House Plans – Round 2


Our house plans are developing and our excitement is increasing. I think we’re almost there with the floor plan! Again, I’m purposely obscuring this photo so our architect’s intellectual property can’t swiped (as easily). We figured out how to incorporate a fourth bedroom that we’re calling the den. It’ll probably be more of a playroom, creative space for Precious and other kids to hang out in by the time we move into the house. It’s crazy to think that our little 6 month old baby will be walking by the time we’re in our new home. Also, the laundry room grew into an office/craft room for me. Yay! Now the trick will be finding a GC (general contractor) who will build this house for $100/square foot or less.

I like the philosophy of Rachel Peters, interviewed on Design Mom, about her custom built dream home—she intentionally had their architect make the bedrooms and closets small to encourage the kids to go outside and to make it harder to hoard junk. We’ve had a similar philosophy for our new house: keep the bedrooms small and the common areas big and open to promote togetherness. The minimalist in me likes the small closets idea but the thrifty part of me wants to organize and store anything we might use in the future.


Preparing a Bedroom for Foster Kids: Floor Plan


The Challenge:
Gender neutral:
We are choosing to be prepared for a boy or a girl
Age range: We are choosing to be prepared for newborn through age 5
Two?: We may consider taking a sibling set of 2. And/or we might have a child biological in the midst of this foster parenting adventure.

The Space:
Our kids room is only 10’x11′. But… I love living in a smallish house and the design challenges that require creative solutions. (See cloffice.) Knowing that we want to fit a crib and a big kid bed in the same room, I’m planning on getting a SOMNAT crib (2.5’x4.5″) and a KURA twin bed (3.5’x6.5′) that can be flipped over into a loft/bunk bed, both from IKEA. We already have a sturdy vintage 2 drawer nightstand and a vintage yellow table lamp. We plan to add a 4×6 rug, a chair for reading books, shelves and a changing table height dresser (maybe IKEA MALM if we can’t find a vintage option).

The Configuration:
Key: gray box is the 4×6 rug; green circle is a footstool, KURA is the twin bed, blue box SOMNAT is the crib, the white box with yellow circle and blue/gray oval is the painted nightstand with the yellow lamp and CD player, RIBBA are picture ledges from IKEA that we’ll use as book shelves, light blue box is a floor-length mirror, MALM is a short dresser from IKEA or better yet—a mid-century walnut or teak one. The left side, bottom is where the double, sliding-door closet is located.

Idea 1: My original solution. I taped out the beds on the floor, placed a chair and the little nightstand and it feels like there is very little floor space.

Idea 2: I like this but I have a feeling putting the twin bed and crib up against each other won’t work if we have 2 kids sharing this space. (I’m thinking older kid dropping things on the baby.) But… could be great if we just have 1 at a time.

Idea 3: I like how this opens up some floor space but the dresser backed up against the end of the crib makes me a little nervous. Plus the drawers would open right into the doorway. I’d have to see this one in person to be convinced.

Idea 4: Dresser, bookshelves and rocking chair are too crowded.

Idea 5: Put a changing table height dresser in the closet. This might work but we’ll lose a lot of closet space. Currently this closet is 1/2 space for kid stuff and 1/2 adult stuff (file cabinet, coats, box of winter accessories and games.)

Idea 6: Almost there with this one but I feel like the dresser would crowd the crib into the corner too much and make the reading nook feel closed off.

Idea 7: I think this is the winner! My only concern with this was having the twin bed in front of the window but we decided this should be fine. It’s at the foot end of the bed anyway. This floor plan allows for the biggest open area of play space on the floor. Yay!

A New Addition!


No, I’m not pregnant. Did I fool you for a second? This post is about an addition we’re adding to our home … sometime in the yet-to-be-determined future. As in, we’re just dreaming for now.

Our mid-century (1955) ranch is 1420 square feet. Plenty of room for two people. Plenty of room for two people who frequently work from home, even. It’s a 3-bedroom, 2 full-bath home* which allows us to have a comfortable master suite, a music studio for Jason and an office/craft room for me. (*Originally it was 3-bedrooms, 1 full-bath and a den.) The only problem is that we want to have kids. And we don’t want to move. Ever. We love our house and our garden and our neighborhood that much. Our lot is .36 acres and our house is average size for the neighborhood so there is justification for an addition. Commence daydreams of building on.

Commence? What am I saying. We’ve lived here 3.5 years and we’ve been talking about where and how and what we could build for 3.5 years. Just recently though, Jason was talking to one of our friends who is an excellent carpenter/handyman about some possibilities and suggestions. JB said, “If I was y’all I’d build off the front. You have a big front yard.” Jason heard less grass to mow. Current home layout:

We had never considered that. All of our previous ideas were to build off the back, near the driveway. A few days ago I had time to draw some sketches of how we could make it work. I love drawing out floor plans. Am I weird? I used to do this all the time when I was a kid … drawing out my dream house or the house of the made up family I was writing a story about.

The first sketch is the simplest solution – cut off 1/3 of my 11’x10′ office to create a hallway and add two modest size bedrooms with closets. My office could even be further cut down to say … 6’x6′ to create a playroom area or a reading nook or something. Total addition: approx. 300 sq. ft.

The second sketch takes the same idea but shoves it further from the existing house to create a den or study area and possibly an enclosed outdoor courtyard area off of the master bedroom. An enclosed outdoor living space is a little fantasy of ours. Total addition: approx: 500 sq. ft.

I showed Jason my sketches and he loves the second one. Sweet! Let’s do it! Oh wait, we don’t have kids. We don’t have $50,000 lying around. That’s OK. For now, I’ll just map these out in Illustrator.

What do you think? Do you have experience with adding on to your home? Would our house lose it’s ranchiness if we had an addition that made it L-shaped (or gun shaped)? We don’t have room on our property to expand on either side. This box I added on the tax assessment schematic shows it would be about 26’x20′ for the larger of the 2 addition plans:

I wonder how much these plans will change in the next … oh … 7 years or so.