I was introduced to a designer / structural engineer through an old friend (who I'll affectionately call "Pirate"). I haven't settled on a name for the designer. He is shaping up to be my "saviour" so that will do for now!
He had some great suggestions and seemed to be able to anticipate most of my questions. A modified version 12 (If I really counted from the beginning I'm sure we would be up to over 100 by now) is the result.
This version has a few pretty major changes thanks to the "Saviours" great ideas, downstairs these include:
- The separate powder room adjoining the scullery has gone. Given advice that with every extra room you add plumbing too you can potentially kiss goodbye to $10k we decided that it was excessive, especially after relocating the main bathroom closer to the living.
- With the powder room gone, we've moved the main bathroom closer to the living area. In doing so we've reduced the plumbing runs and lots of wasted water waiting for it to get hot. We've still got a sink outside the bathroom so the two kids can get ready at the same time and you don't need to go in to the bathroom to use the loo and wash your hands.
- We've changed the laundry / garage access. Although this added a metre or two of floor space, it actually reduced outside wall dimensions and is probably cheaper to build. It certainly makes the entry more practical and makes both walls of the laundry usable. Wins all around!
- We've opened up the entry and are planning on the stairs going up being open risers, hopefully adding to the open feel of the entry and giving a glimpse of that spectacular view as soon as you enter. This also affected the alignment of the living / kitchen wing which has all moved back about 600. While that has taken away a little space in front of the island bench, it has the benefit of adding some length to the end kitchen wall so that we can now fit an 1800 sliding door in there instead of 1450 that always felt too small to me.
- With the new bathroom location eliminating some storage and the kids study nook at the back of the rumpus, we have widened the hall and included a study nook there along with some storage. I think this actually works better. It makes the rumpus/kids study separate and makes an otherwise boring hall an extra living space. Ideally I would make it a little wider but I'm already terrified by the 10 extra square metres I've added in this revision. I try to reassure myself with the hope that I've made it easier to build but I dare not creep that wall out any further ...
Ground Floor - V12
Changing the ground floor inevitably means that what sits on top has to change too. The major change is the location of the En Suite. It now sits directly on top of the main bathroom, again shortening and simplifying the plumbing. Although it is less private, it is also makes it more accessible. It means if the study was used as a guest bedroom they have easy bathroom access. Although I still wonder if I would prefer it adjoining the WIR I've been told by a few people that I would regret it because the steam from the bathroom leads to damp clothes. Of all the changes in this version, this is the one I still question. As I stare at it now though, I am beginning to fall in love with the simplicity of the new En suite layout. I can imagine that luxurious double shower, glass with a central opening. For those of you that have questioned the third shower head, its a handheld to share. Although on the plan the other shower heads are wall mounted, we're planning on them being ceiling mounted, big square ones! All perfectly innocent (for once)!
The other issue I currently ponder is whether or not to push out the hall wall even with the front of the master bedroom. This would allow me to fit a day bed in there which I can't help thinking might make an otherwise corridor space a nice place to hide. However, The square metre conscience who is always sitting on my shoulder says it is space you don't need and wont use.
Here is a picture of the new upstairs layout (you can see the old one in The Design section).
First Floor - V12
I am really interested to hear peoples thoughts on the changes! Please comment!
- What do you think of the changes we've made?
- What else would you change?
- What looks crazy to you! Don't hold back
- What advice would you give?
- What advice that we've already been given would your contradict?