Here is a link:
We don't really need all that space, IMO, but every house we find w/ the number of rooms, the size we want is at least 2400 sq ft. We also like these:
We would just have to tack on that extra room ont he back? What do you think?
however, if i had it to do all over again, i would prefer a library to a second living room. large bookcases, nice cushy chairs. and that room would actually get use, as opposed to our l/r right now where no one goes unless they are watching tv.
I've always found it wasteful to have a room just for show, that nobody uses. I see formal livingrooms in most of the houses that I visit, but we are never entertained in that room. Instead, we all go into the kitchen or the den, so the point of the front room is ???
We are developing plans for a new house. Instead of a formal livingroom and family room/den, we are going to have a living room with a small library/reading alcove off to one side of the living room. So there is a somewhat secluded retreat with a couple of chairs.
the ideal would be a kitchen in between 2 living rooms, both with doors that slide shut:
- normally, you'd keep the formal living room door shut, and have the kids play area, meals, tv and living area adjoining the kitchen.
- and when guests come, you'd slide the family room door shut (to hide the messy toys and cushions etc), and just have the guests move between the kitchen and the formal living room.
that way you can also keep the kids and the guests apart, each having their own space - kids can still have their playroom when guests are over, and you can check on them regularly.
one thing you could try with your family / playroom to keep the toys under control, is to partly subdivide that room's floor space (eg with a sofa across part of the middle of the room, or a low bureau), so that no matter how the toys are strewn, they won't make it all the way across the room. that way DH at least has a cleared area to relax in while the kids play nearby to their heart's content.
that way, you can also just throw toys that "leak" out back over the sofa into the play area, which will suffice until you all put the toys properly back in the toybox.
We have a 1950s house, so instead of the family room, we have a huge rec room in the basement. The space really gets used, and I kind of like not having to go down there and look at the mess.
Of course, I'm by far the clutterbug of the house (not counting DD), so my desk tends to be rather cluttered, along with the floor around it, and it's in the front room near the front door. I do clean up when guests are coming.
breastfeeding, babywearing, homeschooling Heathen parent to my little Wanderer, 7 1/2 , and baby Elf-stone, 3/11!
I vote for two, but stringently disagree with having "a pretty one for guests." I grew up with that mindset and so many people never even walked in their living rooms, and lived in smaller dens. We have two, and use the front one for a "living" room, and the second for the schoolroom / office. It would be the music / playroom if we didn't homeschool.
I wouldn't have a no kids allowed pretty room but I wouldn't want toys and stuff in it.
the theory is that you should build based on what you use and need, and also based on how your family will grow. The book has a series of questions about where your family spends the most time, what you perciece your needs will be over time (for example, in a couple of years, toys will be more contained as children age and learn to put toys away), including things like how often you entertain and how you entertain.
in the circles that my hsuband and i run in, all but two of us DO NOT have separate living rooms/dining rooms. Whenever we go to these homes (both of which have young children under 5), we always gravitate toward the kitchen and 'family room' and not the formal spaces.
also, one of the families bought the extra room for the same reason that you are talking about--only to discover that she rarely entertains, and when she does, it's usually friends and family who are completely "ok" with any mess to begin with.
We bought our house - a 1971 ranch - and gutted it. It was VERY outdated and needed a lot of work. We took out the wall separating the small, galley kitchen and the small living room. We took the whole space down to the wall studs and the subfloor. Then, we put in a nice sized kitchen with a HUGE island (5' x 6'). On the living-room side of the room, we left the fireplace and have added a new couch as well as side tables and a bookcase. So....it's basically a huge eat-in kitchen!
On the other side of this room is the dining room table, so it's 3 rooms in one. We keep toys, tv's, etc. out of this room and keep all that stuff in the family room.
We did it this way because we didn't see the need in having a room that would get used VERY infrequently. Most of our guests are either family (IL's) or other mom's from my MOM's club, so there's no one to impress :. The room you see when you walk in is still nice (no toys, etc.), but it's also useful. The other reason we're SO glad we did it this way is that when we have guests over, the adults can congregate in the kitchen (where they do anyway) and have enough seating, etc. Meanwhile, the kids are all in the family room (where the toys are), which is just a short hallway away. Perfect!
Another question, how do I get a big enough lanjndry room! UGH! ALl these house plans have stupid laundry rooms that are either a hallway w/ a W/D there, or a small mudroom connecting the garage and kitchen. I want at LEAST an 8x10 room, and I want cabinets, a small sink, and a window in it I'm not asking for much, am I?
We decided on a bedroom for everyone in a family of six. All personal items and toys to be stored there. Very large kitchen and eating area with a love seat and space for craft type storage and games, which we always did at the kitchen table, no matter how large the house. DH ended up with a large home office on the main floor and now runs his business from home. I wanted a space for myself, so I have a room right off the kitchen. Our living room appears small at 11 x 17, but we only watch TV, read or sit there. We don't play large motor games there and I love being only a few feet from the fireplace. It is also NOT in any traffic pattern, so no living room space is lost.
Previous home had a traditional L-shaped living room and dining room, with two additional family rooms. We all ended up in the same space anyway and most of the house just sat. We now effectively use the same amount of space with well planned storage, etc.
We don't do any formal entertaining. We have no need for formal spaces. With private spaces for each of us, messes are always contained. Keeping the house clean is a breeze. The end result was 5 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 2 home offices, large entry and closets there, large laundry room, living room, kitchen/dining. We were able to downsize from a 3 car garage to a two car very easily.
I also read all of the books by Sarah Susanska in the Not So Big House series. It gave me very useful information on what I didn't like in other places. Ideas about natural light. Every bit of our home now has some type of natural light. We do not have traditional 36" hallways. All hallways are at least 5' wide. This house flows, which allows for much more comfort in our living spaces. This home really works for us and I believe it's because I really evaluated our needs, didn't get caught up in how the house looks from the outside or what the current fad is like huge master bathrooms. Detailing the space to how your family functions will allow the home to work, even as the kids grow and needs change.
there are a lot of big things like "which room/rooms do you spend the most time in?" and small things like "do you have a collection that you want to display and store?" these sorts of things can lend themselves to different kinds of decisions in how things are built and built in.
the primary aspect is to decrease 'less used' space and make space more functional. most modern homes have multiple places for eating: dining room table, kitchen table/breakfast nook, and island bar seating. yet, many families rarely use the formal dining room, opting for the kitchen table or island bar seating more often than formal. So the NSB house motto involves cutting out that extra table, and making the main table more functional/prominent and part of the house as a whole. And then this frees up square footage for other rooms/useage.
it helps to create multi-use spacse and appropriate work/storage for what yu want. for example, the wash room that you might want could be fulfilled in a smaller space. in my friends NSB home, she wanted what you want out of a laundry room, but where the previous or first architect wanted to put it was well away from the closets (bedrooms) and bathrooms where the laundry would ultimately need to be. so the NSB house architect put the wash room in the hall way in a wide-closet setting. across form this were built-in cabinents with a beautiful countertop made of stone for folding laundry or whatever else. there was a cupola that ran above the hallway, giving a lot of natural light to the space (and a sense of openness), and the laundry room (above the washers) had cabinetry as well. it had all of the storage needs, without needing to add another room--there was a sink next to the washers as well (it was as if it were three washers wide in there--sink, washer, dryer). and, it was easy to get the things from the bathroom to the wash, from the wash to the bedrooms to be put away because everything was so close it encouraged this behavoir.
so, it's about being creative with space so that you can utilize the square footage elsewhere. as we know, square footage equals money. so, if you can save square footage for things like a 'play room' or simply cut out space that is 'unencessary' but still gives you a house that does everything that you want and need, you save cash and can spend that on landscaping or somehting.
My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." - Alan Kay
on the side of the house was a door that opened the the stairwell from the first floor to the basement. down in the basement was a shower, toilet, and small sink--usually under the stairs--and near the washer. the basements weren't finished, but that was common.
a friend of mine, who builds home himself (literally, start to finish on his own with little or no help), built his own home with a large laundry/mud room. you entered from the side (there was a back door to the kitchen garden and back yard, a front door facing the street, and then a side door from the driveway (the garage was detached). there's an entry that has a type of rubbery flooring that can be washed and water splashes on no problem. he has a big, tiled shower there on the one side, and opposite this is a closet with clean clothes.
beyond there, he walks into the laundry room which is sink/washer/dryer on the one side and then cabinetry on the other side. he tosses his clothes in the wash and draws out the dry stuff to be folded.
then you walk into a part of the kitchen/family room area.
it's a really nice house--he designed and built it himself for his wife and his child and himself. they don't know if they'll have more (one is common where he lives); he says "the house is too big for us"--it's a beautiful house. i just think he wants/needs an excuse to build another.
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