Floorplan #3 – Master suite on the edge of the forest

This month, I’m sharing some of the floorplans I’ve worked through in the four years since we’ve owned the farm.

Just a reminder, here is our current layout.

Current floorplan

Last week you saw my second idea–adding a garage off the living room and turning the pool room into our master bedroom–which has been the plan for most of the time we’ve lived here. But all the way along, I struggled with losing the lawn on the south side of the house to the garage.

Matt has advocated pretty much since day 1 for the pool room becoming the garage. I could stomach the south lawn being a driveway better than I could handle it being garage. So that became the basis for floorplan #3.

Floorplan #3

Highlights:

  • The pool room becomes the garage. I’m pretty sure we’re going to need a mini-extension on the garage in order to fit two cars. Basically, the width of the mudroom gets tacked on the end.
  • Like in all of my plans, the current mudroom comes off and the front entrance shifts so that my office becomes the front foyer. Again, I think I can deal with the first view as you come into the house being the bathroom.
  • The back door in the kitchen is closed in, the window is expanded, and the wall pushes out about 5 feet.
  • The hallway is extended through the closets in the two bedrooms and the master suite (along with new closets) is added on the north side of the house. (And as I look at this, I realize it may make sense to switch the bathroom and closet… although I think this very not-to-scale floorplan is skewing the proportions).
  • The new mudroom and back door are still about 6 steps down from the kitchen.
  • We would still upgrade all of the doors and trim and add a metal roof.

Pros:

  • This reno could likely be done in phases.
  • The kitchen expansion gives us a bit more counter space, room for bigger appliances, more natural light and my coveted view down to the pond.
  • There is direct access from the mudroom to the outside, so we don’t have to walk through the garage.
  • Bedrooms 1 and 2 still have good closets, added along with the master.
  • The bedrooms are all together at the end of the house. The master bedroom is nestled up to the forest and still has a pretty good view of the pond.
  • We keep the lawn on the south side of the house.

Cons:

  • This is a bigger renovation with three separate additions: the garage, the kitchen and the master suite.
  • Running plumbing, electrical and HVAC to the master bedroom addition is a long way from the utility room under the living room fireplace.
  • This reno disrupts pretty much every room in the house.
  • Bedrooms 1 and 2 lose the windows they currently have on the north wall.
  • The pool room–one of the best rooms in the house in terms of size and windows–becomes the garage. Not a room you typically visit to enjoy the view.
  • We’ll lose a few trees, and we might have to fill in part of the small ravine on the edge of the north lawn.

Here’s the view of the north lawn. Pretty much this whole lawn would be taken over by the addition. The ground drops off right at the tree line on the right side of the picture. To be able to walk around the extended house on this side, we’d have to take out a few trees and level the ground a bit.

North lawn

Right now, this plan is the front-runner for me. I’m willing to sacrifice the north lawn as opposed to the south. I still get everything I want–better kitchen, front porch, master suite, attached garage, farmy-country appearance. Plus I get to keep the quality of the property around the house.

This is the last plan that I have to share. Going back to the home goals that I shared at the start of the week, my next step is to meet with a contractor or two and start to get some idea of costs of plans #2 and #3. The contractor I have in mind has experience with big renovations like this, and I think he might have some good suggestions for the best layout too.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your suggestions.

What do you think about this plan? Do you like all the bedrooms to be together? What adjustments would you make?

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10 thoughts on “Floorplan #3 – Master suite on the edge of the forest

  1. My apologies if you’ve already answered this question elsewhere, but why are you moving the front entrance? It seems like this makes the hallway next to the staircase a mostly wasted space. Is it too thin to be a comfortable foyer? I would recommend changing your staircase access to be in the foyer. This could let you take that hallway space and turn it into a pantry area.

    I also think swapping the master bathroom and closet is a good idea. Not just for the space, but that would allow to put a window on the front of the house, which I think will help the exterior be balanced. Plus more natural light in the bathroom is always nice.

    Thanks for sharing – I love looking and playing around with floor plans, so this series has been awesome.

    • Oooh, I have never thought about access to the staircase from the foyer. You’ve really given me something to think about.

      I want to move the entrance because the current entry really is much, much too small to be a comfortable foyer. It’s basically a landing and a narrow hallway. I really want a more generous hallway, but now your suggestion of a pantry has me thinking.

      The window for the bathroom and the front of the house is a really good point.

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed this series. I really appreciate your suggestions!

  2. I like Laura T’s ideas too! This floorplan seems like it has lots to recommend it. Not least that you can do it in parts – that would be helpful on the pocketbook! It will be interesting to see what your builder has to say, as well.

  3. I was thinking along the same lines as Laura, but thought if you kept the foyer/staircase/entrance as it currently is, you could add a small pantry on the kitchen side and a closet on the foyer side – these would be back to back. So when you walk in you’d see the door to the closet (which would be even better view than a bathroom or the kitchen.) If you did this you could create a beautiful arched double wide entry into the living room, and close off that office again. It wouldn’t give you a big foyer, but it would feel bigger if that wall to the living room were open. Also, I think that it would be great for entertaining purposes. Another thought was to replace the window in the living room with french doors. It sounds like you love that side of the garden, if I’m understanding it correctly, and could create a nice little dining terrace off that side. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    • Opening that wall in the living room would definitely make the foyer feel bigger. I love the idea of a terrace of some kind off the living room. We have sliding glass doors there right now, but they’re super drafty. Upgrading to french doors sounds like a great idea.

  4. I hope you will show us up-to-scale floor plan in the future because it is hard to guess the proportions (the original bathroom looks very small) and find the best solutions.

    Could garage be where the master is? And then master bedroom would be in the pool? The bedrooms would be apart and you would probably have to cut some trees down in the north but the south lawn would stay. It saddens me when I see houses that have garages in the best positions, especially in countries with extreme winters. But I don’t know your daily dynamics, like where do you need the mudroom to be and how do you feel about bedroom off the kitchen.

    About plan #3 I would only recommend that you go straight out from the kitchen to (imaginative) patio and then down the stairs. A lot like you have now. That little hallway with stairs just looks wrong. Actually that whole corner needs a little bit more pondering. But on the whole it looks very promising!

    • Yeah. That whole corner with the stairs and access to the backyard is awkward. I think that’s where professional help will be most helpful. Plus in getting an actual to-scale plan. I’m looking forward to the day that we have blueprints!

      My concern with having the garage at the other end of the house is I’m pretty sure that will require cutting more trees and filling in a good bit of the ravine. There’s a good slope right at that part of the property and to level it off and raise the driveway will take a bit of work.

  5. Considering the scale of these plans and the major costs they would require (foundation extensions, reframing the entire roofline or ordering new trusses, changing wall structures, etc), have you thought about simply picking some other spot on your property, and building a new house from scratch?

    • I get where you’re coming from (and I appreciate your experience in this area). I do really like the layout and space in our house, so I don’t want to lose that entirely. Plus I think that starting from scratch will cost us more than the additions–as large as they are.

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