Saturday, 31 December 2011

2012 A special year.

Well Christmas has come and gone and we saw the New Year in with a bang! As has become our tradition, we watched the fireworks from the water only about 100m from the barge.  It was pretty special.  Very fitting for what is shaping up to be a pretty special year for us.  We hope that in 2012 we will be celebrating Christmas and seeing in the New year with our extended families in our new house.

Since my last ramblings a few things have happened.  The most important one being that weve settled on a designer and accepted his quote.  Since then Ive been bombarding the poor guy with a number of variations and total redesigns.  Last time I posted a version, it was up to V12.  Were now up to V20 with a few unsaved ones in between! 

The madness started after having sent off a set of plans to the designer.  We made the mistake of reviewing all our past attempts and came across one that grabbed us and got us re-thinking the garage location.  The objective being to reduce the footprint up and down the block and minimise the amount of cut / fall.

I guess the other thing that resurrected the old plan was the decision to try and get the Guest Bedroom back in.  We had eliminated it early on thinking it was just more money we didnt want to borrow, hopefully we will be able to keep it!
The Lower floor plan (click the picture to enlarge)

Here is the lower floor plan.  Moving from left to right, weve incorporated the garage on to the left end of the house.  One less wall to build, a better position for the driveway and more outdoor space at the NE corner (but well have to establish some plants to get some privacy).  The garage is a little narrower than I would have liked but Im using every bit of block width I can.  The bedrooms are a good size with generous built in robes. 

On the storage front, I am not totally happy with the linen cupboard placement but you cant win on everything!  Ideally I would probably move it into the back of the cupboard in the bedroom closest to the family room but that would make the two kids bedrooms different and would no doubt put someones nose out of joint!  We will probably close in the stairs and get some storage in the entry that way.  Well make the end wall under to top end of the stairs 300 deep (just to the left of the front door) and put some little drawers, key hanging and the like under there.  I imagine I will try to squeeze the server rack, patch panel, video distribution and the like under the stairs too but Im not sure on code requirements in that respect. 

The three area bathroom layout is as weve always wanted it.  A central powder room separate from the loo and bathroom will allow the two kids to procrastinate simultaneously in the mornings!  It is a little far from the living, and through the family/rumpus which is less than ideal but it works. 

Two of the other things that drove us to this design where the entry and the placement of the living area.

Get some Wow factor into the entry. 
Weve got a great view and want to achieve that Indoor/Outdoor feel as soon as you walk in.  Weve got that now with an outdoor room to the right of the entry and glimpses of the view straight ahead and through the living area.

This is a rough view from just inside the front door, you can see the outdoor room on the right, and look through it to the living.  You can see the water and mountains behind (excuse the dull overcast background pic, I must put one in from a nice sunny day!  Youll also have to excuse bannisters and other details I havent worked on modernising them!).

Get the living back downstairs at the Northern end with an indoor/outdoor feel. 
We couldnt help feeling if we put the living upstairs we wouldnt utilise the outdoor space as much.  We will no doubt have a few years of developing the outdoor and garden space and figure if we are down there amongst it we will be more inclined to do it!

This is the view as you walk in from the entry into the Living area.  The outdoor room and dining is on the right.  Excuse the furniture and fittings, at this stage it is just about giving us an idea of general layout and that things fit.

This is the view sitting at the dining table.  The TV will go on the wall with the ugly cabinet on it.  The brick wall was me getting my wall types wrong, but were starting to think we might keep it that way.

The upper floor plan (click the picture to enlarge)

The upper floor plan has the ensuite sitting on top of the main bathroom to simplify things and gives us a pretty generous WIR (OK it is outrageous, but pretty practical too!).  It is accessible without going into the master suite and a nude dash from it to the master is pretty private (you wont be able to see up there unless you are up the stairs).  The light into the hall should be good as the entry is flooded.

The layout makes it reasonably easy for one person to get up and not disturb the other too much getting ready.

So what next?
Im waiting anxiously to hear from the designer after his Christmas break and has time to digest all the emails Ive spammed him with.  Hopefully I havent put him off already and he views it all as inspirational rather than confusing!

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