ONe LR or two in a new house? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 39 Old 09-22-2006, 08:26 PM
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I'm not crazy about second living rooms. The houses I've seen with this setup look kind of strange. The front living room is never used, nobody's fooled, and it just doesn't look homey. It looks artificial. They don't even end up using the front room for guests, because they so rarely have get togethers of that level of formality. But your case is different because you actually would use it for work related guests. The ideas about having it be a library, and having sliding doors to the kitchen for both living rooms, are excellent. Girlo's kitchen-living room is cool too!

I guess the main questions are, do you want it to be more integrated with the kitchen etc, or more seperate? Do you want it to feel more like a room that you use (just toy-free), or to feel more formal? Do you want it to be more integrated with the office?

Originally Posted by Free Thinker View Post
Now we are back to building a country-style home w/ 2 bedrooms upstairs, and only the great room on the main floor, and making hte kids toys stay in the basement (we would put a LR at the bottom of the stairs, so it's not a HUGE ways to walk, but it would be out of site? I just DON"T know.
Have you seen this thread? You might find it relevant!

It's always seemed like the closer a living room is to the kitchen the more it gets used, and the more life it has. The thread above suggests that you might want to keep the playroom close enough to the kitchen if you want the kids to use it. If you want to use the receiving room just for work-related guests and the occasional escape, then you could just pair it with the office and keep it seperate--guaranteed tidiness, and as long as you didn't make it too formal looking it wouldn't seem artificial because it would have a use.

But if you want the receiving room to be more of a living room as well, it should be closer to the core of the house in some way. And you'd have to think about how to balance the playroom and receiving room so that both are comfy but the kids are okay with keeping the toys in the playroom.
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#32 of 39 Old 09-22-2006, 08:57 PM
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I would suggest a look at this:

When you get "the plans" off the web, you end up with a very complex roof line, lots of extra angles in the outside walls, extra sides to the foundation, etc. All of this makes for extra $$$ to build the house (take it to a contractor and ask what the cost per square foot is on that house!)

If you go with a very simple shape on the outside, like the link above, then you get an easy-to-build foundation, an easy to build roof, etc. Ask a contractor about the cost per sq foot on the "barn house" (assuming it was stick built) and you will get a much lower price. Also, a more traditional house style won't go "out of style"

Since you are building from scratch, my 2-cents worth:
* use pocket doors where appropriate (for example, laundry room)
* pay attention to solar orientation (my neighbors with $400K houses do not, they have north facing picture windows)
* pre-lay tubing for radon mitigation under the basement slab "just in case" . It will save you $$$ if there in a radon issue.
* much money is spent in the details - kitchen cabinets, appliances, trim, paint, flooring. Even 50% of the construction cost if things get out of had.
In an ex-house, I agonized over "settling" for the $80 shower fixture when I liked the $220 one (same company) better. I settled for the $80, and it was fine.
* check out local Habitat re-use stores (house parts cheap!) SEE "environmental initiative" in the lower right corner of the page

- sleeplessMommy
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#33 of 39 Old 09-22-2006, 09:11 PM
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We have a very open floor plan which I LOVE---lots of time together as a family. We live in a ranch home; kitchen and living room upstairs (tv is in an entertainment unit with doors to shut); then we have a finished basement where the kids can play and be messy---toys are out and we still have comfortable furniture down there so we can all hang out if we want. I definately like having two living areas.
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#34 of 39 Old 09-23-2006, 02:00 PM
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We don't let the kids take toys in the living room. They have two playrooms that were bedrooms before we bought the house (we don't need five bedrooms right now).

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#35 of 39 Old 09-23-2006, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for all the responses! We sat down last night and all day today and thought about how we would really live in this house, where we would sit, when we would sit there, where the kids would be, ect. We are still working out the kinks, but I think we have alot better idea now what to do. The playroom thread really got me to thinking, too. I need the play room to be on the same floor as my office, so my office will go in the basement, and I don't know what we will do w/ that study room? Probably rob some space for our bathroom, but still keep it a room incase of more kids one day. We might put the girls a computer in it or something? I fix 3 meals a day, so I need lots of extra room in the kitchen for the kids to hang out. THe plan we have now has a 13x17+ kitchen, w/ a door into it from the porch so the kids can go in and out while I"m inside, and I can also see out from 2 sides of hte house from that room There is also ample counter space so that they can "help" as they LOVE to do, without getting in my way! The landry room is going to have a door to the back, DH can use this one or the kitchn door, and we decided to go ahead and put a "powder room" on this end of hte house just for DH, so he won't have to track thru the great room, ect. to go to the bathroom (we did think of hte basment, but frankly he won't actually want to go thru the basment just to go to the bathroom!). He comes in usually 5 or more times per day (eating, making phone calls, ect.) so we need a place for him to take off his boots, use the bathroom and eat When the day is over he can use the basement intrance to come in and shower off, before coming up to relax in the Great room (or the basement). I am really happy w/ that part for now. The kids playroom I still need to think about. As for the laundry being close to the bedrooms, that makes sense, but I think having it at the back of hte house allows me to keep an eye on the kids while I fold a load of landry (they would play outside all day if I let them) adn then they can take their baskets to their own room. I might try to find some kind of toy storage for a handful of toys in the LR. I just want it to look nice for when people stop by. As for the dining room, I think we just need to plan on using it sometimes! The breakfast nook is small, but servicable for our family. If we need, we can always use the DR as a main eating space.

This thread really has been VERY helpful to us! I will continue to go over the things we really need, and we will take our plans to an architect after we think about them a couple more months to make sure we have everything we need (we haven't started planning the basement yet, that should be fun!)
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#36 of 39 Old 09-23-2006, 09:35 PM
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I think a den/library is a good idea instead of having 2 living rooms...or one closed off "play room" for the major toys and kid stuff. Our living room has one little ottoman full of toys that can easily be cleaned right back up. That is what we have now and love it. We did have a 1300 sq ft. home with small bedrooms and one living room and toys were everywhere--now it feels much more clutter free.
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#37 of 39 Old 09-24-2006, 03:23 AM
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The new place I'm moving into is like that-- there's a "sitting room" in front, where I'll be putting the computer and probably love seat, then the actual living room is toward the back.

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#38 of 39 Old 09-24-2006, 10:14 AM
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We have a living room and a gaming room. I really have issues with rooms like formal living rooms and dining rooms that simply do not get used enough to justify their existance.
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#39 of 39 Old 09-26-2006, 08:36 PM
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Well, dh's grandparents and aunt and uncle only use their formal living rooms at holidays and only because I started saying "why don't we go in there to do this?"

Personally with those floorplans and what you're wanting, I'd close off the foyer and turn that bedroom/study into a parlor.

I just can't picture having a 400sq ft room just to entertain people I don't want to see my kids' stuff.
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