstairs and were fine with someone coming in when we showered if they needed to grab something. It taught us to be respectful of others and plan our time in the mornings. Currently, my husband and I share a bathroom with my two sons and it works just fine. My upstairs layout is almost identical to this down to the moulding and I think you’ve made some great tweaks. Love the laundry cabinet idea.
I agree. It’s a valuable lesson to know how to share and be aware and considerate of others, and to be flexible and adaptable.
Have an opaque curtain instead of a glass door; I share a bathroom with my teen son (2 person family, 3 bed/1 bath house), and we knock and are respectful of each other’s privacy. It’s ok to brush your teeth if someone else is in the shower and you’re going to live if you have to wait a few minutes while the other person gets in or out!
I have a vanity in my bedroom too, one bathroom for two kids is fine – especially when there is another bathroom (or bathrooms) you can run to in a pinch.
Looks great! You may want to consider nixing the separate bathtub and shower for a combo if it would allow you to fit a double sink and/or a separate toilet and sink. It is also so easier to clean! Perhaps you could repurpose the original bathtub in your washroom or the guest house? If the guest room will see visitors with any regularity, I’d move the laundry to the landing so you can have a small guest washroom.
Hi Emily, just want to mention that I don’t know how you deal with all these comments. OMG so many opinions about how and what you have to do with your house, especially from an environmental standpoint, which we all should know, you are already very passioned about.
I know! It has made me realise that I could never write a blog. Having to justify every little decision. Wowsers
Looks amazing, what a great layout! I can’t wait to see how it all comes together!
I do appreciate you sharing the process with us! I too am a long time reader and yet my first time ever commenting was on the 1st floor plans. I couldn’t help myself. You are being so gracious in responding to feedback. I can’t wait to see what you and your team have come up with for downstairs. In terms up the 2nd floor: it looks great, the landing and joined closet is fun. Two thoughts: 1) the bump out in the guest bedroom is so odd. just to save the original window in the laundry room? really? at this point? put in a smaller window. there is enough room to stand in front of the machines (get smaller machines) and square off the guest room. please. 2) in the bathroom, I totally agree with others – ditch the separate shower and bath. total waste. double vanity is a minimum (or at least more counter space) and separated toilet or separate toilet and shower/tub. I get the save money with the plumbing thing — but again based on what you are doing downstairs that just seems so odd. do less downstairs and do more up here. Your kids’ bathroom (after… Read more »
I would definitely prioritize a double sink and a water closet in the only upstairs bathroom over a separate shower and tub.
Also, knowing personally how many well laid parenting plans don’t actually end up coming to fruition, I would just make sure you love the idea of the upstairs laundry room regardless of if and when your kids do their own laundry. Is it worth not having a second bathroom up there if it’s years before they reliably take it on? It definitely could be for your family, just something to consider, given it seems to be a the most significant piece of the work upstairs and actually affects a lot of the design of your first floor, as well.
I love the idea noted elsewhere about nudging the bottom left bedroom door down a hair to get a full-depth closet in the bottom right bedroom. As for the secret door–we know someone who had this and the kids loved it. My one suggestion for consideration there is that a full door there eliminates a lot of the usefulness of that wall. You might want to consider a half-height door (perfect for crawling through when they’re smaller, they may lose interest as they get older) and shelves above it so you can at least use half the wall for folded clothing or shoes.
Here to advocate for the future usefulness of a second bathroom instead of a second laundry—yes, it’s a luxury, but as a girl who really struggled through puberty (incredibly painful and heavy periods), I was so grateful to have the privacy of my own bathroom. If you’re teaching your kids about the importance of responsibility and doing chores, may as well teach them to go downstairs to do their laundry!
Also think the secret passageway seems like a cute idea now while your kids are little, but I would’ve hated this as an adolescent and a teenager (especially once my brother started having friends over). You don’t know if your kids are going to grow up to be more private people or not, and if they don’t—it’s very easy for them to go to each other’s rooms without having a secret passageway, the doors are literally right next to each other on the landing!
As a fan of yours and also of Daniel Kanter, I’m glad you are keeping the old toilet and sink LOL!
This process is so much fun ,I can’t tell you how great it is to see the wheels turning in the minds of your followers. You are a lucky girl Emily to have such smart and creative fans to cheer you on! I’m so onboard with the previous suggestion of Shaker built in wardrobes that I want to restate that here ! I also feel the bathroom set up will fail as your kids mature. The suggestion of the shower/toilet in a separate room is good. But you still need two sinks. What about adding a cool vintage wall hung farm sink to the laundry room. With a mirror and lighting above , storage nearby! You could do it in a way that wasn’t “Vanity Obvious “ . Maybe a wall bracket with a long arm on a side wall. This would be a fun challenge!
Turning the laundry into an en-suite with the back bedroom is also a great idea. Your teenage daughter will snap this room up later on. I would at least configure the laundry so this can be done at a later date.
………………..let the good ideas role !👏🏻
I think the floorplan is great! I love that the footprint of the landing is not changed, and like others, I look forward to seeing what you do with it.
My only reservation is about the secret door, but you stated the kids love the idea. I think it is likely you will patch that over in 2 years or less, but that is a parenting decision you will make as needed.
I think others have a point about the bathroom not being super functional for teenagers – double sink and separate toilet/ shower area being more likely to be what’s needed in the future. But, I also noted you are trying to keep the current footprint to save costs. If I were you, I would consider doing nothing to the bathroom except adding that awesome two way hutch, and then seeing what you really need based on your kids needs after living there for awhile. But maybe you want construction to not be ongoing. In any case, I look forward to seeing what is next.
I think a second bathroom would be much better than an upstairs laundry room! I did laundry in my parent’s bathroom laundry closet all my life — never even occurred to me that it being on a different floor was a “problem.” Really not a big deal to go downstairs to do laundry — if you make them do it, they’ll do it. And think of two teens sharing one bathroom — lots of tears and fighting (trust me, puberty does wonders to inflate minor inconveniences), and when you have guests, they won’t have to share with the kids. That’s my two cents!
I love this layout as is! I think sharing a bathroom space with siblings is good for them!! Love the secret passage- so fun!! And maybe they won’t get sick of it. If they do you can always lock it up. Love all your unique ideas!