the before and after… plans

At my day job I am sometimes reminded that many people who I work with can’t read floor plans, which I honestly don’t understand – they are just so clear to me, just imagine looking down like the space is a dollhouse, it’s not rocket science… but then again, I can’t read Chinese but it makes perfect sense to lots of other people…

But, I do think it’s hard to really understand what a space is by just looking at photos – I am an architect and I hate not having my bearings on the big picture. Like when I am looking through real estate listings, you see the verbal description and the photos but you can’t really get an idea of the layout or how the spaces are connected.

So today we get to take a look at the old plan – and the new plan. And all of the choices in the process of deciding the final kitchen layout. And I’m hoping that since we are looking at rooms that we inhabit everyday that everyone will be able to understand the drawings! (they have also been labeled just in case)

The ‘before’ plan:

F:personal2012 W Charlestondwgs2012 Charleston_EXISTING Mode1. Ditch the spare room and expand the kitchen – by a lot.

2. This was a surprise addition to the project. If we are ripping apart half of the first floor anyway, why not go ahead and add the guest room, bathroom and laundry room to get everything the way that Lindsey and Doug really want (and that’s exponentially more functional)? Makes sense to me.

The kitchen options:

Looking at the different ways a space can be laid out, even if they are not all ideal, is a great tool – for learning more about what works for you, and also for what you like and don’t like. It’s a great tool for discovering and creating the space that you really want.

We first looked at five different layouts, some making minimal changes and some, well, making big changes.

OPTION 1: Maintain U-shaped orientation, add built-in pantry and millwork in former spare room. This option anticipated minimal changes and the possibility of needing a support beam across the kitchen.

cooper kitchen_option 2

OPTION 2: Maintain U-shape orientation, creating a built -in pantry and millwork on the walls adjacent to the laundry and living room as opposed to the long exterior wall.

F:personal2012 W Charlestondwgslindsey Model (1)

OPTION 3: Maintain U-shape orientation, add built-in pantry with window seat in former spare room on exterior wall, large center island.

F:personal2012 W Charlestondwgslindsey Model (1)

OPTION 4: Change everything. What would the layout look like if we flip the orientation, wrap around counter, smaller built in pantry on wall with large window with large window seat; relocate entrance into mudroom and enlarge mudroom closet. Not ideal unless we could enlarge (and center) the window in the former spare room.

F:personal2012 W Charlestondwgslindsey Model (1)

OPTION 5: Simplify layout into a more galley – like orientation. (still anticipating a potential soffit or support beam in the ceiling. Bar height island with standard height dining table.

cooper kitchen_option 5

And the ‘after’ plan:

F:personal2012 W Charlestondwgs2012 Charleston_PLAN 1 Model

1. As we were looking through the kitchen options Lindsey was really clear. She quickly dismissed all but options three and four – four being quickly vetoed because of the much higher costs associated with moving all of the plumbing and moving and enlarging the window at the new sink location (which, of course would need to be centered, d.u.h.) Option three, with some minor adjustments, it is!

2. The reconfiguration of the guest room/bathroom was pretty obvious, at least for us. With the laundry relocated to the mudroom and the basement stair opening straightened, we would add a larger closet and enlarge the bathroom considerably. The bedroom didn’t grow very much, but the space worked much better overall.

Hopefully now all the in progress photos and the progress pics to come will make a little more sense!

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